I’m working on a comprehensive Mark St Pierre post but this last bit of news from the courthouse can’t wait.
We’ve visited on this general topic before but today we again find out the true price of free speech, specifically in investigative blogging as evidence reveals that Mark St. Pierre went after blogger Jason Berry at American Zombie via neighborhood canvas after Jason broke to the world news of the now infamous sex Yacht used to bribe officials with the City of New Orleans. Hammerman has the scoop:
In mid-2006, when the American Zombie blog began the questions about St. Pierre’s use of a yacht for parties for Meffert and Meffert’s access to a corporate credit card, St. Pierre had the blogger investigated. An email presented by prosecutors showed that St. Pierre found out the then-anonymous blogger’s name, Jason Berry, as well as the names of his wife and children.
“The only thing we don’t know is his address and social security number,” St. Pierre bragged to his friends via email.
We have a bit of experience with these type things here at Slabbed. I’ll add the only thing worse than a crook stealing massive amounts of tax money is a crook that has the dishonest behavior rationalized like St Pierre because they tend to do stupid ass things like run a neighborhood canvas on a citizen blogger of pure investigative journalism intent like Jason. Such things come with the turf here in the south which is again why people that value the kind of old fashioned investigative journalism found on blogs and seemingly no where else should support their finer local bloggers.
Speaking of value, the Hammerman also reveals something that is important to a newspaper reporter circa 2011 as he took a shot at Jason’s reporting near the end of his piece. Never mind that American Zombie was literally months ahead of the traditional media on this but he evidently got a minor detail in grand the scheme of things wrong in his cutting edge reporting on Meffert, the credit card and the sex yacht. IMHO it is a clear signal of the type of mindset that guarantees the continued evolution of the print media in a way the Hammerman evidently dreads. I think Noladishu said it best for those of us on the new media side of things via twitter:
# of bloggers threatened by St. P: 1. # of TP reporters threatened:0. Badge of honor, there.
Yeah that plus it is sure sign of who St Pierre feared most.
To the extent that other media outlets reported on this scandal months after the fact, a simple thank you to Jason from them on blazing the trail would sure be nice. I know dream on…..