Slabbed and Ashley mentioned in the same sentence. And as fate would have it only now that she's gone is the genius behind Nowdy's work here becoming evident.

When I checked stats and Jason’s post on American Zombie about our coverage of the goings on in Oxpatch and read the comments, I was truly humbled to see one of the commenters mentioning us deserving the Ashley Award. For those who are not schooled in the lore of the local blogging community the Ashley Award is named for Ashley Morris, the granddaddy of us all who lost his life in the spring of 2008. Creighton Bernette from Treme’s first season was based on him in large part and his blog still lives to this day. It is a heck of an honor just to be mentioned in the same sentence.

Since our early days I thought our natural readership traffic would be largely along the I-10 corridor as we’re culturally similar. My former partner in blog Nowdy hailed from central Mississippi and while she was hip to this area she was hipper to the goings on from Jackson north. And when the Dick Scruggs prosecution met the insurance battles down here we naturally didn’t take things and the story line being peddled in both the main stream press and the blogs at face value.  Nowdy well knew of the time-honored tradition of bare knuckle vendetta, Mississippi style. For me the fact that State Farm so well-integrated into the news cycle was plenty enough.  She was ridiculed and derided for some of her work but by God it has somehow manged to survive the test of time in part.

I mention all this because some of the ridicule came from Tom Freeland aka NMC. He was advocating in USA v Scruggs on behalf of Judge Lackey, his daddy’s former law partner who evidently once had an office in that “quaint Victorian-style Jackson Avenue office” that “has housed lawyers since 1905.” I think William Falkner took a crap in the hall bathroom there once too. And since I brung it up I’ll add we’ve always stipulated Team Freeland bleeds blue. Along those same lines he also had IRS leins and they all put their pants on one leg at a time. But he also blogs and we’re better off for it (when he isn’t grinding an axe against Dick Scruggs or helping State Farm rat fuck ordinary people down here whose only sin was having full insurance coverage and losing their house to Hurricane Katrina) as his blog is at times very good. In fact this last January I personally recommended it to Jason at AZ and made sure Tom was aware if American Zombie. After all just because we fussed some doesn’t mean the material is crap. Bloggers are a very competitive bunch after all. Continue reading “Slabbed and Ashley mentioned in the same sentence. And as fate would have it only now that she's gone is the genius behind Nowdy's work here becoming evident.”

Jackson New Media and the effort to unseal records from State Farm v Attorney General Hood

In April 2009, Jackson New Media,  publisher of the Mississippi blog Y’all Politics, filed a Motion to Intervene in State Farm’s suit against  Jim Hood, in his official capacity as Attorney General of the State of Mississippi.  Three television stations joined Jackson New Media as plaintiffs in the case:  WLBT (Jackson), WLOX (Biloxi)  and WDAM (Hattiesburg), now collectively “New Media”.

According to the Motion, New Media had “no forum within which it may seek to protect its free press and free access rights…under the Constitution of the United States and Mississippi Constitution of 1890, and free access rights under the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983”.

SLABBED responded in a post supporting the removal of seals from all documents filed in Katrina-related litigation:

The public’s First Amendment right to access relevant court materials does not begin and end with State Farm v Hood. In fact, in the context of Katrina litigation, the case pales by comparison to the relevant court materials that have been sealed since the 29th of August, 2005, when Katrina blew apart homes and families, neighborhoods and communities…

Later in the post, SLABBED added, “Asking to unseal a single document will cause some to question the motives of this worthy effort…” and followed with a reference to State Farm’s use of sealed documents in a case current at the time the post was written. Continue reading “Jackson New Media and the effort to unseal records from State Farm v Attorney General Hood”