The lies have been flying fast and furious regarding Bill Barber’s Moral Monday nonsense at the legislative building. The mainstream media has bent over backwards to hide the fact that the whole thing is being orchestrated by professional, veteran left-wing agitators with a sprinkling of Chapel Hill-Carrboro granola-ites. They refuse to report that The State Employees Association of North Carolina is fiercely opposed to the Moral Monday circus. They regurgitate protester talking points about General Assembly legislation. Civitas and a number of other bloggers across the state attempt to inject some truth into this story, and the legacy media goes nuts — throwing out comparisons to Joe McCarthy, Bull Connor, The Klan, and Adolf Hitler.
Scott Mooneyham — brown noser extraordinaire — has come onto our radar today. Ol’ Scott has been hanging around North Carolina’s drive-by media for aeons. (He was at The Fayetteville Observer during my time with the drive-bys.) As long as I’ve followed Scott, he has been a kiss-up to the statists and bureaucrats. He’s bent over backwards to make those folks look good, and has shot right up the ranks of the mainstream media.
With his latest column, Scott has surely earned a “good-boy” pat on the head from Bill Barber:
Most journalists have at least a cursory knowledge of one of the landmark press cases of the 20th century, New York Times Co. v. Sullivan.
The ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court established that public figures can only prove libel or defamation with a finding that those who wrote about them knew the information to be false or showed reckless disregard for the truth.
Sometimes lost in the case’s explanation is how it proved just as important to the civil rights movement as to freedom of the press.
The reason is that the case’s origins go back to trumped-up charges of tax filing perjury brought against Martin Luther King.
In response, actor Harry Belafonte and others took out an ad in The New York Times soliciting money for King’s legal defense. The ad described the sit-in movement in the South and the effort to suppress it.
Montgomery Police Commissioner L.B. Sullivan and Alabama Gov. John Patterson sued the newspaper and four civil rights leaders who signed the ad.
The lawsuit noted that the ad claimed King had been arrested seven times, when he had been arrested four times. It cited three other trivial differences between the ad claims and what had occurred during Alabama protests.
An Alabama jury ruled that the statements constituted defamation and libel, and ordered all the defendants to pay $500,000. The Alabama Supreme Court upheld the ruling.
Two years later, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned it. At the time, there were $300 million in similar newspaper claims brought by Southern political leaders pending in the courts.
The lawsuits had been used as a means to suppress coverage of the civil rights movement.
Most Americans are aware of the violence used against protesters in places like Birmingham. Sixty years later, many of us have forgotten or never learned the other means used to attack those who challenged segregation.
Besides lawsuits, student protest leaders were expelled from state-supported schools, laws were passed requiring civil rights groups to publish membership lists, and segregationists published lists of protesters in local newspapers in the hopes of getting them fired from their jobs.
That history was recently brought to mind by a decision of the conservative Civitas Institute to publish photos and create a database — including names, addresses and employers— of those arrested as a part of the so-called Moral Monday protests being held at the North Carolina Legislative Building.
In all, there are 382 arrestees.
The information is public, and Sullivan and other case law seem to support Civitas’ right to publish it.
That doesn’t mean that Civitas and its leader, Francis De Luca, haven’t placed themselves onto a suspect historical parallel.
Scott. Scott. Scott. Really? Seriously? Civitas published that information as a service to the public. Their database proved that these “protesters” are: (1) veteran agitators from liberal havens like Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Durham and Asheville, (2) overwhelmingly Democrat, and (3) include a significant number of college professors. The database kills the media narrative that Moral Monday is little more than average North Carolinians frustrated with their government. So, the folks at Civitas must be
You won’t tell the truth, Scott. So, Civitas and the blogs are having to do your job for you.
In the Internet age, average people now have the power to call B.S. on lies peddled by Scott and his comrades in the mainstream media. I can imagine that it’s frustrating for them.