Suddenly, Jack Thompson is Feuding With Former Louisiana Allies

August 7, 2006 -
Controversial Miami attorney Jack Thompson appears to be burning bridges in Louisiana, the state where he has enjoyed the most success to date in his long-standing crusade against violent video games.

A series of e-mails forwarded to GamePolitics by Thompson detail a rapidly deteriorating relationship with the office of Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti. Foti is a named defendant in ESA/EMA vs. Foti, the video game industry's constitutional challenge to the state's recently-passed video game law.

In particular, the mercurial Thompson expresses frustration with Deputy A.G. Burton Guidry, the man leading Louisiana's defense against the game industry's lawsuit. Hitherto, Guidry has been extremely supportive of the video game statute in his public comments, vowing on behalf of A.G. Foti to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, if need be.

Based on Thompson's e-mails, however, the working relationship between the Louisiana Attorney General's Office and the controversial Miami lawyer apparently began unraveling early yesterday morning. At 5:56 A.M. Thompson messaged Guidry, his secretary and Rep. Roy Burrell, sponsor of Louisiana's video game bill, matter-of-factly asking for a status report on the case.

Guidry replied by e-mail a few hours later. Included in his update was what appears to be a diplomatically-worded admonition to Thompson to work through channels:

"Waiting on ct decision re prel injunction. Also have issued initial discovery interrogatories re rating system.""Have received info that someone on your behalf has contacted cops program for support indicating they were working for state of la. Please cease all activity of this type without prior approval of our office. We appreciate your enthusiasm but all activity regarding la state interests must be cleared thru gen foti."

"Translation: Guidry is waiting for Federal Judge James Brady to rule on the game industry's request for a preliminary injunction. In preparation for arguing the case he has also begun the process of seeking information on how the ESRB rates games.

The "cops program" is believed to be Concerns of Police Survivors, a national organization that provides aid, counseling and assistance to the families of police officers killed in the line of duty. GP readers may recall that Thompson's recent attempt to submit an Amicus Curiae brief to the court was summarily rejected, in part because he had not named on whose behalf he was acting, beyond unspecified law enforcement personnel and education groups. Associating the amicus brief with COPS would appear to be Thompson's attempt to rectify that legal shortcoming.

Thompson's reply to Guidry's e-mail was swift - and harsh.

"You're way, way out of line... I am seeking to be amicus in this case, per the request weeks ago, from the Governor's Office, that I assist in trying to get this law declared constitutional.""Your office, on the other hand, has thwarted my efforts to help in that regard, most recently by your bizarre request that I not contact COPS to see if it might light (sic) to be my amicus. I have had a relationship with COPS before I ever heard of you all and this bill."

"Thompson also chided Guidry for not contacting "four experts" suggested by the Miami attorney as potential witnesses in the case. Thompson added, "I have REPEATEDLY asked you and your office to provide me information as to the status of the case, the name of a Louisiana lawyer who might be able to serve as co-counsel for amicus, and also why the court summarily and preliminarily, denied my amicus request... "

Thompson also implies that Guidry's office is not putting forth its maximum effort on the case.

"...There are lives at stake, and your office is acting as if this is some sort of debate over the tax code... Here you are freezing out the guy who wrote the bill..."

Later on Sunday, Thompson copied GamePolitics on a letter which he apparently faxed to Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco. Gov. Blanco, readers may recall, signed the video game bill into law, thus triggering the constitutional challenge by the video game industry. Thompson's fax to the Governor includes:

"...I wrote the bill... I testified... You then signed this bill into law... Terry Ryder of your office specifically asked me... to assist... that this constitutional law would be defended adequately in the face of the violent video game industry's assault upon it in federal court."

Terry Ryder is listed as Gov. Blanco's Executive Counsel on her official website.

"I regret to inform you," Thompson continues, "that... your Attorney General's office has utterly dropped the ball... I would respectfully suggest that you... tell your Attorney General, Mr. Foti, either to do his job or get out of the way so that others can do it for him."

Asked whether he was concerned about burning bridges with Louisiana officials, Thompson's terse reply to GP via e-mail read simply, "There are no bridges."

E-mail requests for comment from Deputy A.G. Guidry, Rep. Burrell, and Exective Counsel Terry Ryder were not answered by press time. In all fairness, their respective offices were closed on Sunday as we assembled this story. GP will, of course, report any comments received from Louisiana officials on this matter.

 
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Andrew EisenProblem is, I would imagine, the sheer number of people are using journalistic integrity as a cover for their harassing actions or only bringing it up on the false pretense of journalistic integrity.09/18/2014 - 8:47pm
Andrew EisenHaving said that, I can certainly see how one would be frustrated if they truly just wanted to talk about journalistic integrity and someone said they were one of the people harassing Sarkeesian, Quinn and others.09/18/2014 - 8:44pm
KronoThat's been the common refrain, that talk of journalism ethics is just an excuse to harass people.09/18/2014 - 8:44pm
KronoLines like "like a partial compromise with the howling trolls who’ve latched onto ‘ethics’ as the latest flag in their onslaught against evolution and inclusion." are taring everyone questioning the ethics as a harasser.09/18/2014 - 8:43pm
Andrew EisenKrono - Except, none of the articles were talking about gamers complaining about journalist ethics, let alone called them white male misogynists. They were talking about the gamers who were harassing others.09/18/2014 - 8:36pm
Kronomakes plenty of sense. It's rather hard to dismiss someone as a white guy running a sock puppet when they've posted proof they're a woman, or black, or another minority.09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronothat any critics of journalists were white guys that hated women, and could be dismissed as such. It seems to have helped some. It's kind of difficult to maintain the white guy narrative in the face of a bunch of women and non-white guys. So the tag09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronothat, someone vented on a #gamergate 4chan thread about being dismissed like that. The suggestion they got in return was to organize their own hashtag in response, with #NotYourShield being suggested. Thus the tag came into use to combat the undercurrent09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronomuch more general problem. And while several of the articles were fairly tame, they spured a bunch of people to dismiss any critics of the journalism involved as misogynistic men. Usually with insults aimed at the geek stereotype. After about a week of09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - Not sure what that has to do with anything but yeah, the gender percentages differ depending on how the study defines what a gamer is.09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
KronoThe rhetoric pushed by the spearheading articles that the "gamers" complaining about journalist ethics were just angry white male misogynists, insulted a lot of people that were previously fairly neutral. It made it go from a Kotaku problem, to a09/18/2014 - 8:31pm
Krono@Andrew I'm not surprised overlap exists. I expect much of it is a rush to jump on the bandwagon, either by reporting on the original articles, or rushing out their own. The point is that was a major flashpoint, much bigger than the reddit mass deletion.09/18/2014 - 8:31pm
Sleaker@AE - well the gamer trend was described with stats on Factual Femenist. Only 1 in 7 males plays games 20+ hrs going into college vs 1 in 40 females. So gaming is definitely still male dominated despite fake stats trying to say otherwise.09/18/2014 - 8:30pm
Craig R.Do conspiracies ever make sense? The fact that people are now having to defend themselves against nutjob websites like Breitbart.com shows how far down into the rabbit hole we've all been forcibly dragged.09/18/2014 - 7:05pm
Michael ChandraBut when the mountain obviously exists...09/18/2014 - 5:49pm
Michael ChandraMind you, if someone makes a mountain out of a molehill with a secret agenda as motive, it'd be fine.09/18/2014 - 5:48pm
Andrew EisenOkay, so I guess I'm not making sense of #notyourshield because it doesn't make any sense.09/18/2014 - 5:28pm
Andrew EisenI'd really only count three as being "death of gamer" articles and only one as arguably going a bit far with "gamers are young white dudes" stuff.09/18/2014 - 5:17pm
Andrew EisenMost are really just a look at the crap that happened the previous day when Sarkeesian's new video came out and almost all are exceedingly clear that they're talking about the specific gamers who are being obnoxious.09/18/2014 - 5:17pm
Andrew EisenKrono - Yep, I had only seen two. I looked at the 12 you sent and while I had seen a few of them, I didn't think to count them. Some aren't about gamers at all. One's just highlighting two others. One is a Gamasutra community member blog post.09/18/2014 - 5:15pm
 

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