The Bar Trial of Jack Thompson (Part 7): Thompson Cross Examines the Bully Case Judge

March 26, 2008 -

For this segment we'll assume that you have at least read Part 6 of GamePolitics' Bar Trial of Jack Thompson, the direct testimony of Miami-Dade County Circuit Court Judge Ronald Friedman.

What follows is Thompson's cross examination of Judge Friedman, who became a target of Thompson's ire after he refused to grant the controversial attorney's 2006 motion to have Bully declared a public nuisance in Florida.

(In the excerpted transcripts that follow, RF is Judge Ronald Friedman. JT is Thompson, TUMA is prosecutor Sheila Tuma and DT is Judge Dava Tunis, who is presiding over the case…)

JT: Judge, first things first. My lawsuit wasn't, as you testified, to prohibit the distribution of this game [Bully], was it?

RF: I do believe it was.

JT: Well, let's go to Exhibit 46... page 21 thereof... Why don't you read paragraph D. This is under the caption Injunctive Relief.

RF: "An order prohibiting Take Two from selling all of its mature-rated video games directly or indirectly to anyone under 17 years of age, which practice is violating the strictures of the [ESA] and of the [ESRB] as well as solemn promises made under oath to Congress and to others."

JT: So do you want to change your testimony about what the purpose of the lawsuit was?

RF: No. That's the way I read that.

JT: Prohibit the distribution.

RF: To adults? No. To teenagers, yes.

JT: Okay. I take prohibit to mean prohibit, and that is to prevent the distribution.

RF: That is exactly what it appears to be, to prevent the distribution to anyone under age 17.

JT: Right. Not across the board... But... we didn't have a hearing on that, did we?

RF: We certainly did have some [courtroom] argument.

JT: A hearing on the merits of the case?

RF: The merits of the case? No.

JT: No. Now you testified - correct me if I'm wrong here - that I had represented as to how bad the game was? Was that basically what you said?

RF: That's my recollection.

JT: I hadn't seen the game, had I?

RF: No.

JT: I couldn't have seen it.

RF: That's correct.

JT: And I couldn't have seen it because these people - correct me if I'm wrong - "these people" being Take Two - had released this game and shown it to people in the video game industry press. Then when I asked to see it - and I hadn't filed suit at this time -  I asked to see it before its release and then I asked you - correct me if I'm wrong, but I sought a release of it limitedly to you so that you could review it because no one had seen it other than the people I've mentioned. Isn't that right?

RF: I don't know who had seen it. I know you hadn't.

JT: I had not?

RF: Correct.

JT: And you had not?

RF: That's correct.

JT: So I wanted - correct me if I'm wrong. I wanted to have a hearing on whether or not this thing, this game, should be sold to anyone under 17 prior to its being released, with only the ESRB and maybe certain other people having seen it.

RF: Which was the purpose of having the in camera viewing.

JT: Correct. Now did you review the entire game - or, let me back up. Do you remember before we had this proceeding, this in camera proceeding or whatever you want to call it, this exercise in camera in your chambers - do you recall having said at the hearing prior to that, that you would review the entire game and that you would take all weekend if necessary and that I was welcome to attend if you did that?

RF: Yes.

JT: Okay, and so we had this - I don't know. How would you characterize it? - in camera proceeding review -

RF: Yes.

JT:  -in your chambers and we can't - correct me if I'm wrong on this. We can't really verify how long you reviewed through this cheat system, as you called it or as they called it - how long you spent reviewing it even under that situation because you ordered that the transcript of what went on there not be released except with your permission. Isn't that right?

RF: (no response)

JT: So we don't have that, do we, to time the hearing?

RF: That, I don't recall.

JT: Did you order that the transcript of whatever went on in there not be released except by your order?

RF: My recollection is that I ordered it not to be released probably - unless I ordered it for certainly not before the actual distribution [of Bully]. That's correct.

JT: Would you release it now?

RF: I don't have a problem with that.

JT: My point in asking that was we would then have a record as to how long that exercise took. You testified here that you may have taken an hour or an hour and a half to look at the game, actual time viewing the game?

RF: That's my recollection of about how long it was.

JT: Okay, and you thought - what did you call it, the cheat what?

RF: I thought what?

JT: No, I'm sorry. They called it a cheat -

RF: Whatever it was.

JT: - system?

RF: I'm calling it a cheater that allows them to jump from one part of the game to another.

JT: It allows them?

RF: Whoever is operating it.

JT: Right, and who was operating this game?

RF: Their representative.

JT: "Their" being Take Two's?

RF: Yes.

JT: Who had come down from New York. I wasn't allowed to see anything as to the game except the back of the screen. Right?

RF: That's correct.

JT: What was your concern in that regard?

RF: It was an in camera review.

JT: Right.

RF: And I was concerned that nothing was to leave that room until I made a decision.

JT: What was going to leave the room?

RF: I had no idea.

JT: What could have left the room?

RF: I have no idea.

JT: You have no idea?

RF: It was an in camera inspection. That's what an in camera inspection is.

JT: What could I have made off with?

RF: I have no idea what you would have done.

JT: Could you have ordered me not to disclose. - and in fact you did order me not to disclose what happened in there -

RF: That's correct.

JT: -as far as the content of the game or whatever.

RF: That's correct.

JT: But that wasn't sufficient.

RF: I don't know whether it was or not.

JT: Well, somebody could have held me in contempt if I violated that order. Right?

RF: That's certainly true.

JT: But you had an inspection, which wasn't really in camera. We had other people in there. Do you typically do in camera inspections with other people there and with one of the party's employees taking you through the exhibit?

RF: Sometimes.

JT: When does that happen?

RF: When it's necessary for someone to explain something to me.

JT: Can you recall a case in which you had an in camera inspection of -

RF: I've had several.

TUMA: Objection to the relevance of all this.

DT: Overruled.

JT: ...Can you recall a case in which you had an in camera inspection in which one of the parties got to see what you were doing and another party didn't get to see the item?

RF: Sure. Lots of times when one side possesses the item, in an in camera they present it to me, I review it, and the other side doesn't see it.

JT: Have you ever let one side determine what part of the item you got to see?

RF: No. This is a first.

JT: Now, you said, I think you testified here that, hopefully, you saw the worst parts of the game. Do you remember saying that?

RF: I do.

JT: How do you know if you did?

RF: I only rely upon the people following my directions and hope that they're following my directions.

JT: Did you see the melee at the end of the game where the hero of the game, Jimmy Hopkins, goes on a rampage and beats up just about everybody in the school?

RF: No.

JT: No?

RF: No.

JT: Do you have much familiarity with video game play?

RF: No.

JT: In fact, you said that you watched the game - right? - and that you wouldn't want your children to watch it.

RF: That's correct.

JT: You understand that you don't watch a video game, right?

RF: Excuse me?

JT: Do you understand that you don't watch a video game? Right?

RF: Are you making a distinction between watching and playing?

JT: Yes.

RF: Okay. When you're playing, you are watching.

JT: And how do you play the game?

RF: I don't know how you play the game. I don't play video games.

JT: You don't know how to play the game - or any game. Did you know that I had an expert there, Dr. Eugene Provenzo, to testify at this hearing we didn't have?

RF: Yes.

JT: Okay, and do you know who he is?

RF: No.

JT: Do you want me to tell you?

RF: By all means.

JT: Eugene Provenzo is a tenured professor -

RF: Excuse me one second. Let me interrupt. I'm sorry. Was he the gentleman seated next to you?

JT: Yes... Eugene Provenzo is a full tenured professor at the University of Miami who has testified multiple times before committees of the United States Congress as to the powerful way in which video games and interactive media - which you play - are powerful teaching tools that can not only teach things, but modify behavior. Would it have been of interest to you that Dr. Provenzo could have told you that some guided tour of any video game by anybody - regardless of what their motivations are and financial interests are and who their employees are - is not a sufficient way to understand the content, the full content of a game? Would that have been of any interest to you?

RF: Mr. Thompson, as I recall, and I believe the transcript will reflect, at the end of the hearing, I said, "Does anyone have anything further to say to the Court?" and the doctor raised his hand, and I called upon him to say whatever he wanted to say and you told him to lower his hand and be quiet.

JT: Because he told me what he was going to say. Do you want to know what he was going to say?

RF: I don't care.

JT: You don't care?

RF: I don't care at this point. I made my ruling. That was that.

JT: Since you raised it as to what you think he might have said or that he wanted to say something, would it have been of interest to you to know that he wanted to say that this was the worst misconduct by any judge he had ever seen?

TUMA: Objection, Your Honor. How is this relevant?

RF: Do I care about that?

JT: What do you mean, how is it relevant?

DT: I'm sorry. Are you speaking to me?

JT: I'm asking, how is this relevant? We're here to talk about whatever I did and what I did was appropriate and there was a reasonable basis for me to be critical of what this judge did and how he did it. This witness, this judge, has suggested, implied, that somehow I gagged this particular witness and that he would have been prepared to testify about things that, if we had had a real hearing on something, he would have testified on.

DT: Overruled. Go ahead. Answer the question.

JT: Go ahead, Judge.

RF: Having viewed what I did and having reached the determination in my mind that the First Amendment would preclude me from making a decision in any way contrary to what I did and that I probably made a mistake in even taking the time to view what I did, I denied your motion. Nothing would have changed that.

JT: Nothing.

RF: If I found that something would have incited to immediate violence, that would have changed it; which is the only reason I granted the opportunity to have a viewing of the game.

JT: But you didn't see the end of the game. Right?

RF: That's correct.

JT: And you're not aware, apparently, are you, that video games of this genre typically result in more violence as you go through the game and you have a culminating act of violence to "finish the game." You don't know anything of that, do you?

RF: No.

JT: Do you remember before we ended this - you ended this - in camera inspection through which you were led by Take Two's employees, that you indicated having seen whatever you saw as to how you were going to rule in this case?... Do you remember that?

RF: I do.

JT: Tell us about your recent reversal of the Third District Court of Appeals for having done this same thing.

TUMA: Objection, Your Honor.

JT: No, no. Excuse me, Judge. I'm sorry.

DT: I'm going to ask you if there's an objection being made that you don't say, "No, no." Okay?

JT: I apologize.

DT: Let's just do this in a proper manner.

JT: I apologize.

DT: What is your legal objection?

TUMA: To the relevance to this case. It has no relevance to this case. It's not an appeal of the case.

JT: Before you rule -

DT: Yes, I was going to ask you... are you talking about a ruling that has to do with the case that was filed -

JT: You bet.

DT: -right here?

JT: It has everything to do with it - and let me explain... you'll see that the documents that were excerpted and read from [by Judge Friedman on direct examination] talk about... his terrific reputation out of the Third District Court of Appeals and what this witness has also said is that even if the things I said [about him] were true, that I had acted improperly. There has been reading from portions of letters about this Judge's reputation and that he has a history of doing and acting improperly... this is not an isolated incident. So that when I recount what this Judge's reputation is and what he does on a routine basis and the the Third District Court of Appeals has held him to task recently for having done the same thing to another litigant, then it goes to my credibility, it goes also to his credibility, and more importantly, it goes to the [Florida Bar] rule 4-8.2(a), which talks about whether or not lawyers can be critical of judges...

We're here litigating in this trial - you call a hearing, other people call it a trial. It feels like a trial to me - that one of the issues is whether or not there is a reasonable basis for a lawyer to say something about a judge... So what he [Friedman] has done in another case in which he prejudged and which the Third District Court reversed him on for having announced his ruling before there was a hearing in the case goes to whether or not this was an isolated incident, whether or not I had any reason to say what I said about the Judge in these admittedly caustic letters, and whether or not I'm a truth teller, a prevaricator or someone who just makes this up out of whole cloth.

He's the one who talked at his hearing... about what a great reputation he has out of the Third District when he's just been reversed on doing pretty much what he did to me.

DT: Do you want to ask a question about Judge Friedman's ruling in a specific case?

JT: If he'll answer.

DT: Okay. Overruled... But if you're going to ask him a question, you have to ask him a specific question.

(thereupon Friedman discusses a case involving a property dispute and a possible false arrest... )

RF: There was a motion to recuse, a motion denied, and the Appellate Court found I should have recused.

JT: On what basis?

RF: Having prejudged.

JT: Okay, and we never had the hearing in my case about the merits of the case. Right?

RF: No.

TUMA: Objection: Asked and answered.

DT: Sustained.

JT: And your answer to that was no, just so the record is clear. Now we all make mistakes, right. I've certainly made some. Have you made some?

RF: I certainly have. And you may recall in that record, I said, "While I have general respect for the Third District, they don't always agree with me."

JT: I understand. My wife, who loves me, doesn't always agree with me... When I said Judge Reah Pincus Grossman [despised Friedman, see part 6], I got the wrong judge and her demise, I found out, is premature, as Mark Twain would say; but it was another judge, and I heard that story from someone whom I've known as a practicing attorney for 30-some years. Are there some attorneys who find you somewhat arbitrary in your jurisdiction?

TUMA: Objection, Your Honor, to relevancy.

DT: Overruled.

JT: If you know.

RF: I don't know. I do know that the Bar polls show that 10 percent of the lawyers don't think I should be here. Ninety percent do. So apparently there are some who would agree with you.

JT: Did you see the homosexual activity in the game that Take Two - I would call them manipulators - but the Take Two employees, the ones who showed you portions of the game? Did you see that?

RF: No.

JT: Now, I want to see if you understand this. You're not to be faulted for not being a video game player or for knowing how video games work and so forth. I've had a crash course since 1998 when I represented the families in Paducah whose daughters were killed by a kid who had played the same game that the killers at Columbine played and the...  I lost my train of thought.

DT: You were saying you're not to be faulted for not being a video game player.

JT: Right. That I remember.

DT: And that you got a crash course in it yourself.

JT: Right, I understand. Oh, forgive me. You said - and correct me if I'm wrong - your testimony was - and I'm not re-asking you the question. I want to get us on the same page here. You said in both the transcript here and here today that this game maybe should have a mature rating, but that that's not for you to put on the game -

RF: That's correct.

JT: - that it might be up to the legislature or whomever.

RF: That's my thought.

JT: It's my thought, too, in one regard. Do you know that legislatures - either state or federal - or municipalities can't put a rating on a game?

RF: There is some entity that does the rating.

JT: Right. It's owned by the [video game] industry, the ESRB.

RF: That doesn't mean they can't legislate to do something about that; but again, that's not my job.

JT: Well, actually you can. Under Miller vs. California, which has a three-pronged test which one would apply to obscenity, you really couldn't - and it would be unconstitutional and there have been Supreme Court rulings on this since the 30's - that if government is to put a rating on a game - or back then on a movie -then you're arrogating to the government a censorious function based upon an arbitrary rating type system as opposed to looking at each game on its own basis. Does that make sense?

RF: Okay. If you say that's what the law is, that's fine.

JT: And that's what I wanted you to do, to take a look at this game... just this individual video game - and correct me if I'm wrong as to your understanding of  what I was seeking for you to do, and that was to get the game before its release - and I appreciate your order granting me that portion of my relief. Then under the nuisance laws of Florida, which is one of, I think, eight states which allows an individual to serve in effect as a "private attorney general" to say to the government, I think this constitutes a public safety hazard; for you then to look at the game and make a determination not on what the rating ought to be but on whether or not this game ought to be sold to anyone under 17, which is roughly reflective of the industry's system. Is that your understanding?

RF: I understand that; but it's my belief under the case law and the Constitution, I can't make a determination that it has to have a mature rating - even though I think it should - nor under the circumstances of the game could I prevent its distribution.

JT: Okay, but you didn't hear my constitutional arguments and you didn't hear from any experts and you didn't get a fuller explanation of the Miller test as it applies to the violent material. You didn't hear any of that because we didn't have a hearing on that, did we?

RF: What we had was initial argument the very first time the matter was brought, and your position - as I recall - was so strong from what you thought of the game even though you hadn't seen it -

JT: Well, I was basing it on reviews in magazines of people who had seen it.

RF: I understand - that I thought, okay. I will take the bull by the horns and I will look at this game, even though basically the case law says I don't have to do that; that they [Take Two] have a constitutional right under the First Amendment to distribute this. Oh, wait a minute. If it's that bad, then let me take a look at it; but I didn't find it that [bad].

JT: But you didn't see the whole game.

RF: No. I didn't spend 200 hours seeing the whole game.

JT: Well, so we're clear, you didn't see the violent ending of the game, which would be the most violent part. You didn't see the homosexual activity in the game... Let me ask you if you would be surprised by the following. David Walsh is the clinical psychologist who every year gives, at the Congress' request, his Annual Video Game Report Card. Last year he stood between Senator Brownback, a Republican, and Senator Lieberman, an Independent, and Senator Clinton, a Democrat - I think. So he's respected on both sides of the aisle and by an independent and has an organization, the National Institute on Media and the Family. Dr. Walsh, having seen the game - and he was following this litigation down here - saw the game and issued the opinion that this should be a mature-rated game. It should not have a teen rating and it should not be sold to anyone under 17. Would that surprise you, based upon at least the part of the game that you saw?

RF: No.

JT: So you know that by virtue of this game having received what at least Dr. Walsh and some others felt was a bogus - industry-provided through the ESRB - rating, released a game for sale to anyone of any age. Is that right?

RF: I don't recall whether it's anyone of any age. A six-year-old probably couldn't buy this, but a teenager could.

JT: I can assure you there's no checking of I.D.'s for teen-rated games.

TUMA: Objection, Your Honor, to the relevancy.

DT: Sustained.

JT: And your testimony was that, even if everything I said was true, my having said it was abuse of my oath and of my status as a lawyer. Is that right?

RF: Yes, sir.

JT: That's your view of what the canons require?

RF: Yes, sir.

JT: And that's why you filed a Bar complaint against me?

RF: Yes, sir.

JT: That's all I have, Judge. Thanks.


Re: The Bar Trial of Jack Thompson (Part 7): Thompson Cross

So he completely misrepresents the ending of the game and then labels the optional ability to kiss boys as "homosexual activity", being just vague enough to make it worse than it sounds and to strike fear in conservative minds. Yeah.

Pretty much his career is on death row and yet he still has to milk tradgeties such as Colubine for all its worth.

Jack Thompson: The man that proves when you think lawyers can't be any lower on the scum scale.....its possible to go lower....

JT: Now, I want to see if you understand this. You’re not to be faulted for not being a video game player or for knowing how video games work and so forth. I’ve had a crash course since 1998 when I represented the families in Paducah whose daughters were killed by a kid who had played the same game that the killers at Columbine played and the - I lost my train of thought.

That's the second time I've heard of JT losing his train of thought in recency.

@GP: Does this happen to JT frequently?

@ GetWellGamers

I think it was just dry. Dennis doesn't pull punches. ;)

It seems that John Bruce's strategy here was to try to color the judge as someone who doesn't follow their own procedures or keep their promises.

Simply calling the Judge's character into question will not help his case when he is acting like a jerk in court.

@ Burke

by that reasoning, you can say that JT is right in judging all gamers by the actions of the few.

Two questions: Is the trial over, and when is the ruling expected to be?

jack isn't as crazy during this cross, but he still fails to argue the merits of his current case. i guess it's hard to let go of his soapbox.

JT: I understand. My wife, who loves me, doesn’t always agree with me…

...does ANYONE agree with you jack? hmmm....i guess not really...

love how he smooshed columbine in there.
Bravo mr thompson.

I have to say that I was impressed that Jack was at least trying to make a real arguement here, even if it did rest on half-truths ("homosexual activity" in Bully) and his opponents ignorance of videogames.

Then of course he went off on another "train of thought" (rant) about Columbine and lost any shred of credibility he might have still had in my mind.

"… I lost my train of thought."

I just about burst out laughing at that one. His mouth runs faster than his brain. It just goes to show even he doesn't know where he's going with this drivel.

"JT: Since you raised it as to what you think [Eugene Provenzo] might have said or that he wanted to say something, would it have been of interest to you to know that he wanted to say that this was the worst misconduct by any judge he had ever seen?"

That sophistry might work on the average joe, but the judge will certainly know JT is insulting a peer. Not only that, Mr. Provenzo is a psychology expert, not an expert in law. He wouldn't know judiciary misconduct if he witnessed it. He also didn't say anything, meaning the entire statement is hypothetical at best.

In fact, the whole argument in this part 7 boils down to a judge knowing that he cannot prohibit distribution without a law backing it. Everything else said was very irrelevant.


So much for "Let's Mediate," eh JT?

If this game was s'posed to turn kids into mindless killing machines, why didn't the judge ask Jack how many people have been killed as a result of this game since Jack started wasting everyone's money fighting it.



"um… why is Thompson ignoring the Florida Supreme Court’s ruling to not file motions by himself?"

a) That ruling hasn't taken effect yet, Thompson gets one last hearing to argue his defence
b) Spamming press releases, and harassing the Attorney General, isn't covered, unfortunately... ;)
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

Although it seems to me that JT did _fairly_ well this time, is he trying to discredit the witnessess on their allegations of his behavior, create strawmen out of them to place the blame of his actions, to try and somehow prove that his actions were reasonable? Though JT might demean me as to my lack of judicial knowledge, (nor will he likely explain it to me in a respectful fashion) I don't see how this defense would work. Does anyone have any idea how any of his defense is useful?

I know I may have asked this before, but I'm very interested in this little puzzle


Check out the "credentials" of Jack's handwriting expert. He's a handwriting expert like Jack's a school shooting expert.

If Judge Tunis has not given her opinion on his case yet, I believe he is bringing a complaint against Tunis so he can claim that she was no longer impartial toward him when she does make that decision. He can subsequently claim that he did not get a fair hearing because she was biased against him and drag this out further. It doesn't matter if his claim is true, it would have the effect of making it appear she had a reason to be incapable of being impartial in his case. If he manages to get another judge, he'll do the same thing again. This seems to be the pattern he follows.


"What remains enexplainable, however, is why Thompson has yet to target “The Turner Diaries” which many consider to have been the motivating factor for the Oklahoma City Bombing. The book details a specific event in which white supremacists detonate a bomb in order to damage a federal building."

What consoles is that game on?

I rest my case.


It's Dennis's board and Dennis's rules. Get off your high horse.

but almost his entire line of questioning had to do with the case on bully, not his misconduct, for which he is being tried.

I'm not sure if the kissing thing is still in question, but I thought I would point out in the second or third Spyro game (yeah I'm real cool for knowing that...) there was kissing, and that was E for everyone. Of course it was Faun/Dragon kissing and maybe anthropomorphic rabbit/cheetah kissing...

Jack managed to restrain himself today, I see, but apparently in doing so he had to give up his ability to stay on topic (did he even have that power?). Hmm.

Also, I can't wait to see if anything comes from his attack on Tunis. Something tells me this is more of a show by Thompson to draw attention away from the proceedings. /end sarcasm

Who will we read about once Jack is out of the picture?

I forgot to mention that the rioting students will simply ignore Jimmy for the most part, I wasn't attacked at all while I wandered around the school.


Good catch. I also think he's got some serious women issues (although it's hard to see the tree in Jack's forest of issues). I also think it has much to do with some kinda patriarchal, fundamental, moral majority, right-wing, American family values, pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen, religious views. Or perhaps A.G. Reno stated it best in saying, "I'm only attracted to verile men, Mr. Thompson. That's why I'm not attracted to you."


I doubt he will. He'll probably think "Fax machines are involved in the mass conspiracy to silence me and promote campus shootings!" and go off the deep end when his influence (if he has ever had any) vanishes.

So he stuck with the paranoid "conspiracy against me" defense throughout it seems, hmm?

Well, they say persistance is a virtue.

Geez, I don't know what Jack is thinking. He just doesn't get it. With every cross-examination I've seen so far from Jack, he continuously attempts to stick his agenda into the case with little to no effect and all it's doing is causing him to argue with the judge (how stupid can you get?) and just making him look stupid. *sigh* He'll never learn, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised

@cullarn, Michael Brooks, anele

I wasn't exactly supporting nor condoning intolerance towards christians or any other group.. I was only offering a reason for zerodash's diatribe towards christians. As far as I know, you all have also had the unfortunate experience to have read about or met christians who are like Phelps or Jhompson but yet you have also met the good ones (or are christians yourselves) and therefore you would then have the idea that its silly to hate on christians because of one small group of them. The same goes for me, I have christian friends and acquaintances who are pretty nice people and yet I had the misfortune to meet jerks who swing the "christian" belief around as a weapon to justify their ideals of hate...

So please try to see that zerodash while being silly and making us atheists look crazed, actually may have had the utmost misfortune of only meeting the "bad" christians and not having had any good experiences with christians and the whole belief in general.

By the way, it almost felt like you guys were starting to hate on me for suggesting that christians could actually be hated by others.. =/

On a side note, cpt crunchie isn't exactly wrong, neither is he completely right though. While its less common nowadays, religious leaders (whether or not they represent their respective religions is another matter altogether) have twisted and used their interpretation of their religious texts as a justification to put non-believers to the sword. While the religious texts are written by humans, they are "believed" to be the "word of god" and thus in some twisted sense, their interpretation may jolly well be correct if only for the fact that it seems counter-intuitive to lay the smackdown on people just because they don't believe as you do.

@John Bruce Thompson

You sad creature. Please, go get some psychiatric help. You most obviously need to be helped. Don't let yourself go down this endless spiral. Even in conservative Asia, we don't even see how your idea of forcing your morality on others actually makes sense in every logical way...

I find this examination and cross-examination of Judge Friedman the most interesting part so far in these excerpts from Mr. Thompson's bar hearing, because I really was disappointed by Judge Friedman's behavior in Miami. Judge Friedman seemed lazily unconcerned with being diligent about the law; and it's nice to see Mr. Thompson get to bring that to further light in the courtroom of another judge.

Judge Friedman essentially is having to admit, under oath, to various significant shortcomings — shortcomings that, in his own courtroom, he could make more of an effort to keep Mr. Thompson from compelling him to admit.

While I still have many points of disagreement with Mr. Thompson, I think he was right that Judge Friedman was being unfair, disingenuous, &c. — behavior of which a judge should be ashamed.

Judge Friedman also admits that he determined the protectability of a piece of speech by reviewing less than 1 percent of it: repeated testimony under oath states that about two hundred hours would be necessary for all portions of the game to be viewed, and that Judge Friedman spent less than two hours viewing various portions of the game, and that the portions that he did view were chosen for him by persons who implicitly were interested in showing him the parts that would not cause him to rule that the game shouldn't be distributed to minors.

Friedman seems to find nothing questionable in this.

That's akin to a judge, in the days when it was more common for courts to rule on whether certain books were protected speech or were unprotected obscenity, saying "My way of judging whether this 500-page book should be published will be to have the publisher select sentences and paragraphs amounting to 3¾ pages of the book, to show me as a representative sample of the book's content."

RF: No. That’s the way I read that.

JT: Prohibit the distribution.

RF: To adults? No. To teenagers, yes.

JT: Okay. I take prohibit to mean prohibit, and that is to prevent the distribution.

And there you have it, the truth comes out! Sayonara Jack, and good riddance.

I love it when these judges make Jack pick his words carefully. He seems to think he can gab and gab with impunity from the exactness of the meanings of his words. Like the "prohibit" thing at the beginning. I love it when people have to use precise terms, since it makes it easier to poke holes in their fallacious arguments.

RF: Mr. Thompson, as I recall, and I believe the transcript will reflect, at the end of the hearing, I said, “Does anyone have anything further to say to the Court?” and the doctor raised his hand, and I called upon him to say whatever he wanted to say and you told him to lower his hand and be quiet.

JT: Because he told me what he was going to say. Do you want to know what he was going to say?

I find this funny. John Bruce is complaining that his "expert" didn't get the chance to speak because John Bruce told him not to speak. How does that have anything to do with the Judge?

JT: Did you see the melee at the end of the game where the hero of the game, Jimmy Hopkins, goes on a rampage and beats up just about everybody in the school?

RF: No.

JT: No?

RF: No.

Does anyone here know of this scene? I am not familiar with the game. Does this scene actually exist?

But on another note, John Bruce just seems to be complaining that the Judge didn't let him in to see the game. I think John Bruce is a closet Rockstar fan. He probably has every Rockstar game evver made and plays them religiously. His end goal is to see every game before release and get his face in one of their games.

So the judge sits there and explains what an In Camera inspection is, and at the end JT says that it wasn't? And he also told his own assistant to shut up?

I skipped most of the rest as I beginning to have trouble understading Mr Thompson any more..

Question for ya, Jack - How much video game play experience do YOU have?

Jack didn't shoot himself in the foot as much this time, strangely enough. You being easy on him, Dennis, or was the Friedman testimony just so dry this was all the good bits you could find? ;)

GP: Ryan, this was pretty much all of the Friedman testimony... I think I only chopped Friedman's long-winded explanation of the (non-video game) case that he was reversed on.

My impression is that Friedman is no one's choice for jurist of the year. He should have never agreed to hold the Bully hearing in the first place. I think once he got into it he realized that. Once Thompson started his nonsense, Friedman should have seen it through with Thompson, rather than recusing himself from the case. He didn't present especially well in this trial, either. Saying "I don't care" never comes off well. Saying to Thompson, consistently - you just can't do that under the First Amendment would have been a better approach. Also, Thompson makes some assertions here that are ridiculous. The "big violent scene" at the end of Bully... if it's so bad, and it was released more than a year before this trial, why haven't we heard about it? Where are the terrible injuries it prompted. The "homosexual activity?" Jimmy Hopkins kissing a boy... JT makes it sound like something more... Sadly, no one there knows enough to call him on it.

Moreover, Thompson alludes that Dave Walsh "was following the Bully case." How does he know? Walsh cut ties with Thompson very publicly in 2005. Is it beneficial for Thompson to somehow associate himself with Walsh because Walsh actually has some credibility in political circles these days?

And Eugene Provenzo? Please. The guy wrote a book about kids & games... in 1991. Now maybe he's got something to say, but I can't imagine how it would possibly block the release of a constitutionally-protected creative work. And it was pretty outrageous for Judge Tunis to let Thompson's hearsay version of what Provenzo was allegedly going to say stand (does that even count as hearsay, if Provenzo was only - according to Thompson - thinking it?). And clearly, Thompson, not Friedman, was the one who stopped Provenzo from speaking.

But Friedman gets a lot of the blame here. None of this gets started if he doesn't agree to hold the original Bully hearing and order that Take Two bring him the game for the in camera hearing. That right there is pretty scary, that a multimillion dollar creative project can be possibly interrupted just days before release by a small time judge...

Exactly what does Bully have to do with JT acting like he does? If someone doesn't agree with Jack, then Jack can treat them any way he wants?

What kind of message is this piece of trash sending to his kid? If you don't like someone's opinions, than its perfectly OK to treat them like garbage?

Friggin christians- don't give me that "its not all of us crap". the whole faith is a hate group.

GP: Zerodash - none of this, or you won't be posting here anymore.

What the hell was the point of all this? It seems like he was once again just trying to drudge up previous failed cases. There was already a ruling that JTs effort to block the sale of bully was without merit. What's the point of arguing about it a year or so after it's release. Does JT think he's going to get him to reverse the decision, in a hearing not related to it, but instead related to the discipline of JT, and his ability to uphold his duty as a member of the florida bar. Or does JT think that if he just stalls, and takes longer, that eventually everyone will just get bored, and forget why he's being disciplined?

Thunk! Thunk! Thunk! Thunk! (sound of Thompson's head banging on a brick wall).

Jack Thompson:

In camera!! Idiot!! In camera!! By definition it means you don't get to see it. That's the whoooole purpose.

You better hope that your sanction doesn't involve you re-sitting the Bar's exam. 'Cause you ain't passing that.

Yeah, I noticed Jack did relatively (stress: relatively) well here. And even though he's using misinformation, he did make a good point that the judge didn't play the entire game.

Whether that justifies Jack's conduct, I'd say no, of course. But I still say they play that video of his hearing w/ Friedman for the judge.

Yeah, you gotta love the back and forth about "in camera". JT probably heard "camera" and got an erection thinking about all the face time he'd get on TV, only to realize it doesn't have anything to do with publicity.

@ Zerodash

You're just as bad as, if not worse than, Jack Thompson.

Was there a point in any of that? "you missed the fistfight at the end, and the gay kiss"? That and "a higher court overruled you, so I'm allowed to call you an incompent git"...


I need to re-read it, because that "in-camera" thing confused the heck out of me.
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

"Senator Clinton, a Democrat - I think." Heh! Well played, Thompson.

The only reason Jack's got any wiggle room whatsoever here is because Take Two's demonstration was less than complete -- but I suspect that if they'd shown Friedman the ending and the dude-necking, Jack would pick on some other element of the game that the judge hadn't seen and blow it out of the water with an exaggerated claim. (A quick hop over to GameFAQs reveals that the "violent ending" consists of four mini-boss fights followed by a scaffolding showdown with the primary antagonist -- you knock down about thirteen guys overall, which is less than River City Ransom for heaven's sake.)

He at least sounded somewhat like a lawyer this time, although still one fighting a losing case. He still thinks he can excuse his actions by trying to claim he felt he was right.

Then he claims that because someone gave a report to three senators that he was respected by everyone. I don't mean to Godwin anything but that's like saying:
"Hey this feller here, he was liked by Stalin, Hitler and Vlad the Impaler... he must be a pretty swell guy!"

Guess what, the game isn't that violent, the "homosexual content" is a boy kissing another boy. And I haven't heard of the final part of the game where he claims you "go on a arampage and beat up just about everybod in the school." Having never played the game, but just going on Jack's reputation of misrepresenting everything about a R* game, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that he is either mistaken or lying.

I'm still trying to decide between the Wii or the 360 version. The problem is that it is the kind of game that doesn't need motion control, but the 360 version still isn't stable even after a patch.

In short, the judge claims that since there didn't seem to have been any immediate damage done by releasing this game, he didn't have the right to stop it. Jack is trying to claim that immediate damage will result from the past release of the game.

One thing that I wish the Judge could have brought up that no damage was forthcoming. Therefore the judges decision was correct in hindsight. I really wish we could send a card or a fruit basket to the witnesses in this case. Nothing of any significant value, or Jack will claim they were retroactively bribed. Just a few flowers and a card thanking them for taking the time to do what is right.

Oh, in camera = "in chambers." That makes sense now...
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

Optional demonstration, I meant to say. Friedman makes it clear that there was never any necessity to entertain the viewing in the first place.

Zach: In addition to what I mentioned, it seems the character puts out a fire in the gym, stops jocks from tearing up library books, and prevents other acts of wanton destruction. Doesn't exactly sound like a typical take-no-prisoners bloodbath to me! ;D

Judge Friedman makes a good point that he didn't even have review the game at all (part or whole). He cannot give Thompson the relief he seeks because their's a stack of case law that says: 1st Amendment-protect speech (see Bully) cannot be regulated (reach for "Denied" stamp, slap it on Thompson's complaint). So watch it all or watch it none, that ain't outcome determinative.

Objection, as to relevancy. Thompson is trying the cases he lost and not the case before him.

There is no epic melee at the end of the game. You have a final 'battle' with Gary in a mass of scaffolding, I believe surrounding the ubiquitous clock tower of the school.

@Zerodash: What you said about Christians, not cool, not cool at all.

As for Thompson, yeah, he fails, but of course, thats pretty much well known by this point and time.

Has anybody seen the end of Bully?
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Big PermA link to TB twitter with Matt Lees in the replies - - 12:16pm
Brad GlasgowWhy would he say the company lies about getting abuse? Oh, because people don't abuse GG?08/29/2015 - 10:38am
Big PermBrad - Matt Lees was also quick to say the company "Gamers Gate" lies about getting abusive messages thinking they were an official GG channel08/29/2015 - 9:11am
Goth_SkunkMGSV: The Phantom Integrity - A Rant by RazörFist. (NSFW on account of language). RazörFist discusses the latest batch of unethical journalist conduct, with a caveat. - - 7:10am
Goth_Skunk@Brad: I can.08/29/2015 - 6:13am
Goth_SkunkI assume "Stacy" is a pseudonym. After reading what she went through, I would not be one bit surprised if it is.08/29/2015 - 6:13am
Goth_SkunkA Year of #GamerGate: From Neutral To Anti To Neutral To Pro by "Stacy" - - 6:12am
Brad GlasgowI can't believe Matt Lees deleted his positive review of Ethan Carter because Chmielarz is sympathetic to GG.08/29/2015 - 5:30am
Goth_SkunkA GameDev's Year With #GG: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly by Adrian Chmielarz - - 5:18am
Goth_SkunkDespite not being a fan of fighting games I had to check out that R Mika trailer. Loved it. Still won't buy the game though, on account of Isuckatstreetfighteritis.08/29/2015 - 2:42am
MechaCrashI use a Dynex DX-840 headset, but it's discontinued. :( I wanted a mono headset so I could keep the other ear free for my speakers, but it has the bonus of being very light and comfortable, so you don't notice it.08/29/2015 - 12:41am
Big PermSora - I was just having a slow day at work earlier. Now I'm home with vidya!08/28/2015 - 7:54pm
ZippyDSMleeSora-Chan: Blender is easy compared to 3Dmax :P08/28/2015 - 6:51pm
Sora-Chantime to take up a hobby? maybe messing around in GIMP to make wallpapers? use qCAD to design somethin? open Blender and stare at it for a couple hours trying to figure what does what?08/28/2015 - 6:41pm
Big PermAlso, yes. I've been spamming the shoutbox. I don't have much going on today, don't judge me08/28/2015 - 3:25pm
Big PermThanks, but yeah. Not sure I wanna drop that kind of cash :P I don't even mind the sound quality of my krakens, it just hurts to wear em after a couple hours.08/28/2015 - 3:25pm
Sora-Chan@Big Perm: I'm a bit of a fan of the Omega Recon3D headset from SoundBlaster. Though it is a bit expensive.08/28/2015 - 2:36pm
Big PermI actually need to look into a new headset. I have those green razer krakens and I would not suggest them. Though maybe they're better for people without glasses08/28/2015 - 11:32am
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