GP Interviews Sponsor of Utah Game Legislation… And Things Take a Bizarre Turn

In recent weeks GamePolitics has devoted a substantial amount of ink to H.B. 353, the video game bill currently under consideration in Utah.

Yesterday, GP spoke with Rep. Mike Morley (R), the sponsor of the measure in the Utah House of Representatives. Morley offered his take on the proposal, which would amend the state’s existing truth in advertising law to encompass products such as video games and movies which have age-based content recommendations.

Under Morley’s bill, retailers who advertise that they won’t sell certain types of content to minors and then do so would be at risk for false advertising claims.

Things got rather strange after the interview, as you will see. It’s an instructive lesson in Utah power politics, among other things.


GP: Rep. Morley, can you address the origins of H.B. 353?

MM:  I think that there’s a general concern that there are mature video games that are not appropriate for children but somehow end up in the hands of children, even despite best efforts of parents. And I think other friends and peers talk about some of [the games] that would be very inappropriate and they go in and purchase those. So the idea is simply to try to encourage retailers to live by their own policies, if they have those policies in place, and monitor that to the best of their ability.

It’s a small incremental step, and it’s not  – I think we’ve taken it in a direction that I don’t know has been taken before. And it’s not, I don’t think it encroaches into the free speech or any of those areas. We’re not saying that, if a video retailer has a policy to go ahead and sell to minors, then that’s fine, there’s nothing that we can do about that. But if they purport to not sell to minors and they do that as a matter of practice I think that this just calls attention to that.

GP:  What would be the penalties under the proposal if, for example a company said that they wouldn’t sell an M-rated game to a minor and one did get sold. What would be the penalty for that?

MM: Well, I don’t know if one got sold, I think we’re looking at it as a matter of practice. But it’s not trying to be a sting operation. What it does is that it basically opens [game retailers] up to the same code and the same civil penalties – it’s not a criminal action.  So it would be the same penalties that they would be subjected to if they engaged in any other truth in advertising problem or claim. I’m not certain what the penalty is but it would be the same as any truth in advertising claim in Utah.

GP: I track the video game industry on a daily basis. They have made some strides over the last few years in their enforcement levels as measured by the Federal Trade Commission in enforcing their ratings. I think it was up to [an] 80% success rate in the most recent FTC report, and that’s been increasing every year. Is there a concern that if now they have to feel like they are on the hook for this [new law], they may just not participate, [they may not bother to] say that they don’t sell games to minors. Is there a concern about that?

MM: I don’t think so. I think that most all retailers, in fact most all of the large ones have entered into a pledge not to do that. I think it encourages them to enforce their own standards and encourages them to be a little bit vigilant and say, hey, let’s not do this. But obviously, if they decide that [promising not to sell to minors] is too onerous, and they decide that that’s not a claim that they want to make, then, there would be no penalty under this provision.

(hit the jump for the rest…)


GP: Was this something that was an issue for you in the past? How did you come to bring this bill [before the legislature]?

MM: Last year I had a similar – a bill about pornography and about web presence, that kind of thing. Families for Decency, Eagle Forum, others have been champions of this cause in Utah. I’ve been a supporter of the effort. This is just another idea or effort to try to bring some consistency and to try to keep or at least help parents to protect their kids against games that they may not feel could be appropriate. Obviously in this situation if the parents thought the game was appropriate for their children they could go in and buy it and present it to them. There’s no penalty and were not trying to legislate what parents can do with their kids.

[Unintelligible] we recognize that these ratings are not governmental ratings and that they’re also ratings that are given by voluntary groups. So it’s not cut in stone. But I think it’s a good indication and I think as responsible retailers and responsible citizens we ought to be able to expect that if they’re claiming that they’re going to be kid-friendly and family-friendly and not promote or sell these kinds of games to minors, then they ought to work to enforce those policies.

GP: You mentioned the Utah Eagle Forum. Did they approach you in regard to drafting this legislation? Did that originate with them?

MM: They were one party that has been supportive of it, yes.

GP:  I saw some comments that you made to Glen Warchol of the Salt Lake Tribune.

MM: I did talk to him, but I did not see what he wrote.

GP: There’s only one quote [from you] there: “This approach is constitutional. Will it be effective? Maybe not.” On the same day the Deseret News published an article about [the bill]. It said that you weren’t able to get a feel for the level of enthusiasm among your colleagues for the bill. How is that going? What are you hearing from colleagues in the Utah House at this point?

MM: I think it will be accepted well. I just got a draft and got language out. We haven’t had any hearings on it yet. So at this point, I haven’t heard any concerns from colleagues. I think it will be well accepted. I would be speaking out of turn to tell you that I’ve run it by the entire body and that they’re all in support. At this point I don’t know yet. But I think the concept is a good one. It’s not a big hammer.

I don’t know if Glen quoted me correctly. I may have said, it remains to be seen, obviously, whether it’s going to have a major or minor effect. But I think it brings some attention to the issue. It’s not a big hammer that everybody’s going to be happy with. I have spoken with the Utah retailers and I’ve spoken with their lobbyists and received their input in the drafting of the legislation and at this point they are not opposing the legislation. Now that may change, but at this point they’re not.

GP: The bill, we understand, was drafted by Jack Thompson, is that correct?

MM: No, actually. The bill was drafted by leg[islative] research here in Utah. Some of the concepts were given, but the language was mine.

GP: If the bill wasn’t drafted, it was conceived by Thompson? Would that be that fair to say?

MM: I have never met Jack. I’ve received a few e-mails with some input. But the concept was something that I’ve been working with Eagle Forum on for several months. So I don’t know to what level he has input.

GP: As I understand it, his take on his input is basically that he created the bill or drafted it. I guess that it’s been subsequently reworded by the legislative people, but that’s my understanding.

MM: As I indicated, I’ve never met him. So I don’t know to what level he has involvement. I know from others that he has been active in this for years and has tried a number of approaches, many of which have been unconstitutional. And so I’m aware of that.

GP: When will the hearings be for the bill, do you expect?

MM: I would expect within the next week or so we’ll have a House hearing on it.

GP:  And who would you expect might testify on behalf of the bill at that hearing?

MM: I would expect that there would be a number of child advocacy groups that would probably take a position on it.

GP: Do you expect the Utah Eagle Forum to testify?

MM: Oh, I’m sure that that they would testify.

GP: Do you expect Jack Thompson to testify?

MM: I don’t know if he is going to try to come to testify or not.

GP: Did the [Utah] Attorney General’s office look over the legislation and give you an opinion on it?

MM: They feel like we handled the constitutional issues. I’m not going to speak for them but in general I think they liked this approach much better than things that have been tried in the past.

GP: Rep. Morley, I appreciate your time.


So, that was the interview. Frankly I was surprised that Rep. Morley seemed to give Jack Thompson so little credit for the bill. So I sent Thompson the relevant segment of the interview transcript and asked him to comment.

At that point, things began to get, um, interesting. Rather than try to explain, I will let the remarkable sequence of e-mails which followed speak for themselves:

From: Dennis McCauley
To: ‘Jack Thompson’
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 11:05 AM
Subject: GP interview with Rep. Morley upcoming. Care to comment?

(cut & paste of interview transcript)


From: Jack Thompson
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 11:35 AM
To: Dennis McCauley
Subject: Re: GP interview with Rep. Morley upcoming. Care to comment?

You can contact Gayle Ruzicka and determine that this take by Mr. Morley is not correct.



From: Jack Thompson
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 11:39 AM
To: Dennis McCauley
Subject: Re: GP interview with Rep. Morley upcoming. Care to comment?

You run that without talking to Gayle Ruzicka, and I’ll sue you for libel.


From: Dennis McCauley
To: ‘Jack Thompson’
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 11:53 AM
Subject: RE: GP interview with Rep. Morley upcoming. Care to comment?

Well, I am asking you for comment.

There’s nothing libelous there.


From: Dennis McCauley
To: ‘Jack Thompson’
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 11:58 AM
Subject: RE: GP interview with Rep. Morley upcoming. Care to comment?

I would be willing to talk to Gayle about this, although probably not before publication.

I have no contact info for her, however. Can you provide?


From: Jack Thompson
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 12:21 PM
To: Dennis McCauley
Subject: Re: GP interview with Rep. Morley upcoming. Care to comment?

Of course it’s libelous.  Your lawyer could explain it to you.  Talk to Gayle Ruzicka at 801-xxx-xxxx first or else.


From: Jack Thompson
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 12:48 PM
To: dennis McCauley

Rep. Morley is going to email you and correct your errnoneous [sic] interview.


From: Dennis McCauley
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 1:07 PM
To: ‘Jack Thompson’
Subject: RE:

That will be interesting, because the interview is *recorded*.


From: Jack Thompson
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 1:12 PM
To: dennis McCauley
Subject: RE: GP interview with Rep. Morley upcoming. Care to comment?

Morley wants to talk to you.  Your interview is libelous, because it is false and defamatory.


From: Dennis McCauley
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 1:31 PM
To: ‘Jack Thompson’
Subject: RE: GP interview with Rep. Morley upcoming. Care to comment?

If Gayle wants to weigh in, have her e-mail me with her comments. After all of this nonsense and these threats, I want a written record.


From: Dennis McCauley
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 1:31 PM
To: ‘Jack Thompson’
Subject: RE: GP interview with Rep. Morley upcoming. Care to comment?

Morley has my e-mail and my phone number.

But the interview stands. I’ll report on his additional comments, if he cares to make them.


From: Dennis McCauley
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 1:53 PM
To: ‘Jack Thompson’
Subject: RE: GP interview with Rep. Morley upcoming. Care to comment?

So, is this about who gets credit for creating the bill?


From: Dennis McCauley
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 2:09 PM
To: ‘’
Subject: regarding our interview
Importance: High

Rep. Morley:

I have been threatened with legal action by Jack Thompson over the interview that you did with me on Thursday.

Not that I place much stock in these threats, but is there something regarding that interview you wish to clarify?


Dennis McCauley


From: Mike Morley
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 2:26 PM
Subject: Re: regarding our interview

Give me a call
801 xxx-xxxx


While I never doubted that Thompson had substantial input on the Utah bill, it seems that conservative power broker Gayle Ruzicka of the Utah Eagle Forum had "a chat" with Rep. Morley to bring him up to speed regarding Thompson’s involvement with the bill.

GP: You wanted to let me know something about [Jack] Thompson’s involvement [in H.B. 353] apparently?

MM: Yes. In speaking with Gayle Ruzicka from Eagle Forum, she indicated that Jack has been involved in the concept and involved in meeting with the Lt. Governor, has been here to Utah. I was not in Utah when he came, but he met with the Lt. Governor, met with some of the legislative staff. And at least the concept of what we’re working on apparently originated with him.

The language of the bill was done with legislative research and general counsel and has been modified a little bit, has been reviewed by the local A.G. and some retail representatives (5 sec interruption caused by doorbell and dogs barking on my end)… apparently he did have a considerable involvement in the effort.

GP: Thompson did.

MM: Yes, Thompson.

GP: Thanks for making that clarification. Anything else you want to add?

MM: I’m working with the group to try to put something together that makes sense and that is rational and will continue to work to that end.

GP: And how was Ms. Ruzicka with all of this?

MM: I think that she’s very supportive of the effort. She has encouraged me. When I talked to Gayle she basically said, “We’ll support, as long as you don’t do something that we’re opposed to. But this is your bill and this is your effort.” And that’s really the only way that I would run it. If I don’t have the ability to do what I need to do with my bill, then I’m not interested in being the primary sponsor.

GP: So, she’s also very supportive of Mr. Thompson, apparently.

MM: You’d have to talk to her about that.  She’s very supportive of his vision and effort, I’m sure. And quite honestly, just to clarify one thing. I talked to Jack Thompson on the phone, just recently. He seems like a fine individual. I don’t have anything negative to say about him. Haven’t had extensive involvement with him, nor do I know him personally but I…[Morley’s cell phone dropped the call]…


After his cell phone dropped the call, Rep. Morley followed up with this:

From: Mike Morley
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 2:55 PM
Subject: Re: regarding our interview

I just wanted to say that I support the Mr Thompson’s concept in the form I currently have it drafted and applaud his enthusiasm in the effort to help parents and retailers keep games age appropriate.

UPDATE: Glen Warchol of the Salt Lake Tribune has picked up on the story…

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  1. Krono says:

    Seeing as I elect politicians to keep the public infrastructure running, not promote themselves with photo ops, I really don’t mind that they aren’t out shaking hands and kissing babies after the elections. In fact I rather they weren’t before the election, and instead were busy with the job I’m paying taxes for them to do.


  2. Krono says:

    He’s been sued and lost before. His conduct regarding that is part of what earned him his disbarment.

    As for putting an end to his charade, I don’t think anything short of him being committed, or dying is going to stop him from making a spectacle of himself. As far as I know, he’s in good physical health, and unfortunately he’s unlikely to be committed anytime soon, so I’d say we’re stuck with the charade for a while yet.


  3. Ryno says:

    Well, he was being interviewed by someone from a GAMING site.

    I’m not on his side, but it could simply be that he was addressing his presumed audience.

    Of course, if he continues these sorts of statements everywhere you’ve got a definite point.

  4. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Ah, my thanks for clarifying, but this was not the question I had meant. I should have been more specific.


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  5. gamepolitics says:

    JT debated author Gerard Jones at a college in PA in, I believe 2007 – we have coverage.

    He declined to come to PAX 07 to debate – we have coverage.

    He debated Oddworld designer Lorne Hanning at VGXPO 07 – we have coverage.

    Jason Della Rocca of IGDA declined JT’s offer to do a college debate (for money) – we have coverage.

    Some time back JT debated author David Kushner (Masters of Doom), we have a pic of this somewhere, but it happened before GP was in existence.

    He says he used to debate with Bob Guccione, Jr. – ditto, goes way back.

    These are the ones I know about.

  6. ezbiker555 says:

    This is too confusing for me. Jack i don’t understand how someone like you can keep doing this when you at a point of defeat.

  7. JDKJ says:

    It’s not about bribery, I don’t think. Utah Eagle Forum doesn’t even make significant campaign contributions. They’re just very well-organized and have figured out how to influence — some would say "intimidate" — the Utah Legislature by working the political process to their advantage. (See

  8. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    I think of him saying to people, "I am not a crook."

    Thing was, Nixon wasn’t a crook. Just made the wrong move with that cover-up. Jack, on the other hand, is definitely a crook. He supposedly set up a series of debates with Mr. Della Rocca, and when Jason suggested that there be no money involved (Jack said $3000 per event), Jack refused.

    My question now is, did those debates happen, or when Jack refused to not take money for them, did he call them off?


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  9. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Heh, nice. As I’ve said multiple times in the past, I do feel sorry for her and Little John, and hope they will be relieved soon.


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  10. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Ha ha, I just LAWled, hard. Sadly, he obviously thinks he is, and he should have learned from Nixon’s example.


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  11. BearDogg-X says:

    A thought just came to me.

    It’s funny that Thompson was accusing the ESA of "bribing" Georgia politicians to get a tax credit bill passed, yet it seems like this business in Utah with the Eagle Forum smells of "bribery".

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  12. Cavalier says:

    Truthfully, I always find myself thinking of Thompson as talking with that mockery-of-Sly-Stallone accent the character mocking him did in Judge Dredd.  "I am ze LAW!"


  13. Nekowolf says:

    "Hey look, it’s Jack Tho-"


    "But, didn’t you just-?"


  14. TBoneTony says:

    "Jack Thompson says…clap your hands"

    "Jack Thompson says…tap your head"

    "Jack Thompson says…rub your belly"

    "Jack Thompson says…sit on the floor"

     "Jack Thompson says…stop clapping your hands"

  15. Nocturne says:

    I get the feeling that if it were possible, every draft of a Bil he’s involved with would start "Jack Thompson says…"

  16. HarmlessBunny says:

    I would imagine it more like



    Jack: Patricia…look I need a lawyer, can you represent me?

    Patricia: Jack, please just quit this bullshit. Can’t you just find a job or a different case? I don’t think this would have a strong case, quite frankly doesn’t even sound like libel.

    Jack: But this is! They are posting things about me again! Remember what they said during my disbarrment?

    Patricia: Wait huh? You were disbarred!? I thought you said you had a long heated federal case…

    Jack: Well…um…that was half right…*runs for it*

    Patricia: GET BACK HERE NOW!

  17. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Plus, the only way it can be classified as such is if the action was purposefully done. If the deed was, in fact, an accident, I’m sure the offender would attempt to rectify his error.

    Hopefully, the aforementioned offender will be more lucky than Dennis, and not have to put up with Miami Jack when such an event occurs.

    My sympathies concerning Jack’s attack on you, Dennis, and my praises for holding out against him.

    EDIT: Oh, I just noticed this string’s title, and I gotta admit, Calhoun, you could have done better than that, seeing as it sounds as if libel concerning Jack was, "um, possible!"


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  18. TBoneTony says:

    Well, I don’t really know what to think.

    It seems that Jack Thompson wants to sue everyone just to be recognised…

  19. jccalhoun says:

    Now I know that wikipedia is no bastion of legal advice but the definition of defamation that is on there is pretty itneresting, "In law, defamation (also called calumny, libel, slander, and vilification) is the communication of a statement that makes a false claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government or nation a negative image."

    Is it possible to say anything about Jacko that would give him an image any more negative than he already has???


  20. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Huh… Funny, I’ve imagined something similar in the past.


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  21. ecco6t9 says:

    I’ve decided to sew(Sic) Jack Thompson sinces(sic) his actions are causeing(sic) me mental anguish,psycholigal and emotional abuse.


    I am serious plus I love the fact that Jack has the writing skills of an 8 year old.

  22. hayabusa75 says:

    My kingdom for a transcript of Ruzicka and Morley’s conversation between parts II and III…and I can’t resist:

    Jack: I’m suing every one of you on this site for mean behavior!

    GPers: Bring it on, shithead!

    Jack: You asked for it…wait, I have to ask Patricia for money so I can hire a lawyer…I’ll be right back! *turns and runs into the Constitution, out cold*


    "There is no sin except stupidity." – Oscar Wilde

  23. JDKJ says:

    Not that I disagree in theory with a word you’ve said, but I don’t think the Eagle Forum qualifies as a lobbyist because they don’t lobby of behalf of paying clients. They’re more like a special interest group. I thought the same thing at first (i.e., lobbyists) until I considered it further. But SIGs can actually be more undemocratic than lobbyists because they aren’t subject to all the disclosure rules which lobbyists are.  

  24. JDKJ says:

    It’s noteworthy — and somewhat puzzling — that Rep. Morly is willing to go on record stating that the legislative intent of his Bill is to restrict the sale of M-rated videogames. That’s all well and good, but his legislation as currently worded covers not just M-rated videogames but all age-restricted or age-recommended goods and services. If he and the Bill’s proponents make similar statements during the legislative process, they could be laying the foundation for a challenge under the strict scrutiny test that the legislation is unconstitutionally overbroad (i.e., intended to target only X, but also sweeps up Y and Z.).

  25. nightwng2000 says:

    Actually, and I’ll be totally blunt, sounds like some politicians there in Utah are bought and paid for.  Heck yeah I said it.  The claims that other politicians have received campaign donations from the game industry, yet, here we see just who REALLY has the REAL influence. 

    Morley can deny it all he wants, but at this point, he, and other legislatures, just earned the image of the Eagles Forum telling them to "Jump boy!  Jump!" and they do it.  A real legislator doesn’t act like this to political lobbyists unless their seat has been bought in some fashion.

    It’s time that legislative action committees start looking into the actions of the Utah Eagles Forum and other such political organizations and their relationships with various politicians.


    NW2K Software

    Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as

  26. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Question, Dennis.

    Why didn’t you show Mike the e-mail convo from Jack? I know you try not to keep your job Jack-exclusive, but those e-mails from Jack would help him better understand what you were trying to clarify.


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  27. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    And, last but definitely not least, if Jack posts another press release somewhere, first you laugh like Kristoph Gavin, and then you finish your drink, or whatever is left of it.


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  28. Meohfumado says:

    Actually: Morly, Ruzicka and JT are all just tools.  Period.


    "You know what I wish? I wish all the scum of the Earth had one throat and I had my hands about it."

  29. ZippyDSMlee says:

    The problem is your not going to do sht on a state by state basis you have to take it up the supreme court until they say that it can be done.

    Porn is legally defined violence/maturity not so much and really can not be so. But you could shore horn something in if it passes national standards.


    Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.

  30. Arell says:

    Good lord.  I mean, all that just to get recognition?  I know that JT loves being te center of attention, but jeez, what’s so important about people knowing he’s a major player in this bill?

    I think he’s been spending too much time with the wrong crowds, like the Eagle Forum.  They kiss his butt, and he gets a false sense of worth, believing most people actually see him as a legitimate "champion" of the people.  In truth, most of the country sees him as a wacko that got disbarred for being a world-class douchebag.  I mean, it’s hard for a lawyer to lose their liscense just for being a jackass, and yet he managed it. 

    My point is, why would he think having his name behind the bill, would give it more support?  If anything, his name is like a taint that could dilute any chance this bill has of passing.

  31. Shoehorn Oplenty says:

    His career and other actions have already formed an anchor….unfortunately the chain is around his neck and they are dragging him to the bottom of the ocean of irrelevance and disgraced obscurity.

  32. Shoehorn Oplenty says:

    I thought this was hilarious. Jack just sems to pick at random what he will sue people for. When he gave his opinion on the earlier article about "his" bill, he couldn’t decide whether people who sold games were guilty of intent or negligence, two completely different things.

    Let us imagine for a moment that not giving someone credit for a law they drafted, or were involved with drafting was libelous. In that case, would it not be Rep. Morley who would be sued? Dennis merely ASKED Morley whether Thompson was the originator/drafter of the bill. Morley said no, and then Dennis proceeded to clarify this statement.

    If I were to give an interview with a magazine in which I wrongfully claim that Person X was a criminal, then I am the one comitting libel against Person X, not the magazine which prints my words.

    I also think it’s funny how instead of being this great crusader, he has to hide behind others. I imagine that it is a result of his disbarrment and disgraced name, that he behaves like a remora, attaching himself to a bigger more powerful creature (in this case the Eagle Forum and Gayle Ruzicka). This lets him push his petty little agenda with a different face and some more "credibility"* while staying near to pick up the scraps.

    *(In no way do I believe that Gayle Ruzicka and the Eagle Forum are in any way credible, but unfortunately they do seem to have significant political pull in Utah. It’s not a nice fact that this old woman, (who seems pretty intolerant and homophobic by a lot of accounts) and her lackeys have this influence, but what can you do?)


  33. Adrian Lopez says:

    How pathetic is it that Jack’s whole sense of worth is tied to having the public acknowledge his role in helping create what is in fact a pointless bill? I get the impression that Jack needs some kind of victory, however pyrrhic, to feel like he’s been right all along. He needs something concrete to serve as an anchor for what would otherwise be a carreer marked by failure and self deception.

  34. Briggs says:

    I thought about proposing a new drinking game.

    Everytime JT makes a threat, you take a shot.

    If he accuses of libel, you take 2 shots.

    If he calls you or someone else a pixelante, you take a shot.

    I thought about proposing this, but then I realized that anyone who played would quickly die of alcohol poisoning 🙁

  35. d20sapphire says:

    Jack Thompson is paranoid about not getting noticed, apparently.  Maybe he is trying to show he’s a productive member of society without being a lawyer anymore.  Funny thing is, the rest of us figured out how to do that without being as sensitive as he is about being recognized.

    The other parts of the interview were great too.  Looks like the law isn’t so big of a deal, unless there is something legally flawed about it like mentioned before.

  36. Icehawk says:

    Well, safest to say that the best interest of the people is served by (re)electing (insert name). /sarcasm 

    Tis is pity though.  Ever notice that after the election that you never see the politician out shaking hands and kissing babies?  Dont know much about this Michael Morley and find that I really dont care (or need) to, he has shown where his interests lie. 

  37. Mad_Scientist says:


    Thompson sure didn’t like not being given much credit for the bill, though. He probably also didn’t like the fact that Morley mentioned that many of Thompson’s past efforts were unconsititional. (Though I think the correct word would have been "all" not "many".)

  38. Tavin says:

    It sounds to me as if Rep. Morley already knows this bill lacks teeth, and is just using it to score some political points with his constituents…



  39. Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    I wonder if someone can end Jack Thompson´s act for good. Why nobody sues him so he can learn one thing or two about a real life sue? His charade has taken too much time.

    The worst part in that nobody seems to recognize that the bill is useless and still they want to go with it.

    Utah politicians are completely in denial.

    The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship):

  40. nighstalker160 says:

    Jeez talk about whiney.

    Not to mention that it is most certainly NOT libel for you to run an interview in which someone else fails to give credit to Jack.

    Jack might have a complaint against THAT person (though certainly not for libel or defamation).

  41. Meohfumado says:

    Libel?  Seriously.  Just publishing inaccurate information is no grounds for libel.  The information has to be defamitory.  It has to paint the person in a negative light.

    How is failing to acknowledge his proper involvement paint JT in a negative light? 



    "You know what I wish? I wish all the scum of the Earth had one throat and I had my hands about it."

  42. sirjonk says:

    "JT seemed like a fine individual."


    Dennis, please email the good Rep some of JT’s greatest hits excerpted from his disbarment proceeding, I’m sure Rep Morley would find them quite illuminating.

  43. Navi says:

    You can be sued for lible if your statements in are false.  There are 2 exceptions. 

    1) If the information you publish is completely true, (ie. The suspect was arested.)


    2) the statement is atributed to the source. (ie. Police say they have captured the man accued of murder.)

    GamePolitics’s entire article was, a transcribed interview between Rep. Mike Morley and GP, which means all quotes from Morley and Thompson was atributed to the source.  Therefore Thompson would have no ground for lawsuit agianst GP.  If he were to sue anyone it would be Morley, which goes into another aspect of law that I won’t discuss here.  Additionaly the tape of the interview would be more then enough to clear GP of any libel. 

    At the same time, It is in GP and Dennis McCauley best interest as a journalist to make sure all of the statements are as acurate as possible.  To allow Thompson, Ruzicka, and Morley to have there input is not nessecary from a legal standpoint, but in the best interst of journalistic integrety in order to provide the full story, and for that, Mr Thompson should be happy to be included. 

  44. Ryno says:

    I think you’ll find that they’re guilty of libel for understating Jack’s role in the matter. He is the center of the universe, after all, and has a hand in everything. Thus stating that Jack didn’t have a central role in anything with which he is even loosely or tenuously involved is libel. This is basic first-year law school stuff, I’m sure.

  45. CMiner says:

    Simply posting a ‘He said this:’ with an exact quote from the person is not libel.  Like I said, if it were every single news company would be guilty, because they quote peoples sayings all the time.  Or have interviews with people who say things that are insulting and/or not true.

  46. Benji says:

    From what I gather, repeating a libelous statement doesn’t automatically put you on the hook for libel.  If you believed that the source statement was true and made in good faith then you’re safe, although the amount of fact-checking you have to do to confirm a source statement depends on how big your audience is.  If Morley’s statements constituted libel, GamePolitics might get away with repeating the statements where CNN would be expected to do some fact checking.

    In any case, if the dialogs are truthful then GP can’t be guilty of libel unless Morley also is.  And one gets the impression that he believed in good faith that he was telling the truth, and his statements don’t really harm JT’s reputation in any apparent way, so any libel case would probably fail on either of those grounds.

  47. mdo7 says:

    JT, epic fail since the late 1990’s.  Sorry it looks like JT will not win this one.

    "You run that without talking to Gayle Ruzicka, and I’ll sue you for libel."

    Wow, JT think he can sue even though he can’t.

  48. Vake Xeacons says:

    I can’t say I blame Morley for trying to wash his hands of JT. All JT cares about is who gets credit for the bill.

  49. sortableturnip says:

    My question would be:  Who is more interested in getting this bill passed, Morley or Gayle Ruzicka?

  50. beemoh says:

     It’s interesting how his language changes between the interviews. Verbose and explanatory in the first, stunted and defensive in the second.

    So my guess: bit of both.


  51. TJLK says:

    I suppose the only one who could say for sure is Morely. 

    It is just seems strange to not be aware of who contributed to a bill in which you developed the language for.  Also seems odd to not be fully aware of previous contacts/conversations you’ve had with an individual.  Busy man I guess.

  52. zel says:

    I was asking myself the same thing, was he really ignorant of the fact or just trying to play ignorant? Obviously Thompson didn’t like how the original interview went O.o  Wouldn’t your question of the disbarment been relevant in the second interview though?


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  53. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Hmm… That would do in the event that Mr. Jack does try to counter.

    That would also give reason to ensure that his Falcon Punch is powerful enough to, how shall I say this without offending Those-Who-Write-In-Blue, defeat him?


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  54. hayabusa75 says:

    Perhaps a good solid round kick instead?  After all, you have to eat with those hands, you know.

    "There is no sin except stupidity." – Oscar Wilde

  55. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Remember, Grasshopper, two words.



    Now you are ready.


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  56. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    "Everytime I look at the JT picture I have a sudden urge to laugh"

    Does it make you snicker or does it make you laugh like Kristoph Gavin?

    If the former, so do I. If the latter… *eyebrow raised*


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  57. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Dammit, you beat me to the Over 9000 joke, and I only just saw this, hours after you posted it.

    Crap, I must be getting rusty.


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  58. IsoNeko says:

    Hey Mr. Thompson, what’s it like to be demented. Suing folks like GP with claims that you’ve invented. Yes it’s true. Even went after kotaku. Those guys owned you.

  59. Geoff says:

    Not too surprised that Morley was unclear of Thompson’s involvement.  Politicians have teams to handle many of the details of any piece of legislation.  This seems to be the case as Morley knew the names of the organizations that were helping to draft the bill but when it came to individuals he was a little clueless.  Good interview.

    And I can’t help but post a Thompson pic.  Would you look at his face?  I think I’ve seen mobsters with a more honest mug.



    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  60. SeanB says:

    I’m willing to say with all belief, that JT does not know what Libel is. He called me on the phone a number of months ago, threatening libel (and then hanging up), for posting exact quotes of his, just like this.

  61. TJLK says:

    If Jack Thompson thinks GP is important than I think that is a good thing.  I mean, I think GP is important as it keeps gamers informed.

    It was an impressive tantrum, I’m not going to lie.  I could practically see his face turning all shades of red and tears forming in the corner of his eyes as I read his response.  Maybe I translated it wrong but that first interview really seemed to get his panties in a bunch.

  62. CMiner says:

    That is one epic tantrum.  Within 3 hours of your email to Jack, he gets his buddies at Eagle Forum to convince Mike Morley it was important enough of an issue, Jack’s involvement, that he needed to ‘correct’ his comments with you?  This says many things:

    1. Jack, in some shape or form, believes Game Politics to be an important publication.  I mean, he seriously doesn’t get this wound up about online news sites he constantly derides, insults, and otherwise thinks to be insignificant?  Does he?

    2. Jack has some pull with the leaders of Eagle Forum.  Not surprising, they seem to be of the same mindset as he, but the turnaround time on this seems like it was pretty fast.

    3. Eagle Forum has some significant pull with Mike Morley.  Does he agree with them, do they have some other influence on him, speculative.  But his tone really seemed to change in interview part-II to very highly stress Jack’s involvement, and Morley’s thoughts on Jack.

    4. Jack Thompson is a world class narcissist.  We all knew it.

    5. Jack Thompson has no concept of legal terms, such as ‘libel’.  If posting, verbatim, what someone said in an interview is ‘libel’, every significant publication in the country would be guilty hundreds of times over.  Again, we all knew it.  It’s just funny to see his consistent, constant failure.  Like someone coming into a computer store pretending to be a literal guru of electronics, going on about ‘jigapixels’ and ‘megaram’, or claiming that a mac is good for anything (j/k)

  63. Macknzie says:

    Actually, persons who repeat defamatory statements may also generally be held liable for defamation.  I’d say that Thompson loses on two other grounds.  First, defamation requires a false statement of fact, and Morley was pretty clear that, although Thompson may have dealt with the Eagle Forom, Morley didn’t have much contact with him.  I doubt that’s a false statement.  Second, defamation of a public figure requires proof that the statement was made with malice, i.e., actual knowledge of falsehood or reckless disregard for the truth.  Even if Morley made some false statements, it seems very likely that they were made negligently, at most.

    Of course, there’s also the question of how Thompson’s reputation could possibly be harmed by any statements.  I’m stumped on that one.

  64. BearDogg-X says:

    It just further proves how much of a crybaby Thompson is.

    It is questionable how Morley changed his tune within a few hours, though.

    I think that Ruzicka or whatever her name is has some dirt on Morley and made some threats towards Morley after Thompson went crying to her.

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

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  65. Icehawk says:

    Threats are the first refuge of someone who is afraid.  Violence is the first refuge of the incompetent.  Either would apply here.  Classic jack.   Dennis I salute you sir, I really dont how you manage to submit yourself to antics like that and remain civil. 

    Mmm as for the subject I am leaning toward Mr Morleys original statement being correct, that jacks involvement was mininal at best.  The followup though is odd.  This Ms. Ruzicka (jackies contact/savior apparently) becomes involved and the toon changes.  Did not think the Eagle forum had that much political pull.  Maybe its a Utah thing?


  66. TJLK says:

    Everytime Jack Thompson threatens to sue GP, GP gains +100XP.  If he uses the word "libel" in his threat multiply the gained XP by 2.  If Jack Thompson includes porn with the threat GP instantly levels up then gains 3 times normal XP for the next 2 threats.

    GP’s current level is over 9000.

  67. Archgabe says:

    GP, I think we need to count how many times JT has threatened to sue you for one reason or another.  It has got to be over 100 by this point.

  68. E. Zachary Knight says:

    John Bruce, 

    Can you overreact any more? I honestly don’t think it is humanly possible to overreact more than you just did. How is it libelous to quote what someone else said about you? Dennis wasn’t claiming you had no involvement in this bill. That was all Morley.

    Grow up and learn to read.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  69. zel says:

    lol, ahhh, good times! I enjoyed reading this throughly.

    Jack reminds me of a [insert breed of tiny loud mouthed dog here], whole lot of barking, not alot of bite.


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  70. gamepolitics says:

    I wondered the same thing.

    To be honest, in the initial interview I fully expected him to credit Thompson, and I was ready to follow up with a question about how Thompson’s disbarment played into the mix. But he didn’t really credit JT so the question was irrelevant.

    Not sure if Morely wanted to distance himself or just wasn’t aware.

  71. TJLK says:

    Thats very odd indeed.  Jack seems extremely antsy and paranoid. 

    Good interview, nicely formed questions.

    I’m still unsure of what to think of the change of story.  Did Morley originally want nothing to do with Jack Thompson or did he simply forget about his involvement?  That confusion is interesting to say the least.

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