You’ve probably heard about the judge with the on-line porn collection who had to recuse himself from a porn case and laughed about it. If so, you’re going to have to take it all back because you’ve been scammed. See: Harold Feld’s Tales of the Sausage Factory:
As documented in several posts at Patterico’s Pontifications, it would appear that Scott Glover was â€œplayedâ€ by one Cyrus Sanai, although perhaps â€œplayedâ€ is the wrong word. Sanai appears to have pursued a relentless vendetta against Kozinski, and found a willing ally in Glover. As Kozinski’s wife explains in this rebuttal, Glover’s descriptions of the items on the website are at best misleading and at worst outright efforts to sensationalize things circulated all over the internet (typically with the â€œnot work safeâ€ heading). For example, what Glover describes as â€œvideo of a half-dressed man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animalâ€ turns out to be a a fairly popular Youtube video of a man who had gone to relieve himself in a pasture fending off an aroused donkey. (The San Francisco Chronicle, apparently wishing to demonstrate the further virtues of trained journalists over bloggers, characterized the video as images of bestiality.
And then see Larry Lessig:
So the wires are a twitter with the story of Chief Judge Alex Kozinski’s “web site” which, from reading the stories, you’d think was filled with porn (and worse), revealing a dark soul who, some experts in legal ethics suggest, shouldn’t be presiding at an obscenity trial. That, you think, is what I mean by “the Kozinski mess.”
It’s not. What I mean by “the Kozinski mess” is the total inability of the media — including we, the media, bloggers — to get the basic facts right, and keep the reality in perspective. The real story here is how easily we let such a baseless smear travel – and our need is for a better developed immunity (in the sense of immunity from a virus) from this sort of garbage.
And also see Seth Finkelstein’s blog for the lowdown on the nature of the server.
And don’t believe everything you read in the LA Times. The reputation of a good, decent, and extremely intelligent man has been damaged, and you don’t want to be a part of that. As we said last week, journalists should not base stories on blogs; they’re playing with factual fire when they do.