Ken White is the high-powered attorney in the middle of Brown, White & Newhouse law firm in Los Angeles. He blogs about free speech and other legal issues at Popehat.com, where he recently gave our friend Bill Schmalfeldt a great deal of negative attention. For context, here are important facts about Ken White:
- He is a personal friend of Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney John Patrick Frey and has organized Frey’s defense against Nadia Naffe (.PDF). According to our sources, he has spent $200,000 on the case, which he calls “frivolous.” Among other things, Frey’s reckless publication of Naffe’s personal information resulted in her identity being stolen
- White claims that Naffe broke the law by accessing the email of James O’Keefe after he tried to drug and rape her, but expresses no sympathy for her experience of being drugged and almost raped and having her underwear stolen
- White is a friend and collaborator of porn lawyer Marc Randazza, who glowingly describes White as having big brass balls. J. Malcolm DeVoy, one of Randazza’s partners, is the attorney for Sean Tompkins, a key figure in the “Porn Wikileaks” scandal accused of cyberstalking and harassing porn stars and known for spreading weird, homophobic conspiracy theories about attempts to regulate the porn industry
- White has been involved in several anti-SLAPP cases defending bloggers from attempts to silence them through the legal system. As with Frey, White is known for doing this work pro bono, but the clients all just happen to fall on the right side of the political spectrum
- Participating in “Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day,” White called Kimberlin a “threat to free expression” and blithely endorsed Frey’s conspiracy theory about Kimberlin being responsible for his SWATing in 2011
- Sean Tompkins is also close friends with Mike Stack, a minor figure in “Wienergate” who collaborated with Frey to approach the FBI and accuse Neal Rauhauser and Brett Kimberlin of SWATing them. Stack has filed a half-dozen false criminal charges against Rauhauser in New Jersey
- White has consistently described all of Kimberlin’s courtroom victories as the result of confused, incompetent, or biased judges rather than findings of fact
- He has also organized legal defenses for people allegedly being targeted by Kimberlin
- White pushed the story that Kimberlin had gotten Aaron Walker fired from his job, a claim that later turned out to be completely false. He has never corrected himself
Last December, Frey tweeted to White about alleged “retaliation” he has suffered for blogging about Kimberlin. Schmalfeldt saw those tweets and wrote a satirical post about them. For reasons that are still not clear, last week White decided to write nearly 3,600 words about that post in an attempt to dress Schmalfeldt up as a dangerous person. While he concluded that Schmalfeldt is not actually a criminal, White failed to draw the obvious corollary that Aaron Walker and William Hoge’s failed criminal charges against Bill are exactly the type of “threat to free expression” he claims to deplore in Kimberlin. Apparently unable to appreciate his acid style and dark wit, White confused Schmalfeldt’s humor with factual analysis to call him “a disturbed freak, a twisted personification of narcissistic fury” and “full of shit,” but these descriptives actually work better for White’s friends John Patrick Frey, Mike Stack, and Sean Tompkins.
Despite his many protestations of being interested only in free speech for all, in practice Ken White is only interested in protecting and elevating the free speech of right wing bloggers. If Frey publishes your private medical information, it is free speech, but if you republish Lee Stranahan’s pornography and point out how awfully young some of the models appear to be, that is “cyberstalking.” When Aaron Walker inserts himself in your libel case against a third party, grabs your iPad out of your hand and starts a physical altercation with you, it is because you are oppressing his free speech, but when Aaron Walker files nonsense peace orders against you, it is simply what you deserve.
In particular, White seems to regard Schmalfeldt’s reports to law enforcement as the ultimate example of bad behavior. One is tempted to ask White what else Schmalfeldt ought to have done with his suspicions, especially considering that Stranahan refused to verify the models’ ages. Had Schmalfeldt failed to report the images, surely White would denounce him for not having the courage of his convictions when he blogged about the images in the first place. And at no point does White see the irony in repeating accusations of pedophila at Kimberlin while Stranahan, the blogger who created Everybody Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day, has an actual history of creating pornography with childlike models.
Sometime in 2012, the Breitbots decided that Bill Schmalfeldt had to die. That is their apparent goal, having now filed dozens of false charges and peace orders against a person who is especially susceptible to stress because of his Parkinsons, a condition his right wing detractors continually dismiss. Why is Bill so important to them? And why is Ken White, a high-powered attorney, writing blog posts about him? Why would the man who partnered with porn industry lawyer Marc Randazza to take down copyright troll Righthaven even bother to take down Schmalfeldt? Here are three possible reasons:
1. Bill stood up to them, so he must be destroyed
Bill waded into the fight with Breitbots last year, fearlessly swinging both rhetorical fists to debunk and ridicule their propagandistic blogging. It did not matter that “The Liberal Grouch” was an obscure indie blogger slowly dying of a degenerative disease. It only mattered that Bill stood up to them, so it is necessary to make an example out of him. That will show us all not to argue with them! Next time they smear and defame people, you had better just not get in their way. You had especially better not blog about Ali Akbar’s criminal record, Lee Stranahan’s very strange family life and career, or John Patrick Frey’s misuse of PACER documents. And if any of these people do fundraising because Kimberlin’s supposed harassment has forced them to move, you had better not use publicly available address information to show that they are lying, as Schmalfeldt did. Because then Ken White will accuse you of being a deranged cyberstalker, and oh how that will burn!
2. They think they can get to Brett Kimberlin through Bill Schmalfeldt
No matter how many times they are told otherwise or who tells them, the Breitbots remain convinced that this website belongs to Brett Kimberlin and that Bill works for Brett. One example of this false premise in action was the attempt by W.J.J. Hoge and Aaron Walker to file criminal charges against both Bill and Brett at the same time on February 28th, as if putting them together in one courtroom could prove something about them working together. In fact, it was the first time they ever even spoke to one another. In particular, the Breitbots seem to believe that when Schmalfeldt says their relentless conspiracy-mongering about Kimberlin keeps getting them into trouble, that it is somehow a threat and not an observation. His one tweet to that effect appears in White’s long post, as it has appeared in Stranahan’s blog and others. They have imbued it with undue significance and meaning to justify their actions.
3. They actually believe their bizarro-conspiracy theories about Brett and Bill
William Hoge’s laughable lawsuit contends that Bill has harassed him from an IP address in Brazil. Basically, every time anyone leaves a comment in Hoge’s blog that he does not like, he insists that it was posted by Bill or someone else from “Team Kimberlin” and is proof of harassment. Is it possible that Hoge knows how stupid this is and is just playing along with it? Yes, but we find it much more likely that he actually believes his own garbage. The same is true of Aaron Walker, who has made taking down Kimberlin his life’s mission and seems quite the earnest crusader. Ken White never questions this behavior. In fact, he encourages it and helps propagate the propaganda, which suggests he also actually believes this nonsense. Most recently, Walker appears to have suborned perjury from Kimberlin’s estranged wife Tetyana, inserting himself in an unhappy family drama that is none of his business. White apparently sees no danger in this activity and believes in the conspiracy theory so strongly that he is willing to excuse any excess.
Ken White is a lawyer who defends awful speech sometimes on basic principle. But even though White admits Bill Schmalfeldt is not a criminal, he does not defend Bill from his friends Hoge and Walker who press fake criminal charges against Bill. The pattern of White’s blogging is clearly biased against anyone who dares to fight back against right wing smears. White’s blogging is humorless, whingeing legalistic propaganda for a right wing cabal that keeps going to court and losing, over and over again, because their tales of woe and persecution lack prima facie evidence. When the final chapter of this saga is written, we expect White is the one who will seem frivolous.