William Hoge has now blogged twice about Monday’s court action in the case of Kimberlin v Walker et al attempting to refute our reporting on the event. He was allegedly so close to Mr. Kimberlin that he could overhear his conversations with attorneys. But when we visited the Maryland case search website for docket number 380966V, we noted that Mr. Hoge was not accounted as present by the court. How is this possible?
Our sources saw Mr. Hoge in the courtroom, so we know he was there. But because the hearing lasted all of 24 minutes in two disjointed parts, we have questions about what he thinks he saw and heard. Did Mr. Hoge account for every warm body in the room during the entire proceeding, or is it possible he missed someone during the 70-minute window in which the hearing took place? We already know that Team Akbar can be extraordinarily inobservant, which is how we got right in Aaron Walker’s face and took his picture without him even noticing. The court may suffer from the same syndrome, for they somehow missed Hoge at Monday’s hearing.
How did Mr. Hoge attend a hearing in which he was a defendant without identifying himself as one? Is it ethical for him to put on his “journalist hat” and ignore his name as it gets called from the docket, then “report” on a civil case to which he is a party? Did defendants’ counsel act unethically by failing to identify him to the court, or did he hoodwink them, too? Why did he not identify himself when the docket was called — was he too busy trying (and failing) to scope out our sources? Or did he enter the courtroom only after the roll call, thus proving that he did miss some part of the hearing for which he claims to be the only reliable witness?
When we asked the Montgomery County Circuit Court today, this was the nearest answer they could give: either the clerk read his name and he failed to respond, or he was not present when they called him. Either way, Hoge is being disingenuous and probably unethical here, which is no surprise to those of us who have watched him the longest. We would ask him about it directly, but we have seen how these sorts of questions invariably cause Mr. Hoge to file criminal charges and whine that he is being harassed. Instead, we have decided to help the court clerk and bailiff recognize Mr. Hoge next time so that he can be properly counted as present for hearings in which he is a defendant. It is the least we can do for him.