White Noise

by Brian Clarey

News and views from inside the media bubble


A judge found Greensboro blogger Jeff Martin not guilty of cyberstalking during proceedings on Monday in Randolph County Court that took less than an hour. The charge stemmed from a series of e-mails sent to Dr. Mary Johnson, a pediatrician in Randolph County.

“Lucky,” was how Martin described his feelings after the verdict, “because I screwed up. I shouldn’t have sent the e-mails. The consensus, among the folks I respect, was that it did not rise to a level of a crime. My able attorney pointed that out multiple times during the case,” said Martin, who blogs under the name “Fecund Stench” at Vie de Malchance.

“The prosecution, in my opinion, acted more like my defense,” Martin said. “Detective Trogdon helped me a whole lot. It looked like it was a manufactured trial; everybody was against her.”

Johnson got, if not the last word, then at least an expansive forum to air her feelings about the case on her blog, Dr. J’s House Calls.

“The bigger picture is also a story that deserves an ending worthy of an already battered woman brave enough to take a cyber-bully to court in a venue where she’s previously been done nothing but wrong and where she knew she’d just get screwed again,” Johnson wrote. “She showed up and stated her case (inasmuch as an ADA on a short leash let her) and took her medicine.”

Then, in a final swipe, she exacted the poetic justice the courts may never accord her. “By lowering the bar of discourse in free speech and muddling/crossing the lines of civility,” Johnson said, “I think Jeff Martin did real dishonor to the art and practice of blogging.”

— JG