The attorney representing Jake Payne Watch, an anonymously run blog critical of “local media personality” Jacob Payne, has filed a motion to quash Payne’s subpoena, claiming that it represents an “attempt to silence a dissenting voice” and runs counter to First Amendment law.
Ben Carter, counsel to the anonymous blogger(s), wrote on his own blog:
… this case is Mr. Payne’s attempt to silence a dissenting voice and intimidate other detractors who might have the audacity to question Plaintiff’s usefulness as a journalist and commentator on Kentucky politics. Mr. Payne expects the Court to use its power to protect him from the same kind of treatment to which he has subjected countless other journalists, public figures, elected officials, and party activists. Plaintiff and his attempt to chill political speech are not worthy of protection; the Anonymous Blogger(s) and their right to participate anonymously in Kentucky’s political discourse are.
LEO Weekly previously reported on the lawsuit in an Apr. 20 story, “Man bites blog.”
Interestingly, Payne, who also runs the Louisville-centric The Ville Voice blog, has recently attracted the ire of an anonymously run blog dubbed “Jake Payne Watch,” which surfaced on March 27 with the stated intention of “(highlighting) the hypocrisy of Jake Payne, and to subject him to the carefully calibrated innuendo and ad hominem attacks he uses so gleefully.”
But instead of engaging in a war of words, Payne filed a lawsuit on April 11 in Jefferson County Circuit Court asking that a judge order the “anonymous blogger(s)” behind Jake Payne Watch to reveal their identity, discontinue operations, and pay compensatory damages. In the process, the local media establishment has become awash in speculation about who is responsible for the anonymous website as elements of the polarizing Payne’s personal and political life are exposed.
You can read the entire brief here (PDF), if you’re not into the whole brevity thing, but essentially it is a 143-page take-down of many of Payne’s various claims.