Here we are, yet again, dealing with a hot debate over some one's Right to be talking/writing about what is on their mind.
There was a news story on the Today Show today, that caught my attention.
First there was a website that was titled ThePsychoExWife.com that is supposed to be removed due to a ruling by a judge's order that contains the following instructions. (the reason, I say "supposed" is I am still able to find the web site that is the subject at hand and read it.)
Father shall take down that website and shall never on any public media make any reference to the mother at all, nor any reference to the relationship between mother and children, nor any reference to his children other than “happy birthday” or other significant school events.
Why then, is it that today I see both the mother and the father talking on the Today Show? Isn't that considered public media? I am confused and dare I say CONFLICTED.
While, I agree this isn't the nicest, friendliest divorce on record, it is causing a bit of a conundrum as far as our right to free speech. One might even say "Sure this is mean spirited on the part of Anthony Morelli in describing his ex, Allison Morelli."
She’s on the precipice of 40 and probably looks all 50-years of it. Imagine if you will, Jabba The Hut, with less personality. She spends her time ... drinking her days away bemoaning her victim status, when she isn’t stuffing the children with fast food, buying them toys, or pushing them towards the TV or computer.
There are a few facts associated with this case that push and pull me as to whether this ex-husband has the RIGHT to have his blog. Mind you, I am not talking about if he is using good judgement in writing the blog. I am strictly asking whether he should have the RIGHT to write an anonymous web site on the subject of his ex-wife. (it was anonymous until they went public with this fight and starting showing up on programs like the Today Show) After reading several pages of the original blog and then reading the new site which is Savethepsychoexwife.com clearly there are several ways to look at this.
Ex-husband's point of view
The ex-husband is saying he started the site to chronicle is frustrations over his divorce and give a platform for others that were in similar circumstances.
Here is an excerpt from a press release as it appears on the new web site:
The site is intended to help people in similar situations. I always felt like no one really knew or quite understood the level of chaos that existed in my life, and the website was a way to express it without burdening others with such horror or having to explain and re-explain myself. I felt that it was a way for me to tell the truth of my experiences but to no one in particular.
If, indeed, the reason for starting the site was to set up a forum for others that share this type of experience, then it was successful with readership at over 200,000 a month.
Anthony Morelli is appealing to a higher court to decide if he is allowed to continue his blog.
Ex-wife's point of view
She feels victimized that he is saying things about her that are inflammatory and hurtful to both her and her children. While the blog itself remains anonymous, she says she found it while searching the web looking for other divorce cases involving disputes over orthodontia. She recognized excerpts from some of their email exchanges.
The judge's point of view
She ordered the website to be shut down and wants the parents to behave like adults. She restricts their behavior to the extent that the warring spouses vitriol is to be removed from public exposure. The judge said in a statement (according to Matt Lauer) that the blog had "inaccurate, denigrating and belittling comments" about Allison and "it's not just venting that I have read on these pages but it amounts to outright cruelty"...
Matt Lauer's point of view while on the Today Show talking with Starr Jones
After Matt Lauer reads the above quote from the judge, he says "has this judge ever gone on other blogs...THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE ALL ABOUT. (This is a direct quote and I taped it on my IPhone for posterity. Excuse me, Mr. Lauer did you just use the word ALL in reference to bloggers being inaccurate, denigrating, and belittling...oh and let's not forget cruel?)
Then Star Jones says "There would be no other reason to have a blog and that is what the Constitution actually protects. The Constitution protects your right to be an unmitigated jerk." (Again, I had to record that for future reference, as I may never know when I may want to have my rights to be an unmitigated jerk protected. Really, Star? Is this the ONLY reason I would need a blog.)
I think...no wait a minute...I AM OFFENDED. All bloggers are cruel?? Surely that can't be accurate. Later in the conversation he goes back to bagging on bloggers. He reiterates that blogs are "half the time inaccurate, mostly denigrating and belittling"
Then Star Jones interjects "and vulgar and all of the things that makes us say what happened to shame in this country?" (OK, now I am vulgar and shameful)
My point of view
Depending on the source, there is an estimated 450 Million English speaking blogs on the Internet. You can type about any subject into Google and find blogs on the subject. I typed the phrase "I hate my wife". Yes, there are blogs with that title and variations of it. I typed in "I hate my husband". Again, there are blogs with variations of that, as well. There are general hate blogs. You can send in comments about any and all of the things you hate. Here is my point...sure there are hateful sites out there. If it was truly against the law to be hateful there would need to be A LOT more judges to hand out orders similar to the one handed out to ex-husband of psycho ex-wife.
Let's not throw out the baby with the bath water here. Out of those nearly half of a million blogs aren't there also blogs about love, religion, travel, and art? What about all the mommy blogs? You name any subject and there are sure to be a blog about it.
Hey, Matt Lauer and Star Jones...yes, I am talking to you!!! What about the Today Show and MSNBC blogs. Are they mostly inaccurate, hateful, denigrating, and let's not forget cruel?
Not everything written in a blog is accurate, fair, truthful, honest, ethical or any other quality that we would or could respect the author for having put forth.