Cleveland Media Seek Access To Gibson’s Bakery Store Clerk’s Sealed Facebook Records in Oberlin College Case, But Why?
The court already ruled against Oberlin College’s attempt to unseal the records of a Gibson family member who wasn’t a party and didn’t testify. So why are Cleveland media outlets trying to rescue Oberlin College’s post-trial public relations effort?
Do you believe in coincidences? This may just be a huge coincidence, but it certainly is another very curious twist in the Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College case.
You may recall that in late August 2019, two months after the trial which ended disastrously for Oberlin College, the college unsuccessfully sought to unseal the confidential Facebook records of Allyn D. Gibson. The issue is back again before the trial court with Cleveland media groups seeking a redo of Oberlin College’s failed motion, under the guise of freedom of the press. But why?
The Trial Court Previously Denied Oberlin College’s Motion to Unseal
Allyn D., not to be confused with his grandfather, 90-year old Allyn W. Gibson, was not a party in the case and did not testify even though he was the store clerk who stopped an Oberlin College student from shoplifting.
That shoplifting stop resulting in a scuffle with the shoplifter and two other Oberlin College students. The three students were arrested, and eventually pleaded guilty, and the rest is, well, history.
In the course of the case, Oberlin College obtained through the discovery process a forensic image of Allyn D.’s private Facebook account, under an agreement that such documents would be kept confidential if so designated by the Gibsons, unless the court ruled otherwise. Some small portion of the Facebook entries was filed under seal by the college as Exhibit G to its Reply Brief on summary judgment.
In a pre-trial ruling, the court held the Facebook records could not be used as character evidence, but the court left open that if trial testimony made the records relevant, defendants could attempt to introduce them at trial. Allyn D. never testified at the trial, and the college never offered the Facebook records as exhibits during the trial.
We covered Oberlin College’s Motion to Unseal the Facebook records, the Gibsons’ response, and the court ruling, in Judge denies Oberlin College’s request to unseal Gibson Bakery store clerk’s Facebook records:
There have been many strange motions and actions in the Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College case. A post-trial motion by Oberlin College to unseal Facebook records may be one of the more strange developments, and offers a window into the bitter feelings of college officials….
Oberlin College suggested in court filings that the records should be unsealed because some internal emails and texts of college officials were released (having been used at trial) to the college’s embarrassment. As a matter of fairness, the college wanted to embarrass the Gibsons too (that’s not how the college framed it, but that was the gist of the argument).
It was an attempt to level the public relations playing field, as the college wrote in its motion to unseal (emphasis added):
Defendants ask the Court to fix the double standard that currently exists in the public’s access to the summary judgment record. The Court previously ordered that internal Oberlin College emails, private text messages sent and received on the personal cell phones of administrators and faculty, and content from the personal Facebook accounts of Oberlin professors should be unsealed.2 In contrast, portions of Defendants’ Combined Reply Brief in Support of Their Motions for Summary Judgment (“Defendants’ Combined Reply”) remain under seal, including the entirety of EXHIBIT G to the affidavit of Cary M. Snyder (“EXHIBIT G”), which consists of materials from the Facebook account of Allyn D. Gibson (“Allyn Jr.”).3
* * *
In response to Defendants’ motion to compel-and following Plaintiffs’ muddled and incomplete production of documents in November 2018 on behalf of Allyn Jr.-the Court on February 21, 2019, ordered Plaintiffs to produce a forensic image of Allyn Jr.’s Facebook account (the “Forensic Image”). 5 The Forensic Image contains more than 300,000 files and, upon production, Plaintiffs designated the entire Forensic Image as “confidential” under the SPO because they did not have time to review its contents prior to production and they were concerned about the inclusion of material of a romantic nature.6
Defendants narrowed the content of the Forensic Image to just 35 pages that they planned to use as EXHIBIT Gin support of their Combined Reply. The documents in EXHIBIT G consist almost entirely of Allyn Jr. ‘s views-in his own words-concerning minorities, how Gibson’s Bakery treats its customers, and his awareness that the Bakery has a history—dating to at least 2012-ofbeing accused of racial profiling and discrimination. Of the 35 pages in EXHIBIT G, 34 pages consist of Facebook messages, the functional equivalent of text messages or emails that the Court already ordered must be unsealed. The remaining page is a post from Allyn Jr. to his Facebook friends….
The lawyers for the Gibsons argued that the college’s motion to unseal was part of an ongoing effort by the college to smear the Gibson family reputation:
It appears that Defendants are using their Motion as an improper collateral attack on the jury’s verdict. In essence, because Defendants are unhappy with the jury’s decision, they are seeking to unseal ADG’s private social media account, so they are able to publish these documents to the media without threat of the Court’s contempt power in an effort to continue the smear and defamation of Plaintiffs’ name and brand. Defendants’ attempted abuse of process should not be permitted.
* * *
Defendants’ sole motive in seeking to unseal the Confidential Materials is to continue the smear on Plaintiffs’ name and brand. They should not be permitted to do so.
The court did not reach the motivations of Oberlin College, instead rejecting the motion to unseal because, the Facebook records never were offered as trial exhibits (emphasis added):
Here, the Defendants are asking the Court, post-judgment, to unseal Exhibit G lo their March 22, 2019 Combined Reply Brief in Support of Summary Judgment. The exhibit is comprised entirely of material from non-party Allyn D. Gibson’s Facebook account that largely pre-dates the events giving rise to the above-captioned matter. As noted by the Plaintiffs, this material was the subject of one of Plaintiffs’ pre-trial motions in limine. Specifically, on May 8, 2019, the Court issued a preliminary ruling excluding the presentation of Allyn D. Gibson’s Facebook content as character evidence, but withheld ruling on the question of whether it could be introduced to reflect the reputation of Gibson’s Bakery in the community. At trial, the Defendants made no attempt to introduce these materials as evidence of the Bakery’s reputation in the community. With this procedural context and at this juncture, the Court is not persuaded by the Defendants’ arguments that it should make a post-trial order regarding materials that the Defendants opted to file under seal nearly six months ago in accordance with an agreed protective order that they drafted and stipulated to.
For the foregoing reasons, the Defendants’ Motion to Unseal Exhibit G of · Defendants’ Combined Summary Judgment Reply Brief is hereby denied.
The judge rejected the motion to unseal, so it was over, right? Right?
No, in this case, in which Oberlin College (or its insurers) spent over $5 million (as of last June) on legal fees, nothing is ever over.
Unsealing Private Facebook Records Fits With Oberlin College’s Post-Trial Public Relations Strategy
Here, the attempt to unseal Allyn D’s Facebook records fits in with Oberlin College’s post-trial public relations campaign suggesting, among other things, that the Gibsons really are racist and that the college was deprived of a fair trial.
I addressed this post-trial smear campaign, and the college’s obsession with attacking the Gibsons, during my October 31, 2019, appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Oberlin College’s “almost sociopathic malevolence” towards Gibson’s Bakery:
The Oberlin College strategy of portraying the Gibsons as secret racists was continued during a Ted Koppel segment for CBS Sunday Morning, Ted Koppel: Despite verdict, Oberlin College President still “makes allusions to a pattern of racist behavior” by Gibson’s Bakery: (emphasis added):
KOPPEL: …. But to this day, the president of Oberlin makes allusions to a pattern of racist behavior, if not the specific incident that set things off three years ago.
AMBAR: Well, the students pled guilty to the shoplifting. Um, there has been some debate about whether it was shoplifting or false ID.
KOPPEL: It was both.
AMBAR: Right. Well, I think that, that one of the things that the college has always said is that the college has not, doesn’t condone shoplifting, doesn’t condone bad behavior by its students in any way, shape or form. But what led up to the protest, and I think that’s sort of kind of the core issue here, was some series of things that happened before. Some perspectives about people’s experiences in the store.
KOPPEL: Tell me about, tell me about those then. And be specific. What specific incidents are you referring to that happened before?
AMBAR: Right, well, I think that the specific incidents would be, the perception by faculty and students and staff and other people in the town that there had been disparate treatment with respect to people of color in the store. The way I would phrase it, kind of different lived experiences.
DAVE O’BRIEN: This is all basically anecdotal evidence that people …
KOPPEL: Dave O’Brien covered the trials for the local paper, the Chronicle-Telegram
O’BRIEN: People commenting on a, on social media saying I had a, um, I, I felt, I felt uncomfortable in there. I felt like I was targeted because of the color of my skin.
Cleveland Media Join Legal Army Arrayed Against The Gibsons
The legal army arrayed against the Gibsons is truly staggering. The appeal docket lists 13 attorneys for the defendants/appellants, and that does not currently include the additional attorneys hired specifically for the appeal (including lawyers from a national law firm’s D.C. office to address First Amendment issues).
How many lawyers does it take to crush a little mom-and-pop bakery? A lot, apparently.
Add to this anti-Gibson legal army new entrants representing media interests who want Allyn D’s Facebook records unsealed. They are represented by the national law firm Baker & Hostetler and The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
These media interests want a do-over on the Facebook records already decided by the court. But why?
On November 1, 2019, WEWS-TV (News 5 Cleveland), Advance Ohio (Cleveland.com), and the Ohio Coalition for Open Government Access (created by the Ohio News Media Foundation), filed a Motion to Unseal Allyn D. Gibson’s Facebook records. A full copy of the Motion (pdf.) is embedded at the bottom of this post.
Here is the opening:
WEWS-TV, Advance Ohio, and the Ohio Coalition for Open Government (collectively, the Media Movants ) hereby move this Court, pursuant to Ohio Superintendence Rule 45(F), for access to certain sealed materials in the above-captioned matter (the “Lawsuit” ). Specifically, Media Movants seek an order unsealing Exhibit G to the affidavit of CaryM. Snyder, which was filed with defendants combined reply brief in support of their motions for summary judgment ( Exhibit G” ). Court records in Ohio are presumptively open and may be sealed, or remain under seal, only if a court, via specific, on-the-record factual findings concludes that, by a showing of clear and convincing evidence, a higher interest outweighs the right of the press and the public to access the records. Sup. R. 45; Vindicator Printing Co. v. Wolf,132 Ohio St. 3d 481, 2012-Ohio-3328, 974 N.E.2d 89,124. Such findings were never made with respect to Exhibit G, and no higher interest outweighs the news media’s and the public s constitutional right of access.
Why do the “Media Movants” care so much about the private Facebook records of someone who was not a party to the lawsuit, never testified at the trial, and whose Facebook entries never even were offered as trial exhibits? What public interest is there in embarrassing a non-party, non-witness over things never brought up at the trial?
What Oberlin College and the Media Movants seek in this context is judicially-sanctioned doxxing, and it’s potentially dangerous. We’ve seen countless examples of what happens when someone is made the internet’s object of hate.
It’s also complete bootstrapping to argue that the filing under seal is justification to unseal the records, particularly when the sealed records were never seen by or even discussed in front of the jury. This would set a horrible precedent if private social media or other sensitive records could be obtained during litigation under a confidentiality agreement then released just because they were filed under seal.
So what is the justification the Media Movants use? It sounds a lot like the argument raised in court filings and on camera by Oberlin College: The Gibsons might really be racist and we need to get that information out.
Here’s a portion of the Media Movant’s argument (emphasis added):
Based on documents filed with the Court, Exhibit G is believed to contain information directly related to the allegations of racial profiling that spurred the student protest that is at the heart of this Lawsuit and, about which, the public has a right to know. Defendants Motion, at 4. Indeed, “[t]he remedies or penalties imposed by the court will be more readily accepted, or corrected if erroneous, if the public has an opportunity to review the facts presented to the court.” Brown & Williamson,710 F.2d at 1178.
That highlighted language from a case cited by the Media Movants destroys their own argument: Non-party, non-witness Allyn D’s Facebook records were not presented to the jury and played no part in any of the “remedies or penalties” imposed by the court.
Do You Believe In Coincidences?
So what’s really going on here?
When I first saw the docket entry in the case, my immediate reaction was that this is not what it appears to be. Neither News 5 Cleveland nor Cleveland.com played a major role in media coverage; searches of their websites reveal little original reporting, and heavy regurgitation of AP and Chronicle-Telegram reporting. Why do THEY care?
Moreover, there are many other documents, some potentially embarrassing to Oberlin College, that were filed under seal and the unsealing of which is not sought by the Media Movants. You can read a compilation I put together of docket entries regarding sealed documents.
Why, of all the media outlets out there, do two small media players in the Gibson’s case care so much? And why, of all the sealed documents, do the Media Movants care so much about about an Exhibit to a Reply Brief that played no role in the jury verdict?
And why did they wait until 4 months after the verdict, and over a month after the prior court ruling, to jump into the case? If Exhibit G is so important to the public interest, you’d think the Media Movants would have, at minimum, filed their motion when Oberlin College did so the court could consider the issue once, instead of seeking what amounts to a motion for reconsideration by other means.
Why is it that these Cleveland media outlets appear to be trying to rescue Oberlin College’s post-trial media strategy?
Maybe it’s just coincidence.
But as the saying goes, I was born at night, but I wasn’t born last night. Let’s see how this plays out.
[Featured Image: Allyn D. Gibson interviewed by Oberlin town police on police body cam after shoplifting incident and arrest of three Oberlin College students.]
Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College – WEWS-TV Et Al Motion to Unseal Facebook Records by Anonymous jDcsAZN on Scribd
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To me, the question is not why they did this, but rather, which group of media-leftists connected to Soros is behind what they did.
All the Loco Media around the country is like that.
They’re all become Mao’s Revolutionary Guards spewing the biggest of Lies.
Well, it’s fairly obvious what’s going on here. Oberlin has friends in certain media outlets that are willing to allow their organizations to be dragged through the dirt in a back handed attempt to get “Exhibit G” released so that Oberlin can use it in their persecution of the Gibson family.
Hopefully the judge will see the motion for what it is and categorically deny the release of Exhibit G.
P.S. I don’t believe in coincidence. This is a set-up by Oberlin to gain access to what has previously been denied them by the Judge. Nothing more, nothing less.
Some discovery of communications between Oberlin and these medial outlets would be helpful here. Let’s see if they are acting as media outlets or agents of Oberlin.
Discovery and sanctions against Oberlin and these news outlets if it’s found they are colluding with Oberlin to circumvent the judge’s order to seal “Exhibit G” and release it to Oberlin.
Of course it’s not a coincidence. I’m betting one of those Cleveland media companies has an alumnus on board, who got a nice little email from the board asking them to help out their old alma mater……
This is an obamaesque tactic. Obama twice defeated opponents by having newspaper surrogates (David Axelrod) assert there was some sort of public interest involved in unsealing sealed divorce records.
You know, when DJT calls the media the enemy of the people he’s just catching up to where the personnel of the United States armed forces have been as long as I’ve been alive.
It sounds like Oberlin College’s disreputable conduct continues. They need their paddies slapped again, perhaps another $100 million would temper their attitude?
Board members might consider taking a night time train ride and listening to some advice,
You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
. . .
Methinks it’s time to start suing the individual board members and their entities…..
Perhaps those in the Cleveland media, the Oberlin Board, Ambar, Raimondo and their respective layers need the same treatment performed on the Des Moines Register reporter that tried to sink Carson King. A little what good for the goose treatment …
I doubt that Raimondo can find anyone willing to lay er.
Arguably, they may still be in denial. The lawsuit results came out after acceptances for Fall 2019 had to be in. The rubber meets the road with the Fall 2020 class. As liberals are fine with poor inner city schools for everyone but their own children, I suspect that Oberlin may discover a much poorer yield of families with the ability to pay and highly qualified children.
Oberlin College Cocktail: Arrogance, evil, and mendaciousness mixed together and topped by stupidity.
You never watched “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof?” The word is “mendacity.” Or was that “A Streetcar Named Desire?”
Oberlin is desperate to shift allegations of diversity and exclusion, whereby they will project with full press and media force to mitigate the progress of legal, social, and likely economic sanctions of their institution.
Word is out on a national MSM level. ‘Take the family out. Destroy them. Let no one ever try this again. …and remove the judge…’
private social media or other sensitive records
You’ve lost me here. Isn’t “private social media” a bit oxymoronic?
Doesn’t seem so to me. Lots of people have a facebook page closed to outsiders. I don’t do facebook but my wife does. But it’s a private thing for the family and close friends.
I don’t find that “oxymoronic”.
Hopefully it is understood that the exchanges between those close family participants are retained someplace just waiting to be released when a court order arrives. And are those other family members as judicious about the privacy as you are? Congratulations to you for having no flakes in your family. 🙂
G. Gorden Liddy said it well “The only way 3 people can keep a secret is if 2 of them are dead.”
By now the college’s board of trustees would have met and considered the entire matter. It would appear that, rather than saner heads prevailing, the board has endorsed the smear the bakery pr strategy. perhaps someone on the board has juice with the Cleveland media.
I get the sneaking feeling that (court order or not) Allyn Gibson’s Facebook records will be leaked anyway.
And how ironic it is that leftist reporters are trying to get the records made public while at the same time colluding to hide the fake Ukrainian whistleblower’s name and the media’s widespread long-time efforts to cover up Democrat bigwig Jeffrey Epstein’s horrific crimes against children.
I’m expecting tha5 as well. Watch “somehow” the Facebook account and posts tha5 makes up the sealed records will suddenly be available from a Facebook leaker that FB won’t be able to trace.
Don’t put it past them to fabricate something if they can’t get it through the channels you mention.
The left in any form – government, media, pop culture, etc. – is pure tyranny.
The public perception is that Oberlin lost its way many years ago. A college which was founded on the highest of moral principles has sunk so very low. As I recall, Shoplifting by Oberlin College students is a major problem throughout the city. The campus newspaper interviewed some of the many students who confessed to shoplifting on a regular basis not because they were hungry, needed food, and had no other way to get it, but because they couldn’t be bothered to pay, or because they saw themselves as some kind of victim. The college had no condemnation for them.
What kind of twisted mind could view any Oberlin College student as oppressed? What type of administration does not condemn stealing?
The college which had the high moral ground of being one of the first colleges to treat blacks and women as equals, at a time when others did not, has sunk to persecuting those who object to theft on the sole grounds that they are white.
And they whine about it. Constantly. The students and the administration both whine.
Perhaps Gibson’s is just a key battle in a larger war. Gibson’s significance is more clear when seen in a larger context where, by itself, Gibson’s is just a small bakery. Oberlin is an expendable tool of the left that will either barely survive (with a destroyed reputation) or it will be ashes. The left does not care.
The left intends to win the war. The costs paid by others does not matter.
I suggest that the left does not consider logic, fairness, rules, or anything else. The left has said “By any means necessary.” which means they will punch until you give up. They intend to win period. Any fairness or logic is our projection. They actually enjoy the fight. They will launch 50 torpedoes if 10 do not work. They will launch 100 torpedoes if 50 do not work. Sack of Schiff anyone?
By any means necessary. Believe them. They are demonstrating it here and elsewhere. They will not stop on their own. They are certain that they will win as reasonable people surrender eventually. And our children and grandchildren get to remember what we did like we remember what our grandparents did in WWII but not in the same way.
yep. I was in a red state and often saw the bumper sticker “blue girl red state” on expensive cars and with unpleasant looking older women driving. Interestingly, most of the same people also had the university football team logo on their car.
I think it is about team and tribe for them. I so wanted to get a sharpie and change them to “blue girl red hate”.
“Karen” has her own bumper sticker now? 😉
I can understand why they would want to do this, to ramp up harassment tactics and force the Gibsons to absorb even more legal costs. But what makes them believe that a court would allow it? Oberlin never called Allyn D. Gibson to testify. The defendants pleaded guilty so it was irrelevant. So they sue anyway forcing the Gibsons to spend more money defending themselves. And these legal costs would not be included in the Oberlin settlement. So would the Gibsons have a case for another lawsuit?
Seems to me that a judge would summarily dismiss any such legal proceedings. “Freedom of the press” doesn’t allow for just snooping around. There is no “public need to know” this. This is just plain harassment. If allowed, the Gibsons could be bankrupted by
BTW, what the hell is “Cleveland media group”? Yet another way to throw bombs over a wall?
Oberlin’s actions and motives can be perceived as retributive change motivated by rabid diversity, perhaps personal animus.
So much for the racial profiling argument.
“ Police later conducted an investigation and found that 40 adults had been arrested for shoplifting at Gibson’s in a five-year period, among them six African Americans.”
African Americans are 15% of the town population and 5% of the student population.
6 out of 40 arrested total is 15%, which matches the ratio of the local population.
I would suggest that the 5% student population compared to both the local and nationwide population is indicative of racial bias.
I don’t see your point. Of the African-American shoplifters at Gibson’s, we don’t know the breakdown of Black students vs Black townspeople. Based on what we know, their is zero statistical proof of bias.
I think his point was that perhaps Oberlin should be worried about its own possible racial bias, with only 5% of its students African-American, far less than comparable stats.
The 3 Ds of Democrat SJEs everywhere:
Politics of personal destruction. Scorched earth. Burn it all down. There can be no victory over SJWs that is allowed to stand.
Make every victory by the other side Pyrrhic, leave a message for the next ones: we will destroy you and it will take forever and cost a fortune.
We will spend $10MM and leave your reputation in ruins rather than settle for $500,000 and an apology.
Discourage anyone from coming this way again.
Make sure to make any victory illegitimate. Not only does it leave an asterisk – “look, this one boy somewhere in the family can be viewed as racist if you squint just right at a post when he was 15! He’s a witch!”
This is to keep your own side believing. They didn’t win. We didn’t make a mistake. The Gibson’s are racist. The legal system is racist.
Burn it all down. That’s their approach. You want to surrender to these guys, Never Trumpers?
To the best of my knowledge Advance Ohio has not posted on Cleveland.com that they are pursuing this action, I would love to know why not. They dropped the ball in actual trial coverage, now they want to be involved.
Oberlin president Ambar: “I think that the specific incidents would be, the perception by faculty and students and staff and other people in the town that there had been disparate treatment with respect to people of color in the store.”
And yet this claimed “disparate treatment” did not result in students protesting or even merely shopping elsewhere until a student was (rightly) arrested for shoplifting and assault.
I’ll go out on a limb and say that the “disparate treatment” boils down merely to black students being expected to obey the law. The claim is white racism. The reality is black racism.
It’s a progressive condition forced by diversity (i.e. color judgment) and exclusion.
Amber is asked about the incidents that point to racism and told to be specific, yet Ted allows her to generalize in the worst way by talking about perceptions. The media is always complicit, even when they’re supposedly not.
Amber is Racist!
Oberlin is Racist!
Media is Racist!
Oberlin has become like so many politicians. They did something admirable years ago and seek to continue to bask in that glory for the remainder of their lives and that their current actions should be beyond question because of the admirable actions years ago. Take those who served in the military in Vietnam and were rightly awarded medals for heroic actions and where then later elected to office. They spend the rest of their careers bringing this up to shield themselves from questions. This tactic has been so successful that some (think Blumenthal of CT) make up such actions. This has repeatedly happened in the military, civil rights, business …
As David Burge aka Iowahawk tweets repeatedly (wish I could write like him):
1. Identify a respected institution.
2. kill it.
3. gut it.
4. wear its carcass as a skin suit, while demanding respect.
Are the Oberlin leakers leafling?
Frankly, the courts should be asking Oberlin and its attorneys whether they put the media up to this in an effort to get what the judge told them they couldn’t have. That is a really low, dirtbag move on Oberlin and the media’s part. And pathological doesn’t even begin to describe them.
What would the courts ask along those lines? Whether Oberlin or its lawyers have talked to the Cleveland media? I’m not even sure a court can do that, but if they could, what would it prove?
The lawyers cannot ethically obtain indirectly what the court has said they cannot obtain directly. If they asked the media to do this, then I would think the court would want to know that.
I’m not going to argue too hard with you about that, because I am a civilian who’s unfamiliar with the specific rules that might apply to a lawyer in such a case. But, assuming that you’re correct, what would keep Oberlin from doing it? And wouldn’t the attorney-client privilege keep a court from inquiring as to whether Oberlin’s lawyers advised the college to pull their media strings?
Dinosaur media will try to make their case in the court of public opinion. New standard of guilt: preponderance of innuendo. They can make up and throw dung at the wall on and on.
As a matter of fairness, the college wanted to embarrass the Gibsons too
The truest statement I’ve seen related to this case.
The media’s argument?
Our freedom overrides his freedom, because we’re special.
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
Wow, that doesn’t sound soviet, at ALL, does it?
Well, that didn’t take long.
The Oberlin’s version of David Axelrod will soon be filing FOIA requests to unseal divorce records.
“The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press”
I suppose “I am a stalker” doesn’t play well.
As a former professional journalist, as a matter of general principle I understand the local media’s quest for information. When I was a reporter, I was a junkyard dog in the pursuit of it.
However, given the prior lack of interest in the case shown by these outlets; the specifics of the provision of the FB material to the court; the conditions attached; and Oberlin’s not having introduced it at trial because Allyn Gibson never testified, I can’t accept any claim of “good faith” or “standard journalistic practice” on the part of the media pursuing the material.
I went after all kinds of stories as a reporter, and sought information connected to those stories. But I have a very hard time believing that this is why they’re putting so much effort into the move at the court.
This is my long way of saying, in light of past experience, that I agree with LI’s suspicion of their motives. It smacks of undisclosed connections between Oberlin and those outlets. Boy oh boy, Oberlin is really trying to scorch the earth here, and the Cleveland media seem all-in to want to be their adjuncts. It’s not ethical, to put it mildly.
Addendum: That the Cleveland media are seeking only the sealed material that they think might embarrass Gibson’s speaks volumes. If this were a good-faith effort to cover the story, they’d seek ALL sealed records, not just some of them.
Once again the media trots out the “right to know” as the rationale for their invasive tactics, as though that right were enshrined in the First Amendment. Ask them why the public has no “right to know” their anonymous sources (so we can judge their credibility), the stories they kill (so we can judge their journalistic integrity) and their editorial process (so we can understand their political biases.)
Unlikely, but not altogether impossible that Oberlin will continue long enough and insistently enough with its efforts to brand the Gibsons racists. Since the Gibsons have to keep fighting legally. Though those costs may be borne by their attorneys, who no doubt are doing it all start to finish on a contingency fee basis, this folly of Oberlin’s making goes on costing a great deal of money needlessly. That money would go to a showing that the Gibsons continue to suffer damages as a result of Oberlin’s campaign to libel them as racists, though Oberlin has adduced NO proof that they are.
Ambar, a Columbia Law grad herself, is a liability to the school, and compounds the great damage done it by their previous president, Marvin Krislov, a Rhodes scholar and Yale Law grad.
While I agree with what you said, the blame goes further. The Board of Trustees is responsible for hiring and retaining presidents and Admissions is responsible for admitting the students they have, etc. With respect to the latter, Gibson’s is just one of several events. For example, at the end of 2015, a group of Black students delivered to the school a long list of rather appalling (I read them) “non-negotiable” demands, including the firing of professors. I recall that this action was backed by 700 students. Krislov told them that he does not operate that way; and I never heard further about the matter. However, I had brief contact with him at the time and later suspected that this might have been the event that led him to conclude that he had had enough of Oberlin, not Gibson’s, which also started under his watch.
Interesting that you should mention the largely invisible trustees. It seems to me that there must be big and messy hidden agendas in all of this. What else could explain those shameless rats needlessly blowing enough money to purchase 225 Steinway concert grand pianos or 1000 $35,000 scholarships?
The phrase sociopathic malevolence that has been used by others posting on LI surely seems to fit. What else could explain smashing all those pianos and scholarships?
Please do not forget the purpose of the Rhodes scholarships, which, while it is no longer as open as it once was, has only become stronger. Cecil Rhodes, who made his fortune primarily from the Kimberly diamond mines, warranted to search out the best minds in the world and convince them of the virtues of one-world government under communism. The Rhodes scholarships are continuing to do just that.
Yes, Rhodes made his fortune from the Kimberly diamond mines, and especially consolidating them under the control of his company, De Beers. Everything else you wrote is hilarious, with no basis in fact or the historical record.
You remind me of a letter I received when I was a reporter covering the Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C. in the 1980s. It was from a kook in Nebraska who wrote it by hand. He sketched out the usual conspiracy involving the Rothschilds, etc.
Because I was often at the Fed’s offices, one day I managed to grab some letterhead stationery off a desk. I wrote back to the guy the following:
“Dear Mr. X: It has come to our attention that you seek to expose our activities and methods. I hereby order you to cease and desist these activities, or we will shut down your intestines. Sincerely, Alan S. Greenspan, chairman, Board of Governors, Federal Reserve.”
I always wanted to find a way to check to see if laxative sales in that one Nebraska town had risen.
And ma’am, please stop lying about Cecil Rhodes. We have powers. Sincerely, De Beers Consolidated Mines.
(I failed to make my principle point…if Oberlin continues with its attacks on the Gibsons, it’s not unimaginable that it could be sued for libel AGAIN.)
Krislov is history now, but it was on his watch that the Gibson’s debacle began. He did nothing to take control of that crisis. Instead, he let the execrable M. Raimondo and her fellow administrators take the school over the cliff. And Krislov did that when he was already on his way out the door to his $1M/year job at Pace U. And that was after he so mishandled the Joy Karenga case, which was so outrageous. Believe me, Marvin hasn’t gott the “credit” he is due for the terrible straits Oberlin is in today. The trustees thought they had an all star in him with his prestigious credentials (more lusterous than Ambar’s), but when leadership was needed, he proved himself a real worm, IMNSHO.
If Oberlin were a stock traded on an open market, I would be selling it short like mad. They need competent leadership ASAP, and a turn-around won’t be easy for a number of reasons. Really tragic.
As I hinted at in my post. Ambar may be the perfect President for the existing student body. How do you fix that?
As I have posted before, the rubber MAY meet the road with the September 2020 class, the first accepting after the court decision. I suspect well to do liberals whom Oberlin needs plenty of to cover their costs will send kids elsewhere, much like they do with respect to public schools in big cities. The Board of Trustees might then be forced to act. But, who knows? Maybe Gibson’s is a stand-in for Trump and the “Deplorables” and Oberlin must be supported.
No surprises here. LIEberals, especially academics and politicians, are sore losers and will do anything to “get even”. Whether it’s smearing the Gibson family’s reputation or trying to “Impeach” a legitimately elected President. Why do you think they want to disarm law abiding Americans? So no one can resist them in their obsessive lust to rule America. The Gibson’s should file another lawsuit against Oberlin for slander, harassment and defamation of character.