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Cleveland Media appeal denial of access to Gibson’s Bakery store clerk Facebook records

Cleveland Media appeal denial of access to Gibson’s Bakery store clerk Facebook records

Appeals court magistrate questions whether there is appellate jurisdiction, and requests briefing as to whether the appeal can move forward.

There are multiple appellate fronts in the Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College case.

First and most important, Oberlin College and Dean Meredith Raimondo have appealed seeking to overturn the massive compensatory and punitive damage verdicts. Numerous entities have come to their assistance by filing amicus (friend of the court) briefs, including certain Cleveland media entities. The Gibsons’ response to the appeal is due by August 5.

The Gibsons also have cross-appealed, seeking to restore the full $33 million punitive damages verdict, which had been reduced under Ohip’s tort reform law. The defendants have not yet filed their opposition brief, which also is due August 5.

But wait, there’s more.

You will recall that those same Cleveland media entities, which allegedly had a connection to Oberlin’s lead trial council, tried to get access to confidential, sealed Facebook records of Allyn D. Gibson, the store clerk whose stop of a black Oberlin student for shoplifting started the cascade of events that led to the events giving rise to the lawsuit. Allyn D., the grandson of Allyn W. Gibson and the son of the late David Gibson, was not a party and did not testify at trial. The Facebook record never were offered as exhibits at trial.

Oberlin College tried to get the Facebook records unsealed after trial, in what appeared to be part of its post-trial public relations effort to portray the Gibsons as racist (we don’t know what the records say, but that was the college’s inimation). A month after that relief was denied, the Cleveland media entities brought their own motion to unseal.

As I pointed out at the time, this was very suspicious:

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 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.

The way it played out is that the Gibsons alleged collusion between Oberlin College and the Cleveland Media, an allegation that never was specifically denied. The court ended up denying the motion to unseal without addressing the collusion allegation. Here are all our posts on the motion to unseal:

The judge’s Order (pdf.) was just two pages, and found in pertinent part (emphasis added):

Here, access was originally restricted to Exhibit G under the parties’ Mutual Protective Order. That order was agreed-to by the parties and approved and entered by the Court on June 8, 2018. The contents of Exhibit G and their admissibility was at issue during pretrial motions in limine, at which time, a preliminary ruling was issued that these materials could not be utilized as character evidence, but the Court withheld ruling on their admissibility for other purposes. The Defendants made no attempt to introduce the contents of Exhibit G for any reason, nor did they call or attempt to call non-party Allyn D. Gibson as a witness during trial.

At this juncture, the Court, under Ohio Sup. R. 45(F)(2) must consider whether the original reason for restricting public access no longer exists, and whether any new circumstances identified in Sup. R. 45(E) have arisen which would require the continued restriction of public access. The Court, having considered all of the factors in Sup. R. 45(E), hereby finds that the continued restriction of public access is warranted. Of particular importance is Sup. R. 45(2)(c), which includes the risk of injury to persons, individual privacy rights and interests, and fairness of the adjudicatory process. Because of the nature of the information at issue in Exhibit G, the Court also finds that there is no less restrictive alternative to complete restriction.

The Cleveland Media have appealed this denial, filing a Notice of Appeal and Docketing Statement (pdf.) in early June.

It’s not clear whether the appeal will get off the ground. The appellate court Magistrate just issued an Order questioning whether there is appellate jurisdiction and has asked for briefing:


So, it’s not clear that there will be a substantive appeal as to unsealing Allyn D.’s Facebook records.

But the bigger question — which I think we all know the answer to — is why do these Cleveland media entities care so much?

[Featured Image: Allyn D. Gibson. Oberlin Town Police Body Cam]


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Advance Media / hasn’t reported on the filing either.

If the Cleveland media fails to get the appeal they want, then I would not be surprised if (1) someone at Facebook “accidentally” leaked the page in question, or (2) the Cleveland media get a fake Facebook page claiming to show the Gibsons are ultra-KKK style racists and publishes it.

The media, like the Communist Party they are an integral part of, see White Power racists lurking under every bed in AmeriKKKa.

    Chances are good that Oberlin has secretly and illegally already told them what’s in the material, but they can’t publish it without getting Oberlin in trouble, which is why they’re fighting so hard to get a legal way to find out what they already found out illegally.

      Pillage Idiot in reply to Milhouse. | July 22, 2020 at 11:43 am

      Milhouse, how does Oberlin know the contents of his Facebook account?

      Did the activists at the school do screen grabs before he closed his account, or did Oberlin at one point have some access through legal process means?

        Milhouse in reply to Pillage Idiot. | July 22, 2020 at 11:08 pm

        They got it in discovery. That’s what this whole thing is about. They were given it under seal, so they know what’s in it but they’re not allowed to tell anyone. If their media friends publish it the judge will ask how they found out, and will hold Oberlin in contempt. So they need it to be unsealed so they can tell the world what they found there.

        And the fact that they’re trying so hard tells me that there’s something in there that would help them; not legally, but in public opinion. Basically I expect that there’s something there that will let them say “Allyn Gibson is a racist, so nobody should have sympathy for Gibson’s, they deserve to be destroyed.”

          Arminius in reply to Milhouse. | July 23, 2020 at 4:54 pm

          “And the fact that they’re trying so hard tells me that there’s something in there that would help them; not legally, but in public opinion. Basically I expect that there’s something there that will let them say ‘Allyn Gibson is a racist, so nobody should have sympathy for Gibson’s, they deserve to be destroyed.’”

          It’s guaranteed that whatever Allyn Gibson posted on facebook will is “bigoted,” “racist,” and of course “white supremacist.” But only in the twisted minds of the wokerati. Who can forget the latest faux pas the race mongerers committed?

          “‘DEEPLY INSULTING’ African American museum accused of ‘racism’ over whiteness chart linking hard work and nuclear family to white culture’

          The “whiteness chart” didn’t just link hard work and the nuclear family (remember, Billy Jeff Clinton was called our first black president because he was raised as a single mom; I can provide references if anyone doubts me as apparently single motherhood is a trait of authentic blackness) with our “white supremacist” culture. So is, among other things, the “white supremacist” emphasis on the scientific method. Apparently objective, rational thinking, the emphasis on the quantitative, and the very idea that there is some linkage between cause and effect, is the mark of “whiteness.”

          At this point I need to observe, if you follow these leftist trends, the emphasis on objective, rational thought isn’t just white racism at its worst, its also misogynist. Feminists started claiming at least 20 years ago that trait was simply prejudice on the part of men expressing their contempt for the edge women had in “emotional intelligence,” whatever the hell that is.

          The National Museum of African American History and Culture soon pulled down the whiteness chart from their website after people started pointing and laughing. I don’t know who operates the National Museum of African American History and Culture. If it’s anything like #BLM (which really stands for Belligerent Lying Marxists) it’s a bunch of spoiled, rich white leftists with a sprinkling of token black people.

          They made the mistake of committing the political gaffe named after journalist Michael Kinsley (it is sometimes called the Kinsley gaffe as well as the Washington gaffe) who wrote: “[a] gaffe is when a politician tells the truth – some obvious truth he isn’t supposed to say.”

          Who can forget Hillary! Clinton committing the rare double Kinsley gaffe during the 2016 campaign. I believe it was in October (that’s the month the news came out anyway) in a closed meeting with Wall Street executives that she had “both a public and a private position” on Wall Street reform and needed wealthy donors to fund her campaign.

          A mere Kinsley gaffe would have been if she blurted out publicly something along the lines of “look, Wall Street isn’t going away and in fact we in the Democratic party need to have a friendly, cooperative relationship with them and not an adversarial one.”

          But, no. She was in a closed door session where she felt (or acted like she felt) she could confide in her audience that she tells her audiences what they want to hear even if it’s an out and out lie (i.e. her public opinion) if that’s what it takes to win. But she wanted her “friends” to know she was really on their side.

          She thought the word wouldn’t get out, but her “friends” didn’t trust her because they could have been just another audience she had to lie to in order to win.

          One of my favorite bars in Anchorage AK is Chilkoot Charlie’s (yeah, I know it’s a tourist trap, but I like stopping by on my way out to the bush to go hunting or on my return trip). They sell a t-shirt that says “we cheat the other guy and pass the savings on to you.” That’s fine for a tongue in cheek throw away line on a t-shirt. It’s fatal in a presidential candidate. In the back of your mind you’d have to wonder if you’re the other guy getting cheated.

          So, the National Museum of African American History and Culture committed the mere Kinsley gaffe of stating publicly that they agree with everything that David Duke, Senator and Grand Kleagle Robert Byrd (D-Racist [but I repeat myself]) and the entire membership of the KKK/Neo Nazi crowd says about themselves vs. black people. Who thinks only white people are hard working and rational? White supremacists, sez the white supremacists and the woke crowd.

          This had the internet pointing and laughing, and caused this National Museum of African American History and Culture

          Arminius in reply to Milhouse. | July 23, 2020 at 5:01 pm

          I hate it when my gremlin-infested laptop autoposts.

          I’ll hurry up and wrap things up. What we’re going to see is media outlets toeing the line that Allyn Gibson is an out and out racist, white supremacist, bigot, xenophobe, blah, blah, blah.

          But they won’t actually quote him. Or if they do they’ll use the Howard Zinn method of rewriting history and use a few cherry picked quotes that, when read in context, actually make the opposite point the leftists need to be able to claim. And remember, only white supremacists believe in objective, rational thought. The mere desire that people might have to place Allyn Gibson’s statements in context is all the proof the left needs to declare such people racists, white supremacists, and thus beyond the pale of political discourse and indeed unpersons committing crime think.

          Truth is the new hate speech.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | July 23, 2020 at 6:21 pm

          remember, Billy Jeff Clinton was called our first black president because he was raised as a single mom;

          But he wasn’t. If he were his name wouldn’t be Clinton.

          Toni Morrison gave him that name, and she did erroneously cite that as one of the reasons: “Clinton displays almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald’s-and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas”, and his sex life was scrutinized more than his career accomplishments.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | July 23, 2020 at 6:23 pm

          Oops. I goofed: s/Allyn Gibson/David Allyn/g

Communists are relentless.

Why do they care so much? Because supporting fellow liberals in smearing someone as racist, whether are or not, is the highest calling in life.

“why do these Cleveland media entities care so much?”

Follow the money.

OwenKellogg-Engineer | July 21, 2020 at 10:52 pm

Yet another opportunity to smear an upstanding family for the sake of greater political gain and power.

Oberlin College tried to get the Facebook records unsealed after trial, in what appeared to be part of its post-trial public relations effort to portray the Gibsons as racist (we don’t know what the records say, but that was the college’s inimation).

Since Oberlin has seen these records and knows what’s in them, the fact that they’re fighting so hard and in so many ways to be allowed to tell everyone else what they know is a good indicator that it makes David Allyn and the Allyn family look bad, and therefore makes Oberlin look good. The most likely explanation is that there is indeed something racist there. Legally irrelevant, but letting the world know about it would be a powerful PR blow for Oberlin, and that’s really what they care most about. They live for the esteem of their “progressive” peers.

    TheOldZombie in reply to Milhouse. | July 22, 2020 at 12:26 am

    There is a small chance since the left blows everything out of proportion that if the pages did get released everyone would say, “That’s it? Well that was a waste of time.”

    But that’s just wishful thinking on my part. You’re probably right and it is something that makes the family look bad.

      henrybowman in reply to TheOldZombie. | July 22, 2020 at 5:58 pm

      No chance. Even if all he ever did is post the phrase “all lives matter,” that would be enough to fuel immediate outrage and demands to crucify him for words of mass destruction.
      Burn the witch!

    pst314 in reply to Milhouse. | July 22, 2020 at 7:50 am

    “The most likely explanation is that there is indeed something racist there.”
    Racist as in noticing that a disproportionately large fraction of the badly behaved students are black? That would be my bet.

    Arminius in reply to Milhouse. | July 23, 2020 at 7:10 pm

    harrybowman is more right than he may know. I don’t pretend to have any secret knowledge on the subject. Among the crowd peddling diversity/inclusion/sensitivity training to business and government the phrase “all lives matter” is singled out as “white supremacist.” So is any objection to open borders and unrestricted immigration. In fact, saying “all lives matter” is now a firing offense at “woke” institutions.

    “Dean of Massachusetts nursing school fired after saying ‘everyone’s life matters’

    …’I despair for our future as a nation if we do not stand up against violence against anyone. BLACK LIVES MATTER, but also, EVERYONE’S LIFE MATTERS. No one should have to live in fear that they will be targeted for how they look or what they believe.'”

    It’s racist now to believe that medical professionals should value all lives equally.

    Maybe I have an edge here since I grew up in the belly of the beast; the SF Bay Area. Where the “affirmative action” crowd has for decades been operating out of obvious hatred for and a desire for revenge against white people. How obvious? Many of my neighbors were Chines immigrants. And they were stunned by the sheer hatred the left expressed for white people. Note: I’m talking leftists, not black people, most of whom are white.

    So, no, it’s not your imagination. They start from a position of hatred, and if they need to make up bases for that hatred they will. See Howard Zinn and his treatment of Christopher Columbus (Marxist historical revisionism is now mainstream) for just another example.

    White leftists are living a lie. The “good reason” they have for doing what they’re doing is they need to save black people from racists like me and presumably everyone who reads this blog. The fact that black people don’t need saving is besides the point. How do we know black people don’t need saving? Because most black immigrants from Africa do far better in terms of educational, professional, and economic outcomes than American born and raised black. Indeed, many black immigrants from parts of the Caribbean (certainly not all parts, such as Haiti) likewise outperform American born and raised blacks.

    What holds American blacks back is their leftist indoctrination that they can’t get ahead without their leftist white saviors. That after all is Clarence Thomas’ greatest sin. He won’t pay homage to leftism and affirmative action and instead insists he really was successful on his own. White leftists have designated blacks as their grateful subjects forever beholden to them, and it’s treason for blacks not to bend the knee.

    Whites like me are evil incarnate. Which is why we’re not going to be allowed to opt out of this “anti-racism” insanity. Simply not being a racist isn’t an option; there’s no such thing. Whites are either racists or anti-racists. In order to be an anti-racist we have to admit that everything we have ever accomplished is due to the white supremacist, slavery-based foundation of this country, admit it, shut up, and acknowledge that we have no right to any other opinion. Any other opinion is denying white oppression of BIPOC. Black, Indigenous, and People Of Color.

    That’s the “good reason” leftists are rioting in the streets. The real reason is that they were indoctrinated since kindergarten that they are the anointed elite who should be in charge of everything.

    “Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.”
    ― George Orwell

    The longer America (white, black, latino, nobody likes these obnoxious narcissists) rejects their authority the angrier and more unhinged they become.

    So as harry bowman observes by definition anything Allyn Gibson posted on facebook is racist and white supremacist. Presumably Mr. Gibson believes he acted properly, defending his family store against violent thieves. Only a white supremacist could think that way, as opposed to acknowledging that the only reason the Gibson family had the wine the black thief wanted was due to white oppression of black people and the thief (a shoplifter until he and his girlfriends resorted to violence to defend their loot) was simply correcting the situation. It was an act of spontaneous reparations, and only white supremacist racists are opposed to perpetual racism.

    Just don’t expect the woke crowd to be too diligent about actually quoting the racist words in Allyn Gibson’s facebook posts. They know most people of all races and colors aren’t as enlightened as them so we’ll think they’re crazy.

This is the proverbial “pounding of the table” — smoke and mirrors obfuscation and distraction, given that Oberlin doesn’t have either the law, or, facts, on its side. Predictable.

TheOldZombie | July 22, 2020 at 12:23 am

Jesus, why can’t this case end? Why can’t some judge somewhere just step in and say enough of this?

buckeyeminuteman | July 22, 2020 at 1:10 am

The media wasn’t destroying race relations when the case was initially underway or when the verdict came out. Now there’s a chance to make this political and race related as well. The media are Public Enemy #1.

    Milhouse in reply to buckeyeminuteman. | July 22, 2020 at 9:22 am

    On what planet were they not destroying race relations then? They’ve been doing that non-stop for as long as I remember.

    The real reason they’re suddenly interested in these records is obvious. Oberlin failed in its bid to have the records unsealed, so it recruited some of its friends to have a second try. Their supposed interest is simply a pretext. That’s why it’s relevant that they have so much overlap with Oberlin itself; they’re secretly acting on Oberlin’s behalf, to do what Oberlin itself is not allowed to. That’s what Prof J was hinting at with his wonder at their sudden interest in the case.

Off topic, Twitter has apparently decided that the Star of David is a hate symbol and is banning accounts that use it in their profile picture.

Is that messed up or what?

My guess is that the Cleveland Media Entities, cough,Oberlin,cough are hoping to lose the appeal for access because they can then go to the Alumni with a “we were right and they won’t let us prove it” sob story. The bad karma coming from this may have already placed a dent on donations, which I do not recall them posting as they usually do after a commencement/reunion weekend. Of course, the virtual events this year were likely a huge slam in that area regardless of their SJW adventuring.

Or they are acting a bit mentally unstable.

Personally, I hope they keep pushing it to the point where Lorain County goes blue in Novemeber.

    Don’t you mean Lorain County goes red?

      MajorWood in reply to J.D.Nobody. | July 23, 2020 at 1:22 am

      Note time of posting. 😉 The red-blue thing gets confusing when sleep deprived and there isn’t enough of that blue arterial blood in my noggin.

        Milhouse in reply to MajorWood. | July 23, 2020 at 6:13 pm

        Especially since it got frozen in the wrong polarity. Democrats are the red party, and Republicans are the blue party; it’s a pure coincidence that in the 2000 presidential election the networks happened to pick blue for Gore and red for Bush, and spent so much time referring to the states in those terms that they stuck.

The left considers being a republican or supporting Trump as a sure sign of racism. Thus any hint that the gentleman in question at any time was a republican or supported one is a fair basis for ruining his life. Actually the Democrats are the real racists in our society, but nobody seems to care about reality.

The Gibsons have already filed their response briefs to the four amicus briefs filed by Oberlin College supporters. The Gibsons allege, among other things, that the amicus briefs are not from friends of the court but are from friends of the College. Copies of the 4 amicus briefs and the 4 responses are at

    Milhouse in reply to J.D.Nobody. | July 22, 2020 at 11:19 am

    And the court has already rejected that and taken the path of least resistance: Accepting the briefs but not promising to read them.

    Forgot to mention that another issue not discussed in the cited blog post above is following the money. Among the approximately 35 attorneys involved in preparing Oberlin’s appeal, who was paid by whom and how much?

    Particularly in the case of the “amicus” briefs, was any of the legal time “pro bono”? Were any of the briefs prepared on the clock of the organization filing the brief? Was any on the clock time billed to another party and claimed to be pro bono time?

    No one seems to be commenting on or questioning the smell of the money in this matter.

RickTheBear | July 22, 2020 at 1:08 pm

How is this still “a thing”? Didn’t the original event happen in, like, the 1700s? 8>)

AlexanderYpsilantis | July 22, 2020 at 8:48 pm

The denial of swift Justice to the Gibson family continues. Shameful.