Punishing Prevatt, Flailing Fleischman
Chris Prevatt is a local blogger, an employee of the County Health Care Agency, and a man without a computer.
The County took Prevatt's computer as part of an investigation as to whether he used county time to post a blog entry on TheLiberalOC. The post in question displayed a photoshopped image of Supervisor Chris Norby as "Darth Norby", wielding a light-saber and garbed in the robes of a Sith Lord.
The investigation is ridiculous—Prevatt has already explained how he wrote the post in his personal time and had a fellow blogger post it later in the day. This is S.O.P. in the blogosphere. I've done it myself. I'm sure that Jon Fleischman has done it in his capacity as founder of Flashreport.org, a right-wing political blog.
Still, Fleischman suggests in the OC Register that the problem isn't when the blog was posted – it's what it said.
"I'd be awfully careful if I was a county employee to post critical stories about your boss," he said. Prevatt, Fleischman notes, "may be more than liberal, he may just be dumb."
It's scary, in a mafia or Communist kind of way, to think an employee ought to know better than to criticize the boss. It reminds one that Bill Hunt is still on administrative leave following his campaign for Sheriff. Hunt attacked his superior officer; Prevatt, a county employee, attacked the Supervisors. He attacked them for not taking more action against Tan Nguyen and suggested several alarming trends including a history of racism on behalf of Supervisor Norby:
Attorney H. Bryan Card pointed me in the direction of the sexual harassment case of Pamela Mokler against Chris Norby from 2005. In a sworn testimony on March 7, 2005 Ms. Mokler claimed that Supervisor Norby had said to her on one occasion when she was discussing outreach programs targeting Latino seniors "Why the [fuck] do you have to do something special for Mexicans? In testimony under oath, Norby admitted to the "Mexicans" statement but denied dropping the F-Bomb.
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Perhaps this explains why there is practically no discussion on FlashReport.org about the school for scandal that is Sheriff Mike Carona's administration; until recently, Carona was Fleischman's boss. Dan Chmielewski discusses this point over on TheLiberalOC.
I searched Flashreport and couldn't find any discussion of the controversies surrounding Sheriff Carona, but there were some Sheriff-related items. There's a vague post from Adam Probolsky, member of the Orange County Republican party Central Committee's Executive Committee. It pretends to discuss a protest against the Sheriff; he calls the activists "crazies" and claims "it wasn't clear why they were protesting". That's idiotic--Probolsky links to a Register story in that same post, the second paragraph of which clearly states that the protesters were calling on Carona to resign because of "sexual harassment allegations and problems with his reserve deputy program."
There's a post by Matt Cunningham, an Orange County election roundup from March. Cunningham mentions a Carona legal victory over his opponent Bill Hunt and, without any mention of scandal, opines that Carona is in great shape to win a third term. He also points to a post on OCBlog, which he says "has a good analysis" of the discussion—not surprising, as it was also written by Cunningham.
And there's a scintillatingly sycophantic pre-election post from Blogministrator Jon Fleischman himself: "Mike Carona: A GREAT Sheriff who should be Re-elected."
For over 900 words, Fleischman expounds on the glory that is his boss, Mike Carona. He tells of Carona's ironclad support for Republicans including Diane Harkey—odd, as Harkey lost her State Senate campaign to Tom Harman. Fleischman mentions his job in the media relations office of the Sheriff's Department, which he says gives him "an insider perspective of Sheriff Carona." He doesn't go so far as to acknowledge the piece as a press release, but if it walks like a kiss-ass and talks like a kiss ass, well, sometimes ass is being kissed.
He calls the Sheriff's opponents B-players, accusing them all of "worst kind of campaigning -- where they takes the lies and falsehoods printed in publications like the Orange County Weekly and spread them around as if they are true." "There have been a number of news articles (primarily in the OC Weekly and in the LA Times) that have been negative about the Sheriff. Well, I can tell you as someone who is truly in a position to sort out fact from fiction -- most of what they have said simply isn't true."
That's how a spin-doctor tries to avoid getting sued for libel. Although he does say we print lies. Which is, of course, a goddamn lie. The OC Weekly has some of the best fact-checkers love or money can buy, and I challenge Fleischman to point out a single lie we've published.
Finally, Fleischman fawns over Carona's support of Flashreport.
I think that it speaks volumes about Sheriff Carona that he has been very supportive of my efforts to start and maintain this website. Often times I will pen controversial things, and while neither he nor you, I'm sure, agree with all of them, I think it shows a commitment on Carona's part to the causes in which we believe that he has been so supportive.
So what, it shows a commitment towards causes he supports? There's a neat trick. And of course the goon supports your blog, Jon—all you do is blow smoke up his ass.
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