Yesterday I learned that Bruce Smith, a former environmental health and safety officer at Beef Products Inc., has filed a pro se lawsuit in Nebraska state court relating to last spring’s controversy over BPI’s lean, finely textured beef product. I’m one of the named defendants, along with ABC News, Jim Avila, Diane Sawyer and Jamie Oliver. I have not been served with the suit.
In his complaint, Mr. Smith claims to have suffered the negligent infliction of emotional distress due to the loss of his job at BPI last May. Mr. Smith has also self-published a book entitled Pink Slime Ate My Job, the sale of which he appears to be promoting in connection with his lawsuit.
For the time being, I’ll have no further comment except to say that I’m confident the First Amendment protects the rights of all Americans, including bloggers like myself, against meritless attempts at censorship like this one. I will vigorously defend my right, and the rights of all of us, to speak out on matters of public importance and to petition the federal government, as I did through Change.org, to change any policy with which we disagree.
My sincere thanks to all of you who’ve already expressed support and/or extended offers of assistance as I prepare to defend myself against this lawsuit. I’ll keep you posted regarding further developments as warranted.
Before signing off, a reminder that the stringent comments policy I published last spring remains in effect. Anyone who feels the need to include personal attacks, profanity or anti-semitic sentiments in their responses to this or any other post will not see their comment appear in this forum. Moreover, all future comments from any sender violating this policy will go directly to my spam filter and I will not see them for moderation.
[Ed. Update: As of 12/19/12, this blog’s comments policy has been updated to indicate that I will summarily block any “commenters using aliases and multiple email addresses to appear to be more than one reader. I will use my reasonable judgment, based on IP addresses and other information, to determine if a commenter is engaging in this practice.”]
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