Thomas H. Wright III, Esq.
Siegel Siegel & Wright
David Boylan, Vice President
3401 West Hallandale Beach Blvd
Pembroke Park, Florida 33023
I am contacting you in hopes of avoiding any legal action. It has been brought to my attention that WPLG is not adhering to its own Terms of Service concerning posts on Bob Norman’s blog. I trust this letter shall be forwarded to your legal department to review the matter and subsequently, the appropriate culprits shall be admonished appropriately.
Specifically, there have been some heated exchanges of late between Gary LaLonde and our client Timothy “Chaz” Stevens on Bob Norman’s blog. As you may be aware, Mr. Stevens operates a high-traffic blog of his own at www.myactsofsedition.com. Unpaid for his efforts, Mr. Stevens, who now also writes for the New Times, has managed to root out excessive corruption in Deerfield Beach, championed free speech and religious equality, and has earned the respect of the Broward County State Attorney’s Office and other law enforcement agencies; acts of courage, however, that come at a price - Mr. Stevens has made many enemies. He has consistently received death threats along the way, been the target of defamatory comments from all sides, and someone even poisoned his elderly Labrador unsuccessfully – his convictions, however, remain unshaken.
Regarding the exchanges between Mr. Gary LaLonde and Mr. Stevens on Bob Norman’s blog, it has come to our attention that Mr. Lalonde has falsely accused Mr. Stevens of criminal acts including assault and battery as well as being involved in the disappearance of a child – all of which are defamation per se and which clearly violate the Terms of Service of the blog which clearly prohibits libelous, defamatory, obscene, threatening, sexually explicit, pornographic, abusive, or otherwise illegal material. Whether Mr. Stevens’ shall initiate legal action against Mr. LaLonde individually is yet to be determined.
Normally, we would not intercede in such matters as a blog host is insulated from most liability pursuant to 47 U.S.C 230. What is concerning is that due to the adversarial relationship between Bob Norman and Mr. Stevens (which Mr. Norman completely denied while interviewing me), it would appear that WPLG is selectively enforcing their own Terms of Service and deliberately removing Mr. Stevens’ comments which allow him to defend himself from Mr. LaLonde’s false accusations, while leaving Mr. LaLonde’s defamatory posts completely intact; WLPG is taking an active position on the commentary through selective enforcement of their own TOS.
At this juncture, our firm is simply requesting that WPLG adhere to its own written policy and remove Mr. LaLonde’s scurrilous posts regarding Mr. Stevens; otherwise we would request that you leave the forum untouched so that Mr. Stevens can defend himself in the same public forum you are allowing Mr. LaLonde to sling “pus and vile” – as Bob Norman likes to call it.
Should WPLG continue to take an “active” position on this matter by selectively enforcing their own Terms of Service in favor of Mr. LaLonde’s defamation of our client, I opine it is opening itself up to liability by endorsing such commentary against out client. I would hope that this is not the intention of WPLG, but considering the adversarial relationship between Mr. Norman and Mr. Stevens, it appears all to convenient that defamatory allegations against Mr. Stevens are allowed to remain online, while Mr. Stevens’ responses to same are removed; I would think that Mr. Norman might derive a smile from that.
Should you wish to discuss this matter further, you may contact me at your convenience.
Thomas H. Wright III, Esq.