Reporter’s Committee board member sues himself

sueshimself1Fed up with a prestigious non-profit’s long campaign to discredit the reporter it was mandated to defend, a well-known legal scholar and member of the Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press’ steering committee decided late last week to sue himself.

“It wasn’t an accident at all. I’ve insisted for decades that the law is just a bunch of ideas constructed to buttress the status quo, so why NOT the idea of suing myself?” said Unger Delgado Kennedy-Horwitz by phone on Sunday. ” Hell, by now I am the status quo, and so is the RCFP! That’s why I’ll take this case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. If I lose, I pledge to appeal. If I win, I’m as equally bound to appeal, and I won’t rest until I’ve suceeded in imposing the kinds of sanctions on myself that I won’t ever forget.”

Kennedy-Horowitz paused. I got the distinct impression that he was scratching his head; in fact it emerged that he’d pulled out a few small tufts of hair.

“I’m pulling out my hair out over here” he told me. “Hey can you call me back in a hour? There’s another unemployed reporter at my door, asking for a handout – I think they leave a secret mark to let other reporters and embittered law school graduates know they can get a sandwhich here.”

Kennedy-Horowitz took the East Coast non-profit world by surprise when he broke all ties with the venerable First Amendment group last week.  Yesterday, he confirmed that his resignation protested the RCFP’s ongoing refusal to retract defamatory statements  its director had fabricated about a Kansas reporter several years ago. The Dodge City Globe’s Claire O’Brien had attracted general wrath when she sought to shine a national spotlight on a murder trial corrupted by racist violence and refused to reveal the identity of a confidential source.

Since I am, of course, that reporter, I received news of Kennedy-Horowitz’s actions with great interest. Two or three emails of support make me get up and dance for joy; thus I saw his lawsuit as I might a small line of tanks appearing on the horizon.

When I reached him again, Kennedy-Horowitz was in a thoughtful mood, and had little to say. “I’m eating a rice cake and I don’t even like them,” he confided, “Also, I’ve resigned my membership in the ACLU.”

He sighed heavily, apparently contemplating the complexity of his legal fate, then evidently decided to keep things simple:

“Hell, all I can be sure of at this point is one thing,” Kennedy-Horowitz said in a sanctimonous tone that, given the past several years, did not strike me as hyperbolic.   “I’m suing the shit out of myself.”

United States Supreme Court building.

Before departing to file both a motion against himself, as well as his answer to it, Kennedy-Horowitz emailed me a photo of a very small tin circle  backed by a pin. Four letters were boldly displayed on its faded surface:

R. C. F. P.

Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press.

“It’s over forty years old,” he said. “I’m mailing it to you as a reminder for you to keep. Hopefully, we will all soon remember that a free press has never been just a bandwagon packed with lawyers and academics, defined solely by a series of power differentials”

I wished Kennedy-Horowitz well,  hoping fervently that he was right. Not only was my curiosity aroused by the existential and logistical  problems presented by his very emphatic legal plan, but I really, really don’t understand the way progressive lawyers think. They will lie in a heartbeat in the defense of Truth, and bulldoze your basic rights in the name of Justice .When it comes to egalitarianism, they are secret Federalists who care with breathtaking passion about their own careers. As for the ACLU, it is a bunch of thugs that will throw you under the nearest passing bus without skipping a beat. If you must meet with it, don’t do so in a dark alley.

But I’ve never been represented by counsel, as William Hurst of Albany, NY., Mark Johnson of Topeka, Kansas, Polly Sack of GateHouse Media, Lucy Dalglish,of the RCFP, Susan Hermann of Brooklyn College, and the Kansas-Missouri ACLU all well know. Thus, Kennedy-Horowitz’s actions require me to take yet another leap (well, step) of faith.

If the scope, crude methods, disorienting ruthlessness, and broader significance of the attack on me were made genuinely available to the public, would the next reporter prevented from defending herself have an easier time of it? Yes, I think she would. At the very least, her sojourn in Siberia would stretch on for perhaps one interminable year, rather than three and a half to four – believe me, that difference is a kind of lifetime. I also think that public awareness and opinion will make  reporters increasingly unwilling to collude in censorship and attack on a lone reporter,  year after year –  just because Lucy Dalglish wants them to. I share Kennedy-Horowitz’s  hope, if not his faith that we will remember what we all know, and have always known –  and that eventually, sooner rather than later, we’ll all say no.

” No.  No!   Shame on you.”


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Lucy Dalglish is the Director of the Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press and the Dean of the University of Maryland’s College of Journalism. She lied to me while acting in her capacity as an attorney and she lied about me, calling me a liar, in a statement to the Associated Press in February of 2010. She made it her business to destroy my career in her attempts to cover her unethical and illegal actions, thus conspiring to criminally defame me.

I was truthful. Dalglish was not.

Dalglish censors news, people, and organizations, particularly the Society of Professional Journalists. She lies to the public, bullies the press, corrupts students, and decides who’s allowed to be a reporter and who isn’t.

11 thoughts on “Reporter’s Committee board member sues himself

  1. Claire, you are the courageous person. You are up against money and power–and you are not allowing it to deter you. I admire your tenacity of spirit and I know YOUR SOUL is GOOD…you care about care about justice…I hope YOU will find it! I think it has to be awful not to be allowed to be what you love and were taught to do. I think the rash judgment of people in this country is our biggest downfall.I am with you and I think many others are also…and I know for sure, God admires YOU for your determination and work for the truth! Blessings!


    1. Thank-you from my heart.
      ,I don’t think, though,that most people find me courageous.Actually,at the time of this reblog, most people who had promised me support (well ..see below) have been influenced by factors I have tried hard to describe and defend myself from, But I’m just not powerful enough to prevail against the interests allied against me,
      Thank-you – and blessings to you too!


  2. I think you are braver than I, Jeff. And I have a feeling that you’ve endured more than I. That’s why your respectful sympathy means a lot to me. Thank-you, hermano.
    As for peace, for me, it won’t come without struggle. I wish it could. But news is being censored more than ever, it’s too dangerous to give in right now, and it’s going to get worse.
    Peace to you too, though, and hold onto your hat. I am visiting you soon – please forgive my absence.


  3. Thank you for your unwavering courage and integrity. My sympathy for all you have endured. Peace to you, Claire.


  4. It’s difficult to express how much your response means to me. For so long, my role in this case has been minimized, even trivialized, and I have been portrayed as a bumbling incompetent who sort of wandered into a State Supreme Court case by mistake. But that’s what discrediting someone means. That’s what defamation IS : it works.
    Once, Dalglish sneered at me “You want to be treated like a hero, don’t you? You want us to throw you a parade?”
    Yet,I have never wanted anything more than the honor of covering a beat for a small newspaper in a small city – which is the honor of working for the people. And, yes, I mourn that loss every day.
    Thank-you so much for recognizing what it is that I have lost, and why I am fighting for it.
    And bless you for your goodness, and for sharing it with me, my comrade.


  5. I admire this post with immense gratitude. It is so rare to encounter such awareness and sensitivity for the truth and determination against these ultimate abusers: these self-serving, cold-blooded liars and hypocrites. Whistle-blowers like you make this world a tolerable place, and this is a major case.


  6. She simply doesn’t dare! I could probably write that she’d murdered my old mother (sorry, Mom) and Lucy wouldn’t pipe up. Really! I can say anything.
    But I stick to the truth. I’m hoping others will stand by me.
    I’m sorry I’ve been out of touch for so long, Val. I know I’m always saying that, but it’s true. I’m reforming, though -really!


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