Special thanks to the mysterious "John Adams" over at freewhitewater.com for his mention this week. For those of you who aren't familiar with his plight, no, he's not the reanimated zombie of one of our founding fathers. Rather, he's a fiercely independent Libertarian blogger from Whitewater who became the subject of a Draconian, bogus police investigation. In the course of blogging annonymously on the city's goings-on, it seems he rubbed a few officials the wrong way. The police launched an investigation into his identity, branding him a 'suspect,' running license plates to try to unmask him and even involving two police detectives and city staff in the effort. Chief Coan even accosted an innocent citizen in his home, accusing him of being the blogger.
All of this, of course, violates Mr Adams's first amendment right to anonymous free speech. What's worse, it's a prime example of the Us vs. Them, Good 'Ol Boy mentality you see in a lot of small town cop shops. Mr. Adams wasn't looking to be in the spotlight. He blogged to make his opinions known, to better his community as he saw it. City leaders overreacted, but State Journal reporter Dee Hall got wind of the story, and suddenly, Mr. Adams was an overnight celebrity. In making arrangements to have him on Sly's program on WTDY, he even admitted to me he had never done a radio interview before, and had to consult with a few websites to figure out how to adequately disguise his voice.
It's unfortunate the leaders in Whitewater were so threatened by Mr. Adams's ideas they felt the need to lash out instead of opening a dialogue with him. Chief Roan's assertion that he wanted to discover Adams's identity in order to open a dialogue is a complete lie. I emailed Mr. Adams and had a reply within 12 hours, overnight.
By the way, Chief, he's an early riser. MY email was time-stamped 5:15 in the AM.
The tendency to resort to fear and intimidation in this country rather than opening a dialogue is all too evident in cases like these. I'm surprised these neanderthals in Whitewater even knew what a "blog" or an "internet" was. Our society would be bettered if there were a John Adams in every little community.