I am also apologetic to the people not on my friends list who did leave comments, very legitimate ones, who won't have access to their responses now.
Regardless, we have a lot more information today than we did before.
kesterly checked Lexis, a law database. She came over yesterday afternoon and we discussed it in detail. Short of paying for full information on the case, she found that the Salt Lake City Community College Globe might have a few things wrong, such as a more recent filing date, which aspect of copyright law Stewart is under contention, and most importantly, the status of the case. According to Lexis, the case has not been ruled on yet. The article stated blatantly that the "legal battle" had come to an end within the Central District of California, Judge Margaret Morrow residing. Although there could always be typos or mistakes in Lexis, it is a much more reliable source than a college newspaper, particularly because tens of thousands of lawyers and law students place stake their jobs and professional liability on Lexis's content.
I feel a heavy responsibility for my earlier post. It seems so sinister, and naive, to think that a AOL Time Warner would be suppressing a story. But if CNN can report on the Bunny Ranch and issue an apology later, so can I.
Before I posted yesterday, I did keyword searches on Google, Google News, and Snopes (the accepted authority for internet and media rumors) and found nothing. Please be aware that I did try to find more information about the case itself. Other people have discovered more information in the meantime, such as Stewart's assertion that The Terminator story(ies) were stolen from her as well. There were several red flags in the article itself that made me uneasy from the inception, such as the "FBI investigation" into a civil case, but I posted anyway because my concerns for big media went beyond the limits of the Stewart-Wachowski case alone.
I've often believed that stories big enough and important enough would surface despite attempts to silence it. There are still so many independent news sources out there, large and small alike, that it'd be Herculean to hush them all. I still have the same fear of disinformation campaigns or even the less formal gentlemen's agreements amongst media leaders not to public on certain topics. I fear public opinion and insensitive social zealotry, thoughtless prescriptions for behavior and bigoted, pregnant opinions.
It's rather ironic that my post about big media information control was started by reading an article from the very smallest and likely least affiliated news source there could be, a college newspaper. Not that college newspapers in the Mormon desert or the Bible Belt are known for their avant-garde and anti-establishment journalism, but Salt Lake City Community College Globe is more inclined to misleading mistakes and inadequate research than keeping with a handed-down-from-the-top agenda. Students report on their whims and curiosities as well as the issues their parents and professors taught them were important, and they write their own agendas with an amateur pen securely attached to their heartstrings. All of which is a shared concern I have for blogs, which I mentioned last time as a possible hope for continued independent media sources.
I've always tried, very hard, to be coolly analytical because I loathe the blind fury and hate that often comes with ill-considered assumptions and misunderstanding. Yet, I am reminded of my fallibility and also my bias for protecting the little guy, the underdog, and those like him, the ones who have so few allies, no one to champion their cause in the face of bloated business or drowsy watch dogs placated with reality t.v. and entertainment magazines.
In the end, whether a large corporation or a one-room typewriter and telephone, the only thing that can be relied on is each person's sense of responsibility to their words and deeds and the power they wield with them. And now I remain torn between the idea that character and accountability can be found even in the most dire of circumstance and the idea that all humans will struggle with the urge to jump ship, pass the buck, and trample their principles underfoot for ego's sake alone.