Saturday, May 7, 2011

We've earned a lawsuit

None of us five have really had the time to listen to WZBH this week.  We've been too busy fishing the Bay, farming, or working two jobs.  Times are even tighter and we're all buckling down to do what we can to get by.  Because we've been so busy, we didn't believe a couple of friends who had listened to, and then claimed, Matt and Crank were prepared to file a lawsuit against us. 

Real, honorable men talk things out and only go to court when a dispute can't be settled.  Since Crank had responded quite honestly to our questionable post, we assumed our "Just for fun" post was taken as we meant it.  This morning, the wife of one of our watermen in the group happened to be home and recorded Cousin Adam's sequence about defamation lawsuits, and it was apparent we are involved.  So much for real men.

What we have gathered is Matt and Crank object to the lies we posted in our last post.  After listening to the lawyer speak, we edited the post to be more accurate.  Specifically, Crank was not arrested for underage possession.  He was issued a citation for being a minor in possession of alcohol.  He received a $25 fine plus $5 court costs for the offense.  We will make it clear that underage possession does not mean he was drinking.

The other objection was to our not naming who the underage possession citation was issued to.  We had intentionally omitted Crank's name to afford both Matt and Crank the opportunity to man up and explain what happen.  Crank did, quite willingly.  Unfortunately, a couple of days later, he reverted to his good little puppy dog status and follwed Matt's lead.  (As a side note, we didn't dig any deeper to find the charge other than to click the MD Judiciary Court public records.)

Let us explain a bit further.  The critic writing this review knew of the above link.  Three of the other four never heard of it.  To show that anybody can pull up the public records of anyone who has been in the Maryland court system, this critic showed the messy divorce of the waterman's girlfriend as well as the waterman's few citations for undersized oysters.  This critic came up with a trespassing charge, another critic had two divorces, and the other critic had too common of a name for us to waste our time.  (We only searched with first and last name.) 

From there, we decided to look up Matt and Crank.  Matt had too common of a name for us to waste our time, although we could've narrowed our search knowing his age and general area of where he lived.  Why waste our time?  Crank, on the other hand, has a somewhat unique name, which gave us the citation we posted. 

Long story short, to all of our readers out there (all four dozen of them):  if you have been through the Maryland court system, your name and offense is public record.  You can DIY to get the records expunged or hire a lawyer to do all the paperwork for you.  The cost is nominal if you DIY, but expensive to get a lawyer to do it for you.  After all, the lawyer has student loans to pay.  (DIY= do it yourself)

Another contention of Matt and Crank with our last post is our use of the word, "criminal."  Using the definition of criminal as defined by Webster-Mirram, a criminal is one who commits a crime, where they define crime as "an act or the commission of an act that is forbidden or the omission of a duty that is commanded by a public law and that makes the offender liable to punishment by that law; especially : a gross violation of law."

By that definition, anyone who goes to court for murder or a parking violation is a criminal; however Matt and Crank are zeroing in on the qualifier as an add-on, "especially."  In general, most people reserve the use of the word, "criminal", for people who lie, cheat, steal, kill, rape - the "biggie" crimes.  People who posses alcohol underage, park illegally, trespass, catch undersized oysters, or pees behind the oak tree are not criminals.

To this, we agree.  Unfortunately, we tried to make a bigger point about underage drinking and the fact that an eighteen to twenty-year-old is an adult in every way, including being handed an M-16 to kill the terrorists, but he is still a child when it comes to drinking a beer.  That was the purpose of the remark that an officer arresting an eighteen-year-old who was in the military would be the criminal and not the eighteen-year-old.  We were using the term criminal colloquially to drive home a point.

Obviously, this point swooshed over the heads of Matt and Crank as they only zeroed in on our calling Crank a criminal and somehow implicated Matt as a criminal to discredit the show.  They are entitled to their interpretation.  In a civil lawsuit, however, we feel you both will be hard pressed to prove our intent was to discredit either of you as professional entertainers.  For this reason, we let the word, "criminal" stand.  If either Matt and Crank - or both - have a better wording to get the point we intended across, we welcome your input.

And that's what this whole blog is about.  Anyone from WZBH is welcomed to come here and clarify what at least five listeners hear.  We do thank Matt and Crank for validating our site and the effect it has had.  We've noticed a postive change in the overall programming tone at WZBH based on our stated goals.  The stereotype bashing is almost completely gone.  We commend WZBH for listening to us - and we're sure WZBH is litening to others - and bringing the programming tone more mainstream to fit a mainstream, and diverse, audience.  The fact that Matt voted on our poll that he has noticed a change in the programming tone (for the negative) is all the validation we needed that WZBH is listening to its listeners, which brings us to the final point Matt and Crank tried to make.

This blog, they claim, is threatening thier livilihood because they depend on advertisers to support the station.  Our reviews may scare away the advertisers.  To that, we say, is the nature of your business and your job security.  Matt and Crank have no problem attacking Christine O'Donnell and her dabbling in witchcraft or attacking Obama and his "questionable" birth certificate, but those outright lies and deceit possibly cost one of them their job and is pretty much a thorn in the side as another one does his job.  We would appreciate an explanation of how your attacks on specific public figures differ from our reviews of your program.

This post about closes out the Critics Page for the immediate future.  We will have a live interview with Matt and Crank, JJ, and Chris Steele (and maybe others) about mid-summer, our schedules permitting.  They don't know it, yet, but we'll make it happen.  Please stay tuned....


  1. Wow.
    At the mere mention of a frivious lawsuit by 2 wanna be "shock-jocks", you through your morals and beliefs right out the door. Incredible. Now you're going back editing posts? Seriously? Grow a backbone! Fight for what you believe is right! Don't hide behind a website like a bunch of 14yr olds - stand up and make a difference!

    "It is easier to find a score of men wise enough to discover the truth than to find one intrepid enough, in the face of opposition, to stand up for it." ~A.A. Hodge

  2. We had no idea our amended post would create the backlash it did; however, we do stand by our decision. We did not and still don't take Matt and Cranks lawsuit threat seriously. We did, however, want to open a channel of communication as a gesture that we are not out to destroy them, their show, or their station because we hate them or something. After listening to their lawyer and their rants, we decided to make amends by stating more accurately the case at hand, but we unequivocally agreed that our labeling Crank a "criminal" for his transgression would stand as written. That seemed to be thier strongest objection and "reason" for filing a lawsuit and we stood fast that we would not change the wording.

    As for "hiding behind a website", we see coastalsuperman's comment as a feeble attempt by a Matt and Crank fan to "out" us. We will make this clear once again. All five of us decided we did not want to be in the public eye. We all have real jobs and activist is not in any of our job descriptions. We also don't know where our future jobs may be, and, again, we all are relatively sure activist won't be in that job description. We don't want to be another one of JJ's dumbass segments because we got fired from our job because of what we are doing here.

    Three of the five of us were born and raised on Delmarva. We were raised to value our privacy and mistrust any intrusion on that privacy. We suspect, coastalsuperman, you really do understand the importance of privacy else we would've learned a lot more about you after visiting your website. So we throw the question back to you - why are you hiding behind a website like a 14-year-old?