Monday, February 16, 2015

30 Questions for Caren Matzner, editor at the Hudson Reporter on the Lane Bajardi lawsuit

The Hudson Reporter did a feature story last weekend on the Hoboken civil lawsuit trial brought by Lane Bajardi and Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi highlighting free speech and issues of public concern, especially as it pertains to political speech.

The story was problematic on numerous levels, one being a quote provided by this trial participant to media present was published by every other media outlet in attendance: the Jersey Journal, PoltickerNJ, and the Hudson County View except the Hudson Reporter.

All other media who saw the short-circuited trial abruptly thrown out of court promptly published the full context of the comment - except Caren Matzner, the editor at the Hudson Reporter.

Their story has holes a mile wide but MSV limited its critique of questions to 30.
MSV challenges the publisher and editors of the Hudson Reporter to respond and issue the proper correction(s) and follow up with a proper journalistic story.

One aspect, reported on MSV last Tuesday the Hudson Reporter highlights, albeit with some odd editorial, Judge Patrick Arre's statement in his 40 minute issued legal opinion stating:

There's "evidence of stolen emails" which were subject of a 2011 FBI investigation (out of Mayor Dawn Zimmer's office) in "Mr. Bajardi's email account."

Hat tipCarlo Davis, who was present at the trial's abrupt ending last Tuesday.

Caren Matzner, editor of the Hudson Reporter
is asked for some selfie examination and received
30 questions from MSV yesterday.

The following was sent yesterday morning to Caren Matzner, publisher Dave Unger, and two Hudson Reporter writers who participated in trial coverage.

Good morning Caren,

Please answer as many questions as you can.  

1. Why did you solely fail among four media organizations present at the conclusion of the trial to publish any of my statement? Did anyone on the HR run my statement past James Barracato and Beth Mason before electing not to publish it?

2. How do you defend failing to publish any of it?

3. Is this considered an acceptable journalistic norm with a main subject of a story? 

4. Why have you never reported this litigation was announced by Beth Mason herself in a live City Council meeting 15 days before it was filed? 

5. Have you not heard or seen the remarks by Beth Mason in reply to my requesting public information be released of the Mason Civic League?

6.. Can you explain why in your online article last week you decided to describe Lane Bajardi as a “political worker?”

7. Why did you revert to calling him a “political activist” in the weekend print story? Did Lane Bajardi, James Barracato or Beth Mason complain of his being described as a political worker?

8. What changes have occurred since the HR 2012 article where the HR called Lane Bajardi and Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi “a Hoboken couple?”

9. Why did you use the word “victim” to twice describe Lane Bajardi and the Bajardi family in the lead to your story? Is this typically how plaintiffs or a failed plaintiff is described in a story written by journalists?

10.Why does your article repeatedly state Lane Bajardi had not produced "enough evidence?” What actual evidence do you believe he produced at trial?

11. Are you aware the judge stated repeatedly Lane Bajardi had “no evidence” to show actual malice, reputational injury, damages or any effect to his job?

12. Did you contact Hudson Superior Court and Judge Arre’s chambers to obtain information supporting your claim Bajardi didn’t show “enough evidence?” Did you obtain any evidence?

13. Did you attempt to identify any information on Lane Bajardi’s role in Hoboken politics which others may view impolite at City Council meetings, under his numerous screen names or his ghostwriting political articles on Hoboken411? Why or why not?

14. Do you have and did you read Tom Bertoli’s 2014 submitted deposition detailing the Mason discussed strategies for filing “frivolous lawsuits” and Lane Bajardi’s role as a political operative seeking employment at City Hall in a Beth Mason administration? Did the HR speak to others on the Beth Mason for mayor campaign who may have knowledge on any of this?

15. Can you address what business relationship if any the HR and/or its publisher have had or currently exists with Beth Mason?

16, Are Beth Mason and/or James Barracato business partners with the Hudson Reporter and/or any of its subsidiary publications such as “07030?”

17. Are you aware that Beth Mason described James Barracato as a “business partner” in her testimony at trial?

18. Did you read Judge Vanek’s September legal decision? Do you understand how the legal application of a public figure works/diminishes? Do you understand the Court’s designation on issues of public concern as here? Are these two legal points important at all in this case? Why or why not?

19. Why did you describe Mayor Zimmer’s description on Lane Bajardi’s political discourse in Hoboken an allegation? What did she specifically allege?

20. Why does the story end with no reference to what Lane Bajardi actually said?

21. Are you aware of the (paragraph 130) screen names in Lane Bajardi and Kimberly Cardinal Bacardi’s complaint?

22. Are you aware they claimed all those names were solely Nancy Pincus and myself?

23. Did you know that Lane Bajardi admitted knowing who some of the names in paragraph 130 were others neither Nancy Pincus nor myself?

24. Did you know that Lane Bajardi obtained identities of screen name defendants from Perry Klaussen at Hoboken411?

25. Do you think that Lane Bajardi targeting individuals who he knew not to be Nancy Pincus or myself in (paragraph 130) would be indicative of bad faith in a legal filing?

26. Do you think that information was solely known by Lane Bajardi or other Beth Mason political operatives and Beth Mason herself?

27. Do you think that political speech should be protected under the First Amendment and the NJ State Constitution?

28. Do you have evidence Lane Bajardi and Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi had the ability to fund a two and a half year plus open ended litigation against a dozen or more Hoboken residents after both being unemployed for more than two years?

29. Are you aware the Bajardis employed at least half a dozen lawyers in five states through the course of this more than two and a half year old litigation?

30. Does any of this make you suspect there is more to this story the HR missed and/or got wrong?

Bonus question. Are you aware that Lane Bajardi and Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi withheld financial information after repeated court orders and never turned over a single bank record of a Bank of America account? 

Da Horsey, SmartyJones
The Hudson Mile Square View

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