The 14,000 person town of Whitewater, Wisconsin has an anonymous blogger (freewhitewater.com) that is critical of how the city does business. He blogs under the name “John Adams”.
Whitewater’s police chief, James Coan, is often featured in the blog. Among other things, the blog recently criticized the chief for wasting the time of city employees (at the taxpayers expense) in an effort to reveal the identity of the blogger.
City officials have referred to the blogger as a “suspect”, and Coan has involved at least two detectives, the director of public works, the city’s information technology officer and the city clerk in this mess. Beyond the waste of time and money involved, this is also likely a violation of the blogger’s civil rights because no laws are being broken (free speech, anyone?).
Of course, in trying to get this blogger unmasked, the chief has directed a LOT more attention to the blog:
- An article in the Wisconsin State Journal
- A reference on Fark
- A bunch of other blogs — 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
- Our post right here
This is a blog that had a relatively small following until the chief started fighting so hard. One local man, Laird Scott, was accused by the chief of running the blog. Scott said “I didn’t even know that blog existed until the chief of police came to my house and accused me of operating it.” Exactly.
Good move, chief!