Ok folks, here’s an update to the wild and wooly defamation lawsuit against the Minocqua Brewing Company filed by the right-wing fish-wrapper otherwise known as The Lakeland Times.
Please note that this is the first time in Wisconsin’s history that a newspaper has sued a private company to restrict its speech. Why is this unique? Because newspapers wouldn’t exist without their first amendment right to free speech, and suing to restrict speech is anathema to the ideals of the 4th estate.
In short, a newspaper suing for defamation is like a fish suing to increase an angler’s daily bag limit.
Before we get into the update, however, we’d like to make an official retraction because it’s important to stay on the right side of the law.
At one point in this now multi-year “Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation” (SLAPP), which is a type of lawsuit meant to harass a defendant by generating high legal fees, we listed a few allegations we heard from folks around town that suggested Gregg Walker was a crook.
Why would we do that? Because to win his frivolous lawsuit, misogynist publisher of the Lakeland Times Gregg Walker MUST prove that he’s both NOT a “crook” and NOT a “misogynist”—because those were the names we called him years ago that ruffled his tender feathers enough to sue us. But not only does he need to prove his innocence in this regard, he MUST ALSO PROVE that by calling him both names, WE ALONE tanked his already failing paper during a time when print media has been failing across the country.
Well, one of these stories of Walker being “crooked” turned out to be completely false. In fact, after talking again with the person who told us the story, we have now learned that we misinterpreted his words entirely, and thus want to make a retraction. The story we heard was that Walker’s brother died in a tragic hunting accident, and because he was alone when he died, there would always remain some unanswered questions as to how that death occurred.
After telling us about this somewhat oblique hunting accident, the storyteller went on to lament Walker’s brother’s death because had he lived, he would have probably run the paper more like his father and not turned the Lakeland Times into a q-anon propaganda rag.
Well, we admit we let our imaginations run a bit too far with that information, and drew a false conclusion that Gregg might have acted in a way that didn’t help his dying brother in order to give himself a better chance at running his father’s paper.
Why might we have come to this conclusion? Because we had already heard from multiple sources that Walker made some untoward moves during his father’s mental and physical decline to direct more of the newspaper’s assets to himself.
But that conclusion was too much of a stretch, and for that, we apologize to Gregg Walker for posting these statements on Minocqua Brewing’s Facebook page on August 8, 2022.
We were wrong about this one particular allegation, and when we’re wrong, we’ll admit it and apologize, and hereby retract those statements.
But we refuse to let up on the Boss Hogg of OBNOM (The Old Boys Network of Minocqua), who’s police record we have now learned is riddled with DUIs for drunken driving--meaning he broke laws which would technically make him the very same “crook” we called him years ago.
No, if Walker is going to sue us for calling him a crook, and we have to defend ourselves to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars because we hurt his feelings, we’re going to let the public know if in fact WALKER IS A CROOK. At this point, we believe we’ve paid for that right through legal fees and a colossal amount of wasted time.
Gregg, it’s time for you to end this lawsuit. It’s a money pit for you and your Republican backers, and our insurance company is now paying our legal fees so you can no longer hurt us. You’re going to come out this looking like a pampered and petulant whiner, and the only people that will suffer will be the employees you have to lay off because your pride further tanked ad revenues and killed any potential for a face-saving Gannett acquisition.
Look, how about you come over across the street and have a beer? It'll be on us. We’ll talk, look at your resume, and we’ll even keep the door open in case you need a job down the road.