Privacy

The Donkey Likes Angry Sex, and the Man Was Playing Hard to Get

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In a letter to blogger Patrick Frey, Marcy Tiffany, Judge Alex Kozinski's wife, tries to set the record straight regarding her husband's collection of humorous, sometime raunchy digital pictures. Her most important points:

1. The "website" described by the Los Angeles Times is in fact a set of files on a computer in his home. Kozinski and his family use the computer as the server for their home network and as a way of sharing pictures and other files with relatives, friends, and acquaintances.

2. The files on the computer were never meant to be public but were accessed by Cyrus Sanai, a lawyer with a grudge against Kozinski, who shopped the more risqué images around to various news organizations, including the Times.

3. The images on which the Times focused not only are not the sort of material that would be found to be legally obscene; they do not even qualify as pornography, since their intent is to amuse rather than arouse. Furthermore, although the Times described the "sexually explicit material" as "extensive," it represents just "a tiny pecentage" of the files on the computer, which include many other visual jokes as well as personal files such as family photos.

4. The Times and other news outlets misrepresented the nature of the images. Footage the Times described as "video of a half-dressed man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal," for example, was actually a widely circulated YouTube video of "a man trying to relieve himself in a field when he is attacked by a donkey he fights off with one hand while trying to hold up his pants with the other." The San Francisco Chronicle, perhaps taking its cue from the Times, called this an example of "bestiality."

In light of these details, the attacks on Kozinski, whether on his ability to preside over an obscenity trial or on his fitness as a judge, are even more outrageous. Stanford law professor Larry Lessig's take on this, which likens Sanai to a burglar rummaging through Kozinski's home, looking for potentially embarrassing reading material, seems apt. 

Previous posts on this story are here and here.

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  1. If this guy had written an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal advocating the mass slaughter of the Gitmo detainees, nobody would think twice about his fitness to be a judge.

    I’m trying not to hate this country. It gets harder every fucking day.

  2. “Journalism and the Law: Re-writing an attorney’s press release” appears to be a popular class at some journalism schools.

  3. If this attorney hacked the guy’s home network, why isn’t he on his way to jail today?

    I don’t care if it was an unsecure wireless network or whatever. It sounds like this guy drove up next to his house, accessed his network, and downloaded the files. It also sounds like he essentially admits this, since he released the files.

    So why isn’t the guy in jail?

  4. If this attorney hacked the guy’s home network, why isn’t he on his way to jail today?

    The reports I’ve seen doesn’t seem like he ‘hacked’ per se.

    It sounds like the judge had something like picassa where you can make stuff private, but didn’t have the setting’s right so it was available to the public (but would only be found if you were actually looking for it). My account is like that: the pics can be seen by anyone, but the ‘include in search engine’ feature is disabled.

  5. So why isn’t the guy in jail?

    What an excellent question, especially if the home server was not web-accessible.

  6. Good god, who gives a shit about this stuff that was on his computer? What the hell is wrong with some people in this country.

  7. What the hell is wrong with some people in this country.

    Well Ben, it’s called “The Fourth Great Awakening” but thankfully signs are it’s dying. May there never be a fifth.

  8. who gives a shit about this stuff that was on his computer

    Well, if the Judge *did* have bestiality on his home computer, then it would be relevant to the question of his fitness to oversee a trial on bestiality.

    Now, the fact that someone tried to make a stink about lame youtube videos is just hilarious, and I am thankful that the news has been slow enough to support this.

  9. Cyrus Sanai should be disbarred…permanently.

  10. P Brooks,

    You’re a moral and intellectual imbicile who enjoys hating America.

  11. You’re a moral and intellectual imbicile who enjoys hating America

    joe’s law?

  12. What have we learned from all of this?

    1. Password protect everything.
    2. Sex sell papers.
    3. The New York Times can be had by someone wirth a grudge.
    4. The SF Chronnicle’s reporting standards are even lower the the NY Times.
    5. Cyrus Sanai is a douchebag, a childish asshole and desrves to get his ass kicked.

  13. Cyrus Sanai is a douchebag, a childish assole and desrves to get his ass kicked.

    Also, an idiot. Any attorney who goes out of his way to antagonize a federal judge should be pre-emptively disbarred for having screwed all his future clients who might come before that judge.

  14. ” The New York Times can be had by someone wirth a grudge.”

    Los Angeles Times, actually

  15. The post doesn’t mention it, but AK’s wife does. The LA Times sat on this story for months. Then they sat on it while a jury was selected, wasting 150 people’s time. Then they let the trial actually start. THEN and only THEN that “responsible corporate citizen” the LA Times published their smear. And worse yet, conservative sites are repeating the stupidity without even looking at the facts (see “Editors’ Picks” at http://www.newsbusters.org for example) or media bias/incompetence. It’s incredibly stupid.
    JMR

  16. All of the coverage here weeps over poor Kozinski because he was embarrassed by dirty pictures on his computer. Nobody is outraged that trials like this even occur. I guess this really is the age of the Bob Barr prudotarian.

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