No, You’re Not a Journalist Just Because You Say You Are

Senior Contributor
12.09.11 2 Comments

We usually take the side of the Internet when some blogger gets sued out of existence, but sometimes, the blogger is a total moron. Such is the case with the unfortunately named Crystal Cox.

Cox, a self-proclaimed investigative blogger, has been on the case of Obsidian Finance Group for some reason.

An Oregon judge has ruled that a Montana blogger is not eligible for the legal protections afforded to journalists, letting stand a $2.5 million defamation verdict.

The blogger, a Montana woman named Crystal Cox, had become a thorn in the side of an attorney named Kevin Padrick. Padrick is the principal of a firm named Obsidian Finance Group. Cox styles herself an “investigative blogger,” and has created numerous websites with names like “,” “,” and “,” in which she accused Padrick and Obsidian of misconduct in their handling of a bankruptcy case.

In January, Padrick filed a defamation lawsuit against Cox, charging that her accusations were false and asking for $10 million in damages. Last month, a jury found Cox guilty and awarded Padrick and his firm $2.5 million.

We’re torn because on the one hand, this may set a standard that doesn’t protect citizen journalists, meaning that the guy with an HD Hero recording the cops beating the crap out of Occupy protesters and uploading it to YouTube might not be afforded any protections of the Fourth Estate if the cops decide to go after him in court.

On the other hand, Crystal Cox also wrecked this guy’s business and then had the nerve to try to extort the guy for “reputation services”. So we’re not exactly on her side here, either.

Around The Web