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An Exhibition of Conservative Paranoia

Exhibit 21: Jack's Back ... On ABC? And CNN?

Janet Reno-obsessed lawyer Jack Thompson remakes himself as an anti-video game crusader.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 11/18/2002

Remember Jack Thompson, the Miami lawyer best known for his obsession with Janet Reno's sexual preference and attempting to blackmail one of the lawyers in the Elian Gonzalez saga? Well, he's back.

This time, he fancies himself as a crusader against video games. Earlier this year, he surfaced as a representative of the mother of a 21-year-old man who committed suicide allegedly because of his obsession with the game EverQuest. Now, he is going after an unlikely opponent in the video game industry: the U.S. military.

In an interesting example of your tax dollars at work, the military spent two years and nearly $8 million to develop America's Army, a game designed to simulate the modern military experience, from basic training to ground operations. The Army is giving it away as a recruitment tool, and at last check it had 950,000 registered users. The game has real-life rules: a virtual soldier never gets away with killing innocent people, and players lose points for breaking the rules of warfare.

Related article on ConWebWatch:

Out There, Exhibit 8: Is This Guy Nuts?

But Thompson thinks it's a dangerous shooter-type game that will breed violent youths. ABC News dug him up, and he offered this quote to them: "I'm a father of a 10-year-old boy. And every day I drop him off at school, I know that he's at greater risk because some of his classmates, as well as others in the general population, train obsessively in these shooter games." Needless to say, he's threatening a lawsuit against the military to stop distribution of the game.

Thompson is reveling in his newfound media exposure as an "authority" on violent video games. He even popped up on CNN during the Washington-area sniper crisis to offer his profile of the shooter: a gamer gone bad. "You go to video game chat rooms and you have the proclamation 'I am God' all over the place," CNN quotes him as saying.

He's on CNN? And ABC? Aren't the big news media supposed to be liberal?

Lest Thompson actually starts to sound reasonable to people, he appears to be living up at least in part to his past flaky reputation -- there are reports that he has threatened to sue one person who criticized him in a forum dedicated to the America's Army game. That's his usual reaction to criticism; he has also threatened Free Republic posters with lawsuits for ciriticizing him.

What does it say about one's mental state when the Freepers don't want you around? Heck, even NewsMax, promoter of his Reno jihad, has been pretty quiet about him lately.

Isn't it sad when being aggressively litigious and being a bubble or two off plumb is all it takes to get on network TV as an "expert" commentator?

My diagnosis: We'd suggest another adjustment in Thompson's meds, but he sent me a nasty note the last time I did that. So, I guess I'll just sit and wait for the inevitable lawsuit threat, to which I'll reply that I'm well within my First Amendment rights to fair comment to write a fact-based article like this, and remind him that his appearances in the news, among other things, make him a public figure and therefore the bar is much higher for him to sue over things like defamation.

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