O.C. Register’s parent won’t share its porno


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Freedom Porn

In my post of October 3 (“Is the OC Register trying to shift its retirement costs to taxpayers?”) I wrote about the irony of The Register’s parent company, Freedom Communications, being unwilling to share its records with the creditors of Freedom in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding. Unwilling, that is, unless the creditors sign a statement promising to keep the information confidential. It seems the federal Freedom of Information Act, a statute the Register often treats as a sacred tool to investigate government agencies, would prohibit one of those creditors-a federal government agency-from signing such a confidentiality statement. Curses, caught on their own petard, it appears.

The latest chuckle on this issue was produced by a story in the business pages of The Register today, October 6 (“Creditors accuse Freedom of being too secretive in bankruptcy case”). It reports that Freedom over 1 million documents available to the Bankruptcy Court, each and every one marked “Confidential”. Again, according to this October 6 Register story, the Creditor’s attorney said the mountain of documents included pornography, poetry and Dodgers schedules and marking everything confidential is a barrier to the Creditor’s access to the documents.

The October 6 article reports that Freedom’s attorney explained that it did not have the resources to go through all those documents and determine which ones should be marked confidential so it decided to label them all “Confidential.”  Since when is the work involved in releasing information an excuse for not doing it?

Undoubtedly the porn was in the possession of Freedom for journalistic research purposes rather than some other reason, but the irony of this media giant being skewed by its own petard – in this case the Freedom of Information Act and the issue of secrecy – makes for amusing reading as this saga of a media death spiral unfolds. Seems like good material for a Frank Mickadeit column or two. I wonder if he dare write anything but a defense of his employer though.


About Over But Not Out

A retired Orange County employee, and moderate Republican. The editor seriously does not know OBNO's identity as did not the former editor, but his point of view is obviously interesting and valued.