How strong is the urge to pop off on public controversies? Strong enough to get three federal prosecutors in hot water in New Orleans, where U.S. Attorney Jim Letten resigned this week, as the Times-Picayune reported.
This story should resonate in Memphis. Attorneys for the Shelby County Commission in the schools case tried (without success) to get The Commercial Appeal to divulge the names of anonymous commenters on 45 stories about the proposed merger and the federal court lawsuit. The newspaper called the subpoena "a virtually unprecedented assault upon its rights as a newspaper and as the host of an important community forum on its website, as well as upon the rights of the many users and commenters who participate in this forum."
In New Orleans, two federal prosecutors admitted posting anonymous comments, some of which were alleged to be defamatory, about a hot case.