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Saturday, October 06, 2007

My Quest for Truth, Justice and Taylor Hicks

I happened upon a site on-line a short time ago that I thought might be an answer to my longing to find a group of folks to share real, direct, toss-out-the-Kool-aide, Taylor Hicks news and views. A quest to discover a real place to discuss Taylor, a place to discuss music in general, a place to occasionally enjoy a little harmless snark and speculation about the man I came to admire on American Idol.

In my web wanderings I came upon this site, TFHzone. I enjoyed the initial feel of the site, direct and honest. But one thing leads to another and the site has been slowly morphing, curtailing the blunt honesty and open discussions. I noticed vibe beginning to change when a topic was deleted that focused on on-line writers.

This discussion evolved into a critiquing and an expression of opinions for a relatively new product being formed called "Modern Whomp Magazine". Apparently the young woman who is developing this magazine, Claudia Oakenfull, threatened the owner/operator of TFHzone.com with legal harm should they continue to use their First Amendment privileges. Considering that Ms. Oakenfull is now a self-made editor and self-proclaimed writer she should be ashamed to take such action. It should be looked at as Ms. Oakenfull stepping on and violating TFHzone's rights to freedom of expression. Seems to me, reading the Constitutional law, perhaps Ms. Oakenfull may be the one in violation and subject to legal pursuit for her very threats. Afterall, isn't it a writer's right for self-expression? Is this still America or have we decided to opt for laws governing Russia, with censorship celebrated. Honestly, that is what Ms. Oakenfull is perpetuating, censorship and stifling of another's freedom of expression. It smacks of hypocrisy and violation of the writer's code.

What would happen if you wrote a letter to an editor of your local newspaper saying your thought his last article to be ridiculous or poorly researched and then had lawyers at your door citing you for libel? It wouldn't happen and couldn't happen because no law was broken.

Slander defined: A type of defamation. Slander is an untruthful oral (spoken) statement about a person that harms the person's reputation or standing in the community. Because slander is a tort (a civil wrong), the injured person can bring a lawsuit against the person who made the false statement. If the statement is made via broadcast media -- for example, over the radio or on TV -- it is considered libel, rather than slander, because the statement has the potential to reach a very wide audience.

Okay, reading that definition, Ms. Oakenfull could not cite slander since all statements regarding her numerous run-on sentences were true. Any English or Literature professor upon reading Ms. Oakenfull's material would agree.

So let's look at libel, another nasty little legalese term that possibly could be viewed:

Libel: noun
A false and malicious publication printed for the purpose of defaming a living person.
or:
A false publication, as in writing, print, signs, or pictures, that damages a person's reputation.

Pay careful attention to the key wording in all this; FALSE. Nothing was said that wasn't true about Ms. Oakenfull. Even some good advice provided to enable writing improvements. I have to say I like the look of her website, it's very attractive and she plays some good old Taylor Hicks tunes. I admire the enterpreneurial spirit; thing is, she's not a gifted writer. Obviously she doesn't want to be informed of that fact, nor does she take criticism well. Reporters and writers need a thick skin, should she be the author of much of the publication, she better develop an elephant hide.

Sadly the TFHzone site has modified even further from this point with numerous topics taken down, deleted. I have no idea why. I keep visiting and reading because I have enjoyed my time there. On a search for more Hicks' news and views I came across a site I kept reading about call MFOYA. I wondered what the fuss was about and satisfied my quest this week and discovered Making Fun of Your Ass. Focus of this group seems to be mainly in debunking the Taylor Hicks' rumored romance with Caroline Lyders and I must say, MFOYA makes a tenaciously compelling argument. She is like a pitbull on this topic (yet I see no lawsuits emerging from any court).

I especially enjoyed the topic posted called Doogie H. Douchebag and Company targeted towards one previously thought of Taylor Hicks confidant and expert. It was entertaining to read all the posts. Regarding the subject of the post - I had extended a hand in friendship toward this individual during the early months of Taylor's Idol quest. I had the first fanblog and he the first website. We e.mailed once when I warned him about the first t-shirt he was marketing on the site. The shirt featured an outline of Taylor Hicks. I extended a warning that he may have to stop with the shirt. Indeed, almost immediately after I contacted him, he was told to take it down. I went through a similar situation with Bo Bice during season 4 so I had some experience in marketing likenesses and Idol - it ain't gonna happen. After that he pretty much ignored me, I never understood why.

Bottom line, it's a good site to check out and visit.

Finally finishing up this posting with some local Taylor Hicks news. Taylor is scheduled to revisit Dallas after the first of the year. Read here: Taylor Hicks visits Greenhill School. "...Students, parents, and faculty will get the chance to enjoy American Idol's 2006 winner, Taylor Hicks, at their yearly Greenhill Gala. This year's event is titled "Heart and Soul" and will feature catering, a live auction, and a dance floor to move your feet and shake your... well whatever you got to shake." It's for a good cause, proceeds from the Gala will go to the Greenhill Endowment for Financial Aid.

First Hicks promotes lake property in Alabama, now the Greenhill School.

11 comments:

  1. "First Hicks promotes lake property in Alabama, now the Greenhill School."

    And your point would be?

    Money is money and a gig is a gig. There green spends the same way as the green paid at the Hard Rock spends.

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  2. If you say so chica, but hey, I thought it was about the music. Perhaps next he may open a new shopping mall. Cut the ribbon for a cruise ship. Possibilities are endless.
    Cheers.

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  3. Claudia Oakenfull7:02 PM

    Just to reiterate, no legal action was threaten toward TFHzone by me, or by our publisher Moto Entertainment. A simple request was presented to the site for the removal of copyrighted material in part or in full, which they posted on their site.

    I have worked for over fifteen years in and around the entertainment industry so I do have a thick skin and criticism does not bother me in the least. Obvious attacks to my character and the like, I do take issue with. Especially if committed by those who do not know me professionally or personally.

    Glad you like the website and hope you enjoy the first issue if you were so inclined to order. As we say in this business; “There is no such thing as bad publicity”!! LOL

    Thank You.

    MWM
    Executive Editor
    Claudia Oakenfull

    ReplyDelete
  4. Claudia, thank you for clarification on the situation with TFHzone. I have had my articles copied and pasted many times off of on-line mags and understand the concern of your material being lifted.

    True, Claudia, any publicity is worthy and good for gaining public interest, if that is the goal. You do have a very nice website, sometimes I hit your site to just listen to the Taylor tunes.

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  5. Anonymous4:55 PM

    Thanks, the Fall is my favorite song!! It has helped me through a tough situation. I like your blog as well and will be back to visit often. You are a talented writer. TF1

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous11:43 PM

    Sunny,

    This is votem from the you-know-what blog. You posted an article link about the baseball game this morning, and I said we had discussed it in the other thread. I hope I didn't come across as snippy. I didn't mean to be. If I did it was because it was too early in the morning still for me and sometimes my wording doesn't come out right. I know there's a lot to read in the threads and it's easy to miss discussions.

    As well, just want to say I enjoyed your comments back on tfhzone when I was there and on mfoya. This is a good blog you have here too. Cheers!

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  7. I wasn't offended, but thank you for taking time to come talk to me about it! It's true, especially on MFOYA the comments are long and much to read! Why have you not been back to the tfhzone?

    Talk later!

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  8. Hi Lady, Just dropping by to say hello. I still stop by to see whats going on from time to time but I have been busy trying to pay the bills. Just wanted to say hi. Saw your comment at one of my blogs about Natalle. That will always remain one of the saddest cases I have read about and saw on the news. Take care & say a prayer for me. I have to go and have a biopsy now. I could very well have that dreaded C word. Breat cancer. Please please get checked often and tell your friends too.
    Love to you. MARY A

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  9. I've never been able to forget about Natalee and the situation. I think the latest story the true one. The fact those boys still are free is such a travesty.

    Glad you're still a Taylor Hicks fan! Take care and I will hope and pray for the best for you. Let me know how the tests turn out.

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  10. Anonymous11:32 AM

    Sunny,

    They started to talk bad things about me at tfhzone, which is why I never went back. That was before it changed to being a music blog with GC. The same people who were hating mfoya started a new hate blog where again they talked bad about me and others who posted at mfoya. Secret Stare got a threatening post in her email from them (because she had blogged there too) saying she had to stay quiet otherwise they would expose all her personal info like name, home address, work place etc. Mfoya exposed this and the blog was deleted. I won't have anything to do with tfhzone after all this unpleasantness.

    I'll see you around mfoya (hopefully)! You should check out the current posts for today and see the lyrics of CL's new song. It's from AR's new cd and posted on his band site. You will not believe it!!

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  11. That situation regarding the hate blog on MFOYA was strange. I don't know the rationalization behind the creations of that now defunked site, but it was really strange. There was a video posted by what looked to be a guy in drag - but it could have been a woman I guess, but the actions of the subject of the video combined with the song posted with it made no sense at all. The mockery of MFOYA was basically so third-grade the folks who put that together should be never allowed to blog again, LOL!

    It would be highly illegal for a site to put public and info on one of the members such as personal information.

    I don't know where this all stemmed from but there are bad apples in every barrel. The speculations who may be involved puts an interesting twist in the world of Hicks' fans, that's for sure.

    AR in his delusional state may have several reasons he's working the musician angle, I'll blog about those later.

    ReplyDelete