When you do good watchdog journalism, holding people in public life accountable for their actions, you're bound to make some folks angry along the way. And some of those folks will try to strike back at you -- though often the worst thing they can do to you is cancel their subscription to your newspaper.
That's not the case with someone Texas Watchdog wrote about recently.
He's taking us to court.
Mostyn hasn't challenged the veracity of our story -- because it is accurate and based on public records. A champion of Democratic causes known for winning big settlements against insurance companies, Mostyn gave $25,000 to Republican Hunter, an advocate of tort reform.
Texas Watchdog is a small nonprofit news organization. We've only been around a couple of years. But we want our readers to know that we intend to fight back.
We wrote and published a story on our website based on public records that was entirely accurate. This is still America. The First Amendment still guarantees freedom of the press and free speech.
Unhappy story subjects don't get to haul reporters into court over accurate stories they don't like even if they are prominent, wealthy, politically connected attorneys.
I once heard a smart person say, "The way to fight free speech is with more free speech." Indeed, we gave Mr. Mostyn the opportunity to comment on the story. But rather than provide comment he issued subpoenas.
We may be small, but we won't be intimidated. Our attorney in this matter, First Amendment lawyer Joe Larsen of Houston, has asked the court to protect Steve and Trent from being deposed.
We'll keep you posted on how our case goes. In the meantime keep coming back to Texas Watchdog to see solid, hard-hitting watchdog journalism.
Jennifer Peebles can be reached at 281-656-1681 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.