Exposing The Publisher #3

The following is part number three in an ongoing investigative reveal into shoddy writing and blogging in the guise of journalism.    Our goal here as part of the Trash Bloggers Alliance is to make sure you know the truth and to make you aware of free Speech abuse.


By Mark Halburn

“One week after he witnessed the City of Hurricane violating the West Virginia Freedom of Information Act, city police cited a freelance reporter who was trying to review public documents. “

Oh for God sake. Now there are two fat boys wandering around Putnam County flashing a Press Pass that does mean shit. And before you “details” people that like to get on me at the start of an article tear down, I know this Smith guy is a freelancer. That doesn’t mean he is any better than Mark Halbun and it certainly doesn’t make his Press Pass any more viable. It also doesn’t help him break the law either by requesting free information on certain documents. Have these two ever heard of a right to privacy…that they complain about not getting?!

“Lawrence J. Smith, 29,of Hurricane, was cited for misdemeanor Obstructing and Trespassing by HPD Officer C.K. Eggleton.”

Mark? You call yourself a substitute teacher? I hope it’s not in math. Smith’s birthday is 03/28/70 and if you bother to check your details and counted more than just your toes and fingers, you’d know Smith is 39, not 29. Even Flipper was able to catch that!

“Smith, who writes for The West Virginia Record, The State Journal, and Putnam(BLOB).com, says he was researching criminal records for a lawsuit filed regarding an incident at a Hurricane bar but was told he had to file a Freedom of Information Act request for a routine review. When he asked to see a copy of that policy, he says he was ordered to leave the HPD lobby and was cited. Smith was not jailed.”

He doesn’t write for Putnam(BLOB).com! He’d probably charge Mark for doing a piece and we all know Mark is not making any money off his site with all his “advertising trading” he does. As for the reason he was cited, there would be no reason he would have been unless HE got out of control. He’s just like Mark. Doesn’t want to pay for any information, doesn’t take no for an answer, was probably talking to a female at first and pushed a little too far. An officer was called and he was cited becuase he wouldn’t shut his fat jowls and go away and do things the right way. All he had to do was fill out the FOIA and get the review. If he was looking for more the town can say “fuck you, pal” this is an ongoing case. This is the worse case of Halburnian Disorder I have seen yet.

“Law enforcement agencies rarely require FOIA filings to review arrest documents, including criminal complaints and citations.”

Bullshit. Each case is determined on it’s own merits based on the current standing of the investigation. You get squat if it’s on going, you shit for brains. That statement you published is a lie.

“The City of Hurricane has a history of violating West Virginia FOIA law, including illegally attempting to charge $35 an hour for “Research fees,” ignoring FOIA requests, and failing to respond to FOIA requests within the five-day time period.”

Another fucking lie. They can charge what they need to for the man power they expend. Lest I remind you?

“West Virginia Code §11-1C-7”

Again, this wasn’t an article aimed at telling any unbiased story or reporting on a citation. It was a reactionary rant made to look like an article because once again, the publisher was skewing things to make it look like a conspiracy. There is no wrong doing by having those that flash fake or little respected Press Passes fill out the proper forms and pay the proper amounts for needed information…like everyone else has done.

7 thoughts on “Exposing The Publisher #3

  1. Update: As of Monday morning (March 15th) the article was corrected to represent the correct age (you are welcome Mr. Publisher) and information was added regarding the citation of Smith. It was also noted at the end of the “article” that the police had “no comment” to the story. Of course not, they never has, but Mark won’t tell you that.

  2. You know, I started a response about the definition of actual cost in terms of human capital, etc., but then I decided that I may as well go set myself on fire and accomplish just as much good for the whole.

  3. He DOES write for PL sometimes, Tyler.

    Let’s go to the 2008 deposition:
    (Q is the lawyer, A is Halburn)

    Q. Okay. So then in a situation where there’s an article on your web site in which you’re quoted, would Mr. Smith be the author of the article?

    A. Sometimes.

    Q. If he’s not, who is?

    A. I would be.

    Q. So you write the article and quote yourself?

    A. I write the editorials and quote myself. I don’t recall ever quoting myself in a news article.
    Lawrence has quoted me in a couple of articles as well as other people.

    Q. And –

    A. I should say I write most of the editorials myself. Some people do contribute editorials.

    Q. Is there a reason why it appears as though someone else is writing those articles?

    A. There are sometimes on occasion I’ve published something where I have not put my name on the article because of the quotes that, of my quotes in it, and that would be the, you know, that would be the reason is that I wrote the article.

    Q. Why wouldn’t you put your name on it, then? That’s the question. I don’t understand that.

    A. Because I chose not to.

    Q. I see. Because of the content of the quotes?

    A. Not necessarily but sometimes.

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

    “It all depends on what the meaning of ‘IS’ is.”

  4. This doesn’t prove to me that Smith ever wrote anything for Mark’s web site. This proves to me he was so scared out of his Haynes about being busted on writing shitty articles that he would lie and misdirect in a deposition. One of those Question & Answers should have gone like this;

    “Q. So you write the article and quote yourself?
    A. I write the editorials and quote myself. I don’t recall ever quoting myself in a news article.
    Lawrence has quoted me in a couple of articles as well as other people.
    Q. And –
    A. I should say I write most of the editorials myself. Some people do contribute editorials”….or I lead you to believe that someone else does to avoid the impropriety that exists.


    There will be a short recess before verdict.

  5. Wow. Just wow. Apparently this guy is just as big a tool as Mark. Actually, is that even possible? However, I now lump this guy into the same category of people wasting police time. Now, I know Mark has a problem when it comes to reporting facts and while I don’t exactly know what happened (rest assured I will be finding out soon) let me give you my theory. Upon a closer inspection of the citation, I noticed the time, 16:04 or 4:04. So I went to the City of Hurricane’s website to see their business hours. 8:00 am to 4 pm. Here’s what I believe happened. This guy went in to do “research” (not sure how much time you can research police reports) and was probably told he would have to pay for a copy of the report which is usually standard. However, he decided to pull the mark hallburn card and act like a total jackass. Since it was probably closing time, he was more than likely asked to leave and come back another day but proceeded to throw around the stupid FOIA request. Once again he was asked to leave so he didn’t and pitched a little bitch fit. So he ended up being written a citation. Again, just my thoughts.

    2 pieces of advice for blob and “freelance”
    1. Don’t be a jackass in the office of the police department. Being polite and considerate will get you more in the long run there and in life.
    2. It was a citation not a life sentence. Shut the fuck up and move on.

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