OFF WITH THEIR HEADS: Jackie Johnson's most recent attempt at silencing her constituents
It seems that D.A. Jackie Johnson is at it again. This morning, mere hours after our last article was released, the Baxley Informer was emailed a cease and desist demand from the district attorney’s lawyers.
We’re going to get personal with you and admit that our hearts nearly stopped when we received that email. When the Baxley Informer was formed, we assumed that eventually we’d step on the wrong toes, we just didn’t think it would happen so soon. The Baxley Informer is a small news and opinion blog. We’re basically a bunch of nobodies who saw the corruption in our district and decided we couldn’t continue to stand by and watch it happen.
Isn’t that what decent human beings are supposed to do? Stand up for each other? Love one another?
When we saw the lives that we believed the district attorney had destroyed, we took action. Through Open Records requests and interviews, we’ve found mountains of corruption, with more than enough to make even the harshest cynic a believer.
We stand by everything we’ve published. You’d be hard-pressed to find any news site to rival the amount of documentation we provide in almost every article. If we got something wrong, then D.A. Jackie Johnson should have the guts to prove it. We’ve shown our documents, now she should show us hers.
The way we see it, taxpayers have been funding D.A. Jackie Johnson’s exploits for years. She’s a public servant—basically our employee. If any employee of ours had this much evidence against them, they’d either be fired or put in jail.
So, this morning, after we calmed down from the initial scare, it finally dawned on us. With all the legal issues the district attorney’s office is currently dealing with, the Baxley Informer must have really struck a nerve for them to bother with such a small publication.
Why is that?
Sending a cease and desist just proved a point we’d made in our last article about Jackie Johnson. She uses fear and intimidation to silence those who speak against her.
We are not lawyers, so maybe we’re wrong, but doesn’t the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution include the right to voice opinions, criticize others, and comment on matters of public interest?
What environment are Appling, Camden, Glynn, Jeff Davis, and Wayne counties living in if a journalist must fear publishing the truth or their opinions on factual documentation? Especially when it comes to an elected official.
But why would D.A. Jackie Johnson target a small site like the Baxley Informer? Many other news sites have posted some of the same things.
Has the New York Times received a cease and desist? Has The Atlanta Journal-Constitution? They’ve written some pretty scathing articles on the district attorney. Jackie Johnson’s inaction against them leads us to conclude either of two things:
Her cease and desist was sent in desperation. She knows what we’ve published so far is true and doesn’t want the public seeing actual documentation proving her other misdeeds. This was a sad attempt to silence us through fear.
Honestly, we couldn’t think of a number two.
So here’s a solution. If Jackie Johnson is as innocent as her lawyers are claiming, and somehow the Baxley Informer got it all wrong, we welcome Jackie to email us all the documentation that will prove it. If she can do that, we will make a public apology and formally endorse D.A. Jackie Johnson going forward. We would be pleased to learn that things aren’t the way they seem, and once again have faith in our local government.
One quick thing before we wrap up this article, is that the Baxley Informer wasn’t the only one to receive a cease and desist. Two Glynn County Commissioners also received one.
And this was their reply.
The Baxley Informer’s response…ditto.