(Mandy McGlothlin, National Freelance Reporter)– I was having a hard time writing about this case because as an outsider looking at the evidence and witnesses all that had been proven is Clem had called “MJ” a midget and his wife a whore. The plaintiff’s own attorney played audio of Clem’s show calling Michelle Schnitt a whore more times than Clem in the first two days of the trial. I couldn’t find one thing that proved Clem had done anything but use “his words”.
I usually hear from expert witnesses, but the closest person we had in this case was Randy Michaels, CEO of Clear Channel. One thing he made clear was “MJ” complained about “BJ” and I thought he put it best when he said “This is like wrestling…….who takes this serious?”
In the middle of putting together my thoughts or just my opinion of this case because I wasn’t going to put out a report, I received a message from Sue Savio, Kathleen Savio’s sister letting me know she had her impact statement ready for Drew Peterson’s sentencing. As I listened to Savio’s voice it reminded me of her testimony during Peterson’s trial that I reported on every day. Kathleen’s pictures and what all she physically and mentally gone through started going through my head. That’s when I decided I would give my thoughts about this case between the two radio personalities.
While speaking with Savio it made me start thinking more about all the cases I’ve covered, and how this defamation case compared. I have covered cases where people have been tortured, raped and murdered. I sat in the courtroom every single day watching George and Cindy Anthony during Casey Anthony’s trial, and I heard testimony about their daughter and granddaughter, Caylee who was murdered. One day during that trial I rode the elevator with them and their attorney. There were no cameras around and I watched them cry so hard that I was teary eyed. I have seen the pain of family members I’ve interviewed after they find out a family member had been murdered.
How can I sympathize with someone who laughs about a song saying his kids may not be his own? That would “hurt my feelings “coming from my father more than a stranger’s words. Michelle Schnitt testified she would listen to Clem live while getting the kids ready for school. Why would you want to take a chance the children might hear those words if they were so bad on you? Schnitt has hidden behind the First Amendment to make a nice living and hurt others until it came around and affected his life. Maybe I’m tainted by sitting through criminal cases, but this isn’t the reaction to pain or fear that I’ve witnessed.
A majority of my years reporting on homicide cases have involved one spouse murdering another. I have spent countless hours interviewing attorneys and judges involved in domestic violence cases and women that have dealt with daily verbal and physical abuse. When you are afraid of what may happen to you because of someone else or what their words may cause others to do to you, your common sense should kick in and want to be safe, call 911 and ask for extra security. The last thing you would do is stick around and take pictures. Every person I’ve ever interviewed has been to counseling and would cry every time they had to speak about what happened to them. From the sounds of it we had someone on the jury with common sense because that question was asked from a juror. They responded; no concealing and never hired extra security. This isn’t making sense to a person listening to this testimony.
The Schnitt’s are claiming they bought a corvette right off the factory floor, which is clearly over $100,000 and could afford $18,000 for cameras, but he didn’t hire extra security at any point or get concealing? You’re telling me it’s more important to you to have that car rather than use that money to take extra steps to protect your family. You are not scared. I know if any of these women that I’ve interviewed that have been verbally and physically abused could afford security, safety precautions, their choice of a counselor and security would be number one on their list!! I don’t just mean a high tech security system and cameras at your house. I have that at my house and most of my friends do too.
John Stiefel, “former” Bubba Army member testified that he was an avid listener, considered Clem a friend and for unknown reasons, they are no longer friends, which is irrelevant. Stiefel testified that Clem never asked anyone to harm the Schnitt’s on air on off. Stiefel is no longer friends with Clem and could have lied but he didn’t. To me that show’s real character, not the type of character’s these people play.
The witnesses managed to poke holes in all the allegations besides the name calling. Schnitt was basically “In my opinion” saying “Show me the money!” But what someone should have told them to say is here’s a copy of the receipt showing they paid full price for the corvette, here’s the list of winners of the mangled mouth contest and they are here to testify, here’s a copy of what the dictionary’s explanation of what greazed with a Z means, here’s the person to testify they sent any one of those emails and they are a member of Bubba’s Army, here’s the man to testify that owns the vehicle Michelle Schnitt hit, here’s the paperwork that the business paid for advertisement, here’s the community awards to prove I was an outstanding citizen to begin with, here’s the receipts for the work done on the computer or here’s pictures of the house that was egged. They had five years to get this together.
They had a camera to take pictures of people that were referred to as virtual human stickers and a former employee that they trusted their children with; testifying Schnitt took pictures of her during the parade. It’s clear they were taking pictures of anyone they felt had crossed them, but where are the pictures of the house egged.
As far as the reputation of Mrs. Schnitt, in my opinion it had not been harmed. I did feel sorry for Mrs. Schnitt, but if anything the plaintiff’s proved she has a respected reputation. The state’s attorney testified as one of the plaintiff’s witnesses. If he thought her reputation was affected in his eyes that would have spoken volumes, but he didn’t say anything bad about her. That would have been a perfect question for the state’s attorney, but that wasn’t asked. If the state’s attorney thought Mrs. Schnitt was a whore the jurors would have respected that. If I wasn’t seeing these things how would any juror?
You’re the plaintiff the burden is on you. It wasn’t Clem’s responsibility to bring in the men that were allegedly yelling “Bubba’s Army” or “Michelle is a whore”. In other words they want us to take “Schnitt’s word” these things happened. That’s not proving anything. Just like “Clem’s word” said in the tapes that were played over and over, was just that only “words.” Who goes into a courtroom as the plaintiff wanting a jury to take their word these things happened because of the defendant’s words? We all know anyone could have sent those emails, but I didn’t hear any audio of Clem giving out Schnitt’s email. Those emails are all hearsay in my opinion. Since I sat through this trial every single minute except during one witness and I watched that later in the day, I feel like I should say these are only “my words.” As my sister would say “I don’t give two pickled shits if you like it or not.”
The encounters I had with either party during the trial were very different. Bubba Clem had only given a pleasant smile and nodded, and Tara Clem who I later found out was Clem’s sister, introduced herself on the elevator and ended with “nice to meet you.” Schnitt, on the other hand, who I don’t know from Adam and never heard his name before this trial, approached me in the hallway of the courthouse asking me who I was, who I worked for, writing it down as if he were going to tell on me for something and wanting to know where I lived. I didn’t say where I live but spelled my name out and said you know I’ve been called a lot of things, unless you’re a midget and your wife is a whore then who gives a shit what people say. Schnitt started giving me different scenarios, how would you like it if Channel Ten said you were a child molester? HUH? This had nothing to do with this case or the evidence in front of us. He got louder and I repeated myself “Is your wife a whore?” I got no response. I tried to explain what I believe had been proved so far, and he walked away as I was still speaking. He didn’t say how are you, kiss my ass or introduce himself. From what I heard Schnitt has called the boss of other reporters and will want to call my boss because I missed a coma or he will bad mouth my writing. Well guess what… this lady doesn’t have a boss!
I’m known for speaking up for victims. I see people that can’t laugh anymore much less laugh when the jurors are out of the room. They don’t want money, and that’s the last thing on their mind if they survived. Maybe I’m wrong for comparing this to a murder case, but Schnitt is the one who brought up Casey Anthony and O.J. Simpson. I did interviews with people that were very close to both of those cases. I’ve interviewed Denise Brown, Nicole Brown Simpson’s sister several times; she is a friend of mine. She has worked hard for almost twenty years to help others not go through what her sister did. Brown has never mentioned or said anything about the jurors to me. I listened back on some of MJ’s shows during the trial and I’m curious to see if Schnitt will help other’s from going through what he did or will continue to use words that may hurt others as he claims it did his family.
Ironically, Schnitt was judged by his peers by that I mean the demographic he focused on with his morning show and the complete opposite of Clem’s target audience. Speaking of a shady ass deal….. How did this make it to a courtroom? Every juror must have felt the same way. Waste of money and time. I can’t even make this a uniform report because it was a circus. This isn’t something I’m used to reporting and hope this will be the last.
During the two week trial several people gave me their names and numbers wanting interviews because of what Schnitt had said about them or encounters they had with Schnitt. None of them were a part of “Bubba’s Army”.
My interviews with jurors, attorneys and witnesses will be coming. This is as close to a report I can make out of this mess. What was proved? Schnitt was greazed by Clem! I loved Tyler Clem’s helmet. YOU GOT GREAZED!
McGlothlin’s report can be found at chathousenews.com or follow her @firstname.lastname@example.org