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MichaelSF

I replayed the tape of KGO TV news just now.

They said "Today Ward in court Ward admitted to sending as many as 250 such photographs, for which there is no legal defense."

Interestingly, Ward's lawyer is still advancing the "doing research" defense. I don't think SENDING 250 pics of child porn is research.

Ward, a man of superior intellect, did not know that simply possessing child porn is illegal?

If he did know, then he must have thought he was above the law. Oh well, he thought wrong.

Maybe he was practicing what he preached, that it was easier to ask forgiveness rather than permission. Hmmm.... wrong again.

We all know his defense is BS.

Bone Machine

Guilty! Hear that, Ward defenders? Guilty. And yet -- even after he voluntarily declared himself guilty -- how many delusional Ward fans will come in here and continue to proclaim his innocence?

Before you try to go back to the "book research" defense, ask yourself why your First Amendment hero didn't reject a deal and fight the charges all the way to the Supreme Court. If the principle of freedom of the press is so sacred to Ward, why didn't he fight for it?

GT in Norcal

Because he knows more light will be shed as he crawls out from under the rock where he resides.

Jacko

Ward is a man who hates this country, hates heterosexual males, hates the military and hates God. He is a vile, disgusting perverted individual who should be imprisoned. He spewed poison from the KGO studio.

brigitt graves

why isn't he in jail and why isn't he registered as a sex offender? why is he free til august? the judge must be an idiot!

KLau

No doubt Giovanni33 will soon be here telling us why Bernie is really, no I mean REALLY, a upright moral guy.

Wyatt Burp

Can't wait to hear "The Pillow Fight At The OK Korel" tonite at 10:00. We'll hear how Bernie is innocent and how the Bush administration is responsible for this injustice. Better keep all sharp objects away from Giovanni33.

sfnative

For anyone who might have been in court today, some questions:

Quoting 'The Radio Equalizer':

"And there's little doubt he fully expects to return to KGO Radio after his sentence is complete."

Is this for real? Would KGO rehire him after a prison sentence, & after all that has come to light?

Number Two: How could someone "admit to downloading BETWEEN 15 AND 150 images"? That's a huge range. He doesn't remember how many?

Number Three: Who were the Franciscans sitting next to him in Court?

Number Four: Was his immediate family there?

I've read the news recaps, but these questions are not answered.

Lightning Jack

Bernie Ward got off easy, and it wouldn't surprise me if two certain congresswomen didn't have something to do with it.

Its okay with HISONER that a convicted sex offender attends a high school graduation and a girls rowing team competition while awating sentencing.

And you wonder why the American criminal justice system is a joke!

Kurt Olney

Bernie: The Devil in Disguise. Bernie is getting off with a slap. The judge should have made an example of him--but, hey, it is San Fransicko....

goodtobesober

What a joke.....I had a couple of DUI's....certainly a dangerous and stupid crime, I admit it...but they sure carted me off to jail in a hurry(I mean immediately, right then and there from the courthouse)....maybe because they knew I wouldn't exhaust the jail kitchen's inventory.
More seriously, why does anybody even listen to this guy's inane defense? If you've got a strong stomach, read the IM transcript between this freak and his internet mistress (thesmokinggun.com and others...)If this is research for a book, then I'm Ronald Reagan.
Oh, his kids must be so proud to have been fictionally sexualized in daddy's little daliance with an internet dominatrix. What a travesty.

Sadie Green

My heart goes out to his wife and kids. What a terrible thing he did to them.....

nofear

A lot of angry folks out there who cry injustice that father bernie isnt in jail, why he isnt already registered, so and so forth. did you read the judges decision to postpone the sentencing until august. only everyone else wants to second guess the judge, perhaps they should go to law school and render decisions, apparently they are much smarter than the judge, get a life cry babys. people just love to tear down someone to the lowest common denomator,I feel sorry for all of the familys involed, that they should have to hear such vile talk you should all be ashamed of yourselves. hippocrates shut your mouths

CalGal

Scares me, too, that he will be out and about with children till August. Do his kids want him to attend? Not sure I would be so forgiving so close to the realization... Maybe time will heal.

I, too, think without some SF/NorCal strings pulled by someone(s) that Bernie would not be getting such kid glove treatment from the court! Sad. We all should be so 'treated equally' under the law. If only poor, unconnected people got the benefit of the doubt, and time to get to family occassions, etc.

Sad commentary on our system this is...

MichaelSF

NoFear... I am a lawyer and former prosecutor. You make a good point. There are many behind-the-scene facts and law that are in play in any case, including Bernie's situation.

You are right, the Judge is making decisions based on the papers presented by the lawyers. He no doubt is letting Bernie "run free," so to speak because he is not a threat to the community, was just role playing and has his family supporting him.

But it does cut both ways. Many people were defending Bernie and shouting conspiracies, etc. because they thought there was only one picture, etc. Turns out he sent over 150 pics and was in possession of a lot more.

So the people defending the prosecutor and the indictment process were right, there was more to all this than what Bernie defenders said there was.

Don't come down too hard on anyone calling for his head. Sex crimes, especially pedophilia, pisses people off. Can't blame anyone for getting emotional.

Irrelevant sidenote: you need a spell checker. :)

Matthew

I've been listening to Bernie for years. If he did do these things, he needs to pay. But the Bernie Ward I know has done much more good for the bay area community than anyone I can think of. He's raised soooo much money for KGO's Thanksgiving Charities drive. He's donated time and resorces to those of us trying to get back on our feet! He may have sinned. He may be guilty. But we all have. If he pays... I will forgive!

MichaelSF

CalGal - actually many sex offenders get bail deals where they get home arrest rather than jail pending trial or sentencing. We just don't hear about them.

Saddest thing about these release deals is the reason the Judges agree to them. The jails are so over crowded that if there is any possible way the Judges are asked to not deny bail and to instead allow home detention.

Jail, judges are told, should be reserved for the really serious felons and those who pose a threat to the community.

Remember the brouhaha over Paris Hilton being released from jail and everyone screaming about preferential treatment? The Sheriff said that it was simply a logistics decision because he did not have room in the jail for minor crimes offenders.

Same goes for Bernie. SF jails and the Santa Rita fed jail are filled to the brim.

So Bernie walking free, for now, is not a sad commentary on our system, it's indicative of jail overcrowding, nothing more, nothing less.

I for one would rather have the rapist or armed robber locked up pending trial rather than Bernie the pervert.

Giovanni33

I still think Bernie should have fought it all the way to the Supreme Court. The law as it stands is too inflexible, and the punishment too severe. This causes an injustice. The punishment does not fit the crime, in this case. The spirit of the law it to put away those who are a danger to our children. This does not fit Bernie, and no one denies that fact.

Bernie was not in possession of this "toxic substance" because of the reasons the law was made to be severe in the first place. He was had them for other reasons, legitimate reasons that society does not condemn: research. Researchers are allowed to posses toxic materials that are normally illegal for everyone else to posses.

For instance, let me make an analogy. Consider the biological toxin, Ricin (extracted from the Castor bean). A tiny amount of that the size of a grain of salt is a legal dosage. Its very dangerous. Its illegal to posses, a severe crime. Yet, there is an exception: cancer research. So if your a researcher, you have a legitimate reason to be in possession of this toxic substance. By the same token, Bernie is a professional investigative journalist--and he was doing research. Therefore, he had a legitimate reason to be in possession of this toxic substance (child porn). The law should make an exception the say way it does for these other highly illegal toxic things that are strictly forbidden for good reason.

Just like the medical researcher who is makes Ricin, not to create a deadly biological super weapon, but to do good for society, i.e. looking for a cure for cancer--likewise is the case with Bernie Ward. He was in possession of this toxic substance not because he was using it for sexual titillation, etc--but because he was doing research. So if we accept that premise, while he is technically guilty, he is innocent at the same time. The law should be flexible to distinguish between the two cases.

The problem with what Bernie did was that he did not use good judgment in securing the necessary approval before hand, the way other researchers do. So yes, he should be fined, or punished in some way. However, years in jail is way over kill, and a great injustice. Not for for Bernie, but for everyone who will have to pay for this senseless imprisonment. Why not give him house arrest, instead? He is not a danger to society. He does not need to be locked up. He has learned his lesson. Lastly, Bernie's many good deeds for the benefit of society should be taken into consideration. Society should reward him, not punish him.

Giovanni33

Correction: I meant to say, "a tiny amount the size of a grain of sand is a LETHAL dosage." The point is this stuff is very dangerous and its rightly made illegal, even though its pretty easy to make. But even so, one can have it if one has a legitimate reason to have it, and the law recognizes that. Why does the law about child porn not allow a similar distinction. Is there no legitimate reason for someone to have this? I say there is. Its a real thing and thus is open for research by a professional investigator, that Mr. Ward is.

Dave

I was a long time fan of Bernie's. From his earliest reporting to all of his talk shows. I really wanted to believe that he was doing research. I emailed him after he was arrested, expressing my support, I joined in to try and help get him re-instated. However, today I was listening to Ronn's first hour, that I discovered their were chat transcripts. Reading those (I couldn't make it past a few pages) and catching up with Dan's reports and blogs, I was speechless.

While it's nothing compared to what the family and his victims, I feel hurt and betrayed. Funny to feel that about a man I'd only met a few times for fleeting moments, but he was part of my life and to see what he really is makes me sad.

I really feel for his family.

Giovanni33

Those chat files are role playing. Its just like an actor playing a role in a movie: its not really how they are in real life. Bernie created an online persona, to get into the role, and put himself in the sub-culture of the underworld of internet sex culture. He did not do it in a smart way that would have protected himself should something like this happen. Also, he probably shouldn't have mixed up fiction with fact (his children) with these role paying chats. However, keep in mind that real actors do this all the time: they mix up real things in their life to make their acting more realistic and believable. I don't think Bernie is a bad person. These chats are NOT him. They are him playing a role. Bottom line is the Bernie is not a danger to anyone, and even he prosecutors acknowledge that. So he should simply not be in jail. He does not belong there. That he is going there is an injustice and we should all support him in his time of need, the same way he supported us in our time of need. Bernie was not afraid to tell the truth about Bush and his illegal war at a time when it was unpopular to do so. He was against the jingoistic reaction following 9/11. Bernie stood with the progressives when it counted most. Bernie has given a lot to help the community. He deserves the communities support back.

Juan

Giovanni33: your argument is twisted and perverse. Society should reward him, not punish him?? You are sick.

Like the good Doctor says: Liberalism is a mental disorder.

Giovanni33

Yes, society should reward him. He has given much to society. Even this "crime"--if in fact part of research--was to give back more to society. So there is nothing perverse or twisted here. Its just a question of believing a benign interpretation of the facts that makes Bernie rather innocent here. Its just as valid, if not more so, then the presumption that he was doing it for negative reasons. Why pick the negative?

juan

Why do you downplay the crime? Why do you put the word crime in quotation marks? Are you so much in denial, or is it that you don't think that having child pornography is a big deal? Which is it?

Answer this: What good to any research can it do to possess up to 150 of these pictures (according to him, maybe more)? If you were doing a research on, let's say, murder, would you go out and murder someone?would you go out and murder 150 people? Can't it be said of any crime (or anything, for that matter) that it was committed for research purposes?

Giovanni33

The problem I have is that the law in inflexible, and does not distinguish legitimate reasons for possession with illegitimate reasons. For me the former should not be a crime. If Bernie has a good reason for having these pictures that has nothing to do with being into child porn because he likes it, then he should not be prosecuted. I feel that is not a crime. The law does not provide for an exception in this case, so it is a crime, but yes, I downplay it, in this context.

To be clear child porn is a big deal. It should be outlawed. But, merely possession should not be a crime. I believe it depends on context. If your a professional researcher, you can have things that are illegal for anyone else to have. This is commonly accepted in other areas for illegal substance. Why not here?

150 pictures is not a lot. 1500 is a lot. When you download a batch file/zip file, you easily get 150 in one download. Any serious researcher would purview a large cross section of what is available.

What Bernie is guilty of is not being wise, not being smart. He needed to protect himself and make sure that he could prove his research and get some kind of permission being doing it. That was his mistake. He does not belong in jail as he is not a danger to anyone.

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