Is controversial Miami attorney Jack Thompson a freedom fighter?
While the Florida Bar argued last week that the anti-game activist should be disbarred for a minimum of ten years, Thompson is scheduled to be honored at America's Freedom Festival on July 2nd in Provo, Utah. While information is sketchy, the web page for the Freedom Awards describes them as intended:
...to honor individuals who have espoused the cause of freedom throughout the world.
In light of his current legal difficulties, Thompson is an interesting choice, to say the least. His selection could potentially stir up some local controversy in Utah, as well. In 2007 Thompson called for the indictment of the state's Republican Attorney General, Mark Shurtleff, over Shurtleff's recommendation that a Thompson-authored video game law then under consideration in the legislature was unconstitutional.
GamePolitics has made three attempts in recent weeks to contact event organizers in order to determine who submitted Thompson for the award and on what basis. Although we have yet to receive a response, we know that our e-mail was viewed by chairperson Vicki Garbutt since she forwarded a copy to Thompson on May 28th, inquiring about our "agenda." Thompson forwarded the e-mail back to us the following day with the warning, "Careful, Dennis."
The awards dinner is sponsored by Utah County, described as "the most Republican county in the most Republican state in the United States."
In the past, Garbutt has explained the Freedom Award as follows:
It's what gets at the heart of what we talk about with freedom — celebrating the individuals who sacrifice for their own freedom and the freedom of others.
Thompson has forwarded a copy of what appears to be his page from the event program. However, it offers few specifics regarding his selection.
UPDATE: I should point out that it's not my intent to frame this story as any type of commentary on Republicans. Thompson has certainly had his issues with Republicans in Florida and elsewhere (as I noted, he was ridiculously harsh in his criticism of Utah's A.G. Shurtleff, a Republican).