Jeff Gauger nails it in this morning's column about the defamation suit against local blogger Jeff Martin, aka Fecund Stench, by founders of a local Tea Party group: The core issue is the right of Americans to say terrible things, not the terribleness of the things Martin writes.
Gauger makes a good case that the plaintiffs are public figures. He necessarily rehashes the backstory about strip clubs and sex offenses, facts the controversy has enshrined in Google searches forever.
And he cites some posts the plaintiffs claim to be over the legal line, including a prize-worthy line about Jodi Riddleberger founding Conservatives for Guilford County with “wads of bills still damp from the garters of strippers” and a reference to the imaginary malady of "erectile narcolepsy." These quotes presumably are cribbed from the lawsuit, through which at least some of Fec's material will live on long after the blog itself is gone.
Bonus points to the N&R editor/publisher for including as an example of Martin's scabrous tone his own on-site nickname, "Wet Fart Gauger."
One reader who thought less of the column than I did: Martin, as explained at his new blog.