Jeff Johnson of CNSNews.com has a story about askjohnlott.org and suggests that the wags behind the site might by guilty of “identity theft” and wire fraud:

“Fraud by wire, radio, or television” (18 U.S.C. 1343) is a federal crime:

“Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, any writings, signs, signals, pictures, or sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned … or both.”

Depending on the circumstances involved, the crime is punishable by fines of up to $1,000,000 and imprisoned for up to 30 years.

Johnson provides us with a link to the law, which actually says:

Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, any writings, signs, signals, pictures, or sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. If the violation affects a financial institution, such person shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.

Lott is not a financial institution, so the “30 years” is not at all relevant, but Johnson’s clever edit made it look like it was. In any case they don’t seem to be trying to obtain money or property so if they are in trouble with this law, then so is Lott for his Mary Rosh deceptions.

As I said before, the site should include a disclaimer identifying it as a parody, but how can you believe that they are seriously trying to pass themselves off as Lott when you see them tweak the nose of a Lott supporter like this:

“This is not John Lott’s website,” one angry reader familiar with Lott’s true positions wrote to the site’s author. “Why are you pretending to be a website actually run by Dr. Lott?”

The reader was even angrier when he received what he called an “outrageous” response.

“Why are you pretending not to believe this site? I believe, if you look at my track record, you’ll see that everything I’ve [sic] done in my entire career has been upfront and straightforward,” the Lott imposter wrote. “Why have you decided now to question me?”

Meanwhile, pro-gun boards are all over the case, with discussion of denial of service attacks, and instructions on how to run up the site’s Google advertising bill.

Oh, and I called the phone number listed for askjohnlott.org and got the following message:

“You have reached Mary Rosh. Don’t be in a rosh and leave a nice long message.”

Comments

  1. #1 Guy Cabot
    August 3, 2003

    Johnson’s an idiot.

    Frankly, the askjohnlott.org site is a heckuva lot more accurate than what frequently appears on Lott’s own site.

    I’d also add CNS is not above running parody pieces on their site. Are they guilty of ‘identity theft’ as well?

    http://www.conservativenews.org/Culture/archive/CUL19990107a.html

    When you think about it, CNS is just one big parody site.

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