The Hook Sued for Defamation

The Hook is being sued for defamation, Tasha Kates writes in this morning’s Daily Progress, by an aggrieved subject of articles in the weekly. Thomas Lightfoot Garrett—he goes by “Tommy”—is a publicist, author, chicken farmer, radio show host, Buckingham County resident, and relentless self-promoter, but he’s also been charged with forgery and convicted of “entering the property of another with the intention of damaging it. It’s the latter two points that earned him coverage in The Hook.The Progress says that Garrett is suing the paper and staff writers Lindsay Barnes and Courteney Stuart:

According to the complaint, the first claim of defamation against all three defendants relates to the alternative newsweekly’s coverage of forgery charges filed against Garrett in Buckingham. The complaint claims that Barnes “lampoons Garrett and his attorney over one matter or another” with stories about Garrett’s court case and existence of a magazine cover story on Garrett.

The suit’s second count of defamation, which is only against Better Publications and Stuart, claims Stuart’s April 24 article on Garrett’s plea deal made false statements about the facts of the case.

He wants $5.7M, $5M of that in punitive damages.

Tracking down Courteney Stuart’s article wasn’t a problem, but I can’t find any article about Garrett by Lindsay Barnes. [3:00 PM Update: Here it is, from February 1 of this year.] Garrett seems to be describing Stuart’s April 22, 2008 blog entry in his first claim of defamation. (Kates’ article in the DP didn’t address the substance of the claims, or even compare Garrett’s complaint with the original articles, so I’m on my own here. Note that the text of the lawsuit is not available; the DP has it, but not The Hook, and the daily wouldn’t share their copy with the weekly.) Without knowing specifically what Garrett alleges to be inaccurate, it’s tough to know whether his suit has any grounding in fact. Though with regard to his first complaint, about being “lampooned,” it’s awfully tough to envision any basis in law for such a complaint.

I asked Hook editor Hawes Spencer about Garrett’s complaint. He told me:

As you know, there have been a few times when we have gotten things wrong in a story. Typically, the subject telephones or emails, and besides offering a profuse verbal apology, we run an earnest correction. However, I’ve never received so much as a single phone call or email from Garrett or his lawyers telling me what we might have done wrong. […] I am particularly surprised to be sued when no effort has been made to tell me how our paper might have defamed this person.

Spencer went on to explain that he’d received a letter from another attorney about Garrett back in August, but that Spencer’s request for specifics about factual inaccuracies went unanswered. Compare that with Jesse Sheckler’s successful lawsuit against NBC-29 a few years ago—the poor guy was reported to have been indicted on a cocaine possession conspiracy charge, and despite his requests, the station wouldn’t run a correction. He won a $10M judgment, and rightly so.

Proving libel requires a) the complainant was identified b) the information was defamatory towards the complainant’s reputation c) the information was false, and d) it’s the respondent’s fault. But libel and slander case law (notably New York Times Co. v. Sullivan) has established a basically impossibly-high bar to clear to prove defamation against a famous figure: actual malice must be proved, meaning that the information must be published with reckless disregard for th truth. Garrett almost certainly qualifies as a public figure, given his TV appearances, books published (fiction and nonfiction), high-profile media coverage, etc., which means that the odds of him succeeding in such a lawsuit are vanishingly slim, even if The Hook published inaccurate information.

I can sympathize with The Hook in their continued coverage of him. In writing this blog entry this afternoon, it’s impossible to ignore the really sketchy aspects about this guy. Seriously, look at this magazine that he claims to have been on the cover of. This was obviously patched together in Microsoft Paint. It just screams “bad photoshop job.” (The fact that the magazine doesn’t seem to exist doesn’t help any.) Then there’s his PR firm’s website, hosted on Angelfire. Remember them? The free website hosting service from the mid-90s? Used primary to host webpages for middle school girls professing their love for boy bands? That’s where his company’s website is, at the address http://www.angelfire.com/film/tgj/. Though the site claims to be at garretticonspr.com, that domain is unregistered. In short, Garrett looks like a train wreck in slow motion, and I get that The Hook is just watching and waiting for his big finish.

A friend once told me that you’re nobody in this town until you threaten to sue Hawes Spencer. There might be something to that. The thing is, though, you’ve got to stop at the threat. I guess Garrett didn’t get that memo.

81 Responses to “The Hook Sued for Defamation”


  • I know nothing about this case, but I just want to say that reading the line (“Garrett looks like a train wreck in slow motion, and I get that The Hook is just watching and waiting for his big finish”) made it for me. Very quotable.

  • Given that the magazine cover contains a made-up word in the first bullet point and a grammatical non sequitur in the last, it does appear a tad suspect.

  • I didn’t think anyone took The Hook seriously. That’s like being defamed in Mad Magazine, or National Lampoon.

  • Why does someone have to “stop at the threat?” If someone had sufficient legal grounds to sue, why would they have to “stop” at the threat of a lawsuit against Mr. Spencer? I don’t understand.

  • Well, it’s called the Streisand Effect. Unless you really have a good case and want to pursue it. Then it’s called the Carol Burnett Exception.
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D0CE1DA1139F937A35752C0A967958260

  • I think, based upon Waldo`s assessment, and the Case Law reference, Hawes Spencer has little to fear; although it must become a tad old to be assailed by frequent threats of lawsuit.I`d never sleep.

    Presumably The Hook prudently carries appropriate insurance. His premiums , I suppose, would reveal how successful previous suits were. I expect the premiums are not extraordinarily high.

  • Why does someone have to “stop at the threat?” If someone had sufficient legal grounds to sue, why would they have to “stop” at the threat of a lawsuit against Mr. Spencer?

    Because nobody actually has sufficient legal grounds to sue. I’m not aware of any instance in which the staff of The Hook (and much of the same staff, before that, at C-Ville Weekly; or, before that, at C-Ville Review) has ever stated something untrue about somebody and then refused to correct it. It takes reckless incompetence for a media outlet to lose a defamation case in the U.S.

  • Wow, just a few minutes of googling around about this guy this evening, and his biography just collapses. He describes himself as having “penned three best-selling books,”, but his books [1, 2, 3] are all self-published (via Wasteland Press), making that so improbable as to be impossible.

    I can’t find any evidence that any of these books ever sold well, or even at all. The one review of his latest book that I can find is by one “Roger Hitts,” described in his author bio as “two-time United Press International columnist of the year…a veteran celebrity journalist whose by-lines appear in numerous magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and around the world.” But there are only 186 hits for his name in Google, such a tiny number that it’s hugely improbably that he’s the person described. Stranger still, the review appeared in The Canyon News, the tiny little Los Angeles newspaper that claims Garrett as a staff writer and editor. The paper published a glowing review of a book by the paper’s editor?

    Check out that staff listing. Notice something strange? None of the employees have last names. Or phone numbers. Or e-mail addresses.

    Garrett emphasizes in his biographical material that “he’s represented the likes of classic Hollywood stars such as Clint Walker, Tab Hunter and Ruta Lee.” Note that there’s a “Ruta” on the staff listing for The Canyon News. He also promotes that he “recently completed a pilot for a new TV show, Hollywood Classics, which featured soap opera luminary Eileen Fulton discussing her life and career from her home in New York City.” Watch it and see if it doesn’t seem odd to you. It’s clearly not a pilot, but something more like a five-minute screen test.

    It’s taken me longer to write this than it did to read up on this stuff. My point is that just about everything about this guy dissolves with the slightest prod. I don’t know what it all adds up to, or what the takeaway is, but it’s awfully odd. Just watch the segment of “Living with Ed” that includes him. Individually-wrapped chicken eggs? In saran wrap? Something just isn’t right here, but I sure can’t guess what it is.

  • Waldo, Wouldn’t this be thrown out as a frivolous law suit ? and why wouldn’t the Daily Progress share the suit with the Hook, I thought news organizations were in the business of helping each other ?

  • So much for investigative journalism Jaquith. It took ME less than 15 minutes to find out that while the Angelfire website is about Garrett, he did not create it or authorize it. It is NOT his and he has nothing to do with it. The magazine cover everyone likes to make fun of is NOT genuine. There IS a genuine one but The Hook is not using it. Ruta Lee DOES write occasionally for Canyon News. You mock Garrett about a portion of old Youtube footage with Eileen Fulton and miss the fact that the Living With Ed segment was very much tongue in cheek.
    Garrett may or may not win his lawsuit but I sure hope he does given the way you lot are so keen to bash him into submission. You’re all irresponsible with the power so-called journalism gives you. All of you need to grow up and focus on what matters. Charlottesville reporters seem to have a massive chip on their shoulders. I’ve seen the same claims printed time and time again, always in support of the Hook stories. Do you keep repeating lies until they are believed to be true? Seems like that’s exactly what you are trying to do.
    And no, I am NOT Tommy Garrett. The same morons always throw that one into the fray and it’s getting tiresome.

  • It took ME less than 15 minutes to find out that while the Angelfire website is about Garrett, he did not create it or authorize it. It is NOT his and he has nothing to do with it.

    Really? You’re telling me that some totally unrelated third party, having nothing to do with him, created a website for his company, specified that it’s copyright “T Garrett,” maintains a news section, but it’s unauthorized?

    You say that you “found out that…he did not create it.” Please, tell the rest of us: How did you find that out? What, specifically, allowed you to learn this? Could you provide us with the website address where you gleaned this information? Please, I’d like to learn about “investigative journalism” from you.

    The magazine cover everyone likes to make fun of is NOT genuine. There IS a genuine one but The Hook is not using it.

    Really? How do you know that? If there’s a genuine one that The Hook has access to, then presumably the rest of us could see it somewhere, too, presumably online. A quick check of EBSCO shows no records that this publication exists. And ditto for Scent of a Woman. Another magazine with precisely the same photo, laboriously redesigned in imitation of the original, rather than just using the original?

    Here’s a funny thing: the only reference on the whole of the internet to “Spirit of a Woman” magazine is a press release announcing its creation. Weirder still, this press release is dated October 2006, announcing the forthcoming publication…yet the cover of the issue with Mr. Garrett is dated June 2006. And—stranger still—the contact at the bottom of the press release is one Tommy Garrett. So he’s sending out a press release to announce a new magazine that he’s put himself on the cover of that starts coming out in November, but the cover he’s got (which you say he made himself as a facsimile of the original) is from June, before the magazine existed. Huh?

    And, speaking of that press release, in it Garrett claims:

    Tommy has been invited to the White House twelve times under five presidents.

    Really? Carter, Reagan, G.H.W. Bush, Clinton, and G.W. Bush? Now, Carter left office in 1980, and Mr. Garrett says he was born in 1966, so he was invited to the White House some time between the ages of 10 and 14? And all of these visits, they’d show up in the White House visitor logs if I checked…right?

    He was friends with Princess Diana and is very close to the Royals of Monaco today.

    Um. No. Just…no.

    And no, I am NOT Tommy Garrett. The same morons always throw that one into the fray and it’s getting tiresome.

    Yeah…uh…here’s the thing: I’m pretty sure you are. But I can pretend you’re not, if that would make you happy.

  • Clearly there is some pretending going on somewhere. His books did get some interesting reviews on amazon…

    http://www.amazon.com/review/product/1933265612/ref=cm_cr_pr_hist_1?_encoding=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&filterBy=addOneStar

    Some where more positive, but I wonder who the real “reviewer” is on those. They seem just too far at odds with the negative reviews.

  • Wouldn’t this be thrown out as a frivolous law suit?

    I’m afraid that these small-picture aspects of the law (which is to say the most important stuff :) are something that I know nothing about. This lawsuit is so clearly frivolous that I imagine any judge would toss it out upon first spotting it. The more I learn about Mr. Garrett, the more clear that it is that he’d make a mockery of the courtroom. A court accepting this case would have to deal with the guy, and I’m pretty sure that nobody wants to do that.

    and why wouldn’t the Daily Progress share the suit with the Hook, I thought news organizations were in the business of helping each other ?

    That strikes me as an awfully strange thing to withhold, too. I can see one news organization refusing to share source materials with another when they’ve got a scoop—which is basically what happened here—but when it’s a lawsuit against that other news organization, it seems a bit petty to withhold the text of that suit. (Presumably Mr. Garrett personally provided his legal filing to the Progress, which is how they came to have it before either The Hook or, quite probably, even the court.)

    danpri, those Amazon.com reviews are some the harshest reviews that I’ve ever read—thanks for posting that link.

  • Yeah, the Amazon reviews offer a great thesaurus of synonyms for the word “dreadful.”

  • Here’s a funny thing: the only reference on the whole of the internet to “Spirit of a Woman” magazine is a press release announcing its creation

    Well, I also came across a mention of the magazine here — discovered while listening to Tommy stream on an archived Australian radio program.

  • More about the Spirit magazine here.

    (And, in the background of the photo, is that a copy of the much discussed Senior Magazine with Garrett cover story?)

  • Wow, this is just quite sad. I realize that’s condescending and dismissive in many ways. I don’t know the guy so perhaps that’s unfair. But it is, indeed, quite sad. I spent far too long poking around on the Amazon reviews noting that virtually every 5 star review lauds Garrett more than the book and almost every person who reviewed the book has reviewed nothing else save Garrett’s other book on Amazon. Follow any of the information or claims made by this person further than a half a step and they simply dissolve.

  • Yeah, I’m coming to the same conclusion, Chris.

  • Oh man, I’m going to be glued to this thread the next few days waiting for “Chloe” to reappear. I love this.

  • Maybe Chloe can get Tommy to weigh in on this comment thread.

  • As pretty sure as you are, like I said – I am not Garrett. Not even the same color. But as a close associate and friend of several years, I have access to information and evidence that you do not and will not because you are absolutely biased and wouldn’t accept it if it bit you on the ass. Actually, Waldo, yes. A third party did contrive a site for Garrett because she thought she was being helpful. How do I know? I asked him personally when I found two versions of the site online more than a year and a half ago. He cannot remove it if he doesn’t own it and if it wasn’t doing any harm, why would he bother? As for copyright, doesn’t everyone put that on their website just for decoration? You have dedicated a web-page to Garrett right here too. It takes all kinds, I guess.
    You’re so clever… sneering at me about the original cover. It’s public record now. Go take a look at it at Buckingham County Circuit Court Clerk’s office if this all means so much to you. Take a magnifying glass if it makes you feel better, Sherlock.
    We had a good chuckle over your Diana and the Royals of Monaco jibe when I mentioned it. I would have thought a super sleuth like yourself would know that truth is often stranger than fiction. Too bad for you. I bet you learned about Santa way too early.

    Let’s hear what the Judge makes of it.
    All the rest you and the Hookers have to say is smoke and mirrors.

  • Easy For You To Judge!

    Danpri, what books have you written? It’s really funny how you idiots have no life going on and only want to talk about someone else’s life or lack of one. Shows you have none period. Waldo is dying to become well known so he jumped on the bandwagon of his boyfriend Hawes to try to get sued and attention as well. Look Waldo up on google, it’s all self promotion and talking about himself. Sounds like what he’s accused Garrett of. I don’t have a dog in this hunt but Waldo, keep up the great work, you may end up getting some fame of your own. You’ve been dying for it for years. So sad and pathetic!

  • Actually, E4U2J, I wasn’t going to bring up the Little Submarine’s extra-curricular activities with upstanding citizen Hawes because it’s a little off topic but I suppose it does explain why he is trying so hard to bitch-slap Garrett. If he shows support for his ol’ flame, things might go back the way they were and they can heat up the shadowy corners of the 216 Gay Club in Charlottesville once again.
    There’s always a reason for men behaving badly that isn’t so obvious at first.

  • Sooooo, the two of you, in an effort to discredit Waldo and Hawes, make what you perceive as derogatory comments about their being gay. With each other. At Club 216. Chloe, seriously? THAT’S how you want your comments to be perceived?????

    Niiiiice. Totally, absolutely, the correct way to bolster your case that the lawsuit has merit or that Garret’s claims are true. Calling people gay on the Internet as a way to make a point? As Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers would say, “Really? Really?”

    You can argue and discuss the merits of the case and the validity of Garret’s claims (I know nothing of the details and didn’t really care one way or the other), but trying to make your point via the Gay card? Now, without even knowing Waldo or Hawes, I absolutely, totally believe everything they have to say since you two resorted to the lowest common denominator of Internet discussion. Well done. Sigh.

  • Well, this just keeps getting weirder and sadder.

  • Not really Waldo. What is the difference between you denying something online and Garrett denying something online? Then again, you didn’t actually deny it per se. VoR thinks it’s a cheap shot that doesn’t have a place in all this. I think it does. I think Waldo is being a mouthpiece for Hawes because they did have a thing. It’s not a secret. Everything thrown at Garrett so far has been in the realm of the lowest common denominator so don’t think you’ll shame with that one.

  • This thread is so very, very entertaining.

  • I forgot to thank Voice of Reason for correcting me on the name of the gay club. Luckily he/she set me straight. I’m not terribly familiar with it myself.

  • Chloe said: “What is the difference between you denying something online and Garrett denying something online? Then again, you didn’t actually deny it per se.”

    Neither did Garrett. Where is he in all of this? You are denying things on his behalf, but at least Waldo, and Hawes on the Hook site, are addressing the issues and putting forth opinions with their real names. Where is Garrett, other than old press releases? Unless, of course, you ARE Garrett? Duh dun duh dun duh.

  • VoR, you’re up so late. Are you readying yourself for a night out at the club?
    I get the biggest laugh out of all you dorks who say I’m Tommy Garrett. No matter how many times I say it, nobody believes it. There’s going to be some serious egg face if somebody tries to sue him for anything I might say too. Good luck with that. I’m tempted to DARE someone.
    Don’t get all holier than thou regarding real names. Why would I give the Charlottesville Cheer Squad any more ammunition and another angle of attack?
    Actually you are WRONG! Garrett denies just about all of it. He keeps denying it. Where did you get the screwed up idea that he never denied it? Is that another Hook story I missed. Where is Garrett? He’s probably sleeping. Only clubbers stay up this late.

  • So now I’m gay too and that’s a bad thing?????

    Chloe, I asked a simple question: where online has Garret denied any of this? You made a point of defending things said online and I don’t see Garrett in any of this. You are defending him anonymously, others have opinions using their real names. Where is he?

    Also, glass houses, ya know? We’re both up late, could be for various reasons, doesn’t matter. We’re having a discussion. If you want to make derogatory comments about me, because I disagree with you, you’ll have to do better than “gay”, ‘cuz I’m not insulted by that. Even though I’m not gay, I don’t consider homosexuality as a derogatory comment. Moran (get it?) might be better.

  • Oh jeez, just saw this comment by Chloe in the previous post: “Only clubbers stay up this late.”

    Irony or the worst way to argue on the Internet? Not sure, close call.

  • Sorry to disappoint you VoR… I am not ‘up late’ at all. You’re all by yourself on that one.
    Also sorry to get you so NOT angry that you call me a moron and spell it wrong. That’s funny.
    If you can stand it, trawl through the Hook links and see the many times Garrett’s lawyers have denied the claims made against him. You guys sure are big on using online links as proof of truth.

  • Ummm….I wrote the internet.

  • Normally I give a series of warnings and eventually block somebody for trolling. In this case, it’s so foolish that I can’t see the harm, given that I’m the target at this point.

    Looking through the site’s logs, I see that Mr. Garrett has been having a hard time keeping his usernames, IP addresses, and e-mail addresses straight between his sock puppets (“Chloe” and “Easy For You To Judge!”). I imagine it’s hard keeping those straight.

  • Any publicity is good publicity, in today’s world, I guess?

  • I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man

  • Waldo, the sock puppet is Easy For You To Judge, right? (Helpfully abbreviated by Chloe to E4U2J.) Voice of Reason is a fairly frequent commenter here I think.

  • Waldo, the sock puppet is Easy For You To Judge, right? (Helpfully abbreviated by Chloe to E4U2J.) Voice of Reason is a fairly frequent commenter here I think.

    Yes, that’s right—I’m sorry for that mistake. I’ve gone back and corrected my comment, to avoid confusion.

    FWIW, I have no way of knowing for a certainty that these two sock puppets are, in fact, Mr. Garrett, but that seems like the unescapable conclusion. But I do know that they’re both coming from the same computer.

  • But I do know that they’re both coming from the same computer.

    From within the palace for the royals of Trabazon?

  • Oh my Lord. That is a hoot, Bloom.

  • In the background image for the first “royal” page, I see again a copy of a cover of Senior Magazine (Arizona).

    Is this one a signed and/or dedicated copy from Tommy?

  • Waldo, I’m sorry, but from now on I’m going to have to start addressing you as the Little Submarine.

  • Oh, I see how it works now Waldo. If I agree with you, I can stay and play on your website, but if I DISAGREE with you for attacking my friend, who’s character is better known to me than to you, then you call me a troll and threaten to ban me. How typically Hookish.
    That’s an outright lie that the posts came from the same computer. I did NOT post under the name E4U2J or anyone else. If you want to lie about the small details, where do you draw the line? You couldn’t mistake a detail like that. It was a deliberate lie on this blog.
    OK… you got me! I can’t deny it any longer. I’m Tommy Garrett, OK? Denying it doesn’t work so here I am… Hey everybody. I’m Tommy Garrett!!! I’ve got nothing better to do than visit Waldo’s blog. Knock yourselves out. damn

  • Chloe, maybe he wants to boot you because you’re a nasty homophobe?

  • Homophobe? Me??? Hilarious!! Where’d you get that idea? I’m merely pointing out that Waldo has an ulterior motive for supporting Hawes in his unfair Garrett bashing. If Waldo can honestly say there’s never been anything between him and Hawes and that he’s never been to that particular club then I suppose my information could be inaccurate. I’ll take it all back if they stop bashing Garrett. Simple really.
    I never called VoR gay either. He jumped to conclusions while I was merely pulling his chain.

  • So Tommy, you do know that your IP is unique and that a computer geeky dude like Waldo knows what he is talking about and anyone who uses Angelfire is not taken seriously by the world.

  • danpri, if u were yourself a “computer geeky dude”, u’d know that your statement isn’t too informed, because it’s so completely easy to spoof IPs and DNS. Not that Chloe knows that, but if u’re gonna make techie stataments, u should know what’s what.

  • Yeah, but what would be the purpose of “Chloe” or “Easy For You To Judge!” to do so?

    Here’s a hint: they are the same person. And that person is most likely Tommy.

  • danpri, if u were yourself a “computer geeky dude”, u’d know that your statement isn’t too informed, because it’s so completely easy to spoof IPs and DNS.

    It’s actually pretty tricky to spoof IPs. The confessed Mr. Garrett (who seems to have forgotten his confession) is going through an anonymizing proxy, but I’m cleverer than it is. As I’ve written, you’re basically never really anonymous on the internet.

  • I’ve never tried to be too tricky Waldo. I don’t reserve the proxies just for you. No need to feel special. I’m merely defending my good friend who has been hounded for 2 years by the same people who wrongly reported strip searches out in the open with traffic driving past. I didn’t realize this was a serious pissing contest. Go ahead and be as clever as you can possibly be. You’ll see that the best you can do is throw virtual marshmallows at me unless you want to really start parting with some cash. No doubt you’ve been comparing your log with Hawes – not that there’s anything wrong with that – but other posters might start to wonder about THEIR info … or maybe there’s a little something extra in the cookie you dumped on my PC. I should charge you a storage fee for that btw.
    I do get it… calling me Tommy Garrett constantly is supposed to annoy me. It’s a bit cliched, don’t you think? How many times can you say it before you get bored? I just find it amusing.

  • Props on the “comparing your log” joke, it made me laugh. But diss on the whole cookie thing because, lol, you don’t know how Web Technologies work.

    I guess that’s why you stick with Angelfire, right?

  • Waldo has an ulterior motive for supporting Hawes in his unfair Garrett bashing. If Waldo can honestly say there’s never been anything between him and Hawes and that he’s never been to that particular club then I suppose my information could be inaccurate. I’ll take it all back if they stop bashing Garrett. Simple really.

    I suppose we can all now see how Garrett came to accuse the owner of a funeral home of necrophilia—his M.O. is to attack people with outlandish claims in order to intimidate them into silence. That much is clear with this line: “I’ll take it all back if they stop bashing Garrett.” In my case, though, I’m not in any line of business where such wild-eyed claims could affect me, and Garrett’s credibility is at zero now, anyway.

  • Guess who this describes?

    THE MALIGNANT PERSONALITY:

    First, to recognize them, keep the following guidelines in mind.

    (1) They are habitual liars. They seem incapable of either knowing or telling the truth about anything. They will use alliases to mask their true intentions (aka “wolve’s in sheep’s clothing”).

    (2) They are egotistical to the point of narcissism. They really believe they are set apart from the rest of humanity by some special grace.

    (3) They scapegoat; they are incapable of either having the insight or willingness to accept responsibility for anything they do. Whatever the problem, it is always someone else’s fault.

    (4) They are remorselessly vindictive when thwarted or exposed.

    (5) Genuine religious, moral, or other values play no part in their lives. They have no empathy for others and are capable of intimidation, extortion and/or violence. Under older psychological terminology, they fall into the category of psychopath or sociopath, but unlike the typical psychopath, their behavior is masked by a superficial social facade.

  • wow! haven’t seen such toxic sludge on the local internets since that hook blog about the closing of the prism a couple yrs back. if i remember right, it went on for well over a week and just got more and more snarky as it went. happy new year y’all.

  • Loki, you underestimate the power of the Dark Cookie. You must go to Cville if you are to learn the ways of the Farce.
    Truly I have never dealt with Angelfire other than the occasional site I might have passed through while browsing. I can’t make you believe it if you don’t want to. Same thing as them calling me Garrett. I’m 100% not. Never have been. Never will be. It would be a neat trick though. Sigh…

    I’m not quite sure… is the malignant personality describing Waldo or the Hookers? It’s a fine line. The resemblance is scary though.

    Waldo. You refer everyone once again to another Hook story that is supposed to show Garrett’s evil ways to prove your point. It’s a Hook link FFS! You would further your case much better if you used external sources who are not associated with The Hook and who are not merely copying the story from The Hook. Surely if Garrett is such a monster, he has left a trail of destruction that every other newspaper in the country has sent reporters out to investigate and they’ve all come to the same conclusion. I haven’t seen or heard of them. Why is the Hook so special? Why is The Hook the ONLY paper to spend serious effort in destroying this man’s credibility and career? Has Tommy Garrett personally attacked any single one of you? I’d sure like to know. It’s at odds with everything I know about him.

  • [quote]Has Tommy Garrett personally attacked any single one of you? I’d sure like to know. [/quote]

    Tommy Garrett kicked my dog.

  • The craziness of this saga is just … crazy. So the fellow is obviously a habitual liar and con-man, I’m curious as to whether there was malice or some kind of moneymaking scam involved in any of this. Anyone know?
    An aside: The idea of a magazine devoted to Seniors with a random goofy looking guy on it and the tagline “Who is he and what does he do?” makes me laugh and laugh.

  • Chloe, first of all, I wasn’t calling you a moran (it’s an Internet meme, check it out, just Google “images moran”), I was saying you would do better trying to insult me by calling me a moran than gay. I don’t try to make points/discuss things on a blog by insulting other people.

    In any event, you said:

    “Surely if Garrett is such a monster, he has left a trail of destruction that every other newspaper in the country has sent reporters out to investigate and they’ve all come to the same conclusion. I haven’t seen or heard of them. Why is the Hook so special? Why is The Hook the ONLY paper to spend serious effort in destroying this man’s credibility and career?”

    ‘Cuz he doesn’t really have a career? ‘Cuz no one outside of Charlottesville cares? ‘Cuz maybe his claims are so incredulous and his reach so miniscule that it doesn’t matter to papers outside of Cville?

    As I said earlier, I don’t know Waldo, Hawes, or Garrett. But I CAN look stuff up about Waldo and Hawes. When I look stuff up about Garrett, I see shameless (seriously shameless) self-promotion. He was friends with Princess Diana? Fine, even if I believe that, where, on the Internet are any of his verifiable accomplishments? I am seriously asking this question. Please note I am not slamming you. You are asking why people are attacking him. The answer is: his claims are unbelievable with no documented backup.

  • Well thankyou VoR. Finally a reasonable response. I can accept that and I take it on board.
    Tommy does actually have all the documentation required and all the letters and correspondence he needs to prove he has or had ongoing friendships with the people he says he has. He does self-promote. He’s a publicist. He also promotes his clients from behind the scenes. Tommy is better known in LA than Charlottesville so the comment about not being known is not exactly true.

  • So…perhaps a Variety Link? Anything besides the sad looking stuff I have seen so far.

  • Chloe, you’re calling on others to provide links to documentation or other sources. Will you provide any? Right now, anyone reading this blog has the information linked here or written here to go on. That includes links to Amazon.com reviews, various other websites that have nothing to do with this blog or the Hook. I think most readers and commenters here are drawing their own conclusions and inferences rather than simply accepting what was/is written in the Hook or written here by Waldo. I drew my own interim conclusions based on reading through the Amazon reviews of Mr. Garrett’s books and the handful of websites that have been linked to here. I’m completely open to having my thoughts changed but so far I haven’t seen anything that would lead me to believe any of Mr. Garrett’s claims. You say you have such information and that such documentation exists but you don’t offer any of it nor do you point to any place that any of us can find it or look at it. Absent some ability to actually see anything that would support Mr. Garrett’s claims, how can we believe them? I don’t know you any more than I know Waldo, so I have no reason to simply take anything either of you say entirely at face value in the absence of any outside source. Especially if you’re going to call for additional sources on Waldo’s part, you should be willing/able to offer such things yourself.

  • Here’s the thing, Chris… and I no longer care who believes what because I speak what I believe to be truth… Tommy Garrett’s good deeds go largely unnoticed because contrary to popular belief, there IS actually a world outside of the internet. It existed before there was internet and it still exists now if we care to look outside the box. People like Waldo and the Hookers have gotten so used to clicking a mouse button that they just expect anything of value to them will be online. The Hook has gone all out to label Tommy a self-promoting ne’er-do-well but the fact is he does many things the old fashioned way – OFFLINE – and he spends an enormous amount of time and his own money providing care packages for the troops in Afghanistan and writing hand-written letters to so many lonely soldiers who have no-one to send them letters from home. Hundreds of them! Try handwriting hundreds of letters and see how long it takes you. He provided plentiful supplies to the troops so they could enjoy a stress-free night of Halloween celebration before being deployed out to God knows where. He still has the replies of gratitude from those soldiers. They will be available if needed in court to prove it happened. Any of you with family posted overseas might understand the effort Tommy went to just to make their lives a little bit easier for a short while. He was presented with a US flag by George Bush to thank him for his tremendous effort. Did the Hook print that? No! It’s because he didn’t make a big deal about it. He COULD have but the self-promoting ‘terror’ somehow kept himself in check. They did manage to print when he held a charity event to collect clothes and shoes for kids in the war zones but that’s all. Wait, they also printed that he was featured in 2 of the biggest Soaps magazines in the US then proceeded to mock him about it. He has also been featured in ‘In Touch Weekly’. That’s no small feat. Show me a list of people from Cville who have appeared in that.
    The mistake VoR and everyone else is making is that you all expect the documented proof to be online and available at your fingertips. It isn’t online, or at least is hard to find if it is. I’ve seen the photos and letters but my anonymous word means little as I’m constantly reminded. The deeds of Tommy Garrett are recorded mostly the old fashioned way, in photos and on paper and readily available when he needs them for his day in court.

    Bottom line: Tommy didn’t start all this. Colbert did. It backfired on Colbert and it’s taken years for him to get revenge. We’re so caught up with these stupid blogs, we almost forget the original reason for being here.

  • Public figures get lampooned all the time. Look at the comics of George and Barak and our own local officials and public personalities. I’m sure they also do a lot of good deeds. Since when is this illegal?

  • to expand on my previous comment I just read this in our illustrious paper the Daily Progress (A7) ‘Magic Negro’ song causes RNC uproar

    The chairman of the Republican National Committee said Saturday he was “shocked and appalled” that one of his potential successors had sent committee members a CD this Christmas featuring a 2007 song called ” Barack the Magic Negro.”

    In the wake of RNC Chairman Robert M.”Mike” Duncan’s admonishment, former Tennenessee GOP leader Chip Saltsman said that party leaders should stand up to criticism over sending out the song on a CDE. He earlier defended the song as “lighthearted political parodies” from Rush Limbaugh’s radio show.

    A spokesman for President-elect Barack Obama, Ben LaBolt, declined to comment on the matter

  • To present a short paraphrase of Chloe’s latest answer to calls for evidence: “there’s tons of it, but I can’t show it to any of you, and you won’t be able to find it yourself, but really, trust me, it’s there.” Interspersed with grandiose claim after grandiose claim, none of them supported by evidence.

  • ___________ is a person that either kills, or destroys their victim’s name or character solely to steal their possessions, money, and devastate/destroy them in the process. By employing the use of a pathological defense mechanism known as “projective identification”, this person creates and builds a case against an intended victim(s) in order to appear “justified”. Tragically, the victim is totally unaware of what is happening and realizes criminal activity only after the fact. Persons like ___________ are masters of deception and manipulation; they are pathological liars, coldly calculating and are constantly parsing their environment for new victims.

  • Cecil, you are exactly the kind of need-it-now net-junkie I was talking about. Wait for the damned court case. I suppose Tommy kicked YOUR dog too.
    Buckingham County Circuit Court is where this will all be sorted, not here where Waldo and the Hookers pull the strings.
    What a bitter lot you all are. Cville has got to be the country’s focal point of miserable sods. All negatives, no positives. Who’d want to live there?
    All this angst caused by a tiny little newspaper in Cville and an even tinier blog.
    If none of you care the slightest about Tommy Garrett, why did you all spend your Christmas thinking about him enough to need to give your 2 pennies worth here?

  • Waldo and Hawes will be glad to hear they pull the strings in Charlottesville. It will,of course be news to everyone else. When someone spends many words telling you how small you are it always reveals more about the person saying it. I am willing to wait to see what possible help all these impressive friends will give you. A fundraiser for your legal defense fund perhaps?
    Chloe, your work is done.Perhaps the Grimaldi’s will give you citizenship after you win this massive lawsuit.

  • Soulfriere, I meant they control what appears on their sites or in the paper. Otherwise they are nothing.

    The Hook had many posts in the past that were pro-Tommy and gave background on the shady characters involved in making claims that Tommy was a thief but those posts were removed quickly before too many people could begin to doubt the Hook’s ‘reliable’ sources. The Hook reported that Tommy sued Colbert for fondling corpses. The Hook is wrong. That information came out about Colbert during the trial and was backed by 2 other employees and 1 or 2 of Colbert’s wives. Colbert claims he won a settlement over Tommy. It never happened. It sounds good in print – but is absolutely FALSE. The truth is on public record in Fluvanna. These things are printed as fact by the Hook – but they are 100% false. Kimbell was mentally impaired and under the influence of Colbert’s ‘friendship’ when he suddenly got the idea that Tommy was stealing from him. It’s not hard to figure out where the idea came from. The Hook took Colbert and Kimbell’s word for their story and went to town on Tommy when he refused to play their game. They never counted on the fact that Colbert was lying and Kimbell didn’t know if he was on Earth or Venus. They’ve gone too far with it to say they were wrong so they have to bash Tommy into the dust or die trying.

  • Why does the rest of the world hate Tommy so? Is it jealousy, envy, or just plain evil? Why does Tommy gain such close friendships with these people and why do these people take him to court?
    How do we know Kimball is mentally impaired; has this been determined by a court or is Chole now defaming Kimball? How do we know that Colbert was influencing Kimball?
    But the biggest question is what game is Tommy refusing to play? Does that game involve uniforms?

    Turn in for the next installment of the” Hawes and Waldo” take over the world show

  • Chloe, you’ve got your views and beliefs and that’s great. Voicing them is also great.

    Would you please not declare that people are “nothing” and stop calling people names? It’s got no place in adult discourse.

    One other note: the fact that you’re writing these posts on Waldo’s site while also taking shots at Waldo for controlling what’s on his site sort of renders that line of argument moot, at least for cvillenews.com

  • I’ve met several Grimaldis. I’ve worked for Nancy Reagan. But I can’t say we’re friends, because I doubt they even would remember me. Me thinks Garrett is simply a gold digger. But hey, that’s very commonplace. What exactly makes this guy worse than, say, every lame and exasperating Oxyclean man in America today?

  • When I read the Hook articles all they are doing are quoting what people have told them. You say Chloe, “Colbert claims he won a settlement over Tommy. It never happened. It sounds good in print – but is absolutely FALSE. The truth is on public record in Fluvanna. These things are printed as fact by the Hook – but they are 100% false.” Well, the Hook is just reporting what Colbert or Kimbell told them. It seems that if you are upset about what these people are saying you should be suing them. Reporters quote people saying things all the time that aren’t necessarily true. Remember the Iraq war and everything we were told in the press about weapons of mass destruction.

    A well educated public is skeptical about what they read unfortunately we are falling down in our country on the well educated part.

  • Tommy/Chloe/various other fake names,

    You are exhibiting behavior consistent with someone who is mentally ill. You’ve constructed an elaborate fantasy world and persona for yourself which may have been fun for a while but is now spilling out over the side and negatively affecting other people.

    Please just go and get yourself some professional help. I mean this in the kindest possible way. You clearly have some talents for promotion and a desire to get things done. These are potentially good traits that are being hopelessly overshadowed by your bizarre and embarrassing behavior. Get some help from a mental health professional.

  • This Australian blog has some informative commentary about this case, noting that even the text of the lawsuit contains lies about Garrett. The suit claims that Garrett worked for a radio show with “over seven million listeners.” In a nation of 21M people, that’s vanishingly unlikely. In fact, the show isn’t even broadcast nationally, and has a market share of 8.8% of all radio listeners. Pretending that everybody in the entire country listens to the radio during his show every day, that would mean a maximum theoretical listenership of 1.8M people. In fact, it’s probably just a fraction of that, probably hundreds of thousands of people.

    The blogger also points out that Garrett also accused him of having homosexual affairs when he dared question Garrett, and posted a series of comments in which he claimed to not be himself. I guess a pattern has emerged here.

  • Being blissfully out of the loop, I’ve been working hard to figure out why this matters to anyone. More important than this slop is the fact that this “Voice of Reason” character is using my “Voice of” shtick. Voice of Reason, if everyone does this, then the joy will be gone forever, as we’ll have, among others, Voice of Love, Voice of Hate, Voice of Waldo, and Voice of Crotchety Know-it-all. Please desist.

  • What’s all the fuss over a hack writer who believes his own miniscule (and self-generated) hype? Personally I see another frivolous lawsuit clogging the system, and a guy mistaking The Hook for Time Magazine.

    Moving on…

  • Chloe, please take a moment to look at this post of yours:

    Chloe Dec 26th, 2008 at 2:32 am

    Sorry to disappoint you VoR… I am not ‘up late’ at all.

    Do you see the timestamp? Do you see your claim? If you are writing from within the Eastern Time zone, then your claim is quite silly.

    Another amusing bit:

    Here’s the thing, Chris… and I no longer care who believes what because I speak what I believe to be truth…

    I am curious about this. If you do not care “who believes what”, what is the point of using inflammatory language on this blog to defend your claims?

    If you believe you speak the truth, you must make your claims, calmly respond to reasonable challenges, and make your peace.

  • Well done Tim… you win a cigar.
    My claim was therefor NOT silly.

  • Good work, Tim. You’re well on your way to slowly killing yourself with tobacco products now. And for free!

    Which has to be better than having spent time on this particular issue. I know I’d like the collective hour or so I spent on it back. Poor decision making by me.

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