Enjoy The Onion's hilarious brief in support of a man arrested for mocking local cops with a Facebook parody site.
The man at the center of the case, Anthony Novak, was arrested in 2016 after he launched the Facebook page that mirrored the Parma Ohio Police Department's official Facebook page. Police accused Novak of posting derogatory and inflammatory information under the guise of real officials from the police department, complete with fake job postings accompanied by notifications that the department discouraged minorities from applying.
Novak was charged with one felony count of disrupting public services, but was later acquitted at trial.
Though the man was acquitted, it was a long and expensive battle against an obvious effort by government officials to punish and silence him for mocking them—and they were granted immunity by lower courts so they could get away with it.
The Onion knows it (among many others) is in deep trouble if that stands.
"The Sixth Circuit's ruling imperils an ancient form of discourse. The court's decision suggests that parodists are in the clear only if they pop the balloon in advance by warning their audience that their parody is not true. … The Sixth Circuit's decision in this case would condition the First Amendment's protection for parody upon a requirement that parodists explicitly say, up-front, that their work is nothing more than an elaborate fiction."
BRIEF OF THE ONION AS AMICUS CURIAE IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONER [Document Cloud]