So a family-court judge in Reno, Chuck Weller, was shot through a courtroom window Monday by a disgruntled custody-seeking father, and here’s who CNN interviews about the incident:
Garret Idle went before Weller in 2005 seeking to increase his visitation time with his two children. Instead, he said, the judge slammed him for more child support and did not listen to any of his concerns about his son and daughter.
“Weller is very abusive. He’s a monster,” Idle, 48, said. “He’s destroyed everything I’ve worked for.”
Idle said that he met Mack [the shooter] at a support group for noncustodial parents and that the two would talk about how unfair they thought the judge was. Mack was upset at having to pay a lot of child support, Idle said.
“He’s been going to court for a year and he got the extreme royal shaft” from Weller, Idle said. “He said he had to file Chapter 7 because he was getting nailed.”
Aside from simply accepting, uncritically, Idle’s rather incendiary assertions about Weller (nice move, CNN, letting some guy rave about what a “monster” a judge who’s just been shot is without actually checking into the judge’s record), the article fails to mention that Idle’s been rather chatty on the subject of the Reno family court system and on a presumptive joint-custody bill under consideration by the Nevada legislature.
Those who lined up to testify said on one hand that joint custody hurts children’s development because they don’t have one place to consider home, while others – mostly fathers – said custody proceedings tend to favor the mother and that keeps them away from their children.
“The first step needs to be taken,” said Garret Idle, a Reno Realtor who is filing for full custody of his two children. “The current system drives families apart.”
He pops up on a father’s rights website as the Nevada coordinator, giving a rather creepy email address.
He was quoted by the Las Vegas Sun wrapping himself in the mantle of MLK after the joint-custody bill failed:
Around the country, and especially in Great Britain, groups that advocate equal parenting have been gaining steam.
“One day you can wake up and say, ‘he’s a jerk, I’m going to divorce him, take his money and his kids,’ “said Garret Idle, a Reno father who is actively involved in Nevadans for Equal Parenting.
Fathers 4 Justice is especially notorious in Great Britain, where fathers often camp out in public places such as Buckingham Palace in superhero suits to block traffic and attract attention.
“It’s the Civil Rights Movement of the New Age,” Idle said.
And check out Nevadans for Equal Parenting’s recommended reading list. It includes such classics as Debunking the Myth of Domestic Violence, Disenfranchised Father Syndrome, Divorce Related Malicious Mother Syndrome, and several works by Glenn Sacks, including 4 Feminist Myths About Domestic Violence.
It also includes How to Kidnap a Child and other works by Stephen Baskerville. See The Countess for much, much more on uber-wingnut Baskerville, who apparently believes that children are being stolen from straight parents and given to gay couples to raise.
Long story short, this guy is an MRA, and a quick Google search of the kind that turned up just about every link in this post should have told CNN that. CNN might also have figured out that the “support group” at which Mack, the shooter, met Idle was run by Nevadans for Equal Parenting. They may have even found this little article describing a visit by all the candidates for the family court judgeship eventually won by Weller to a meeting of Nevadans for Equal Parenting, at which the topic of temporary protective orders — because MRAs don’t believe in domestic violence, see, unless they’re complaining that men are equally battered — was discussed. They even had a video on their site of Weller discussing the TPOs and the role of an advocacy group in issuing them.
But instead, they give Idle a forum to expound on his MRA ideas, which of course involve the continuing control of ex-wives through the children and an outsized sense of being wronged by the very existence of divorce (see the comment above amounting to, “how dare the bitch leave me”), and slant the article to make it appear that the grievances of Mack — who stabbed his estranged wife, mind you — were perfectly reasonable given how “harsh” Weller allegedly was. Sure, they quoted a judge and lawyer saying that litigants often get frustrated with family-court judges and view fair decisions as unfair, but nothing at all from anyone responding to the rather specific statements made by Idle about Mack’s custody case. And while they do report that Weller was discussed in vitriolic terms on “websites,” they don’t tell us which ones — and they certainly don’t say if one of those websites belonged to the group which their main source represents.
No surprise judges are targets.
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