After an initial foray into politics, Thompson concentrated his legal efforts against perceived obscenity, particularly in rap music and broadcasts by radio personality Howard Stern. More recently, he has focused on violence as well, particularly in the content of computer and video games and their alleged effects on children. Thompson is also frequently involved in medical malpractice lawsuits in his capacity as an attorney. He is perhaps the most vocal advocate of banning stylized violence in video games, and initially started this crusade in 1997 while representing the parents of the three students killed in the Heath High School shooting.
Thompson is known for his public advocacy of conservative Christian moral standards. His involvement with gaming and the media (and especially use of legal threats) have raised questions about First Amendment rights. The Florida Bar Association is currently seeking sanctions against Thompson for inappropriate conduct.
- 1 Background
- 2 Campaign against Janet Reno
- 3 Rap music
- 4 Video games and juveniles
- 5 Thompson and Howard Stern
- 6 The Florida Bar
- 7 Other activities
- 8 See also
- 9 Bibliography
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Thompson grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and attended Denison University. He received media attention when he hosted his own political talk show on the college radio station. He went to law school at Vanderbilt University, where he met his wife, Patricia. In 1976 they moved to Florida, where Thompson, working as a lawyer and then a fundraiser for a Christian ministry, began attending the Key Biscayne Presbyterian Church and became a born-again Christian. Thompson admits to having a “colorful disciplinary history” as an attorney.
Campaign against Janet Reno
Thompson first met Janet Reno in November 1975, when he applied for a job as an assistant State’s Attorney in Dade County, but was not hired. In 1988, he ran for prosecutor against then incumbent Dade County State Attorney Janet Reno. At the time, Thompson was involved in a feud with local radio host Neil Rogers and Reno had declined his request to prosecute Rogers. Thompson was instrumental in getting the FCC to fine Miami radio station WIOD $10,000 for airing such parody songs as “Boys Like Sex in the Morning” on Rogers’ show. Thompson also sued the station for violating a December 1987 agreement to end on-air harassment against him. Thompson had complained to the station after Rogers solicited homosexuals to join Thompson on his vacation; Rogers aired Thompson’s address and phone number. For the next eight months Thompson recorded all of Rogers’ broadcasts and documented 40,000 mentionings of his name. He claimed one of the terms of his agreement with the station was that it would pay him $5,000 each time his name was mentioned, totaling $200 million in the suit.
Thompson gave Reno a letter at a campaign event requesting that she check a box to indicate whether she was homosexual, bisexual, or heterosexual. Thompson said that Reno then put her hand on his shoulder and responded, “I’m only interested in virile men. That’s why I’m not attracted to you.” He filed a police report accusing her of battery for touching him. In response, Reno asked Florida governor Bob Martinez to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate. The special prosecutor rejected the charge, concluding that it was “a political ploy.” Reno was ultimately re-elected with 69% of the vote. Thompson repeated allegations that Reno was a lesbian when she was nominated as U.S. Attorney General, leading one of her supporters, lieutenant governor Buddy MacKay, to dismiss him as a “kook.”
In 1990, after his election loss, Thompson began a campaign against the efforts of Switchboard of Miami, a social services group of which Reno was a board member. Thompson charged that the group placed “homosexual-education tapes” in public schools. Switchboard responded by getting the Florida Supreme Court to order that he submit to a psychiatric examination. Thompson did so and passed, and since then has stated on more than one occasion that he is “the only officially certified sane lawyer in the entire state of Florida."
Thompson came to national prominence in the controversy over 2 Live Crew’s As Nasty As They Wanna Be album. (Luke Skyywalker Records, the company of 2 Live Crew’s Luther Campbell, had previously released a record supporting Reno in her race against Thompson.) On January 1, 1990, he wrote to Martinez and Reno asking them to investigate whether the album violated Florida obscenity laws. Although the state prosecutor declined to proceed with an investigation, Thompson pushed local officials in various parts of the state to block sales of the album, along with N.W.A’s Straight Outta Compton. In sending documents to opponents, Thompson would frequently attach a photocopy of his driver's license, with a photo of Batman pasted over his own, just to make sure they knew who they were dealing with. Thompson said, "I have sent my opponents pictures of Batman to remind them I'm playing the role of Batman. Just like Bruce Wayne helped the police in the movie, I have had to assist the sheriff of Broward County." He also wore a Batman wristwatch. Thompson compared Campbell to the Joker. Thompson also said, “I understand as well as anybody that the First Amendment is a cornerstone of a free society—but there is a responsibility to people who can be harmed by words and thoughts, one of which is the message from Campbell that women can be sexually abused.”
Thompson also took issue with another 2 Live Crew song, Banned in the USA. Thompson sent a letter to Jon Landau, manager of Bruce Springsteen, whose song Born in the USA was to be sampled by the group. Thompson suggested that Landau "protect Born in the U.S.A. from its apparent theft by a bunch of clowns who traffic toxic waste to kids," or else Thompson would "be telling the nation about Mr. Springsteen's tacit approval" of the song, which, according to Campbell, "expresses anger about the failure of the First Amendment to protect 2 Live Crew from prosecution." Thompson also said, "the 'social commentary' on this album is akin to a sociopath's discharging his AK-47 into a crowded schoolyard, with the machine gun bursts interrupted by Pee Wee Herman's views on politics."
The members of 2 Live Crew responded to these efforts by suing the Broward County sheriff in federal district court. The sheriff had previously told local retailers that selling the album could result in a prosecution for obscenity violations. While they were granted an injunction because law enforcement actions were an unconstitutional prior restraint on free speech, the court ruled that the album was in fact obscene. However, an appellate court reversed the obscenity ruling, because simply playing the tape was insufficient evidence of the constitutional requirement that it have no artistic value.
As the debate continued, Thompson wrote, “An industry that says a line cannot be drawn will be drawn and quartered.” He said of his campaign, “I won’t stop till I get the head of a record company or record chain in jail. Only then will they stop trafficking in obscenity.” Bob Guccione Jr., founder of Spin magazine, responded by calling Thompson “a sort of latter-day Don Quixote, as equally at odds with his times as that mythical character was,” and argued that his campaign was achieving “two things...: pissing everybody off and compounding his own celebrity.” Thompson responded by noting, “Law enforcement and I put 2 Live Crew’s career back into the toilet where it began.”
Thompson wrote another letter in 1991, this time to the Minnesota attorney general Hubert H. Humphrey III, complaining about the N.W.A album Efil4zaggin. Humphrey warned locally-based Musicland that sales of the album might violate state law against distribution of sexually explicit material harmful to minors. Humphrey also referred the matter to the Minneapolis city attorney, who concluded that some of the songs might fit the legal definition if issued as singles, but that sales of the album as a whole were not prosecutable. Thompson also initiated a similar campaign in Boston. Later, Thompson would criticize the Republican Party for inviting N.W.A member and party donor Eric “Eazy-E” Wright to an exclusive function.
In 1992, Thompson was hired by the Freedom Alliance, a self-described patriot group founded by Oliver North, described as "far-right" by the Washington Post. By this time, Thompson was looking to have Time Warner, then being criticized for promoting the Ice-T song Cop Killer, prosecuted for federal and state crimes such as sedition, incitement to riot, and “advocating overthrow of government” by distributing material that, in Thompson's view, advocated the killing of police officers. Time Warner eventually released Ice-T and his band from their contract, and voluntarily suspended distribution of the album on which Cop Killer was featured.
Thompson’s push to label various musical performances obscene was not entirely limited to rap. In addition to taking on 2 Live Crew, Thompson campaigned against sales of the racy music video for Madonna’s Justify My Love. Then in 1996, he took on MTV broadcasts for “objectification of women” by writing to the station’s corporate parent, Viacom, demanding a stop to what he called “corporate pollution.” He also went after MTV’s advertisers and urged the U.S. Army to pull recruiting commercials, citing the Army’s recruitment of women and problems with sexual harassment scandals.
Video games and juveniles
More recently, Thompson has heavily criticized a number of video games and campaigned against their producers and distributors. His basic argument is that violent video games have repeatedly been used by teenagers as “murder simulators” to rehearse violent plans. He has pointed to alleged connections between such games and a number of school massacres. According to Thompson, “In every school shooting, we find that kids who pull the trigger are video gamers.” Also, he claims that scientific studies show teenagers process the game environment differently from adults, leading to increased violence and copycat behavior. According to Thompson, “If some wacked-out adult wants to spend his time playing Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, one has to wonder why he doesn’t get a life, but when it comes to kids, it has a demonstrable impact on their behavior and the development of the frontal lobes of their brain.” Thompson has described the proliferation of games by Sony, a Japanese company, as “Pearl Harbor 2.” According to Thompson, “Many parents think that stores won’t sell an M-rated game to someone under 17. We know that’s not true, and, in fact, kids roughly 50 percent of that time, all the studies show, are able to walk into any store and get any game regardless of the rating, no questions asked.”
Thompson has rejected arguments that such video games are protected by freedom of expression, saying, “Murder simulators are not constitutionally protected speech. They’re not even speech. They’re dangerous physical appliances that teach a kid how to kill efficiently and to love it,” as well as simply calling video games "mental masturbation". In addition, he has attributed part of the impetus for violent games to the military, saying that it was looking “for a way to disconnect in the soldier’s mind the physical act of pulling the trigger from the awful reality that a life may end.” Thompson further claims that some of these games are based on military training and simulation technologies, such as those being developed at the Institute for Creative Technologies, which, he suggests, were created by the Department of Defense to help overcome soldiers’ inhibition to kill. He also claims that the PlayStation 2's DualShock controller "gives you a pleasurable buzz back into your hands with each kill. This is operant conditioning, behavior modification right out of B. F. Skinner's laboratory."
Thompson filed a lawsuit on behalf of the parents of three children killed in the Heath High School shooting in 1997. Investigations showed that the perpetrator, 14-year-old Michael Carneal, had regularly played various computer games (including Doom, Quake, Castle Wolfenstein, Redneck Rampage, Nightmare Creatures, MechWarrior, Resident Evil, and Final Fantasy) and accessed some pornographic websites. Carneal had also owned a videotape of The Basketball Diaries, which includes a high school student dreaming about shooting his teacher and some classmates. The suit sought $33 million in damages, alleging that the producers of the games, the movie, and the operators of the Internet sites were negligent in distributing this material to a minor because it would desensitize him and make him more prone to violence. Additional claims included product liability for making defective products (the defects alleged were violent features and lack of warnings) and violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act for distributing this material to minors. Said Thompson, “We intend to hurt Hollywood. We intend to hurt the video game industry. We intend to hurt the sex porn sites.”
The suit was filed in federal district court and was dismissed for failing to present a legally recognizable claim. The court concluded that Carneal’s actions were not reasonably foreseeable by the defendants and that in any case, his actions superseded those of the defendants, so that the latter could not be the proximate cause of the harm. In addition, the judge determined that “thoughts, ideas and images” in the defendants’ materials did not constitute “products” that could be considered defective. The ruling was upheld on appeal.
Thompson vs. Grand Theft Auto
In February 2003, Thompson asked permission to file an amicus curiae (or “friend of the court”) brief in the Ohio case of Dustin Lynch, 16, who was charged with aggravated murder in the slaying of JoLynn Mishne; Lynch was "obsessed" with Grand Theft Auto III. When Judge John Lohn ruled that Lynch would be tried as an adult, Thompson passed a message from Mishne’s father to the judge, asserting that “the attorneys had better tell the jury about the violent video game that trained this kid [and] showed him how to kill our daughter, JoLynn. If they don’t, I will.” In a motion sent to the prosecutor, the boy’s court-appointed lawyer, and to reporters, Thompson asked to be recognized as the boy’s lawyer in the case. However, Medina County Prosecutor Dean Holman said Thompson would be faced with deeply conflicting interests if he were to represent Dustin Lynch because he also advised Mishne’s parents. Claiming that delays had weakened his case, Jack Thompson asked Medina County Common Pleas Judge Christopher Collier to disqualify himself from presiding over the case because the judge had not ruled on Thompson’s request for two months. Lynch himself eventually rejected Thompson’s offer, withdrawing his insanity plea. Lynch’s mother, Jerrilyn Thomas, who previously demanded that Judge Christopher Collier appoint Thompson to defend her son, said she changed her mind after visiting with her boy in jail, saying, “It has nothing to do with video games or Paxil, and my son’s no murderer.”
Thompson returned to file a lawsuit in Tennessee state court in October 2003 on behalf of the victims of two teenage stepbrothers who had pled guilty to reckless homicide, endangerment, and assault. Since the boys told investigators they were inspired by Grand Theft Auto III, Thompson sought $246 million in damages from the publisher, Take-Two Interactive, along with PlayStation 2 maker Sony Computer Entertainment America and retailer Wal-Mart. The suit charged that the defendants knew or should have known that the game would cause copycat violence. On October 22 2003, the case was removed to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. Two days later, the plaintiffs filed a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal, and the case was closed.
Thompson was involved in another similar suit in Alabama in 2005 on behalf of the families of police personnel killed by Devin Moore, a teenager who was reportedly a compulsive Grand Theft Auto player. However, his participation in the case ran into a dispute over his pro hac vice admission to practice law in that state. The opposing attorneys sought removal of this privilege by arguing that his conduct was unethical and claiming he had threatened and harassed them in letters and emails. The judge added that Thompson had violated his gag order during Moore’s criminal trial. Thompson tried to withdraw from the case, but his request was denied by the judge, who went ahead and revoked Thompson’s temporary admission to the state bar. For his part, Thompson said he thought the judge was trying to protect Moore’s criminal conviction at any cost. He also complained about the judge’s ethics, saying a local attorney who claimed to have influence on the judge had assured him the case would be dismissed unless the attorney was on Thompson’s team, and also claimed that Rockstar Entertainment and Take Two Interactive posted slanderous comments about him on their website.
In the aftermath of this lawsuit, Thompson lobbied Alabama attorney general Troy King to file a civil suit and call on retailers not to sell “cop-killing games.” After the slaying of another police officer in Gassville, Arkansas by Jacob D. Robida, an 18-year-old fugitive, Thompson again raised the possibility of a connection to Grand Theft Auto, but investigators found no evidence that video games were involved.
Thompson once reported that he had videotaped a Miami Best Buy selling a copy of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City to his son who was 10 at the time. In a letter to Best Buy, he wrote, “Prosecutions and public relations consequences should fall on your Minneapolis headquarters like snowflakes.” He eventually sued the company in Florida, arguing that it had violated a law against sale of sexual materials deemed harmful to minors. In January 2005, Best Buy agreed that it would enforce an existing policy to check the identification of anyone who appeared to be 17 or under and tried to purchase games rated “M” (for mature audiences). No law in effect at the time prohibited selling "M" rated video games to juveniles.
In September 2006, Thompson filed a suit in Albuquerque, New Mexico against Sony, Take-Two, Rockstar Games, and Cody Posey, for the wrongful death of three members of Posey's family. The 69-page complaint filed by Thompson and Albuquerque attorney Steven Sanders argued that "obsessively" playing Grand Theft Auto: Vice City made violence "pleasurable and attractive," disconnected violence from consequences, and caused Posey to "act out, copycat, replicate and emulate the violence" when he shot and killed his father, stepmother, and stepsister, and then buried them under a manure pile at a ranch owned by former ABC News reporter Sam Donaldson in July, 2004. Thompson and Sanders filed the lawsuit on behalf of the surviving family members of Posey's father. According to Thompson, "Posey essentially practiced how to kill on this game. If it wasn't for Grand Theft Auto, three people might not now be dead." The lawsuit claims that Thompson was told by a sheriff's deputy that the game and a Sony Playstation 2 were found at the ranch. The suit also claims that the game taught Posey "how to point and shoot a gun in a fashion making him an extraordinarily effective killer without teaching him any of the constraints or responsibilities needed to inhibit such a killing capacity." Gary Mitchell, Posey's criminal defense attorney, said Thompson contacted him "numerous times" before the trial, urging Mitchell to highlight the game in Posey's defense, but Mitchell said he "just didn't find it had any merit whatsoever."
On 2007-03-14 Take-Two filed a lawsuit to prevent Thompson from preventing the sale of Grand Theft Auto IV and Manhunt 2 to minors, claiming that Thompson's effort to block sales of its games through lawsuits violates the company's first amendment rights. Responding, Thompson said, "I have been praying, literally, that Take-Two and its lawyers would do something so stupid, so arrogant, so dumb, even dumber than what they have to date done, that such a misstep would enable me to destroy Take-Two." On 2007-04-19, Thompson and Take-Two settled their suit, with Thompson agreeing not to restrict sales through any court worldwide of Take-Two's games, threaten to sue the company, or accuse Take-Two of any wrongdoing based on the sale of any of its games. According to one analyst, the settlement is likely to mute his public pronouncements and lawsuits against the company.
Campaign against Bully
Beginning in 2005, Thompson supported a campaign to discourage Take-Two’s subsidiary, Rockstar Games, from releasing a game called Bully, in which, according to Thompson, “what you are in effect doing is rehearsing your physical revenge and violence against those whom you have been victimized by. And then you, like Klebold and Harris in Columbine, become the ultimate bully.” According to Thompson, the game "shows you how to — by bullying — take over your school. You punch people; you hit them with sling shots; you dunk their heads in dirty toilets. There's white-on-black crime in the game. You bludgeon teachers and classmates with bats. It's absolutely nuts." Thompson sued Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, Circuit City, GameStop and Toys ‘R’ Us, seeking an order to bar the game’s release. He also participated in a protest at Rockstar’s office that also included students from Peaceaholics, a Washington, D.C. mentoring organization.  Thompson said he hoped that the pressure would get retailers to refuse to carry the game. In March 2006, a Florida school board he had lobbied passed a resolution criticizing the game, but only urged retailers not to sell the game to minors.
Thompson also criticized Bill Gates and Microsoft for contracting with Rockstar Games to release the game on the Xbox. The Xbox version has since been cancelled for undisclosed reasons, but a version is shortly to be released on the Xbox 360. In August 2006, Thompson requested a congressional subpoena for an early copy, threatening to file suit in Miami if he did not gain help from U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns. Once the game is out, according to Thompson, "the horse will be out of the barn and it will be too late to do anything about it." Thompson argued that it violated Florida's public nuisance laws, which prohibit activities that can injure the health of the community.
Rockstar Games co-founder Terry Donavan responded, saying "I would prefer it if we could simply make great games and not have to deal with misunderstanding and misperception of what we do." After receiving no response from Rockstar regarding an advance copy, Thompson filed the public nuisance complaint against Wal-Mart, Take-Two Interactive, and GameStop, demanding that he be allowed to preview the game before its October 17 release date. Take-Two offered to bring in a copy and let both the judge and Thompson view the game in the judge's chambers on 2006-10-12. The judge ultimately saw no reason to restrict sales and dismissed the complaint the next day.
Thompson was critical of the judge's decision, telling the judge "You did not see the game... You don't even know what it was you saw," as well as accusing the Take-Two employee who demonstrated the game of avoiding the most violent parts. Blank Rome subsequently filed a motion to have Thompson's behavior declared "contempt for the court". Judge Friedman then recused himself from ruling, and instead filed a complaint against Thompson with the Florida Bar, calling Thompson's behavior "inappropriate by a member of the bar, unprofessional and contemptible".
Thompson later drew attention to the game's main character, a 15-year old male, being able to kiss other boys. Thompson wrote to ESRB president Patricia Vance, "We just found gay sexual content in Bully as Jimmy Hopkins makes out with another male student. Good luck with your 'Teen' rating now." The ESRB indicated that they knew the content was in the game when they rated the game.
In October 2006, Thompson sent a letter to Midway Games, demanding they cease and desist selling the latest game in the Mortal Kombat series, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, claiming that the game was illegally profiting on his likeness, because gamers could use the Kreate a Fighter option to make a character who looked like Jack Thompson. Midway has not ceased distribution of the game.
Activism and lobbying
In addition to filing lawsuits, Thompson has pushed for measures against similar games in a variety of public settings. He wrote a joint article in the Christian Science Monitor with Eugene F. Provenzo, a University of Miami professor who studies the effects of video games on children. Originally brought together to provide opposing viewpoints on 60 Minutes in the aftermath of the Columbine High School massacre, they said they had become friends and were collaborating on a book. They described themselves as having “a shared belief that first-person shooter video games are bad for our children, teaching them to act aggressively and providing them with efficient killing skills and romanticized and trivialized scenarios for killing in the real world”.
Thompson has supported legislation in a number of states that would ban sales of violent and sexually explicit video games to minors. In response to First Amendment concerns, he argued that the games were a “public safety hazard.” However, he rejected as “completely unconstitutional” Hillary Clinton’s proposed legislation to ban sales to minors of games rated “M” for Mature by the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Thompson contended that the government could not enforce a private-sector standard but had to depend on a Miller obscenity test. He charged that Clinton was simply positioning herself politically, with the support of the gaming industry, by proposing a bill which he felt she knew would be unconstitutional.
In July 2005, Thompson sent a letter to several politicians urging them to investigate The Sims 2, alleging that the game contained nudity accessible by entering special codes. Thompson called the nudity inappropriate for a game rated “T” for Teen, a rating which indicates suitability for anyone 13 and older. Manufacturer Electronic Arts dismissed the allegations, with vice president Jeff Brown explaining that game characters have “no anatomical detail” under their clothes, effectively resembling Barbie dolls. Although the game does display blurred-out patches over body regions when characters are naked, such as when taking a shower, Brown said that was for “humorous effect” and denied there was anything improper about the game. Nevertheless, a command that could be entered into the in-game console in order to disable the blur effect was removed from the game in an expansion. No official reason was given for the change.
In Louisiana, Thompson helped draft a 2006 bill sponsored by state representative Roy Burrell to ban the sale of violent video games to buyers under 18 (HB1381). In an effort to avoid constitutional problems, it avoided trying to define "violent" and instead adopted a variation of the Miller obscenity test: Sales to minors would be illegal based on community standards if the game appealed to "the minor’s morbid interest in violence", was patently offensive based on adult standards of suitability for minors, and lacked serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors. The bill was passed unanimously by the state House and approved by the Senate Judiciary A Committee, despite industry opposition and predictions that it too would be unconstitutional. The Shreveport Times editorialized that Thompson's support of the bill "should immediately set off alarms" and described Thompson as someone who "thrives on chasing cultural ambulances". In defense of the bill, Thompson said that it was needed for public safety, and that it was a "miracle" that a Columbine-type event hadn't happened yet in Louisiana. However, the ESA filed suit under Entertainment Software Association v. Foti, and U.S. District Judge James Brady issued a preliminary injunction, temporarily blocking the law from taking effect until full judicial review can be done. The law was permanently enjoined in late November 2006, and the state was ordered to pay the defense's attorney fees. Judge Brady was "dumbfounded" that state legislators and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco wasted taxpayer money by trying to enact the law.
At one point, Thompson was asked by the National Institute on Media and the Family to stop invoking the organization’s name in his campaigns. NIMF president David Walsh felt Thompson cast the organization in a bad light whenever he brought up their name. “Your commentary has included extreme hyperbole and your tactics have included personally attacking individuals for whom I have a great deal of respect,” Walsh said in an open letter to Thompson.
Thompson has additionally worked to influence police investigations concerning violent acts which he views as being connected to violence in video games media. On June 2 2006, Thompson suggested that West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana police detectives, investigating the murder of 55-year-old Michael Gore by 17-year-old Kurt Edward Neher, should look into the video games played by Neher. According to Sheriff J. Austin Daniel, an autopsy showed Gore was beaten to death as well as shot in the face. Concerning this, Thompson stated that “nobody shoots anybody in the face unless you’re a hit man or a video gamer.”
Other public commentary
Thompson predicted that the perpetrator of the Beltway sniper attacks would be “a teenaged boy, who plays video games” and speculated incorrectly that he “may indeed ride a bicycle to and from his shooting locations, his gun broken down and placed in a backpack while he pedals.” Saying that the shooter, Lee Boyd Malvo, had "trained" on Halo, Thompson later claimed credit for this on The Today Show: “I predicted that the beltway sniper would be a teen-aged boy that trained on a game switched to sniper mode. And three months later, NBC reported that that’s exactly what Malvo did. And Mohammed had him train on the game to suppress his inhibition to kill.” John Muhammad was a Gulf War veteran and earned an expert marksmanship badge in the U.S. Army.
Thompson has also criticized a Christian video game based on the Left Behind series. In Left Behind: Eternal Forces, players participate in “battles raging in the streets of New York,” according to the game’s fact sheet. They engage in “physical and spiritual warfare: using the power of prayer to strengthen your troops in combat and wield modern military weaponry throughout the game world.” Thompson claims that the makers of the game are sacrificing their values. He said, "Because of the Christian context, somehow it's OK? It's not OK. The context is irrelevant. It's a mass-killing game." Left Behind author Tim LaHaye disagrees, saying “Rather than forbid young people from viewing their favorite pastime, I prefer to give them something that’s positive.” The dispute over the game has caused Thompson to sever ties with Tyndale House, which publishes both the Left Behind books and Thompson's book, Out of Harm's Way. Thompson has not seen the game, which he says has "personally broken my heart," but claims, "I don't have to meet Abraham Lincoln to know that he was the 16th president of the United States."
In April 2007, only hours after the Virginia Tech shooting (and before Seung-Hui Cho was actually identified), Thompson claimed that the shooter had trained on the game Counter-Strike . According to Thompson, the game "drills you and gives you scenarios on how to kill them [and] gets you to kill them with your heart rate lower." He says that Seung-Hui "was in a hyper-reality situation in virtual reality." Though Seung-Hui had last been known to have played Counter-Strike in high school, four years prior to the shooting, Thompson asserts that "you don't drop it when you go to college, typically." Thompson claims that Seung-Hui's roommate's claim that Seung-Hui only used his computer to write fiction is incorrect because "Cho was able to go room to room calmly, efficiently, coolly killing people." Prior to being identified, Thompson attributed the "flat effect [sic] on [Seung-Hui's] face" and the efficiency of his attack to video game rehearsals of the shooting. However, a search warrant released, listing the items found in Cho's dorm room, did not contain any video games, and a Washington Post story cited by Thompson later removed a paragraph stating that Seung-Hui enjoyed violent video games in high school. Thompson continued to maintain that "this is not rocket science. When a kid who has never killed anyone in his life goes on a rampage and looks like the Terminator, he's a video gamer." Thompson also sent a letter to Bill Gates, saying, "Mr. Gates, your company is potentially legally liable (for) the harm done at Virginia Tech. Your game, a killing simulator, according to the news that used to be in the Post, trained him to enjoy killing and how to kill." However, Microsoft did not create Counter-Strike - they only published the Xbox version of the game. It should be noted that the only game of note in the official report was "Sonic The Hedgehog".
Relationship with industry and gamers
Thompson's "high-profile crusades" have made him an enemy of video game aficionados. On occasion, Thompson has sparred directly with the gaming industry and its fans. In 2005, he wrote an open letter to Entertainment Software Association president Doug Lowenstein, making what he described as a “a modest video game proposal” (an allusion to the title of Jonathan Swift's satirical essay, A Modest Proposal) to the video game industry: Thompson said he would donate $10,000 to a charity designated by Take-Two CEO Paul Eibeler if any video game company would create a game including the scenario he described in the letter. The scenario called for the main character, whose son was killed by a boy who played violent video games, to murder a number of industry executives (including one modeled on Eibeler) and go on a killing spree at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Video game fans promptly began working to take Thompson up on his offer, resulting in the game I'm O.K - A Murder Simulator. Afterwards, he claimed that his proposal was satire, and as of November 2007 he has not made his proposed donation.
In response, Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, the creators of gaming webcomic Penny Arcade and of the children's charity Child's Play, stepped in to make the donation instead, writing in the memo field of their check, “For Jack Thompson, Because Jack Thompson Won't.” Afterwards, Thompson tried to get Seattle police and the FBI to investigate Holkins and Krahulik for orchestrating "criminal harassment" of him through articles on their site. Other webcomics have regularly incorporated references to Thompson, alluding to this incident as well as others.
In 2006, two Michigan gamers began a project dubbed "Flowers for Jack", soliciting donations to deliver a massive floral arrangement to Thompson’s office. The flowers were delivered in February along with a letter aimed at opening a dialogue between Thompson and the video gaming community. Thompson rejected this overture and forwarded the flowers to some of his industry foes, with such comments as “Discard them along with the decency you discarded long ago. I really don’t care. Grind them up and smoke them if you like.”
Gamers have responded to Thompson's attempt to link the Virginia Tech massacre to the game Counter-Strike. Video game Web sites and young gamers on Internet message boards "teemed with anger" at what San Francisco Chronicle reporter Peter Hartlaub called "his serial misstatements," in some cases linking to YouTube videos of Thompson and dissecting his claims point by point. Jason Della Rocca, executive director of the International Game Developers Association, said, "It’s so sad. These massacre chasers—they’re worse than ambulance chasers—they’re waiting for these things to happen so they can jump on their soapbox," In response, Thompson referred to Della Rocca as an "idiot" and a "jackass" "paid not to connect the dots [connecting shootings to video games]," and compared himself to people who warned that the government should be more concerned about terrorism before the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Thompson and Howard Stern
In 2004, Thompson helped get Howard Stern’s show taken off a radio station in Orlando, Florida by filing a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission. Thompson objected to Stern’s use of obscenities on the air. He argued that “Either broadcasters will accept the light harness of decency that has been the law for decades and start cleaning up their acts, or the public’s deepening outrage will foster a more fearsome governmental response.” Thompson claimed to have received death threats from listeners of Stern's show, noting that "you'd expect that considering the IQ of people who listen to Howard Stern. Apparently they fail to realize that I might have caller ID."
During his opposition to Howard Stern, Thompson was asked in an interview with a reporter if, by his standards, he would blame Christianity for the murders committed by Michael Hernandez, a fourteen year old who murdered two classmates in 2004, because Hernandez wrote a diary in which he constantly spoke about praying to God. Thompson replied, "The Bible doesn't promote killing innocent people, Grand Theft Auto does. Islam does." Thompson then expanded his comments in the same interview by saying, "Islam promotes the killing of innocent people. The Quran requires the infidel, whether Jew or Christian, to be killed. ... That's a core essence of the religion. ... Muhammad was a pirate who killed infidels and who advocated the killing of infidels - not a nice guy. Osama bin Laden is in keeping with his fine tradition."
He later spoke in defense of Stern during the latter’s legal dispute with CBS over promoting Sirius on-air before his switch to satellite radio. Thompson contended that the technology added by CBS to edit out profanity also could have worked to edit out Stern’s references to Sirius. According to Thompson, “The reason why CBS chose not to edit Stern is that Stern’s Arbitron ratings remained high and were arguably even enhanced by people tuning in to hear daily about Stern’s running feud with CBS and his move to Sirius. In other words, CBS actually used Stern’s discussion of his move to Sirius to make more money for CBS.”
CBS President Leslie Moonves responded, saying “You know what? You can’t let people like that tell you what to put on the air or what not to put on the air. That would only open the door when suddenly next week, he says, ‘Take David Letterman off the air or take C.S.I. off the air.’ Or you know what? Everybody Loves Raymond was about, you know, sex last week or about a 70-year-old man—you know, we dealt with Peter Boyle having sex with Doris Roberts. ‘Take that off the air.’ That’s something we can’t let happen.”
The Florida Bar
In 1992, Thompson asked a Florida judge to declare the Florida Bar Association unconstitutional. He claimed that the bar was engaged in a vendetta against him because of his religious beliefs, which he said conflict with what he called the bar’s pro-gay, humanist, liberal agenda. He also said that the “wedding of all three functions of government into the Florida Bar, the ‘official arm’ of the Florida Supreme Court, is violative of the bedrock constitutional requirement of the separation powers and the ‘checks and balances’ which the separation guarantees.” Thompson accepted a $20,000 out-of-court settlement.
On January 7 2002, Thompson sent the Supreme Court of Florida a letter regarding the Florida Bar's actions. The letter was filed with the court on January 10 2002 and was treated as a petition for a writ of mandamus against the Florida Bar. Before any action was taken on the petition, Thompson sent the court another letter on January 28 2002 voluntarily dismissing the case. The letter was filed with the court on January 30 2002, and the Florida Supreme Court issued an order of dismissal on February 28 2002.
In January 2006, Thompson asked the Justice Department to investigate the Florida Bar’s actions. “The Florida Bar and its agents have engaged in a documented pattern of this illegal activity, which may sink to the level of criminal racketeering activity, in a knowing and illegal effort to chill my federal First Amendment rights,” Thompson wrote in a letter to Alex Acosta, interim U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida.
In April 2006, Thompson filed another suit against the Florida Bar, this time in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, alleging that the Bar harassed him by investigating what he called baseless complaints made by disgruntled opponents in previous disputes. His five-count complaint asked for more than $1 million in damages. The lawsuit alleged that the Bar was pursuing baseless ethics complaints brought against Thompson by Tew Cardenas attorneys Lawrence Kellogg and Alberto Cardenas of Miami, and by two lawyers from the Philadelphia office of Blank Rome, in violation of Thompson’s constitutional rights. According to the lawsuit, the Bar looked at Thompson for violations of a bar rule that prohibits attorneys from making disparaging remarks about judges, other attorneys, or court personnel. Thompson also filed a motion with the court to order the mediation of his dispute with the Bar. Thompson commented, “I enjoy doing what I do and I think I’ve got a First Amendment right to annoy people and participate in the public square in the cultural war.” Thompson also said he is optimistic his federal lawsuit will be successful. “I’m 100 percent certain that it will effect change, otherwise I would not have filed it.”
On April 25 2006, the Florida Bar filed a motion to dismiss Thompson's complaint. The Bar argued that Thompson's complaint should be dismissed for a number of reasons, including the fact that the complaint failed to state a claim on which he could be granted relief. The Bar also argued that it was absolutely immune from liability for actions arising out of its disciplinary functions, that the Eleventh Amendment barred Thompson's recovery of damages, and that the court should dismiss the case pursuant to the abstention doctrine of Younger v. Harris. On May 4 2006, Thompson filed a motion asking Judge Frederico Moreno to recuse himself from the case, as Judge Moreno was a member of the Florida Bar. Citing an "abundance of caution," Judge Moreno recused himself on May 9 2006 and referred the case to Chief Judge William Zloch for further action. Thompson did not, however, respond to the Bar's motion to dismiss the case. Finally, on May 17 2006, Thompson filed a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal with the court, and the case was dismissed without prejudice.
In February 2007, the Florida Bar filed disbarment proceedings against Thompson over allegations of professional misconduct. The action was the result of separate grievances filed by people claiming that Thompson made defamatory, false statements and attempted to humiliate, embarrass, harass or intimidate them. According to the complaint, Thompson accused attorney Cardenas of "distribution of pornography to children," claimed that the Alabama judge presiding over the Devin Moore case "breaks the rules, even the Alabama State Bar Rules, because he thinks that the rules don't apply to him," and sent a letter to Blank Rome's managing partner, saying, "Your law firm has actively and knowingly facilitated by various means the criminal distribution of sexual material to minors." Thompson claims that the complaints violate state religious protections because his advocacy is motivated by his Christian faith.
In 1992, a complaint from Thompson led Florida Secretary of State Jim Smith to withhold a $25,000 grant to the Miami Film Festival; Thompson claimed that the festival was using state money to show pornographic films. In response, Thompson was named an “Art Censor of the Year” by the ACLU. The next month, Thompson faced disbarment over allegations that he lied while making accusations against prominent Dade County lawyer Stuart Z Grossman. Thompson ultimately admitted violating bar rules of professional conduct, including charges that he contacted people represented by an attorney without first contacting their attorneys, and agreed to pay $3,000 in fines and receive a public reprimand.
In 1999, Thompson represented the parents of Bryce Kilduff, an 11-year old boy who committed suicide by hanging himself. Police believed that the death was an accident, and that Kilduff was imitating Kenny, a character from the Comedy Central series South Park, which Bryce, according to his parents, had never watched. Thompson called for Comedy Central to stop marketing the show and toys based on the series to children. “You see, the whole show—thrust of the show is it’s—it’s cool for kids to act like the characters in South Park.”
Although his efforts dealing with video games have focused on juveniles, Thompson got involved in a case involving an adult on one occasion in 2004. This was an aggravated murder case against 29-year-old Charles McCoy, Jr., the defendant in a series of highway shootings the previous year around Columbus, Ohio. When McCoy was captured, a game console and a copy of The Getaway were in his motel room. Although not representing McCoy and over the objections of McCoy’s lawyers, Thompson succeeded in getting the court to unseal a search warrant for McCoy’s residence. This showed, among other things, the discovery of additional games State of Emergency, Max Payne, and Dead To Rights. However, he was not allowed to present the evidence to McCoy, whose defense team was relying on an insanity defense based on paranoid schizophrenia. In Thompson’s estimation, McCoy was the “functional equivalent of a 15-year-old,” and “the only thing insane about this case is the (insanity) defense.”
On February 21 2007, Thompson filed a complaint with the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission against Judge Larry Seidlin, accusing Seidlin of "violating nearly every judicial canon" in conducting a hearing on the disposition of the body of Anna Nicole Smith. On June 28 2007, Thompson filed a complaint with the State Attorney's Office, asking for an investigation and possible prosecution regarding accusations that Seidlin inappropriately accepted expensive gifts.
- James v. Meow Media
- Strickland v. Sony
- Jack Thompson and the Jacob Robida murders
- Dave Grossman
- Spencer Halpin's Moral Kombat - Thompson is interviewed in the documentary
- Flowers for Jack
- Out of Harm's Way. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2005. ISBN 1-4143-0442-0.
- Kushner, David. “Gaming’s Worst Bully.” Rolling Stone Magazine, November 16, 2006.
- Ostrovsky, Daniel. “Fla. Bar Seeks Sanctions Against Morality Watchdog Jack Thompson” New York Law Journal, February 8, 2006.
- Haring, Bruce. “The ‘Private Sting’ of Jack Thompson.” Billboard, 1990-08-11
- Philips, Chuck. “The ‘Batman’ Who Took On Rap Obscenity.” Los Angeles Times, 1990-06-18
- Linn, Mike. “‘Grand Theft Auto’ comes under fire.” Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, 2005-11-22. Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; name "Linn" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
- Thompson, Jack Out of Harm’s Way. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2005. ISBN 1-4143-0442-0.
- Evans, Christine. “Challenger attacks Reno as too liberal.” The Miami Herald, 1B, November 6 1988.
- Blodgett, Nancy. “Say ‘Jack’ 40,000 Times.” ABA Journal, October 1 1988.
- Vick, Karl and David Dahl. “Stigma of a middle-aged, single woman.” St. Petersburg Times, 1993-02-17.
- "The Virtue Vigilante", Nightline, ABC News, 13 December 2006. Jack Thompson: "I came up with this clever plan [laughs] of handing her this questionnaire asking her, you know, 'Are you a heterosexual, or are you bisexual, or are you homosexual?' and so forth." Dave Weir: "She put her arm on your shoulder and said, uh, 'I'm only attracted to virile men, which is why I'm not attracted to you'?" Jack Thompson: "Mhm." Dave Weir: "And then you filed battery charges against her." Jack Thompson: "Well, she—she grabbed a hold of me and—and shook me. She didn't hurt me; but I was annoyed—I was angry—that she dealt with it in that fashion. And that was—that was a mistake; I shouldn't have done that. I should have—but I'm glad—I—I think it was reasonable to ask her the questions."
- “Opponent accuses Reno of battery.” The Miami Herald, 2D, September 9 1988.
- Timmerman, Kenneth R. “Reno Redux in Florida.” Insight, October 5 2001.
- Harrington, Richard. “On the Beat; In Md., the Sound and the Fury” The Washington Post, 1990-01-31.
- Philips, Chuck. “2 Live Crew’s ‘Nasty Lyrics’ a Bum Rap?” Los Angeles Times, March 7, 1990.
- Parker, Laura. “Sheriff's Crackdown on Rap Puts Unlikely County in Spotlight” The Washington Post, 1990-06-17.
- Kohn, Marek. “Very nasty indeed; Brutal and sexually explicit, the raps of 2 Live Crew have outraged US fundamentalists, but their ghetto origins have confused the liberal conscience.” The Independent, 1990-09-16.
- Harrington, Richard. “Banned in the U.S.A.' Released as Rap Group Faces 'Nasty' Charges” The Washington Post, July 4, 1990.
- Harrington, Richard. “The Crew: Courage or Crime?” The Washington Post, August 1, 1990.
- Luke Records Inc. v. Navarro, 960 F.2d 134 (11th Cir. 1992).
- Thompson, Jack. “Clean Up Record Lyrics—Or Else.” Billboard, October 6, 1990.
- Cox, Meg. “Music Industry Composes Counterpoint as Demands to Censor Lyrics Increase.” The Wall Street Journal, 1990-10-19.
- Guccione, Bob Jr. “Nothing Should Be Legally Obscene.” Billboard, December 8, 1990.
- Thompson, Jack. “Morals Are Slipping.” Billboard, 1991-01-12.
- Harrington, Richard. “Brewer’s Ads Rapped.” Washington Post, September 4, 1991.
- Reibman, Greg. “Anti-obscenity lawyer looks to get rap group N.W.A banned in Boston.” Boston Herald, August 9, 1991.
- Philips, Chuck. “Rodney King Gets Rap Offer.” Los Angeles Times, 1991-03-20.
- Harrington, Richard. “Time Warner in the Line of Fire.” Washington Post, July 8, 1992.
- Philips, Chuck. “Anger Over Madonna Single.” Los Angeles Times, January 4, 1991.
- Sandler, Adam. “CLEAN UP MY MTV?” Daily Variety, 1996-12-24.
- Sandler, Adam. “Activist demands MTV pull Army ads.” Daily Variety, 1997-02-19.
- “Excerpt from ‘20/20’ on the Debate Whether Violent Video Games Desensitize Children.” World News Now, ABC, 2000-03-23.
- Thompson, Jack. “Violent video games feed unhealthy ideas to young kids.” Tacoma News Tribune, January 8, 2006.
- The idea of a causal link between video games and violence has been challenged. For example, Chris Kohler (2007-04-24). "Jack Thompson Watch: Sics Feds on Kotaku, Versus [[Paul Levinson]]". WIRED. Retrieved 2007-06-24. URL–wikilink conflict (help)
- Drew, James. “Ohio sniper case may put video games on trial.” Toledo Blade, 2004-11-21.
- Lasker, John. “MURDER SIMULATORS? Railing against video game violence isn’t just for Jack Thompson anymore.” Dayton City Paper, January 4 2006.
- Cooper, Anderson. Anderson Cooper 360. CNN, October 8 2005.
- Benedetti, Winda. "Were video games to blame for massacre?" MSNBC.com, 2007-04-20
- Thompson, Jack. “Bloodlust video games put kids in the crosshairs.” Denver Post, 1999-05-30.
- Worthy, Kym. “Why violent video games may be worse than other media violence.” Michigan Chronicle, October 5, 2005.
- Thompson, Jack. “Jack Thompson: Proposal is needed to prevent a Louisiana 'Columbine'.” Shreveport Times, 2006-05-24.
- James v. Meow Media, 90 F. Supp. 2d 798 (W.D. Ky. 2000).
- Prichard, James. “Parents of slain students sue entertainment industry companies.” The Associated Press State & Local Wire, 1999-04-12.
- James v. Meow Media, 300 F.3d 683 (6th Cir. 2002)
- Hudak, Stephen. “Should video game share blame? Father of slain Medina girl says manufacturer is accomplice.” Cleveland Plain Dealer, 2003-02-21.
- Hudak, Stephen. “State gets; OK to try teenager as adult 16-year-old accused of killing Medina girl.” Cleveland Plain Dealer, 2003-05-13.
- Hudak, Stephen. “Lawyer’s motive in teen murder trial debated.” Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 7, 2003.
- Hudak, Stephen. “Lawyer wants in, wants judge out in murder case of Medina teen.” Cleveland Plain Dealer, 2003-08-19.
- Hudak, Stephen. “Teen can stand trial in girl’s murder; Father of slain Medina High pupil upset that video game critic won’t be in court.” Cleveland Plain Dealer, 2003-09-16.
- Hamel, et al. v. Sony Computer Ent., et al, No. 28,613-III (Cocke County Cir. Court of Tenn. 2003).
- Yi, Matthew. “Gamemaker sued over highway shootings.” San Francisco Chronicle, 2003-10-23.
- Hamel, et al. v. Sony Computer Ent., et al, No. 2:03cv00375 (E.D. Tenn. October 24, 2003).
- DeWitt, Robert. “Attorney in Fayette case bows out.” Tuscaloosa News, November 8, 2005.
- DeWitt, Robert. “Judge denies attorney’s request to withdraw from Devin Moore case.” Tuscaloosa News, 2005-11-19.
- DeWitt, Robert. “Judge stands by Fayette decision.” Tuscaloosa News, 2005-11-22.
- Station 7 WVU. Birmingham, Alabama. Noon News, November 3, 2005.
- Rotermund, Maggie. “Investigators: Video games not linked to shooting.” The Baxter Bulletin, February 8, 2006.
- Morris, Chris. “Crackpot or crusader?” CNN/Money, 2003-01-31.
- Baldas, Tresa (2005-01-11). "Video Game Industry Explodes With Legal, Regulatory Issues". The National Law Journal. Law.com. Check date values in:
- Gutierrez Krueger, Joline. “Video-game maker blamed in '04 killing.” The Albuquerque Tribune, 2006-09-25.
- “Lawsuit blames 'Grand Theft Auto' video game for teen shooting family at N.M. ranch.” The Associated Press State & Local Wire, 2006-09-26.
- Romo, Rene. “Relatives of Posey's Victims Say Video Game Helped Turn Teenager Into a Killer.” Albuquerque Journal, 2006-09-26.
- Ganapati, Priya. "Take-Two Goes After Chief Critic." TheStreet.com, 2007-03-16.
- Kesten, Lou. "'God of War II' takes over PlayStation 2." BusinessWeek, 2007-03-21. Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; name "Kesten" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
- Ganapati, Priya. "Take-Two Settles With Critic." TheStreet.com, 2007-09-19.
- Dobbs, Lou. Lou Dobbs Tonight. CNN, 2005-08-24.
- Sledge, Kaffie. “Violent video games not reality.” Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, 2006-04-30.
- Hoag, Christina. “Activist bullies video game sellers”. Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, 2005-08-18.
- Moult, Julie. “Slam at Vid Jerks. ”New York Post, August 3, 2005.
- Pinzur, Matthew I. “Secretive new video game might inspire school bullies.” Miami Herald, 2006-03-13.
- Pinzur, Matthew I. “Video game targeted by Miami-Dade School Board.” Miami Herald, 2006-03-15.
- Jones, K.C. Lawyer Fighting To Ban 'Columbine Simulator', TechWeb Technology News, 2006-08-14
- Slagle, Matt. “Judge to Weigh in on 'Bully' Video Game.” Associated Press, 2006-10-12.
- Slagle, Matt. “New Game Renews Criticism of Violence.” Associated Press, 2006-10-13.
- Carey, Bridget. “Judge doesn't object to video game 'Bully'.” Miami Herald, 2006-10-14.
- Tilley, Steve. “Bullying Justice.” Calgary Sun, November 1 2006.
- “Game roundup: Wait for 'Burning Crusade'; 'Mansfield' a 96-hour keeper.” USA Today, 2006-11-03.
- Cite error: The named reference
Provenzowas invoked but never defined (see the help page).
- Snyder, David. “Md. House Panel Hesitant on Video Game Restrictions”. Washington Post, March 9 2005.
- Thompson, Jack. “What kind of game is Hillary Clinton playing?” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 2005-12-11.
- Wingfield, Nick. “Guess What’s Hiding in Your Videogame.” The Wall Street Journal, 2005-07-26.
- Hasten, Mike. "Video game sales ban advances to La. Senate". Shreveport Times, May 5, 2006.
- “Video game ban misses target.” Shreveport Times, May 16 2006.
- Thompson, John Bruce. “La. needs video game sales restrictions” WBRZ News 2, June 8, 2006.
- "La. Ban of Some Video Games Blocked." Wilmington Star, August 25, 2006.
- "State has to pay legal fees over defunct video law." KATC3, April 16, 2007.
- Tilley, Steve. “Spielberg Grabs the Controller.” Toronto Sun, 2005-10-23.
- Minton, James (2006-06-03). "Video games seized from teen’s home". The Advocate. Retrieved 2006-06-03.
- Milloy, Courtland. “The Need to Put a Face on This Killer”. Washington Post, 2002-10-23.
- “Attorney Jack Thompson and Michael Miller, PC magazine, discuss war video games and their impact.” Today, 2003-04-17.
- Gibson, John. “Interview with Jack Thompson”. The Big Story with John Gibson, 2003-10-22.
- “Muhammad a Gulf War vet, Islam convert.” CNN.com, 2002-12-30.
- Rhodes, Hillary. “Christian Game: Good Word or Bad Idea?.” Sioux City Journal, 2006-04-11.
- Chmielewski, Dawn C. “Converting Video Games Into Instruments of God.” Los Angeles Times, 2006-05-10.
- Levy, Piet. “`Left Behind' Video Game Draws Criticism for Apocalyptic Violence.” Religion News Service, June 8, 2006.
- Hardball, MSNBC, 2007-04-19
- MSNBC, 2007-04-16, 7:27 PM.
- Kohler, Chris. “Jack Thompson Versus Gamers.” Wired News, 2005-11-04.
- Gillett, Nick (2005-10-22). "Gaming news". The Guardian. Check date values in:
- For examples, see Ctrl+Alt+Del by Tim Buckley, "Bathing Suit Area" (2005-08-08) and "An Open Letter to Jack Thompson" (2005-10-12); GU Comics by Woody Hearn, August 16 and October 18, 2005; VG Cats by Scott Ramsoomair, "Coco Beans in Warm Water"; Bunny by Lem, "different reasons, same fun" (2005-10-17); Punks and Nerds by Josh Mirman, October 21, 2005; PvP by Scott Kurtz , parody of complaint on October 21st, 2005 news post; Shortpacked! by David Willis, October 24, 2005.
- Tilley, Steve. “New Windows Will Be Open to Halo 2.” Toronto Sun, 2006-02-12.
- Hartlaub, Peter. "Another tragedy, another platform for video game fearmonger". San Francisco Chronicle, 2007-04-24
- MSNBC, 2007-04-21, 8:42 AM.
- Thompson, Jack. “Why I Complain About Indecency.” Broadcasting & Cable, 2004-04-26.
- Mayo, Michael. "Puritanical Intolerance is Scarier Than Stern Himself." South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 2004-04-18.
- Mayo, Michael. "Puritanical Intolerance is Scarier Than Stern Himself." South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 2004-04-18.
- Arango, Tim. “Decency crusader backs up Howard.” New York Post, March 2, 2006.
- Rosenthal, Phil. “The Chicago Tribune Phil Rosenthal Media column.” Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, March 3, 2006.
- Brown, Tina. “Leslie Moonves discusses his work at Viacom and CBS.” Topic A with Tina Brown CNBC, 2004-11-21.
- Miami Review. “Suit Attacks Constitutionality of Bar.” The Recorder, 1992-06-11.
- “In Brief: Lawyer Accepts $20,000 Bar Settlement.” Miami Herald, February 5, 1993.
- Thompson v. The Florida Bar, No. SC02-82 (Fla. 2002).
- Thompson v. The Florida Bar, 816 So.2d 130 (Fla. 2002) (decided without opinion).
- Jones, Carl. “Antiporn crusader sues over Bar probe.” Broward Daily Business Review, 2006-04-13.
- Thompson v. The Florida Bar, No. CV-06-20945 (S.D. Fla. May 17, 2006).
- Jones, K.C. “Grand Theft Auto Critic Faces Misconduct Charges.” InformationWeek, 2007-02-06.
- Ostrovsky, Daniel. Fla. Bar Seeks Sanctions Against Morality Watchdog Jack Thompson. Daily Business Review, 2007-02-09.
- Cosford, Bill. “Film Fest Vs Porno-Police: It’s Your Choice.” Miami Herald, 1992-03-19.
- “Arts Censors of the Year.” Miami Herald, October 2, 1992.
- Wallace, Richard. “Anti-porn Crusader May Be Facing Disbarment.” Miami Herald, 1992-04-17.
- The Florida Bar v. Thompson, 605 So. 2d 1268 (Fla. 1992) (decided without opinion).
- “Lawyer Faces Fines, Reprimand to Resolve Case.” Miami Herald, August 4 1992.
- “Antoinette Kilduff and Her Lawyer, John Thompson, Discuss Her Son Imitating the Cartoon Character Kenny From Popular Comedy Central’s South Park and Hanging Himself.” Today, NBC, 1999-10-11.
- “Nancy Grace for April 21, 2005, CNNHN.” Nancy Grace, CNN, 2005-04-21.
- McMahon, Paula. “Anna Nicole Smith's mother says she plans to appeal.” South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 2007-02-23.
- Alanez, Tonya. "Attorney's Office seeks investigation into allegations of wrongdoing by Broward Circuit Judge Larry Seidlin." South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 2007-06-30.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: CUDub/Sandbox|
- The Florida Bar's Member page of John Bruce Thompson
- Jack Thompson versus Adam Sessler on G4's Attack of the Show!
- Jack Thompson vs Paul Levinson on CNBC
- Jack Thompson on Internet Movie Database
[[Category:1951 births]] [[Category:Denison University alumni]] [[Category:Living people]] [[Category:American activists]] [[Category:American Christians]] [[Category:Video game censorship]] [[Category:Florida lawyers]] [[Category:People from Cleveland, Ohio]]