The Search for the Wikipedia Libelist (important update)

 
Thanks to an intrepid blogger with the tag Trapdoc posting a letter to Mark Steyn, the search for the Wikipedia Libelist responsible for damaging posts to the Rush Limbaugh account apparently has been narrowed to the IP address of a New York City law firm:

"The quotes were added by a user with the IP address of 69.64.213.146. This address has been used mostly to make changes to the article about Rush, but also Karl Rove, Sean Hannity,.. James Dobson and Sara Palin from 2005 until earlier this year.

"While others have noted this in various forums, no one seems to have made the connection that this IP address is used as a gateway by the law firm Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP (see here, for example) that all users from that IP address come from the pbwt.com domain.)"

Update: it is possible the IP has addressed has been spoofed, or that another firm has access to it. There can be no presumption that Patterson Belknap is the source at this point. Here is what Whois says:

69.64.213.146 - Geo Information
IP Address69.64.213.146
Host69.64.213.146.nyc.electricfiber.net
LocationUS US, United States
CityNew York, NY -
OrganizationPATTERSON, BELKNAPP, WEBB & TYLER
ISPRCN NEW YORK COMMUNICATIONS, LLC
AS NumberAS27506
Latitude40°76'19" North
Longitude73°97'63" West
Distance7579.06 km (4709.41 miles)


Be that as it may, the firm has some very interesting connections.The firm provides a wide array of legal services with a broad spectrum of
politically correct causes served:
"It is one of the first major firms in New York City to elect a woman as managing partner. In addition to its Diversity Committee, a group of Patterson Belknap attorneys formed PAC -- Patterson Attorneys of Color -- to assist with the enhancement of workplace diversity and the recruitment, retention and promotion of attorneys of color. Another group, Out at Patterson, focuses on issues relevant to the firm's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, and Women Lawyers at Patterson (WLAP) focuses on women's issues."

Considering Rush's militant political incorrectness, there may be a large number of potentially culpable attorneys and/or staffers to choose from.  However, a forensic data retrieval technician should surely be able to narrow the focus and identify the likely poster.  Perhaps Rush can enlist the aid of PBWT alumni, Rudy Giuliani, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau or firm partner, Edward F. Cox, (son-in-law of former President, Richard M. Nixon) in his search for justice.

There is no question that Mr. Limbaugh has been damaged by the salacious quotes added to his Wikipedia profile and their dissemination in the PC-stream media.  Hope this helps, Rush.

You know they say the only cure for a lawyer is another lawyer.....

Ralph Alter blogs at Right On Target

Update from Thomas Lifson:

Well, well, well, lookee here (from the firm's own website)


Firm Establishes Sports Group
September 21, 2009

Growing Cross-Disciplinary Practice Handles Disputes and Transactions for Numerous Sports-Related Entities

NEW YORK, NY - September 21, 2009. Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP is pleased to announce the formal establishment of its interdisciplinary Sports Group. The firm's work in this area dates back decades and includes high-profile disputes and transactions involving professional baseball, basketball, hockey, tennis and golf, as well as the representation of sports-related media entities. Among other matters on behalf of various leagues, teams, and other sports-related entities, over the last several years our attorneys regularly have litigated complex commercial matters, handled sensitive internal investigations issues, and provided corporate, intellectual property and charitable giving advice both in high-profile transactions and as day-to-day legal advisors.

Our Sports Group attorneys' specific experience includes the representation of:

  • A leading sports news network as a defendant in a case in which the plaintiff argued that fantasy sports games offered on its website constituted illegal gambling. The court dismissed this case of first impression with prejudice.
  • Various investor groups as intellectual property counsel in their acquisitions and proposed acquisitions of Major League Baseball, National Hockey League and NASCAR teams.
  • A professional sports league in an investigation of and issuance of a report concerning allegations made by a member team that a rival team violated the league's anti-tampering rules.
  • A professional sports hall of fame as plaintiff in a trademark infringement litigation culminating in a successful settlement requiring a change to defendant's use of its mark.
  • A major U.S. professional soccer league in its formation and launch.
  • The seller of a Major League Baseball franchise in a breach of contract litigation with an investment bank.
  • A leading regional sports network in connection with its broadcasting rights agreement to license professional baseball and basketball games to local television stations.
  • A professional basketball team's foundation in connection with its charitable activities.
  • A not-for-profit organization formed to further New York City's bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in connection with intellectual property matters.
 
Update #2 from Thomas Lifson

Former Patterson Belknap Partner Richard Parsons is now president of bailout recipient Citibank, and an official Obama economic advisor. From the firm's website:

In the words of former Patterson partner and current Chairman of Citigroup, Richard D. Parsons, "[d]uring my 12 years at Patterson, I learned that what defined success wasn't pedigree or ethnicity but an undiluted devotion to the law and an unqualified commitment to give every client the most effective representation possible."  It is this culture that the firm strives to achieve and believes cultivates a diverse and successful environment.

Update on Parsons (hat tip: Ben):


Parsons on the VIP list at a funeral with people like Maxine Waters Louis Farrakhan, Al Sharpton, Bill Clinton and -- Barack & Michelle Obama 
  
Parsons interviewed Obama on stage for "more than an hour" at this event:
Obama: 'Better Judgment' on Foreign Policy

and now here he appears as an advisor to Obama.

The firm also
sent a partner to the Obama administration, as Deputy Assistant Attorney General, in April.

We are very proud that our partner, colleague and friend William F. Cavanaugh has been appointed as Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the United States for Civil Matters in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice.  This appointment continues the long tradition of public service by partners of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP.
Update from William Tate:
 
The law firm linked to reports of an IP address associated with misleading and defamatory attacks on Rush Limbaugh was a major source of campaign funds for Barack Obama.

FEC records* indicate that individuals associated with Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler, LLC donated almost $100,000 to Obama's 2008 campaign. Over the last ten years people associated with the firm donated another $80,000 dollars to the Democratic Party and thousands more to Democrats across the country, literally, from Oregon to Florida. Thousands more went to such radical left organizations as Emily's List and MoveOn.org.

While a small number of other individuals donated a, not insubstantial, amount to Republican candidates over the past decade, those donations went to mainstream candidates and organizations and not to the extremist fringe--such as the leftists at George Soros funded MoveOn.

*I did the math from a search for Patterson Belknap Webb under Employer/Occupation at fec.gov for dates 1/1/2001-9/30/2009. Here's the link to that search engine.

The FEC numbers for Obama donations and DNC donations are in an Excel spreadsheet here.


 
Thanks to an intrepid blogger with the tag Trapdoc posting a letter to Mark Steyn, the search for the Wikipedia Libelist responsible for damaging posts to the Rush Limbaugh account apparently has been narrowed to the IP address of a New York City law firm:

"The quotes were added by a user with the IP address of 69.64.213.146. This address has been used mostly to make changes to the article about Rush, but also Karl Rove, Sean Hannity,.. James Dobson and Sara Palin from 2005 until earlier this year.

"While others have noted this in various forums, no one seems to have made the connection that this IP address is used as a gateway by the law firm Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP (see here, for example) that all users from that IP address come from the pbwt.com domain.)"

Update: it is possible the IP has addressed has been spoofed, or that another firm has access to it. There can be no presumption that Patterson Belknap is the source at this point. Here is what Whois says:

69.64.213.146 - Geo Information
IP Address69.64.213.146
Host69.64.213.146.nyc.electricfiber.net
LocationUS US, United States
CityNew York, NY -
OrganizationPATTERSON, BELKNAPP, WEBB & TYLER
ISPRCN NEW YORK COMMUNICATIONS, LLC
AS NumberAS27506
Latitude40°76'19" North
Longitude73°97'63" West
Distance7579.06 km (4709.41 miles)


Be that as it may, the firm has some very interesting connections.The firm provides a wide array of legal services with a broad spectrum of
politically correct causes served:
"It is one of the first major firms in New York City to elect a woman as managing partner. In addition to its Diversity Committee, a group of Patterson Belknap attorneys formed PAC -- Patterson Attorneys of Color -- to assist with the enhancement of workplace diversity and the recruitment, retention and promotion of attorneys of color. Another group, Out at Patterson, focuses on issues relevant to the firm's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, and Women Lawyers at Patterson (WLAP) focuses on women's issues."

Considering Rush's militant political incorrectness, there may be a large number of potentially culpable attorneys and/or staffers to choose from.  However, a forensic data retrieval technician should surely be able to narrow the focus and identify the likely poster.  Perhaps Rush can enlist the aid of PBWT alumni, Rudy Giuliani, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau or firm partner, Edward F. Cox, (son-in-law of former President, Richard M. Nixon) in his search for justice.

There is no question that Mr. Limbaugh has been damaged by the salacious quotes added to his Wikipedia profile and their dissemination in the PC-stream media.  Hope this helps, Rush.

You know they say the only cure for a lawyer is another lawyer.....

Ralph Alter blogs at Right On Target

Update from Thomas Lifson:

Well, well, well, lookee here (from the firm's own website)


Firm Establishes Sports Group
September 21, 2009

Growing Cross-Disciplinary Practice Handles Disputes and Transactions for Numerous Sports-Related Entities

NEW YORK, NY - September 21, 2009. Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP is pleased to announce the formal establishment of its interdisciplinary Sports Group. The firm's work in this area dates back decades and includes high-profile disputes and transactions involving professional baseball, basketball, hockey, tennis and golf, as well as the representation of sports-related media entities. Among other matters on behalf of various leagues, teams, and other sports-related entities, over the last several years our attorneys regularly have litigated complex commercial matters, handled sensitive internal investigations issues, and provided corporate, intellectual property and charitable giving advice both in high-profile transactions and as day-to-day legal advisors.

Our Sports Group attorneys' specific experience includes the representation of:

  • A leading sports news network as a defendant in a case in which the plaintiff argued that fantasy sports games offered on its website constituted illegal gambling. The court dismissed this case of first impression with prejudice.
  • Various investor groups as intellectual property counsel in their acquisitions and proposed acquisitions of Major League Baseball, National Hockey League and NASCAR teams.
  • A professional sports league in an investigation of and issuance of a report concerning allegations made by a member team that a rival team violated the league's anti-tampering rules.
  • A professional sports hall of fame as plaintiff in a trademark infringement litigation culminating in a successful settlement requiring a change to defendant's use of its mark.
  • A major U.S. professional soccer league in its formation and launch.
  • The seller of a Major League Baseball franchise in a breach of contract litigation with an investment bank.
  • A leading regional sports network in connection with its broadcasting rights agreement to license professional baseball and basketball games to local television stations.
  • A professional basketball team's foundation in connection with its charitable activities.
  • A not-for-profit organization formed to further New York City's bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in connection with intellectual property matters.
 
Update #2 from Thomas Lifson

Former Patterson Belknap Partner Richard Parsons is now president of bailout recipient Citibank, and an official Obama economic advisor. From the firm's website:

In the words of former Patterson partner and current Chairman of Citigroup, Richard D. Parsons, "[d]uring my 12 years at Patterson, I learned that what defined success wasn't pedigree or ethnicity but an undiluted devotion to the law and an unqualified commitment to give every client the most effective representation possible."  It is this culture that the firm strives to achieve and believes cultivates a diverse and successful environment.

Update on Parsons (hat tip: Ben):


Parsons on the VIP list at a funeral with people like Maxine Waters Louis Farrakhan, Al Sharpton, Bill Clinton and -- Barack & Michelle Obama 
  
Parsons interviewed Obama on stage for "more than an hour" at this event:
Obama: 'Better Judgment' on Foreign Policy

and now here he appears as an advisor to Obama.

The firm also
sent a partner to the Obama administration, as Deputy Assistant Attorney General, in April.

We are very proud that our partner, colleague and friend William F. Cavanaugh has been appointed as Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the United States for Civil Matters in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice.  This appointment continues the long tradition of public service by partners of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP.
Update from William Tate:
 
The law firm linked to reports of an IP address associated with misleading and defamatory attacks on Rush Limbaugh was a major source of campaign funds for Barack Obama.

FEC records* indicate that individuals associated with Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler, LLC donated almost $100,000 to Obama's 2008 campaign. Over the last ten years people associated with the firm donated another $80,000 dollars to the Democratic Party and thousands more to Democrats across the country, literally, from Oregon to Florida. Thousands more went to such radical left organizations as Emily's List and MoveOn.org.

While a small number of other individuals donated a, not insubstantial, amount to Republican candidates over the past decade, those donations went to mainstream candidates and organizations and not to the extremist fringe--such as the leftists at George Soros funded MoveOn.

*I did the math from a search for Patterson Belknap Webb under Employer/Occupation at fec.gov for dates 1/1/2001-9/30/2009. Here's the link to that search engine.

The FEC numbers for Obama donations and DNC donations are in an Excel spreadsheet here.