NO RESTRAINT

This Vietnam veteran is afraid. Of a reporter. Next week, we’re really gonna scare the crap out of him.


Tom Owens is running for an empty commission seat in DeKalb County, which is next door to Atlanta. On Monday, Owens filed a restraining order against a freelance reporter who kept asking him annoying questions.

Such as…

• Did you really threaten to kill the imam of a mosque that opened behind your house? Did you really offer to leave him alone if he bought your house, appraised at $100,000, for a cool half-million?

• What’s your take on a police report that says a city councilman in the small town of Doraville accused you of “showing up on his doorstep to berate him for offering condolences to the victims of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting”?

• After you pled no contest to stalking in nearby Forsyth County, you were ordered into mental health counseling and assigned 30 days of community service. Did you complete both?

Somehow, Owens found a judge crazier than he is to issue the restraining order.

Pity George Chidi. He’s a reporter with a restraining order.


Chidi freelances for various publications and is writing a big book on civic engagement in Georgia. Owens had successfully ducked Chidi until last Sunday, when Chidi showed up at a public candidate forum where Owens was speaking.

Owens had a friend record this “evidence” of Chidi’s intimidating behavior…

…but on his YouTube page, Owens claims this is tame in comparison to their first encounter, which happened in a church: “He was unidentified and stated he wanted to ‘destroy’ me in his introductory statement.”

Sadly, there’s no evidence of that, and Chidi denies it.

“I never said it,” Chidi told me this afternoon. “I looked him in the eye and said, ‘You’re not going to like this story,’ but that’s as far as it ever got.”

Chidi says the same guy who shot the video above also recorded him at that first encounter. “But he hasn’t released that,” Chidi says, adding with just a hint of sarcasm, “I wonder why.”

Perhaps not coincidentally, Owens filed his restraining order the same day Chidi posted an unflattering column about the candidate. Yesterday, Chidi says, “the sheriff’s office dropped off a notice of civil contempt” because he had violated the restraining order by “contacting third parties via social media.” Whatever the hell that means.

Chidi had to get a lawyer so he won’t end up in jail. He has a hearing on Oct. 22. Chidi’s laywer is from the Georgia First Amendment Foundation and is representing him for free. But Chidi is losing time and money dealing with this, so he’s crowdsourcing on his own.

I emailed Owens earlier today, but he hasn’t replied yet. Maybe he’s afraid of me. Maybe he’s asking for yet another restraining order. You want one, too?

We’re looking for journalists who can’t show restraint.


To highlight the ridiculousness of a candidate for public office successfully getting a restraining order against a reporter with zero evidence of threatening behavior, I’m looking for a few Georgians who’d love a restraining order from Tom Owens.

All you gotta do is approach Owens at any of his next several campaign events and pose the three questions above.

I’ll provide you the intel on those appearances, and I’ll pay for any legal expenses you may incur. If you indeed get slapped with a restraining order, I’ll even pay for you to get it framed for your home or office.

If several journalists pepper Owens with the same questions Chidi did, and if he doesn’t file restraining orders against all of them, it’s sure to convince a judge − even one in DeKalb County − that Owens fears not for his personal safety, but his political future.

Email me journoterrorist@gmail.com.



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