The New York Post’s Laura Italiano reported yesterday that Christopher X. Brodeur — bane of much of the rock biz for his impassioned screeds under the nom de plume Touching You of Liquid Tapedeck infamy — shall be spending some time in what John McCain might call a hotel where they don’t leave mints by your pillow.
An angry Manhattan judge threw former fringe mayoral candidate and perennial political pest Christopher Brodeur in jail for six months yesterday on his recent conviction for viciously harassing his landlord and a rent collector.
Since 2003, Brodeur – who got 4 percent of the vote in last year’s Democratic primary – had sent the two victims 21 angry voice-mail messages and letters as he disputed the rent and fought eviction from his Lower East Side apartment.
For example, Brodeur threatened to “torture,” “mutilate” and “peel the flesh [from]” the pair.
In a two-hour sentencing statement, Brodeur, 38, said he regretted the most “excessive” things he’d communicated to the pair, but asked not to be jailed simply for “speech.”
Having not heard the evidence presented, it is hard for me to gauge to what degree Brodeur’s exchange with his landlord actually represented a threat of bodily harm. For one thing, much as I hate to paint all Manhattan landlords with the same brush, I can’t remember the last time I read about one of their ilk being jailed for menacing a tennant — and that certainly happens more than occasionally.
From personal experience, I can vouch for Brodeur as a first-class sparing partner in the email wars. But being a delusional, unrelenting pain in the ass doesn’t mean he deserves a jail sentence, nor does it take away his basic rights as a tennant. Those rights clearly don’t include being allowed to threaten to mutiliate someone (let alone leaving hard evidence of having done so), so here we are.
I’m a little torn on this one. I can’t imagine New York City is a safer or better place with Chris Brodeur banged up. But as long as certain types of speech aren’t protected under the law — and haven’t been for as long as I can remember, you’d have to say he fucked up royally.