Blogger questioned by Hoboken police

HOBOKEN AND BEYOND — Two detectives from the Hoboken Police Department questioned Hoboken-based blogger Nancy Pincus on Aug. 22 about one of a series of satirical entries she posted on her website, Grafix Avenger.

The site frequently takes aim at Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s political enemies. It also posts graphics about them, as well as non-political items such as recipes.

Pincus is a member of the Hoboken Zoning Board, allied with Zimmer.

Police were apparently concerned about the content of an Aug. 15 posting which was the fourth in a series of parody letters to the FBI mockingly speculating on a current investigation of possible e-mail tampering in Hoboken City Hall.

This letter differed from others in that it talked about wanting to join the FBI, saying “I’ve always wanted to shoot someone. I’d get a gun, right? Well, I’d definitely use it. Alot. Maybe every day … Only do I ask questions first THEN shoot?” It then mentions that she has a list of people to arrest in town, and that she could shoot their door knob if they didn’t answer, or “apply a Vulcan death grip.” She gives specific streets and hints about where some of their homes are.

Pincus confirmed that the officers had visited her home, but said that she believed this was part of an effort to silence her, calling it “political intimidation.” She also said she was threatened with arrest if she tried to blog about the visit.

“That’s why I didn’t blog about it,” she said, noting that some of the questions they asked her were about her position as a member of the Zoning Board.

Pincus said she believed that the visit was part of an attempt by Zimmer opponents to create a controversy with the aim of removing her from the board. Pincus’ blogs have been controversial in the past, particularly two, one depicting public officials in a bowl of turds — which she said was taken out of context. In another post, Pincus used a well-known graphic from a Nazi propaganda film as a backdrop for a political satire against Councilwoman Beth Mason, who is a convert to the Jewish faith. While the image showed no Nazi symbols, some of the City Council called for Pincus to be removed from the board.

“This is their second shot,” Pincus said, in reference to the recent visit by police to her home. “This is purely political.”

© 2000, Newspaper Media Group