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Monday, August 16, 2010

Libel or Legal Extortion?

Shirley Sherrod announced that she plans to sue Andrew Breitbart for libel. Shirley Sherrod is a State insider, and Andrew Breitbart is a non-insider. Therefore, she can use the legal system to silence critics.

The lawsuit was announced, but hasn't been formally filed yet. Even if Andrew Breitbart ultimately wins, he isn't reimbursed for his legal expenses. This enables Shirley Sherrod, who has greater resources, to use the legal system to harass someone.

If a crazy person wearing a robe issues a court summons, you can't ignore it. Otherwise, thugs with guns will come to kidnap you or take away your property.

Via the "Streisand Effect", the lawsuit may backfire. It would be more free publicity for Andrew Breitbart than anything else.

It seems odd to sue only Andrew Breitbart. Allegedly, Fox News promoted the video. If President Obama didn't overreact and fire her, then this wouldn't be an issue at all.

It's hard for Shirley Sherrod to claim that her reputation was permanently damaged by the incident. If anything, she has benefited. She's a celebrity now. The mainstream media has fairly presented her side of the story, which is "I was quoted out of context. I was really telling a story about how I learned from past racist behavior." However, if a white person told a similar story, he'd be sharply denounced.

This whole story seems bizarre. "President Obama fired a subordinate, based on what a blogger wrote." That makes absolutely no sense.

Here's some other "rumors started by bloggers". Let's see if the President does something about them.

  • Vice President Joe Biden had a gay sex orgy with Tony Hayward. Tony Hayward was overheard shouting "Yeah Joe! Screw me like a taxpayer!"
  • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gets a $10k bonus every time an Afghan baby dies.
  • The healthcare reform law was written by lobbyists from insurance corporations and the AMA. (That's too silly. Nobody would believe that one.)
  • Nancy Pelosi has had sex with thousands of lobbyists, but has yet to find a man that can really satisfy her.
  • The financial reform law was written by Lloyd Blankfein.
  • A recent scientific study shows that Harry Reid is dumber than cabbage.
Since President Obama bases his decisions on bloggers, maybe he'll take those issues seriously.

Libel laws are used to censor non-insiders. In a really free market, there's no such thing as libel. You're free to say "X", and I'm free to point out what a fool you are. Libel lawsuits are legal extortion.


Scott said...


BTW, regulatory capture of the USDA happened a while ago and now the USDA is mostly a terrorist organization the purpose of which is to drive independent farmers out of business, leaving the field safe for giant corporate outfits only.

Anonymous said...

The UK is the best place to sue for libel.

You don't have to be a UK resident to sue. You don't have to sue anyone that lives in the UK. All you need is some vague connection to the UK like a magazine that sold 10, 000 copies sold 3 copies in the UK!!!!

The best thing is that the defendant has to prove what he has said. The onus of proof is on the defendant not on the plaintiff.

Proving things, even the obvious, can be difficult and costly.


for details on how a Icelandic Professor living in Iceland was sued in a UK court for an entry on an Icelandic university website!

During a 5 year lawsuit he had to sell his house and pay 150, 000 UK Pounds.

Anonymous said...

In civil lawsuits there is a nasty low trick that is known by slimy scumballs. These are people so bent I'm surprised they can walk upright. A bent client goes to bent lawyers.

You register a limited liability company and make sure it has no real assets. No real money in its bank accounts, no owned property etc.

You can then sue individuals in the name of your company with no assets. Individuals will have savings accumulated over time.

Individuals will always have something. Large companies have wealth. But small companies with no assets are the ideal vehicle to set up just to sue with.

Alternatively sue large companies that have large reserves of cash.

So in the worse case scenario you can at most lose NOTHING.

Do it and ask for the Moon?

You then have huge leverage to force someone to settle out of court. Your opponent can lose, potentially, a lot, but you can lose nothing.

Civil lawsuits can easily cost the equivalent several hundred thousands dollars and even simple ones can take 18 months to 2 years to resolve.

The legal system wants their cut. They won't reform their money pit system.

Anonymous said...

"However, if a white person told a similar story, he'd be sharply denounced."

Just for clarification, what exactly would a (male I guess) white person be sharply denounced for? Well, more sharply denounced and less celebrated by the media seems to be what you were going for.

I agree with most of the stuff on this blog and think that about a quarter of the material is truly unique and extremely valuable, but sometimes I wonder about the racial and gender comments.

FSK said...

"FSK disapproves of the way the mainstream media treats race and gender" does not automatically lead to "FSK is guilty of racial and gender discrimination." I try my best to be fair. Most mainstream media discussion of gender and race has a *TON* of evil fnords.

If X says something about Y, and Y says the same thing about X, X may be promoted as a hero while Y is sharply denounced.

For example, "racism" is a charge used to unfairly trash the "Tea Party" movement.

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