on today’s episode of don’t say that… politics… *jerry springer crowd boos*
I hate politics. I hate it because it’s often one of the most childish and yet most brutal part of humanity. But I also hate when people try to suppress other people’s speech… and as I’m sure you know… speech comes in many forms besides text and talking.
And that’s how we’re here! Pink Ink talks about speech and art and the intersection of the speech with… well… people like Donald Trump.
D Trump, apparently pissed off and alone in a room with a typewriter and some copy paper, has threatened to sue both the New York Times and the Palm Beach Post for… saying things he doesn’t like. No really.
Two high-ranking Trump campaign sources confirmed to CNNMoney that a lawsuit against the Times was in the works, but has not been filed. One source said the campaign was also drafting a lawsuit against the Post.
“NYT editors, reporters, politically motivated accusers better lawyer up,” one of the sources said on condition of anonymity.
Yeah! You better lawyer up! Spend $10,000 on lawyers for doing your job and performing a public service! (The Times would actually be the one picking up the tab if I remember right)
When Times reporter Megan Twohey interviewed Trump by phone on Tuesday night, “he threatened to sue us if we published these allegations,” Twohey told CNNMoney. She quoted Trump as saying that “none of this ever took place” and calling her “a disgusting human being.”
Twohey also received a legal letter from a Trump attorney on Wednesday afternoon.
The Times published the story online shortly before 7 p.m. Eastern.
“I think it is pretty evident this story falls clearly in the realm of public service journalism, and discussing issues that arose from the tape and his comments since it surfaced,” Times executive editor Dean Baquet told CNNMoney.
That last part is the important bit…
As I’m sure the lawyers will tell you when they wake up… Trump would have to not only prove that the journalists were wrong but that they were also malicious in their wrongness. Which by all accounts is difficult to prove in journalism cases because you know… journalists are generally only trying to report the news, not go on personal vendettas.
There’s also the fact that Donald Trump is the most public of public figures. Because America has a vested interest in him, no sane judge would find that the New York Times had no right to report on the women claiming D Trump groped them. D Trump would again be back to the whole malicious aspect.
But for Trump that’s honestly irrelevant.
As you may know from my previous posts on Peter Thiel… Thiel and Trump both share the same love for using their money to abuse the court system… they file suits so that people will be forced to defend them, forced to waste their money, and literal years of their lives.
“I spent a couple of bucks on legal fees, and they spent a whole lot more. I did it to make his life miserable, which I’m happy about.” – Donald Trump
I recently also wrote about how NBC was afraid of releasing Donald Trump’s now infamous “Grab ’em by the pussy” tapes because it was afraid of getting its butt sued off.
D Trump’s constant lawsuits, and the constant onslaught of lawsuits in general, really do have a chilling effect on speech. Even in cases where the lawsuits are clearly frivolous, it costs time and money to defend against them. A lot of the time that’s all that matters. Whether you end up proving the lawsuit is frivolous the person you wrote about just forced you to spend $10,000 to defend yourself. That hurts.
This is just one of many attacks on First Amendment in the United States and speech in general world-wide. The fact that this new assault comes from a man running to become the President of the United States is frankly incredible. It has to be one of the most un-American thing that a person could do. Sad!
Trump could never succeed in a libel suit against the NYT.
Unless by “succeed” he means force it to waste a lot of money. Then, sure.
— Brad Heath (@bradheath) October 13, 2016
Update (10/12/2016) – The Lawyerly Letter From Trumps Lawyer Men
— (((Popehat))) (@Popehat) October 13, 2016
Weak-ass letter indeed!
Frankly I don’t know why I’m surprised… Donald Trump is mostly bluster… why wouldn’t his lawyer’s letters be too?
Update (10/13/2016) – I told you the lawyers would come to the rescue with neato information!
I said earlier that the lawyers would clear things up a bit for us when they woke up and that’s what Marc Randazza over at Popehat.com has gone and done…
Is Trump really a “Libel-proof” Plaintiff?
Donald Trump threatened to sue the New York Times for defamation based on a Times story about women accusing him of sexually assaulting them. In responding to this threat, the Times denies that there is anything defamatory about its article and mentions that “[n]othing in our article has had the slightest effect on the reputation that Mr. Trump, through his own words and actions, has already created for himself.” The Times may be right about that, but it’s far from a foregone conclusion. And, in a mad dash to virtue signal, “experts” all rushed to refer to Trump as “libel proof.”
There is such a thing as a “libel-proof” plaintiff. These are people whose reputations are so fiddle-fucked that you can literally say anything you want about them. A California federal court defined this type of plaintiff as “[a]n individual who engages in certain anti-social or criminal behavior and suffers a diminished reputation may be ‘libel proof’ as a matter of law, as it relates to that specific behavior . . . . By extension, if an individual’s general reputation is bad, he is libel proof on all matters.” Wynberg v. Nat’l Enquirer, 564 F. Supp. 924, 928 (C.D. Cal. 1982).Read the entire article here: https://popehat.com/2016/10/13/is-trump-really-libel-proof/
Did you get that? I’ll try to phrase it differently…
The New York Times, in their reply to Trump’s lawyer’s letter, asserted that their article was truthful and would not hurt Donald Trump’s reputation… because Donald Trump already has a reputation for that sort of thing you see…
Marc then goes on to explain in essence that Donald Trump would have to put in a lot of work to even claim in court that The New York Times hurt his reputation…
Because we already know he’s done things like The New York Times reported in its story and because there’s some previous case law that may make it even more difficult for Trump to claim he’s been hurt by them.
(I think Marc was having fun with the whole ‘libel proof’ aspect, but he seems to have made a good point)