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At a National Association of Black Journalists convention in San Diego today (July 29), ousted Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod said she would sue Andrew Breitbart, the right-wing blogger who publicized a completely misleading video about her last week. Breitbart had posted selective parts of a speech she had given at a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) event. His editing made it look like she is a racist. (She is black.) The Agriculture Department fired her. Then after the full speech was posted, it was clear that Breitbart's twisted interpretation was the reverse of her message. The government apologized and offered her a job. The White House apologized. Even Breitbart expressed his regret. The nature of her expected lawsuit is not clear.

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Comments

Duhbya July 29, 2010 @ 12:22 p.m.

While Mrs. Sherrod has ample reasons to sue, I hope that she chooses to take the high road and does not.

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nan shartel July 29, 2010 @ 12:52 p.m.

good on her...i hope she gets a million!!!

certain kinds of bloggers do need a lesson...blogging has more power then we think...and yellow journalism as was the case for Ms Sherrod need exposing...they need to be taken to task and the pocketbook is as good a way to do it as any!!!

i salute her!!

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paul July 29, 2010 @ 1:27 p.m.

Not to defend the blogger here, but the administration fired her and the NAACP came out and condemned her AFTER both had the entire speech in their possession. The actions of the blogger were reprehensible, but this would have quickly gone away once the whole tape was released except for the actions of the administration and the NAACP.

The NAACP went so far as to issue a statement saying:

"We are appalled by her actions, just as we are with abuses of power against farmers of color and female farmers.

Her actions were shameful. While she went on to explain in the story that she ultimately realized her mistake, as well as the common predicament of working people of all races, she gave no indication she had attempted to right the wrong she had done to this man.

The reaction from many in the audience is disturbing. We will be looking into the behavior of NAACP representatives at this local event and take any appropriate action.

We thank those who brought this to our national office’s attention, as there are hundreds of local fund raising dinners each year."

Why in the world would they do that? They obviously had already gone over the whole transcript, because they explicitly mention the redemption part of the story.

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MURPHYJUNK July 29, 2010 @ 1:34 p.m.

some lawyers are going to get rich, and probably in the end at us taxpayers expense.

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nan shartel July 29, 2010 @ 1:51 p.m.

Paul...yes they rushed to judgement...but the blogger started that train wreck...and she has a case to sue if she chooses to

the Government will make it up to her in way we may not even know about...and suing the government is not an easy thing to accomplish and win

the NAACP...that between her and them...a crawling over 3 miles of broken glass in shorts in public sounds like a good idea to me...with no medics in attendance!!!

it's OK to spread the guilt around but...

THE BLOGGER STARTED IT...NUFF SAID!!!

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nan shartel July 29, 2010 @ 1:53 p.m.

and Murphy...i'd rather see some my tax money to go this lady then some of the other crap they spend it on

JUSTICE NEEDS TO RULE IN THIS CASE!!!

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nan shartel July 29, 2010 @ 1:57 p.m.

Why in the world would they do that? They obviously had already gone over the whole transcript, because they explicitly mention the redemption part of the story.


IT'S CALLED GETTING ON THE "SAVE OUR A*SES BUS WITH ALL THE REST OF THE FOLKS WHO R THINKING THIS WAY"

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nan shartel July 29, 2010 @ 2:12 p.m.

wow...i got all "up in arms" huh

~~taking deep breaths and calming down now~~

hahahahahahahahaha

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MURPHYJUNK July 29, 2010 @ 2:51 p.m.

nan

the least of several evils?

I hope she gets justice.

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pascal July 29, 2010 @ 4:23 p.m.

I wonder whether the traditional legal standards for Libel in the media apply to bloggers, and whether she'd have to meet those in her suit. Anyone know?

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nan shartel July 29, 2010 @ 4:41 p.m.

thx Murphy

and i have no idea Pascal...but writing slanderous things about an individual is considered LIBEL...and the purb can be sued in Civil Court

but few take LIBEL cases to court anymore

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nan shartel July 29, 2010 @ 4:43 p.m.

i have to be civil or Don won't come to see us ;-()

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SurfPuppy619 July 29, 2010 @ 5:54 p.m.

I wonder whether the traditional legal standards for Libel in the media apply to bloggers, and whether she'd have to meet those in her suit. Anyone know?

The ONLY protections in Internet law go to the ISP provider, not the one who makes the bogus claims-which is different from all other defamation laws in America. I believe this protection was established in 1998 under The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DCMA);

http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf

If a newpaper, Radio or TV station ran that garbage they would all be liable-in addition to the one who started the ball rolling, not so on the Internet. The Blogger will be personally liable, but not his ISP host.

By way of example, this SD Reader website could not be sued if Don made a bunch of bogus clams that caused damages, but Don himself certainly could.

I think the DCMA, as do many others, needs to be amended to allow damages to be brought against the website and ISP host site-for accountability of defamatory communications.

There was a MAJOR case on this issue with the Autoadmit.com website that got so out of hand it was discussed in Congress on what to do about the website immunity problem;

http://volokh.com/posts/1181709221.shtml

There are a number of claims Sherrod could bring, since she is not a public, nor limited public, figure. The rules for public figures (such as all politicians) is very hard to overcome, but not so for private individuals like Sherrod. Sherrod could file, at a minimum on;

1) Invasion of privacy

2) Intentional interference of economic expectancy (her job)

3) Defamation

4) False light (mis-characterizing someone, as in this case out of context)

5) Intentional infliction of emotional distress

So she has a case, and if I were Andrew Breitbart I would call Sherrod and make nice, it is the right thing to do and will save him tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees, legal liability and tons of brain damage.

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nunyaeffinbizness July 29, 2010 @ 6:25 p.m.

So this blogger puts edited video of her on the internet, the NAACP, who has the entire unedited video, then called on the current administration, who also had the entire unedited video, to fire her, reportedly under pressure from the White House she was fired. After all this happened, and after they went back and watched the full video again, she was offered her job back, within 24 hours of losing it. Do I have this right? Okay, what harm has been done to this woman? She was unemployed against her will for less than 24 hours, she was most likely offered a big raise if she returned to work, is highly sought after for speaking engagements across the nation, and was personally apologized to by the President of the United States. With all that, I am trying to figure out what "she deserves justice" really means. She wasn't physically harmed and actually made money and gained national fame and sympathy. So this blogger, who definitely wasn't playing nice, caused her no actual harm and made her money, but she still wants to sue him for what?

We are entirely too sue happy in this country, no wonder we are all getting more and more miserable in our daily lives.

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MsGrant July 29, 2010 @ 6:44 p.m.

I want to know why she was fired in the first place. Seems rather knee-jerk to me, and if everyone was indeed in possession of the original interview, somewhat suspect.

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Don Bauder July 29, 2010 @ 7:25 p.m.

Response to post #1: I'm not sure that not suing in this case is the high road. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 29, 2010 @ 7:26 p.m.

Response to post #2: I believe she has. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 29, 2010 @ 7:27 p.m.

Response to post #3: The agriculture department perhaps should be sued, too. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 29, 2010 @ 7:31 p.m.

Response to posts #4-7: Everything moves so quickly these days. The NAACP, agriculture department, and of course Fox TV, acted irresponsibly. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 29, 2010 @ 7:33 p.m.

Response to posts 8-11: We all hope she gets justice. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 29, 2010 @ 7:35 p.m.

Response to post #12: The libel laws as they apply to bloggers are complex. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 29, 2010 @ 7:39 p.m.

Response to posts #13-15: Obviously, I try to avoid libel, and we watch the blog to try to be sure that posters don't libel anybody. I'm not the one who monitors this blog or the others, but I sometimes request that something be taken down. Sometimes the site monitor agrees, sometimes not. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 29, 2010 @ 7:43 p.m.

Response to post #16: I am sure defendants in her suit, if she ultimately files it, will make these arguments. Keep in mind that when this case is finally heard, the public will have long forgotten the incident, so the judge won't be under pressure. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 29, 2010 @ 7:44 p.m.

Response to post #17: Of course it was knee-jerk -- on almost everybody's part. Best, Don Bauder

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Ponzi July 29, 2010 @ 9:31 p.m.

I learned my lessons with lawsuits, particularly a better funded defendant.

They called me up and said.. “This is how it works. You file a complaint, we respond. You spend one dollar, we spend ten. Whoever runs out of money first, loses.”

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SurfPuppy619 July 29, 2010 @ 10:17 p.m.

So this blogger, who definitely wasn't playing nice, caused her no actual harm and made her money, but she still wants to sue him for what?

We are entirely too sue happy in this country, no wonder we are all getting more and more miserable in our daily lives.

By nunyaeffinbizness

Are you serious?????

Let me ask you this, if I ROBBED YOU at gun point, and then felt bad the next day and gave you your money back, and threw in an extra $5 spot for the hassle, are you saying I have not commited any wrongs/crimes??????? Please.

You may think that there were no damages, or that her getting a new job offer or speaking engagements makes this OK-but that is just your opinion, and not the law.

The law is clear, she has a case. Makes no difference if the gov offered her a new job, or if you think she doesn't deserve anything. That is a question of fact for a jury. Who knows though, maybe a jury will say the same thing as you, I would not roll the dice on that bet myself.

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SurfPuppy619 July 29, 2010 @ 10:19 p.m.

Obviously, I try to avoid libel, and we watch the blog to try to be sure that posters don't libel anybody. I'm not the one who monitors this blog or the others, but I sometimes request that something be taken down

Oh, I never meant to imply that at all.

I was just trying to show an example of how the law works using you and this website, maybe that was a bad example.

Sorry about the inference.

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SurfPuppy619 July 29, 2010 @ 10:21 p.m.

They called me up and said.. “This is how it works. You file a complaint, we respond. You spend one dollar, we spend ten. Whoever runs out of money first, loses.”

By Ponzi

This is very true.

The only exception is if there is a fee shifting law that makes the loser pay the winners expense. Some contracts have that provision (or other things like mandatory binding arbitration), as do many civil rights laws.

I think civil RICO has it also.

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Ponzi July 30, 2010 @ 6:55 a.m.

That’s all fine and dandy if you can afford to make it all the way through the trial and have the judge award the legal fees to the victor. Problem is the majority of civil lawsuits never reach the trial stage and virtually never reach closing arguments. So, my scenario is still valid…. He who runs out of money first loses.

A lawsuit is a game of attrition.

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Ponzi July 30, 2010 @ 7:01 a.m.

Oh, and not that I don’t feel you have a good point, Surfpuppy.

I just feel we live in a day and age where sound-bites and video snippets need to be scrutinized far more than in the past. Don was correct, there were other parties that also share in the responsibility.

How much damage was actually done at this point? She has been offered her job back. She has been apologized to and anyone interested knows now that it was a mistake.

Sure some punishment should be meted out. But wouldn’t we be better off to forgive and forget. One thing this nation has is too many lawyers and too many lawsuits.

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SurfPuppy619 July 30, 2010 @ 8:40 a.m.

How much damage was actually done at this point? She has been offered her job back. She has been apologized to and anyone interested knows now that it was a mistake.

Good point. She has not received an apology from the one who started the ball rolling. Damages in a case where you have gotten tossed into the national spotlight will differ from person to person, and damages are not limited to monetary value-some people care about things other than $$$$$. . . .

Sure some punishment should be meted out. But wouldn’t we be better off to forgive and forget.

Like I said, I think the perp should say it was a mistake and apologize, but each person has their own view on what is right, so only Sherrod can say if she will forgive and forget.

My feeling based on what I have seen of Sherrod so far is she would forgive the clown who started this if he called her and made an honest and sincere effort to apologize.

But not everyone will take $$ over brain damage like this.

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Don Bauder July 31, 2010 @ 12:52 p.m.

Response to post #27: Pithy aphorism. There are number of reasons -- mostly corrupt -- why the SEC doesn't touch the big companies and goes for small fry. But one reason that makes sense is that the big companies have more money to fight the action than the SEC has to pursue it. The company drowns the agency in documents, document production demands, etc. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 31, 2010 @ 12:55 p.m.

Response to post #28: Frankly, I would not be surprised if she never gets around to filing a case, although Breitbart clearly was out of bounds. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 31, 2010 @ 1:01 p.m.

Response to post #29: I'm not blaming you. I just took the opportunity to explain how we handle it. You have to understand that I am in a position similar to the ones Aguirre, Frye, Shea, Shipione, Henderson were in. I am saying things the establishment does not want to hear. An establishment member could cook up a suit with a friendly judge to silence me. I have to be careful. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 31, 2010 @ 1:03 p.m.

Response to post #30: That may be one reason that civil RICO is so difficult to win in court. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 31, 2010 @ 1:07 p.m.

Response to post #31: I know lawyers who have leveraged themselves to the eyeballs to pursue what appears to be an open and shut case, then gotten nowhere and have effectively gone broke. Money runs the legal system. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 31, 2010 @ 1:09 p.m.

Response to post #32: And consequently too many judges. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 31, 2010 @ 1:12 p.m.

Response to post #33: Supposedly Breitbart gave an apology -- well, sort of. He should be forced to give a REAL apology and promise not to do this kind of thing on his blog (remember Acorn?). Maybe only a lawsuit will force him to do that. Best, Don Bauder

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Bob McPhail July 31, 2010 @ 2:50 p.m.

Sue him for what? Truth is an absolute defense to libel and there was nothing untruthful about what he posted. Context is in the mind of the beholder, otherwise coverage of a city council meeting would mean just reprinting verbatim the minutes of the meeting. Besides, the lady did say a few things that at least intimated racism -- "his kind," for example. She should sue the NAACP, the president, the Secretary of Agriculture. But the blogger -- though he had a point of view -- did not break any libel or defamation laws. If selecting parts of an interview or speech to post is actionable in court, then start with 60 Minutes producers... or for that matter, any news broadcast that selects clips to make a point, whether in the interest of "newsworthiness" or to make a point.

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Don Bauder Aug. 1, 2010 @ 8:54 a.m.

Response to post #41: You make several good points, and I am not defending Breitbart, whom I consider a demagogue. I do think a lawsuit like this, if she goes through with it, could break some new ground, depending on what she sues for. Best, Don Bauder

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nan shartel Aug. 1, 2010 @ 8:58 a.m.

yes BigBob...ur absolutely right...sue 60 mins..been done...and any other slanderous articles spun to make a non valid point..how much ground should we allow the purveyors of half truths and inuendoes to wreak havoc on the innocent

what (BIGBOB) if it was u in her shoes...would ya like it...would ya think it was OK..would ya enjoy the false humiliation BigBob

would u like to be told u had to pull off the highway to tender ur resignation by e-mail

THINK ABOUT IT BIGBOB!!

when a person is conspiratorial in committing a crime..they get brought up before the judge too

AND LIBEL IS A CRIME

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nan shartel Aug. 1, 2010 @ 9:01 a.m.

u said it with far less rancor then i did Don

u indeed r a true pragmatic gentleman

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nan shartel Aug. 1, 2010 @ 9:31 a.m.

and Don..if u ever do git riled up enough to end up going to court for truths that u tell here..i and i think many other of us poor people here will help pay for ur lawyers

ans sneak POOH books in to u while ur incarcerated :-)

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SurfPuppy619 Aug. 1, 2010 @ 12:17 p.m.

Sue him for what? Truth is an absolute defense to libel and there was nothing untruthful about what he posted. Context is in the mind of the beholder, otherwise coverage of a city council meeting would mean just reprinting verbatim the minutes of the meeting.

Go back and read post #15, even striking the defamation action, read actions 2-5, that covers everything the perp did.

And if you think she does not have a case on those issues then you need to go back to law school and retake "Torts I".

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Bob McPhail Aug. 1, 2010 @ 5:16 p.m.

No, Nan, I wouldn't like it at all. But every harm we suffer in life is not actionable in court. Going overboard, as you and many other posters here seem to suggest, would have a tremendously chilling effect on the exercise of free speech. Just imagine, you could be sued for something you post on this -- or other -- comments boards. You are mistaken if you think I feel any sympathy for Breitbart. I don't. But I'll defend to the death his right to do what he did. Sherrod's beef is with the Obama Administration and the NAACP... they are the ones who truly harmed her.

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Bob McPhail Aug. 1, 2010 @ 5:26 p.m.

SurfPuppy -- you've got to be kidding me. Sherrod is not a public figure? Of course she is, and in that capacity, she was speaking to a chapter of the NAACP. Invasion of privacy? She was speaking at a PUBLIC event. False light? Where's the actual malice? Love to see someone try to prove that. Besides, false light lawsuits are increasingly restricted in the US -- except in the case of PRIVATE citizens who are WRONGLY portrayed. Don't think your theory fits the facts.

Everyone seems to want to jump on the bandwagon here and bash Breitbart and sympathize with Sherrod. But if you review the facts carefully and dispassionately, she is not completely without blame either.

Let her sue. She'll get nowhere -- probably tossed on summary judgment.

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David Dodd Aug. 1, 2010 @ 6 p.m.

I think Sherrod IS a public figure, but maybe the question is more along the lines of the "blogger" (apparently, although if Breitbart made a profit then that will be disputed) intentionally doing harm. Even celebs have successfully sued over tabloid B.S. I think if this goes to court and is litigated it will depend on the prosecution being able to prove intent to injure and/or profit of the defendant from doing so.

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SurfPuppy619 Aug. 1, 2010 @ 6:02 p.m.

SurfPuppy -- you've got to be kidding me. Sherrod is not a public figure?

No she was NOT a public figure.

And having someone post defamatory statements does NOT make you a public figure either.

Like I said, there are a number of COA's, and you even admitted it.

You don't understand American law, you must be from the UK.

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David Dodd Aug. 1, 2010 @ 6:22 p.m.

SP: If Sherrod isn't a public figure, then why did the POTUS know her? That's pretty damned public. If I'm the "blogger"'s council, that would be part of my argument...

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Don Bauder Aug. 1, 2010 @ 8:03 p.m.

Response to post #43: I wouldn't say libel is a crime but it can lead to damages. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 1, 2010 @ 8:05 p.m.

Response to post #44: I'm asea without rancor? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 1, 2010 @ 8:06 p.m.

Response to post #45: Truth can get one in trouble in a city such as San Diego. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 1, 2010 @ 8:10 p.m.

Response to post #46: There are a lot of factors in this one. Could she prove sufficient damages to make the suit worth it? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 1, 2010 @ 8:12 p.m.

Response to post #47: Have to disagree. I think what he did is indefensible. I'm not talking about court, necessarily. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 1, 2010 @ 8:14 p.m.

Response to post #48: I don't think you can argue that Sherrod was a public figure at the time of the speech. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 1, 2010 @ 8:19 p.m.

Response to post #49: I've had a public figure threaten to sue me for libel. I was right and he was wrong. But Copley caved in, partly because the lawyer it hired was not too bright. Then, shortly after Copley ran my complete retraction (I was forced to do so under duress), this guy was told he could not have a second term in office for actions he had committed. He had been under investigation all the time he was telling Copley that I had libeled him. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 1, 2010 @ 8:23 p.m.

Response to post #50: OK, are you from the UK? 'Fess up. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 1, 2010 @ 8:24 p.m.

Response to post #51: I don't see her as a public figure. She was a bureaucrat, and not one high up. Best, Don Bauder

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David Dodd Aug. 1, 2010 @ 11:10 p.m.

@ #60: I would have agreed with you if Obama hadn't forced her to resign her position, that made her out to be a public figure. In other words, ipso facto. Were she not a public figure, then the White House would have never been involved.

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Don Bauder Aug. 2, 2010 @ 7:12 a.m.

Response to post #61: As it has done in the past, the Obama administration was reacting to, and appeasing, the far right demagogues. I don't think this makes her a public figure. Your argument seems to be that she became a public figure after the attack. I think a court would have to take the timing into account. She wasn't a public figure when she was assaulted. Best, Don Bauder

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nan shartel Aug. 2, 2010 @ 11:05 a.m.

BigBob...i'm normally the first one to rise to my feet and yell at the top of my lungs

i may not agree with what u say but will defend to the death ur right 2 say it!!!

and i know i sound like Joy Behar on the View letting Elizabeth Hasselbeck have it with both barrels here

u do have good points...excellent points about the long term effect of litigation where this incident is concerned

as far as where and why did Breitbart would find and use the video...i'm sure he has researchers constantly scanning everywhere for material that fits his Biggoverment.com site style

it was the fact the video was manipulated that created my ire...it was the the manipulation that caused the dominoes to begin to fall...the cause..the rest was effect...and was the NAACP and Government off base 2...

A RESOUNDING YES!!!!

but u have to start where it started...with Breitbart

i've been unjustly accused in the past in a job situation and i took it as far as i could and made every entity and everyone involved pay...thru every agency i could...it took 3 years but the resolution and condemnation of the plaintiffs was worth it

the money was nice too

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nan shartel Aug. 2, 2010 @ 11:07 a.m.

a sea without rancor...hahahahahahahahaha...but beneath that sea swims a shark who'd like to take the bad actor down down down into the briny deep poohspeaker

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SurfPuppy619 Aug. 2, 2010 @ 11:28 a.m.

If Sherrod isn't a public figure, then why did the POTUS know her?

I do not think President Obama knew her before she was outed by the blogger Breithart, he only met her AFTER she was outed, fired, and then rehired.

At least that is how I understand it.

She may be a public figure NOW, but she was not one when she was defamed-and that makes a difference......

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SurfPuppy619 Aug. 2, 2010 @ 11:31 a.m.

as far as where and why did Breitbart would find and use the video...i'm sure he has researchers constantly scanning everywhere for material that fits his Biggoverment.com site style

I had never heard of this website or this guy until this story broke-then by chance on another site a guy has been postng clips from Biggoverment.com and there is a LOT of stuff that I like there.

My question is WHY slime someone like Sherrod, there was no need to???? B/c it breaks down your credibility when you get your hand caught in the cookie jar.....I just do not udnerstand WHY this guy distorted her speech. Makes no sense.

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SurfPuppy619 Aug. 2, 2010 @ 11:39 a.m.

I've had a public figure threaten to sue me for libel. I was right and he was wrong. But Copley caved in...

By dbauder

ALL politicians are public figures.

It is basically IMPOSSIBLE to sue for defamation as a public figure, at least impossible to sue and WIN. (the element of malice is what kills public figures-unless you have a smoking gun, a written record or oral recording, you cannot prove malice up in court).

I know of NO public figure who has won a defamation lawsuit-not one.

I cannot believe Copley Press did not have expert First Amendment lawyers from Luce Forward, or some other major law firm, on retainer for exactly these types of issues.

I also cannot believe the paper would cave on the DEFAMATION issue, I am sure they have threats of litigation for some reason or another weekly, if not daily.

It may have been that the paper caved for another reason (pressure from local power brokers maybe).

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nan shartel Aug. 2, 2010 @ 12:16 p.m.

67

where's my placards!!

oh i forgot...only goof balls and not honest forthright citizens do that anymore

and i loved being washed down the stairs by fire hoses in San Francisco when the House on Unamerican Activities met there in 1960

Civil Rights is part of this case 2 i think

u have many valid points SurfPuppy...there is so much about this incident that needs more truthful explanation

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Don Bauder Aug. 2, 2010 @ 8:39 p.m.

Response to posts #63-66: In my opinion, she was not a public figure when she was defamed. Breitbart is a propagandist who should be brought down, but I'm not sure she is the one to do it, even though she might have a case. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 2, 2010 @ 8:54 p.m.

Response to post #67: Public figures can win libel suits -- or, at least, could when this occurred in 1974. The guy was on the board of the SEC. He had been a lawyer for a brokerage house and some of its clients (some from the mob) who had pulled a number of scams, one clearly involving an offshore bank with mob ties. Copley caved because the guy was a con man who charmed the pants off people within Copley and, as I said, the Copley lawyer was somewhat of a dolt. But everything ended up well. Forbes blew the whole bunch completely out of the water in a devastating piece in 1978. It was one of the most satisfying pieces in my journalism career, even though my name wasn't on it, and I had only given Forbes a comprehensive memo on where to look for public information that would make the case, plus some other guidance. Nobody sued Forbes. Everything in the article was true. Actually, it came out that the guy was under investigation, and would not be permitted to have a second term on the SEC, not long after the Union printed the silly mea culpa under my name. Copley management was mortified but the Union didn't run the story, of course. It would have been too embarrassing. Best, Don Bauder

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nan shartel Aug. 3, 2010 @ 11:03 a.m.

i'm so glad ur with the Reader now Don...and hope they would never treat a man of such inestimable worth like that

and ur energy created some of the weight to create some hope of change...even if u weren't directly involved...

my body tumbling down the stairs did 2

and it was that action that turned me into a part time activist for many issues...from issues around the death penalty... public art to the lettuce rebellion

and of course being Irish didn't hurt either....hahahahahahahaha

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Visduh Aug. 3, 2010 @ 10:29 p.m.

I claim no legal expertise, but folklore says that libel suits are very hard to win, and getting a damage award is even harder. Many years ago, in my youth, I read the account of the libel suit by war correspondent Quentin Reynolds against columnist Westbrook Pegler. Pegler had tried to demolish Reynolds reputation as a front-line war correspondent, claiming that Reynolds was a conspicuous coward in battle, and had invented the stories he wrote or took them from those who were really in the thick of battle. And he went on to accuse Reynolds of other instances of reprehensible conduct.

The attorneys for Reynolds knew they had a tough sell, and one thing that made it worse was that after the column(s) had appeared, Reynolds income had actually increased, meaning that he had not been obviously damaged financially.

The suit was successful, because Pegler had based his accusations on hearsay or pure invention, and was reckless in not checking out things that could have been easily verified. I don't remember if damages were awarded, or if they were large. Pegler was described over the years as "vitriolic", and he detested the Roosevelts along with the New Deal. So, he was in a distinct minority position during his career. Reynolds lawyers were out to fix Pegler, and made their point, although Pegler kept writing his column for many years after.

One quote from Pegler has always stayed with me. In the late 1940's, I think, he referred to Los Angeles as a "great slobbering civic idiot." How aptly put!

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Don Bauder Aug. 4, 2010 @ 6:41 a.m.

Response to post #171: I can't claim to be of Irish ancestry. Although I have a German name, I am less than 1/4 German. I'm more than 3/4 English. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 4, 2010 @ 6:43 a.m.

Response to post #72: Westbrook Pegler and Jack Anderson were in a class by themselves. Best, Don Bauder

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