If Justice Exists

Defamation suits are hard to win.  And to a great extent, that’s a good thing; it’d be a terrible thing if litigation could cow the media out of reporting on the rich, famous and powerful, as it does in the UK.

In the US, defamation is, loosely, saying something false about someone in public that can damage their reputation and livelihood.  If the target is a public figure, the defamer has to know it’s a lie.  The standards – actual damages, provable malice – are intentional, and largely a good thing.

And, says Hans Von Spakowski, a surmountable level of proof in Nick Sandman’s defemation case against CNN:

Since Sandmann would not be considered a “public figure” under applicable Supreme Court precedent, he doesn’t have to prove that CNN knew the statements were false, just that they were false. Sandmann’s lawyers make a strong case, though, that CNN acted with “actual malice” and that the network’s behavior was so “outrageous and willful” and such a violation of basic journalistic standards that punitive damages should be awarded.

Interestingly, one of the lawyers representing Sandmann is Lin Wood, the same lawyer who represented Richard Jewell. Jewell was the security guard at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics who was wrongly accused by CNN and other media companies of bombing the city’s Olympic Park. When CNN was sued for defamation, it agreed to pay Jewell an undisclosed amount. That settlement came shortly after NBC agreed to pay Jewell a reported half-million dollars.

Increasingly, our media seems to be acting like a law unto itself.  That needs to change.

3 thoughts on “If Justice Exists

  1. You should not believe that CNN will change its behavior due to market pressure.

  2. 4th estate my ass. They officially stopped being that when they couldnt take Obama’s dick out of their collective mouths

  3. MP, it is interesting to observe how institutions once taken over by the left, from Hollywood to news-gatherers become impervious to market pressure. I always wondered how it was possible to ignore markets and sales and profits. But they apparently have their ways.

    CNN is a great example because as Nolte wrote on Breitbart, “CNN’s primetime lineup is in 14th place and only attracts an average of 876,000 viewers, so advertising revenue alone could not sustain the network”. This, however, was part of an article with the headline “90 Million Pay Money to CNN While Fewer than 1 Million Watch”. That’s 90M per month from so-called carriage fees if you subscribe to cable or satellite TV.

    However, I’ve also read that for newspapers, they have simply reduced the breadth of the market they intend to serve. They still yak about how important they are for all well-read and informed people, but they now aim for a much smaller group.

    PS Nicely put, PoD 😉

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