Thursday, July 29, 2010

...And Don't Call Me Shirley


No idea whether this will actually end profitably for either Shirley Sherrod or anyone with a love for the truth, given that it'll only increase Breitbart's street cred with the far right and he has nothing to gain by rolling over and settling. But it'll at least be entertaining to watch.

The Huffington Post: Shirley Sherrod To Sue Andrew Breitbart/7.29.10

13 comments:

Fred said...

He seriously messed up her life with his antics- With any luck he'll pay dearly for it.

The Bacon said...

Certainly what Breitbart did was dastardly, but I think she is going to have a hard time winning this case.

It is tough to sue for slander/libel and have your case rest solely on a lack of context. Nobody alleges the video was doctored in any way.

Just imagine the precedent. Any time anyone quotes someone else a judge will determine whether or not the context was proper?

She is also going to have a tough time proving injury. She has come out of this thing smelling like a rose and will probably profit greatly in the speaker/author circuit.

Chez said...

The question is whether Breitbart acted maliciously -- which he absolutely did. That was the entire point of posting the video. That said, it's true that cases like this are notoriously tough to win.

VOTAR said...

Bacon, when a quote is published in a truncated way which has the direct effect of communicating the exact opposite of what it had been all along, I think a good case can be made that yes, context matters.

I do agree that this is not likely a win-able suit. All Breitbart has to do is repeat his claim that he received the video already in the edited condition, and was not an active agent in its use to cause slander. Whether he felt malice while posting it to the public is, I think, even less relevant. Its distribution by Fox, I think, is a far more interesting ingredient, because they have (or, *should* have) a much higher standard to rise to when vetting the information they broadcast to the entire world. That was, at the very least, wrongfully negligent, and quite possibly willfully malicious.

I don't know if a news network can be sued for something like this, but Rupert Murdoch is a pretty rich son of a bitch...

Eric said...

I don't do civil, but I would say Sherrod has nothing by way of a defamation (libel/slander) suit, though she might have a claim for IIED (intentional infliction of emotional distress).

I'm a little worried this may turn out to be a little like Snyder v. Phelps (the deceased soldier's father who tried suing the Westboro Baptist Church after they picketed his son's funeral): a situation where legally speaking the plaintiff shouldn't win even though morally speaking crucifixion would be too good for the defendant(s). Please bear in mind I say this hoping I'm wrong on both scores (Snyder is appealing his recent loss); WBC and Breitbart share in common the fact they're prolapsed assholes.

SeeYouNextTuesday said...

Chez and Votar nailed it: context and malice, baby.

Anonymous said...

It's too bad she's sued before. Taints what I can't blame her for doing a little bit.

Bill Orvis White said...

This Breitbart fella didn't do anything wrong and will be fine. If anything, he needs to receive an award for his investigative stuff whereby he is finding out the truth with his camera and mighty pen.

The Honorable Mr. Breitbart shows how out of touch the old far left liberal media is because they don't dare ask the tough questions of the NAALCP (LIBERAL is the L in there, Chez). Finally someone like this patriot comes along and of course the MSM goes after him.

Face it you secular progressives, you just hate FOX News, talk radio and most of the Internet because these pipes of correct information just drives you bedwetters crazy.

God Bless,
Bill

drater said...

Breitbart will have no problem raising donations to keep this suit in court forever, and you can be sure his minions will be poring over everything Sherrod has ever said or written to smear her. I hope I'm wrong, but I do not think this is going to go well.

Anonymous said...

for a closet homosexual, bill white sure says the most romantic things!

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one convinced that Bill White is simply an avid Landover Baptist member who has decided to branch out with a religious devotion to his parody work?

Anonymous said...

Landover Baptist.... the BEST Ch®ristian Church!

CNNfan said...

There are too many millions of unemployed people out there, including the far right, who can identify with losing their job when it was no fault of their own.