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August 19, 2009

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Captain Hate

The list of wimmens I've called "skank" online is quite extensive; and all richly deserved. I think I can trust my fellow JOMers not to compromise my nom de cyberplume. Particularly because none of you know my "real" name.

bad to the bone

So the skank is suing....

bgates

In fighting to stay anonymous, the blogger had argued these remarks were "non-actionable opinion and/or hyperbole" -- in other words, "trash talk."

Weak.

Blogger shoulda tried to establish that she was as much of a bigoted, reactionary "states' rights" demagogue on gay marriage as Barack Obama. Then he could have maligned her with the full support of all right-thinking peope.

Neo

This must be cheap advertising to hook up with a fellatiophile.

BumperStickerist

The only question is whether it was Wolcott or Dowd who created the blog.

Charlie (Colorado)

This must be cheap advertising to hook up with a fellatiophile.

Wow, do you think it'd work?

clarice

*Smack* Chaco!!!

matt

MoDo has been having man problems for a while now and its he general description.

Alessandro Machi

Excellent article. It's one thing to put a stupid accusation in a public restroom. At least if the location is found out, it can be cleaned up.

But when someone uses the internet to make accusations against a real person, of course the right to out them should be allowed. However, the outed person can probably sue on the grounds that they were never warned that they could be outed even if they posted anonymously.

Sue-apalooza here we come.

poster who posts here all the time

I've handled litigation before Judge Joan Madden. Not a bad person, but like about three quarters of the Manhattan bench, a typical liberal, who is such a typical liberal that she doesn't even know she is a typical liberal. If one can overlook her liberal bias, and to keep one's sanity and practice law in the civil parts of New York's Supreme Court located in New York City, one has to overlook liberal bias, she comes across generally as fair.

glasater

I've read that high fashion models chew on paper napkins.
Maybe she was just hungry:)

JayC

I think we need to find out who this "Tom Maguire" character is.

Sounds fishy to me.

Greg Q

So, what kind of idiot of an "anonymous" blogger lets Google know his name in the first place?

Mark O

Internet defamation is the greatest example of an injury without a real legal remedy. Moreover, unlike the restroom wall, the defamation cannot be removed. The tension between free speech and abuse has never been higher. The comments here reflect that struggle.

RichatUF

Here is the judge's order. link. It's a non-copyable pdf but a short read.

RichatUF

Is this thing working?

LUN for the judge's order.

jakee308

Ah, but the truth is the ultimate defense. He will be allowed to depose her AND look into her sexual exploits, connections, discussions of sexual practices and any other thing his lawyer can think of. This is why slander/libel cases are a two edged sword; they might bite back. (the following was an opinion by an anonymous blogger. No one should construe that any disparagement of anyone was not intended purposely or by accident)

PaulL

Maybe instead of suing, she'll smack the guy in the head with a shovel.

malclave

Okay, I'm a layman, but...

"If one can overlook her liberal bias. . . she comes across generally as fair."

So if you ignore the fact that she's not fair, she appears to be fair?

elephant4life

That should be an interesting trial. It's only defamation if it's not true, and she's opened the door to some intensive scrutiny into her, um, "activities" and proclivities, as well as being compelled to take the stand and have to answer some very personal and searching questions.

"Skank", "Ho", "whoring" are all relative terms; essentially in the eye of the beholder, and unless one is a virgin, any "activity" could be deemed sufficient, in some eyes, to be considered promiscuous.

It should be interesting. Hope he doesn't settle.

Mark O

There will be no trial. I have not read the complaint, but it should seek a declaratory judgment. It is not open season on everything. This poster does not gain the benefit of unknown facts. If truth is a defense, the poster will have to have known the truth.

Once outed, the poster will scurry. That's the problem with eternal defamation. I can see that at some point, such behavior will give the boys in power the idea to limit expression.

Stand by.

matt

"Ms. Plaintiff, is you is o is you ain't a skank?"

Smoking Gun is going to have a field day.

PD

"The list of wimmens I've called "skank" online is quite extensive"

I always look for you to weigh in with "stupid bint."

poster who posts here all the time

"If one can overlook her liberal bias. . . she comes across generally as fair."

So if you ignore the fact that she's not fair, she appears to be fair?

You have to understand that I practice law in New York City for a living. What goes on in the courts there is not what I agree with politically on a personal level. The whole New York City legal system in civil litigation believes in redistribution of wealth. I don't agree with the system, but it is what I do to make a living. It's kind of like being at a cocktail party where everybody else at the party is an Obama supporter; you look for the ones who are less obnoxious.

Alessandro Machi

Interesting point Mark O. What you are saying is if someone makes an accusation without proof, but it turns out they were right, what only matters is what the anonymous person KNEW at the time of the accusation, not what was found out through discovery later on.

Sue The Bastard

What if the anonymous blogger is an ex-boyfriend?

Cecil Turner

I always look for you to weigh in with "stupid bint."

Isn't it "moistened bint" (and "watery tart")?

This is very amusing, and I'm less than thrilled with the whole concept of pseudonymous sniping, so somewhat interested in where it goes. If it's this easy to force disclosure of pseudonyms, I predict some ratcheting down of the verbal abuse on the part of certain unnamed individuals.

jimmyk

So if you ignore the fact that she's not fair, she appears to be fair?

Maybe it's kind of like those umpires that call strikes three inches off the plate: They're wrong, but they're consistent about it.

Mark O

It is a gross misrepresentation to call what happens in US courts justice. On the civil side it is costumed dispute resolution. There are no "facts," only evidence.

On the criminal side, cases are processed along established lines. Almost no one has the resource to fight the state much less the Federal authorities. Should you begin to prevail, the government will take a hostage, like a brother, mother, child and threaten an indictment or, if you have a good lawyer, they will name him as part of the criminal enterprise.

Don't forget that every bar association makes it a serious offence to criticize the judiciary. One may be disbarred for such injudicious behavior.

Stephanie "the Ice Pick"

Jury Nullification... nuff said.

mark l.

hey, it isn't like he called her an "anorexic skank".

Don Meaker

Skank used to be a loose limbed dancer. What do we do with the old definitions?

bgates

Maybe instead of suing, she'll smack the guy in the head with a shovel.

That seems unwarranted.

What's the standard these days for malicious rumor printed as fact under a byline? Last trip to the grocery I saw "news" of Palin's divorce splashed across the front page of one of the trashier weeklies - either "Us Weekly" or "Newsweek", I think. I'd think she would have a decent case, and I'd enjoy seeing the rest of journalism going to the mats for the idea that they are as honor-bound to defend printing lies about Palin as they were to cover up the indisputable proof of Edwards' adultery.

peter

I just learned this summer that a "skink" is a reptile. The creature figures in some of Carl Hiaasen's novels, which I find hysterical, despite his eco-nazi leanings in his newspaper column.

peter

OT, but here is more evidence at the LUN of the damage the state of Iowa has done to the rest of the nation. The ethanol scam must be stopped. (h/t Jimeo blog.)

the bishop

I at first laughted at those covers, because
they are the farthest thing from the truth and specially since the lowest class of
'skink' serving as a source, Gryphen, it's like a whole series of COPS, with this crew.
But I think her attorney will have to get involved in this, because this is clearly
'malice' involved in this operation

Lord Whorfin

Uh oh, looks like "he" is a "she" per New York Post

Appalled

OK --if I read the order correctly, the comments related to suggestive pictures the model herself had posted on her blog, and the actionable language related to those captions.

Seems like a grey area to me, and grey enough that any defamation suit would end up probing the model's sex life.

Jane

What if she is a "skank"?

Does that word have an actual definition?
Okay I'll go look it up.

Jane

skank
  /skæŋk/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [skangk]

Use skank in a Sentence

–verb (used without object)

Slang. to dance rhythmically in a loose-limbed manner.
~

No if we go to the "Urban Dictionary"
the definition is "ho".

So does she live in the city?

Dan S

Hmmm, IANAL, but I don't see where the judge addressed the issue of context. The blogger asserted that blogs are understood to be venues of personal opinion. I think that is arguable, and there should be plenty of evidence (think MSM ranting) to support that position. The judge mentioned context as a requirement, then bypassed actually addressing it. She instead skipped over to considering potential harm from a medium that is so global. That's a different context than what is mentioned in the statute, IMO.

I think she got it wrong.

But I don't like the sort of crap that gets posted anonymously... and wish there were a non-slippery slope way to curb it somewhat. I just don't think in this case the judge made the right call.

Considering the soapbox (or barrels of ink) the petitioner has available to her in this instance (she's a rather public figure), I also don't see why she can't handle this without resorting to legal action. But I suppose that's not the NYC way...

Interesting case though. I searched on the statute and found another involving namecalling of a school board member that pertains, but isn't the same since the petitioner there (who was denied) was an elected official. That does shift things a bit.

Jack is Back!

Wasn't there a survey a while back that looked at liberal-left sites (like MyDD and Kos) and Conservative-right sites (like LGF and Ace). They did word counts of the commenters use of profanity or trashy rhetoric and found the libs by far the biggest purveyors. I am now wondering how this action will affect the way commenters decide how to play their words.

Then there is this opinion. LUN

For What It's Worth

Turns out a woman who knew the skank was the annonymous donor. As to what this "model" does next; even though I'm not a lawyer, is decide to laugh it off. Since the blogger knows this lady's history. And, now? If there was a court case for damages, the blogger would have a case against Google. And, she could ask the model to produce her birth certificate. Something I doubt this "model" would want to do anymore than the man in the White House. Of course, this is just my opinion.

mark l.

"They did word counts of the commenters use of profanity or trashy rhetoric and found the libs by far the biggest purveyors."

seriously, if you saw your kid growing up as a liberal, could you really resist using very colorful language?

may also explain their fascination/fear of corporal punishment.

also consistent with their portrayal of the gop, heavy on the portrayal as abusive father, while their dems are played off as the 'nurturing mother'.

For What It's Worth

Maybe, I should clarify?

In the annonymous post; not only was the words "skank," "ho," and "whoring" used. But the claim then went on to say this model was past her prime. Not 36 years old, as claimed. But who knows? Maybe a dozen years above that water mark. So, where's the defamation? To know the truth it would be a fair legal question to ask for the birth certificate.

Frau the Schnauzer

Only a ninny would not question what is posted on the internet, especially in the NYT or anonymously?

Captain Hate - you are certainly not anonymous. We all know you. Some even have a crush on you.

wooga

I have not read the opinion, but the common law still treats two types of insults as special: (1) accusing someone of having a venereal disease, and (2) impugning a woman's chastity.

So while you could expect to get away with making all sorts of insults, when you call a woman a whore you cross into a "special" category. I have not read the opinion, but it would make sense to draw a legal distinction which says "general rule is that blogger remains anonymous until the statements are proven to be libelous, but the blogger automatically loses anonymity is he impugns a woman's chastity - regardless of the truth of such a smear."

Ignatz

IANAL, thank goodness, but this would seem to fall under the term libel or defamation per se, no?
As such, I believe the blogger would have the burden of proof to prove this woman is promiscuous and be subject to paying damages without her having to prove any damages, as opposed to defamation pro quod or whatever it's called where one must prive specific damages.

jimmyk

But there is also the question of whether she is a 'public figure', in which case the burden is much higher, to prove actual malice ('reckless disregard') on the part of the blogger per Times v. Sullivan. Perhaps not so difficult in this case, but while IANAL either, my sense is that the burden of proof shifts to the plaintiff.

Jack is Back!

So while you could expect to get away with making all sorts of insults, when you call a woman a whore you cross into a "special" category.

Then why did Imus and McGurk get off scott-free from legal proceedings? Also, if she is a model isn't she a "public personality" and has to bear the blows and grunts of celebrity? I don't know but this seems frivolous to me.

bad to the bone

In that case, every fifth grader in the world should be in jail... or paying out the big bucks.

For What It's Worth

The NY Post said the model recognized the name of the woman. She said she called her mother and laughed. But she did not call her lawyer.

How do you build a workable case that you've been wronged, if someone you know knows lots of the male friends you've described naked? Or has enough details that we're not talking about "chastity" here. In other words "what if the TRUTH is known?" What if the model is really 46? You can't be charged with anything if you've given an opinion based on what you know.

The truth is one of the best defenses the "outted blogger" can use. Also, who knows who can find the deeper pockets, now?

daddy

In a day or so I expect Andrew Sullivan to cite this JOM post as radical and differ by telling us that wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill would never have indulged in saying anything like "I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly"..."or a skank" etc, and then Obama will deliver a speech citing Sullivan on Churchill, and the meme of "the malicious politics of personal destruction" will reappear with a vengeance, followed swiftly by a renewed emphasis on the Fairness Doctrine.

And is there a male word equivalent of a skank? If no, seems sexist to me.

Badabing

You are all skanks.

Sue me.

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