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July 30, 2005



Once again, you lost me. How was Kaus right and the Times wrong? All we have, from your links, is that the libel suit has been reinstated. But nothing has been decided one way or another. No court has ruled on the merits of the case, only that a trial can go on.

For Kaus to be right (which would be nice for a change) we should await a ruling first.


Basically the Times said it was over, Kaus said it wasn't.

There. You satisified?


Kaus was right in that he asserted that the Times was "massively exposed." "Exposure" does not mean that a judgment has been rendered, it means that you are facing a trial whose outcome is uncertain. The Times now faces the risk of substantial damage to its pocketbook and its reputation. That's called exposure, and you can bet that the Times understands it.


The NYT's exposure is great, because it must show it had reason to believe the truth of Kristoff's statements. If he won't give up the sources he relied on, the NYT will lose on the question of liability. Since after these reports, Hatfill became a pariah unable to obtain employmet, the damages will be high.


The critical part of the defamation suit will be the determination by Judge Hilton as to whether Hatfill was a public figure or a private one at the time of the Kristoff et al. stories.

If he's determined to be the latter, the Times is in big trouble. If the former, I can't imagine how Hatfill can win any damages.

Since the Judge has already ruled once that the charges that Hatfill disseminated the anthrax were NOT defamatory (yeah, go figure), who knows what he'll rule on this.

Seems to me that he was a private figure at the time of the reports.



Wouldn't the Atlanta bomber case hold here? Richard What'shisname wasn't a public figure until after NBC (I think) went after him. Didn't he get 2$M or so?


I agree Steve. But in depositions leading up to the trial, the NYT will still have to show it did not act with reckless disregard (if we are wrong), and I cannot see how they will be able to avoid naming their source(s) to do that.



Kristof said, after the initial ruling, that he was delighted, which is a perfectly reasonable response. Wouldn't you be delighted as well if a lawsuit agaunst you was dismissed? But where did he or the NYT (and Kritsof does not speak for the NYT btw) say it was over? Do you have a link for that?

Or did you just make that up?


Had it not been for the anthrax poisonings, it is doubtful Bush would have been able to convince the American public to attack Iraq.

After all, the 9/11 attacks involved airliners; not WMD or bioterror weapons.

Without the hysteria created by the anthrax letters, it would've been very difficult to convince the people or to shift from Afghanistan to Iraq.

But now surely the people who forged the Niger documents [btw, have you seen the loopy "Global Support" hoax that was received from the same source?] wouldn't have also sent anthrax letters through the mail just to get us to attack Iraq would they???


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