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Kraichgauer
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31 Jul 2010, 1:10 am

xenon13 wrote:
Breitbart sought to damage Sherrod and the NAACP just as he did damage ACORN, and tried to damage the Gamaliel Foundation with the "deliver us Obama" video. In each case these organisations were shown as being strongly black in membership and the fake videos made insinuations about the supposed inferiority and primitivity of black people. In each case the videos were clearly fake and so he is a repeat offender. He certainly knew the ACORN videos were fake, why, he published the transcripts that prove it. Breitbart claiming that he really thought Sherrod is racist does not change this background which is damning to Breitbart. He deliberately released fake videos designed to bring down black people including Sherrod. he is guilty and must pay.


Couldn't have said it better myself. This man is a vicious racist, and is justifying his hate under the guise of political activism.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer



Dox47
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31 Jul 2010, 4:50 am

Here's the original posting:

http://biggovernment.com/abreitbart/201 ... acism2010/

Anyone here who's so sure of themselves should have no problem highlighting and re-posting the libelous part of the entry, it's not long.

Before wasting your time however, here's a journalist's opinion on why any litigation is probably baseless:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 01284.html

The Wall Street Journal wrote:
By JAMES TARANTO

Shirley Sherrod says she plans to sue conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, the Associated Press reports from San Diego: "Speaking Thursday at the National Association of Black Journalists convention, Sherrod said she would definitely sue over the video that took her remarks out of context":

Sherrod said she had not received an apology from Breitbart and no longer wanted one. "He had to know that he was targeting me," she said.

Does she have a winning case? Probably not.

For one thing, the alleged defamation (or, to be precise, the defamation that she would allege if she filed suit) took place while she was a public official and involved claims about the performance of her public duties. Thus she would have to meet the rigorous standard, set forth by the Supreme Court in New York Times v. Sullivan (1964), of proving not only that Breitbart published a damaging falsehood about her but that he did so "with 'actual malice'--that is, with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not." Even if she proves that Breitbart published false and defamatory statements about her, he wins the case if he did so only negligently.

To put it in layman's terms, she would have to demonstrate that the falsehood Breitbart published about her--the claim that the video showed "her federal duties are managed through the prism of race and class distinctions"--was a lie, not just an error. But Breitbart issued a timely correction of this statement, creating a strong presumption against such an allegation. (As to the video itself, Breitbart could almost certainly defend it as truthful.)

Blogger William Jacobson notes some other pitfalls for Sherrod of suing Breitbart--the most notable is that if the case went ahead, he would be able to use the discovery process to uncover new information about her and about his other adversaries whose conduct is relevant to the case, namely the NAACP and the Obama administration.

Of course, she hasn't actually filed a lawsuit, and our guess is that a smart lawyer will advise her against it--and that if she does sue, she will end up settling in exchange for an apology or a more emphatic correction. Her threat to sue, in short, is largely an empty one, even if one can empathize with her feeling of having been wronged by Breitbart.


Mostly points I've already made, but it's nice to see them in a mainstream newspaper with more fact-checking resources than I have access to.

If I was feeling particularly spiteful, I might be inclined to dig up some equally if not more libelous articles originating on CounterPunch and posted here by our own Left-wing wannabe Andrew Breitbarts with similar if smaller scale goals, but that would just be pouring salt in the wounds...


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xenon13
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31 Jul 2010, 12:30 pm

So many assume that Sherrod was a "public figure" when the doctored video was released and so the standards to get Breitbart must be higher, his malice towards her personally must be proved. Just becasue she worked for the government doesn't make her a public figure. Just because she gave a talk to the NAACP that no one outside a small group of people saw, that doesn't make her a public figure. Some said, "No one can prove that Breitbart saw Sherrod and decided to get her personally". Oh, really? What was Sherrod to him. A black woman working for the Evil Big Government! The epitome of Evil in his opinion. Of course he wanted to destroy her!

Counterpunch has never brought down anyone... unlike Breitbart, friend of predatory lenders everywhere. I have never seen Counterpunch mischaracterise people for destructive purposes - if they say bad things about people it's because they're guilty as charged and not only that, those people are proud of their crimes and they know they'll get away with them. Not so with Sherrod, when Breitbart saw the effectively destructive fallout of his knowingly false videos.



Jacoby
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31 Jul 2010, 12:46 pm

There really isn't any argument that she's wasn't a public figure.



LKL
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31 Jul 2010, 1:20 pm

I agree with xenon philosophically, though I don't know where the legal line is: working in the public sector does not necessarily make one a public figure. Should Joe black be able to falsely tar his neighbor James Brown because Joe works at a bookstore and James works shoveling asphalt onto public roads? Sherrod was a low-level employee; no one outside of her immediate circle knew who she was before this.



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31 Jul 2010, 2:11 pm

Dox47 wrote:
skafather84 wrote:
Quote:
... 1964, however, the court issued an opinion in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964) dramatically changing the nature of libel law in the United States. In that case, the court determined that public officials could win a suit for libel only if they could demonstrate "actual malice" on the part of reporters or publishers. In that case, "actual malice" was defined as "knowledge that the information was false" or that it was published "with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not." This decision was later extended to cover "public figures", although the standard is still considerably lower in the case of private individuals.



Bolded the important part for you.


Irrelevant. All Breitbart has to do is testify that he truly believed she was a racist based on her statements; legally she's got nothing.


That would reinforce that it was published with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.


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Jacoby
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31 Jul 2010, 2:31 pm

She wasn't a low level employee. Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the United States Department of Agriculture is hardly a sectary or building maintenance job.



Dox47
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31 Jul 2010, 5:07 pm

xenon13 wrote:
So many assume that Sherrod was a "public figure" when the doctored video was released and so the standards to get Breitbart must be higher, his malice towards her personally must be proved. Just becasue she worked for the government doesn't make her a public figure. Just because she gave a talk to the NAACP that no one outside a small group of people saw, that doesn't make her a public figure. Some said, "No one can prove that Breitbart saw Sherrod and decided to get her personally". Oh, really? What was Sherrod to him. A black woman working for the Evil Big Government! The epitome of Evil in his opinion. Of course he wanted to destroy her!


According to your definition, you just libeled Andrew Breitbart, and given your posting history on this site, your malice towards anyone holding opposing political beliefs to your own could easily be demonstrated. Does that mean the people you smear are entitled to damages? Canadian law is more sympathetic than US law towards defamation judgments of all kinds, maybe you'd better tone it down... On the other hand, your zealotry is self evident and it wouldn't be hard to argue that you actually believe the junk you post, so maybe it's a wash.

BTW, Breitbart did an interview with Newsweek the other day, here are a few excerpts on his intentions:

http://www.newsweek.com/blogs/the-gaggl ... l?from=rss

Andrew Breitbart wrote:
She said she simply wanted an apology. Why not just do it?

"All I can say is that this is a person on national television who said I wanted to put blacks back into slavery. This thing has gotten to a place that’s far beyond where it should be. I’d be more than happy to meet with her in private and have a discussion with her."


Andrew Breitbart wrote:
How do you think this got so out of control?
"
At the beginning, Shirley Sherrod’s first comments were that she got caught between the NAACP and the Tea Party and she said that the NAACP is the reason for this. That’s her quote. The intent of my post was to challenge the NAACP in its six-day media-enabled negative branding of the Tea Party as racist using provably false information that the N word was thrown at the Congressional Black Caucus [earlier this year during the health-care debate]. I’ve been doing this for over a year, and this is just one more attempt of mine to point out to the general public that there’s consistency here in the Democratic Party to strategically issue the race card. My regret was that has been lost, and Shirley Sherrod became the focus."


Andrew Breitbart wrote:
Do you agree that the edited video took things out of context?

"Well, yes. But I put up what I had. It granted a great portion of her redemptive tale, but not all of it. If I could do it all over again, I should have waited for the full video to get to me."


Andrew Breitbart wrote:
Do you regret how this all went down?

"Look, there’s a lot of blame to go around on this story, and it’s very convenient to try to place it all on me when the Obama administration and the NAACP were also involved. I don’t think anybody looks particularly good in this thing."


Gee, he really seems like an unrepentant racist there [/sarcasm]. :roll:

xenon13 wrote:
Counterpunch has never brought down anyone... unlike Breitbart, friend of predatory lenders everywhere. I have never seen Counterpunch mischaracterise people for destructive purposes - if they say bad things about people it's because they're guilty as charged and not only that, those people are proud of their crimes and they know they'll get away with them. Not so with Sherrod, when Breitbart saw the effectively destructive fallout of his knowingly false videos.


So CounterPunch is okay because the people it smears deserve it, and after all nobody pays attention to them anyway? Well, at least you're consistent in your double standards.


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Dox47
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31 Jul 2010, 5:16 pm

skafather84 wrote:
That would reinforce that it was published with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.


How about some more expert opinion?

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opini ... 88399.html

Kate Tummarello wrote:
Shirley Sherrod unlikely to succeed in court against Andrew Breitbart
By: Kate Tummarello
Special to The Examiner
07/30/10 5:25 AM EDT

Ousted former federal agricultural official Shirley Sherrod made news Thursday by announcing a lawsuit against conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart who, she claims falsely accused her of being racist against white people.

Although it would make for an interesting showdown, media lawyers contacted by the Examiner said that that Sherrod’s case stands little chance of succeeding or even making it to trial.

According to Ron Coleman, intellectual property attorney and blogger and general counsel for Media Bloggers Association, “[Sherrod] is a public figure, and she would certainly have to prove actual malice to prevail,” something that would be much more difficult than proving negligence on the part of Breitbart.

Andrew Mirsky, an intellectual property attorney based in the District, asserts that Sherrod would have two tasks in such a suit: The first? To prove “That she was actually defamed, and I do think she has a plausible argument on that,” and depending on her status as a public figure she would have to prove either negligence or malice.

Coleman, on the other hand, questioned the validity of Sherrod’s defamation claims. “Practically speaking, isn't she likely to have a far more economically rewarding career now than before?” asked Coleman. Since resigning Sherrod has been offered another position in the USDA.

Regardless of the viability of her case, both are doubtful the case will actually go to court. “The chances of this actually getting to a trial are very, very slim. And her chances of collecting damages are infinitesimal,” Coleman explained. “Considering that [Breitbart] did, at the end of the day, portray her unfairly, she can hardly be blamed for trying.”

Complicating the issue, according to Mirsky, is that Sherrod did say the things in the video Breitbart posted. “This wasn't the classic Photoshop cut and paste job,” Mirsky said, “it was just badly and unfairly excerpted.” Mirsky cited as a possible defense for Breitbart the libel principle of “neutral reporting" under which “a publisher can argue that all they were doing was reporting facts.” Mirsky deemed this defense “weak,” as this privilege also requires that the reporting be fair and balanced.

Mirsky agreed on the likelihood of a trial. “It’s very rare to win a defamation judgment in this country,” Mirsky said. “They generally get settled or dismissed well before they go to trial.” While “[Breitbart] might very well love the publicity,” Mirsky explained that, in addition to dealing with the costs associated with a defamation trial, “it may not be in [Sherrod’s] interest for this to be constantly around for the next three years.”

As of yet, Breitbart, no stranger to threats of lawsuits after last year’s ACORN controversy, has not commented publicly on the possibility of a lawsuit.


Bold is mine.


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Dox47
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31 Jul 2010, 5:18 pm

Kraichgauer wrote:
Couldn't have said it better myself.


I'm sorry.

Kraichgauer wrote:
This man is a vicious racist, and is justifying his hate under the guise of political activism.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer


Uh oh, smells like more libel, better lawyer up...


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31 Jul 2010, 5:20 pm

Dox47 wrote:
skafather84 wrote:
That would reinforce that it was published with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.


How about some more expert opinion?

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opini ... 88399.html

Kate Tummarello wrote:
Shirley Sherrod unlikely to succeed in court against Andrew Breitbart
By: Kate Tummarello
Special to The Examiner
07/30/10 5:25 AM EDT

Ousted former federal agricultural official Shirley Sherrod made news Thursday by announcing a lawsuit against conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart who, she claims falsely accused her of being racist against white people.

Although it would make for an interesting showdown, media lawyers contacted by the Examiner said that that Sherrod’s case stands little chance of succeeding or even making it to trial.

According to Ron Coleman, intellectual property attorney and blogger and general counsel for Media Bloggers Association, “[Sherrod] is a public figure, and she would certainly have to prove actual malice to prevail,” something that would be much more difficult than proving negligence on the part of Breitbart.

Andrew Mirsky, an intellectual property attorney based in the District, asserts that Sherrod would have two tasks in such a suit: The first? To prove “That she was actually defamed, and I do think she has a plausible argument on that,” and depending on her status as a public figure she would have to prove either negligence or malice.

Coleman, on the other hand, questioned the validity of Sherrod’s defamation claims. “Practically speaking, isn't she likely to have a far more economically rewarding career now than before?” asked Coleman. Since resigning Sherrod has been offered another position in the USDA.

Regardless of the viability of her case, both are doubtful the case will actually go to court. “The chances of this actually getting to a trial are very, very slim. And her chances of collecting damages are infinitesimal,” Coleman explained. “Considering that [Breitbart] did, at the end of the day, portray her unfairly, she can hardly be blamed for trying.”

Complicating the issue, according to Mirsky, is that Sherrod did say the things in the video Breitbart posted. “This wasn't the classic Photoshop cut and paste job,” Mirsky said, “it was just badly and unfairly excerpted.” Mirsky cited as a possible defense for Breitbart the libel principle of “neutral reporting" under which “a publisher can argue that all they were doing was reporting facts.” Mirsky deemed this defense “weak,” as this privilege also requires that the reporting be fair and balanced.

Mirsky agreed on the likelihood of a trial. “It’s very rare to win a defamation judgment in this country,” Mirsky said. “They generally get settled or dismissed well before they go to trial.” While “[Breitbart] might very well love the publicity,” Mirsky explained that, in addition to dealing with the costs associated with a defamation trial, “it may not be in [Sherrod’s] interest for this to be constantly around for the next three years.”

As of yet, Breitbart, no stranger to threats of lawsuits after last year’s ACORN controversy, has not commented publicly on the possibility of a lawsuit.


Bold is mine.


It wasn't just badly excerpted, it was also inappropriately captioned and had absolutely no research into the context of the comments or when the comments were made. There was no effort to verify the video's nature.


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31 Jul 2010, 5:44 pm

Jacoby wrote:
She wasn't a low level employee. Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the United States Department of Agriculture is hardly a sectary or building maintenance job.


She wasn't elected to office.



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31 Jul 2010, 5:59 pm

skafather84 wrote:
It wasn't just badly excerpted, it was also inappropriately captioned and had absolutely no research into the context of the comments or when the comments were made. There was no effort to verify the video's nature.


Doesn't matter. Someone sent him a video, he posted it with his impressions based on what he saw. He's not a journalist, he's an activist blogger with all the connotations that implies. The fault lies with the news organizations and USDA officials that didn't bother to fact-check information coming from a highly questionable source, but that doesn't allow left leaning people to score political points, which seems to be the real goal here. :roll:


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31 Jul 2010, 6:12 pm

LKL wrote:
She wasn't elected to office.


I hate repeating myself, but again; it doesn't matter. Supreme Court justices aren't elected either, but is say Antonin Scalia justified in suing anyone who calls him an activist judge whack-job because of he wasn't elected and thus isn't considered a "public official"? I can't help but feel that people are acting emotionally here rather than rationally; they disagree with Andrew Breitbart's politics and want him to be punished regardless of the law and the specifics of the incident, even when punishing speech goes against their own ostensibly held beliefs.


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31 Jul 2010, 6:20 pm

Dox47 wrote:
skafather84 wrote:
It wasn't just badly excerpted, it was also inappropriately captioned and had absolutely no research into the context of the comments or when the comments were made. There was no effort to verify the video's nature.


Doesn't matter. Someone sent him a video, he posted it with his impressions based on what he saw. He's not a journalist, he's an activist blogger with all the connotations that implies. The fault lies with the news organizations and USDA officials that didn't bother to fact-check information coming from a highly questionable source, but that doesn't allow left leaning people to score political points, which seems to be the real goal here. :roll:



Yes it does matter because it puts it back into the actual malice qualifier of defamation considering the video and associated commentary with the video was released.....

Quote:
"with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not."


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