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Old 01-27-2019, 09:48 PM
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MAGA-hat kid hires fancy lawyer

There is a Pit thread on this general topic, but apparently it is off the rails.

Nicholas Sandmann, the most recognizable face from the kerfuffle between the Black Hebrews, Native Americans and Covington Catholic schoolchildren has hired a fancy lawyer to sue “the media” for slander/libel/defamation-of-character because of the way he has been portrayed.

I am skeptical that he would have a viable case here, but this lawyer (L. Lin Wood) is apparently very good at this sort of thing.
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Old 01-27-2019, 10:16 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is online now
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The kids were raked over the coals all over social media for several hours.

Anonymous tweets lead the firestorm that the media soon followed.

Twitter has shut down several of those accounts.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.was...aga-hat-teens/

Thank goodness more complete video emerged to tell the entire truth. I hope these kid's families get some settlement for all the hate directed at them.
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By Saturday, Twitter’s algorithms had taken two snippets of these videos posted by random accounts and helped bring them into many people’s feeds. The tweets traveled quickly — another match thrown into the pool of anger and disenchantment that has been building up over race relations in the Trump era.

“I got very upset about it,” Lavoie said in a phone interview Tuesday. “Most of my Twitter network tends to be racial justice and social injustice. So I was seeing it amplified nonstop."

The videos ignited a conversation that raged throughout the holiday weekend, having leaped from social media to newspapers and television broadcasts and then back to social media again. The debate grew as it took on layers — about whether important context had been missing from the original video (it had), whether the teens deserved such wide opprobrium (many said they did), and whether this was actually a debate between right and left

Last edited by aceplace57; 01-27-2019 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 01-27-2019, 10:34 PM
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Those kids need help. They've been brainwashed into serving a racist demagogue and his sickening agenda, not to mention being herded into the capital to march in support of the enslavement of women. Some sort of intervention is needed.
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Old 01-27-2019, 10:39 PM
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His parents have hired a lawyer. Not him.
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Old 01-27-2019, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
The kids were raked over the coals all over social media for several hours.

Anonymous tweets lead the firestorm that the media soon followed.

Twitter has shut down several of those accounts.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.was...aga-hat-teens/

Thank goodness more complete video emerged to tell the entire truth. I hope these kid's families get some settlement for all the hate directed at them.
A settlement from whom?
  #6  
Old 01-27-2019, 11:00 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is online now
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Well, it was the media's responsibility to Vet the story before publishing.

Instead they ran with an edited video that told half the story.

That's on them for half-assed sloppy work.

The media did run corrections hours later, but that doesn't nullify their mistake. Imho

These families were getting death threats. The school had to cancel classes Tuesday.

This mob justice mentality has to stop before someone gets killed.

Last edited by aceplace57; 01-27-2019 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 01-27-2019, 11:22 PM
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Nathan Phillips (the drummer) was getting death threats as well.
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Old 01-27-2019, 11:27 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is online now
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Phillips may want to consult with a lawyer too.

But, the media was very sympathetic to him. I'm not sure he has a case against the media.

He'd have to go after the people on social media that made threats

Last edited by aceplace57; 01-27-2019 at 11:32 PM.
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Old 01-27-2019, 11:40 PM
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Well, it was the media's responsibility to Vet the story before publishing.

Instead they ran with an edited video that told half the story.

That's on them for half-assed sloppy work.

The media did run corrections hours later, but that doesn't nullify their mistake. Imho

These families were getting death threats. The school had to cancel classes Tuesday.

This mob justice mentality has to stop before someone gets killed.
So you think they should name "the media" in a lawsuit. Good luck with that?
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Old 01-27-2019, 11:45 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is online now
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The lawyers will have to closely look at each network's coverage.

Determine who showed the most bias and helped escalate the story. That's who the lawyers will go after.

At least the family hired a experienced lawyer. I doubt he'd waste his time on a frivolous lawsuit.

Aren't most cases like this handled on a win basis? The lawyer takes the monetary risk to pursue it and gets a big cut of any settlement.

Last edited by aceplace57; 01-27-2019 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 01-27-2019, 11:46 PM
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The lawyers will have to closely look at each network's coverage.

Determine who showed the most bias and helped escalate the story. That's who the lawyers will go after.
What makes you think that any of that is actionable?
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Old 01-27-2019, 11:56 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is online now
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I'm not a lawyer. I don't know what is actionable.

I do know my dad consulted a lawyer and was told he didn't have a case and not to waste his money.

It's my understanding that's pretty common. Lawyers aren't interested in wasting their time on unwinnable civil cases. Unless some rich guy insists on pouring money into the legal fees.

I doubt the Sandmann family is rich.

Last edited by aceplace57; 01-28-2019 at 12:00 AM.
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Old 01-28-2019, 12:12 AM
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It seems unlikely this case will ever go to trial.

A small settlement to make it go away seems most likely. Imho

Last edited by aceplace57; 01-28-2019 at 12:13 AM.
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Old 01-28-2019, 12:12 AM
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I'm not a lawyer. I don't know what is actionable.

I do know my dad consulted a lawyer and was told he didn't have a case and not to waste his money.

It's my understanding that's pretty common. Lawyers aren't interested in wasting their time on unwinnable civil cases. Unless some rich guy insists on pouring money into the legal fees.

I doubt the Sandmann family is rich.
They are spending $9000/year to send their kid to private school.
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Old 01-28-2019, 12:21 AM
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So you think they should name "the media" in a lawsuit. Good luck with that?
The story says that the lawyer plans “a multitude of lawsuits”.
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Old 01-28-2019, 12:26 AM
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I doubt the Sandmann family is rich.
...LOL
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Old 01-28-2019, 12:35 AM
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Is it just me, or did that kid have a "Put my Junk in a Box" look on his face?
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Old 01-28-2019, 12:36 AM
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So you think they should name "the media" in a lawsuit. Good luck with that?
They can however sue the publications which carried the story.
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Old 01-28-2019, 12:47 AM
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They can however sue the publications which carried the story.
Yes. And they could sue me too.
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Old 01-28-2019, 12:54 AM
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Could they go after the ones who threatened them, or would that be the job of law enforcement?
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Old 01-28-2019, 01:31 AM
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Sandmann may very well have grounds for slander and/or libel cases. And other torts such as Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress may be grounds for a case as well.

Unquestionably unprivileged statements were widely made and/or published about Sandmann to third parties. That is the easiest element of slander/libel to tick off the list.

That some made statements that were both false and defamatory is the heart of the case. It seems the lawyer thinks that such can be proven.

And as a private individual Sandmann need not prove actual malice was involved in making false statements. It is sufficient to show that false and defamatory statements were negligently made. That so much was published without even seeking comment from Sandmann first makes negligence a low bar to cross.

Certain statements that may have been made as opinions may not meet the standard for libel/slander. But certain statements that continued to be made after further video evidence came to light might more easily shown to be slander/libel. He's got a case.

Then there is the Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress route that is open. This might be a a legal approach to sue those who engaged in doxxing of Sandmann.
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Old 01-28-2019, 02:24 AM
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Yes. And they could sue me too.
You aren't worth suing. The publications, are.
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Old 01-28-2019, 02:32 AM
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They are spending $9000/year to send their kid to private school.
A school which has a fairly generous scholorship setup, but yes, in this case one parent is VP of an investments firm and the other a sales manager at an automotive company.

So momney would not be a problem.
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Old 01-28-2019, 03:22 AM
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I hope they win a boatload of money. The reckless character assisination did show a lot of people for what they are though. It was a fascinating look into media narratives and those that buy into anything that confirms their biases. Still, I hope they get theirs out of lying manipulative media outlets.
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Old 01-28-2019, 08:24 AM
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They are spending $9000/year to send their kid to private school.
I must know a lot of rich people then.
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Old 01-28-2019, 08:45 AM
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So you think they should name "the media" in a lawsuit. Good luck with that?
He'd have to name one or more specific news organizations, which shouldn't be hard to do. For precedent, see Richard Jewell, the hero security guard at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta who moved members of the public away from a bomb shortly before it exploded - and for his trouble, was painted as a suspect by the media before being eventually exonerated. He sued several news organizations, most/all of which settled with him.

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Discovering a backpack filled with three pipe bombs on the park grounds, Jewell alerted police and helped to evacuate the area before the bomb exploded, saving many people from injury or death. Initially hailed by the media as a hero, Jewell was later considered a suspect. Jewell's case is considered an example of the damage that can be done by media reporting based on unreliable or incomplete information.

Despite never being charged, he underwent a "trial by media" with great toll on his personal and professional life. Jewell was eventually completely exonerated, and Eric Rudolph was later found to have been the bomber.
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Old 01-28-2019, 09:25 AM
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Nevermind. (Edit)

Last edited by Gleena; 01-28-2019 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 01-28-2019, 10:03 AM
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They are spending $9000/year to send their kid to private school.
Perhaps because it's a Catholic school, but that actually seems low for private school. Some of the prep schools in the Northeast cost quite a bit more than that. At the Hopkins School in New Haven, tuition is $43,500, although they give out quite a bit in scholarships.
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Old 01-28-2019, 02:06 PM
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Don't really care about this particular case, but I'm glad to see there's pushback against the trend of the mainstream media reporting social media trends uncritically. Just cause someone is saying it doesn't make it news. Especially when you don't have any reason to think the person saying it is honest and fair.

Enjoy,
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Old 01-28-2019, 02:35 PM
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I don't think the mainstream media was reporting on a social media trend but instead on a story that was promoted on social media. Similarly, some of the incidents in which police officers shot people of color started with a smartphone video that might have first been shared via social media.

What is a problem, I think, is that the immediate nature of the news cycle means that no one takes the time to do a deep dive on a story. There's a big push to be first to report. The old days when a reporter had the whole day to investigate and write a story before it was published for the next day's paper are gone.
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Old 01-28-2019, 04:56 PM
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The news media outlets who jumped on this racist bandwagon without actually vetting the story they chose to report can be sued, and held liable, for damages. The one person who should be included in any libel/slander lawsuit would be Guamanian Kaya Taitano, who posted the first, biased, racist, tweet which led to all of the other haters joining the mob.
  #32  
Old 01-28-2019, 06:29 PM
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The news media outlets who jumped on this racist bandwagon without actually vetting the story they chose to report can be sued, and held liable, for damages. The one person who should be included in any libel/slander lawsuit would be Guamanian Kaya Taitano, who posted the first, biased, racist, tweet which led to all of the other haters joining the mob.
...LOL.

Please quote or cite what Kaya did or said that you would consider actionable.
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Old 01-28-2019, 06:44 PM
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The news media outlets who jumped on this racist bandwagon without actually vetting the story they chose to report can be sued, and held liable, for damages. The one person who should be included in any libel/slander lawsuit would be Guamanian Kaya Taitano, who posted the first, biased, racist, tweet which led to all of the other haters joining the mob.
I thought the first tweet about this was from an account called 2020fight, which belonged to someone calling themselves "Talia".

So are you mistakenly confusing the two people? And if so, are you slandering or libeling Kaya Taitano?

Last edited by Dewey Finn; 01-28-2019 at 06:45 PM.
  #34  
Old 01-28-2019, 06:59 PM
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I thought the first tweet about this was from an account called 2020fight, which belonged to someone calling themselves "Talia".

So are you mistakenly confusing the two people? And if so, are you slandering or libeling Kaya Taitano?
It looks like you "thought" wrong. Better luck next time.

As was mentioned in an earlier linked article, Kaya Taitano provided the first tweet. 2020fight was later banned for retweeting, and adding some more racist horseshit, Kaya Taitano's original twit.
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Old 01-28-2019, 07:14 PM
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...LOL.

Please quote or cite what Kaya did or said that you would consider actionable.
That would be the contents of Guamanian Kaya Taitano's original twit of the incident between the white teenager and Team Philips. Didn't you read it? Haven't you found it? Did you look for it? She has her own website. It's easy to find. Is your internet connection broken?

The Guamanian Kaya Taitano started this racist shit storm. I wonder if the teenager's lawyer is as good as the lawyer who represented Melania Trump against The Telegraph?

A British newspaper apologized to first lady Melania Trump and agreed to pay “substantial damages” after publishing a story that it says made false statements about her family and modeling career.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/arts-...?noredirect=on
  #36  
Old 01-28-2019, 07:48 PM
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Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't Mr. Sandmann put his name out there himself with that PR statement? That's got to hurt their chances of getting money.
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Old 01-28-2019, 07:55 PM
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I love how all the board's racist righties are having kittens for this kid. Trayvon Martin's murder was totally justified but this little smarm's racist crap is apparently to be defended to the death...
  #38  
Old 01-28-2019, 08:36 PM
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I failed to pay much attention to this story or its coverage, but it seems odd that the lawyer would think he could sue media outlets if they were following a reasonable journalistic standard. Most major news sources that I am aware of are pretty careful not to make unfounded accusations, for fear of libel. The only likely targets would have to be pundit-types who sometimes make strong statements, but if a program is presented as opinion rather than fact, that does not seem like it would especially vulnerable to accusations of slander/libel.

But this attorney is apparently good at his job and will probably get settlements from the big outlets, which is most likely what he is aiming for.
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Old 01-28-2019, 08:45 PM
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Can someone actually give me an example of any factual claims made about this individual that were untrue? I cannot recall reading any. Yes, people called him racist, but that's an opinion. Yes, news organizations published that he did X "according to Y," as they always do, because they can only report what their sources say. It would seem strange for news organizations to stop performing their CYA tactics.

All I've seen argued so far is that this guy is good at his job, and he wouldn't have taken the case. But being good at your job can just mean good at scaring people into getting settlements by making it more costly to fight than not to fight. It doesn't inherently mean that he has a case. And he could, of course, be wrong.

If the idea is that people can't call someone racist without knowing for sure, then I don't want the court going anywhere near that. If we can't stop bigoted speech under freedom of speech, then we can't go after speech accusing people of bigotry. That would be taking a side, dictating allowable content, rather than the kind of content.

Last edited by BigT; 01-28-2019 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 01-28-2019, 08:45 PM
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That would be the contents of Guamanian Kaya Taitano's original twit of the incident between the white teenager and Team Philips. Didn't you read it? Haven't you found it? Did you look for it? She has her own website. It's easy to find. Is your internet connection broken?
...I found it before I asked you the question. But I asked you for a cite because nothing I read looked remotely actionable, so I figured that maybe I must have read the wrong thing. So do us all a favor here and take a couple of seconds out of your day to show us what Kaya said that you think would actionable in a lawsuit. Or not. Its up to you.
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Old 01-28-2019, 08:50 PM
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I love how all the board's racist righties are having kittens for this kid. Trayvon Martin's murder was totally justified but this little smarm's racist crap is apparently to be defended to the death...
I'm not a racist righty, nor did I defend Martin's death. (Or do.) But what on earth made this kid a "smarm racist", other than the wearing of one of those stupid hats? He was repeatedly accused of doing something he was proven not to have done. He, his family, his friends, and his community suffered major harassment and threats.

He may be an asshole, I don't know him. He may be a racist, I don't know that either. But that doesn't excuse the behavior of those who wrongly attacked him and his friends, and continue to do so.

Why has no one here condemned the actions of the Black Hebrew Israelites, a hate group as defined by both the ADL AND the SPLC? They're a scary bunch.

Or pointed out that those who were really irresponsible were the chaperones of the trip -- who dropped the ball when it came to keeping control of the whole thing?

Are the kids privileged? Yes, most certainly. However, they're most likely pretty sheltered as well. Not sheltered as in "innocent" but as in they probably haven't seen any REALLY scary shit.

AND finally, Phillips has changed his story twice. He was the adult in the story. Why is it the kids that are the only ones at fault?

Last edited by Guinastasia; 01-28-2019 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 01-28-2019, 10:35 PM
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I love how all the board's racist righties are having kittens for this kid. Trayvon Martin's murder was totally justified but this little smarm's racist crap is apparently to be defended to the death...
Right? All the bullshit and bomb threats that Anita Sarkeesian and Zoey Quinn put up with - that's just free speech. Hillary Clinton's a cannibal who runs a child sex ring on mars and who deliberately killed four people in Benghazi (while cackling!) - that's just asking questions. Michelle Obama is a transexual & Barack Obama is a closeted gay muslim & Leon Panetta eats ghostly placentas & John Kerry lies about his military medals & Elizabeth Warren thinks she's Pocahantas - just a never ending parade of normal remarks made by normal people who should absolutely be protected and never made to answer for any of it.

But this white boy in a racist hat gets called a racist and suddenly he's owed big bucks.
  #43  
Old 01-28-2019, 11:09 PM
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I don't think he should get money for being called a racist. It's because the media attacks lead to direct harassment on him and his family, as well as the school, I believe.

Anyone who sends death threats, harasses, or harassed this family, based on false information, is to blame, like it or not. Why must the victim have to be a saint in order for them to be owed compensation?
  #44  
Old 01-28-2019, 11:54 PM
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Like it or not, the Clintons, the Obamas, Panetta, Kerry, and Warren all have higher burdens of proof to defamation actions as they're all public figures. Now, I'd agree that legal action in all the cases mentioned should still win, but it's not a good argument to make against someone who is basically a private figure. Making them involuntary public figures and then saying they have no legal recourse is not something I want to support.

Frankly, I think it's about time for the 15 minutes on this thing to be up already. All the rage on the internet on both sides isn't going to actually do anything productive, only possibly destructive.
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Old 01-29-2019, 12:00 AM
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I love how all the board's racist righties are having kittens for this kid. Trayvon Martin's murder was totally justified but this little smarm's racist crap is apparently to be defended to the death...
Obama was a pro-terrorist muslim from Kenya. Hillary Clinton is a mass murderer who ran a pedophile ring from a pizza place. But if some white kid has a shit eating grin on his face the media must be sued for slander.

Do the right understand that they lie incessantly and that if they start suing for libel and slander, that fox news and other right wing media outlets will be bankrupt pretty fast?
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  #46  
Old 01-29-2019, 12:13 AM
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Obama was a pro-terrorist muslim from Kenya. Hillary Clinton is a mass murderer who ran a pedophile ring from a pizza place. But if some white kid has a shit eating grin on his face the media must be sued for slander.

Do the right understand that they lie incessantly and that if they start suing for libel and slander, that fox news and other right wing media outlets will be bankrupt pretty fast?
I would imagine that anyone who sent Obama or Clinton death threats or harassed them at their homes would probably end up in some serious shit.


Besides, I don't think it's just that they claimed the kids were harassing Phillips when they weren't. It's that by the media saying that, the kids ended up suffering from a lot of harassment themselves. Again, it's just like Richard Jewell.

And I would also hope that anyone who HAS sent these kids any type of threats or harassesd the school, or their families ends up having to pay for it. That's not cool.
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Old 01-29-2019, 01:13 AM
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What's the name of this boyband kid's boyband? Must be MAGA-SMIRK!
  #48  
Old 01-29-2019, 01:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Iggy View Post
Sandmann may very well have grounds for slander and/or libel cases. And other torts such as Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress may be grounds for a case as well.
If Infliction of Emotional Distress is the standard, then I guess YouTube owes Lizzie Velasquez about a bazillion dollars.
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  #49  
Old 01-29-2019, 02:52 AM
Merneith Merneith is offline
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Originally Posted by Guinastasia View Post
I don't think he should get money for being called a racist. It's because the media attacks lead to direct harassment on him and his family, as well as the school, I believe.

Anyone who sends death threats, harasses, or harassed this family, based on false information, is to blame, like it or not. Why must the victim have to be a saint in order for them to be owed compensation?
You're missing my point, which is that direct harassment of people in the news has been a daily event for the alt-right, inspired by articles on Breitbart and Fox and Drudge. It's not suddenly an emergency because this time the target is a conservative white boy.

I don't care if he's a saint (he's not.) I'm angry that women have been dealing with MAGA hatters making terrorist threats under the guise of "free speech" and suddenly the alt-right snowflakes are in a panic. Has Breitbart ever apologized for the bile they threw at Zoe Quinn?

I don't even really care if these lawsuits go through, but I hope the next time an Anita Sarkeesian event gets cancelled for bomb threats, she has options beyond listening to the MAGA crowd whine about "free speech".

Last edited by Merneith; 01-29-2019 at 02:55 AM.
  #50  
Old 01-29-2019, 04:07 AM
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I've paid almost no attention to this particular story, but aren't there many many thousands of people who are mistreated on "media" or "social media"? Just for starters, Google "teenager suicide facebook."

What is the solution? Is it for a tiny number among thousands or even millions of victims to hire expensive lawyers? Perhaps that is The American Way™, but is it an optimal way?
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