Shirley Sherrod to Sue Andrew Breitbart

Comments

1
I hope she gets not only every cent he has, but every cent he'll ever make. Hope she gets his house, his website, his car, his wife, his kids, and his garden weasel.
2
yay!
3
I just hope he cries in public.
4
Is there a way to spam Sue Andrew Breitbart's website so that it collapses from multiple shameless hate-hits?
5
Excellent news!

I hope her team of lawyers are busy sharpening their teeth right this minute.....
6
I don't think she'll win. But that doesn't mean she shouldn't do it.
7
Good for her, but really she should be suing Fox News for pushing the story. That was the main reason why news broke out about it. Posting a video on a vanity domain doesn't cause the controversy, having Fox pick it up and repeat the video clips over and over again without even bothering to check the facts is what created the controversy that led to her forced resignation.
8
i'm sure this will end well for everyone involved.
9
well, it's a lovely idea, and it would be poetic justice, but the enormous leeway of the first amendment cuts both ways, and one of my personal "heroes" (Wiilam J. Brennan Jr.) had a little something to say on the subject in NY Times V Sullivan- essentially ruling that even false information, absent actual malice, is protected speech - and I happen to agree - "I cannot agree with a word you say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it" - she might be able to show "actual malice" but that bar, quite rightly, is set rather high. While I agree what was said about her was disorted and despicable, I believe it is protected.
10
@7, oh bullshit. Breitbart's whole existence is to feed this shit to Fox. And Fox not checking facts is actually a defense against libel; you need to prove (a) the statement is false; (b) you knew the statement was false; and (c) your intent was to harm your victim's reputation.

It's really difficult. But I think she's got a case against Breitbart on all three points. Fox, only two of three; Fox doesn't give a shit whether the stuff they report is true or not.
11
Sue the fucker.
12
Where can we donate to her legal fund?
13
Does libel allow for recklessness?
14
Sorry to burst your bubble, folks, but the analysis @9 is correct. A suit like this might not even survive summary judgment. And to further weaken her case, she has no damages. (Yes, I know she lost her job, but it was offered back to her.)
15
A person may be liable if they post something thatbusbuntrue and/or defamatory and there are damages, right? Certainty this meets those qualifications, and would not be protected speech. And I thought recklessness could lead to liability as well... So there may be avase against B and F..... Or I could be completely mistaken....
16
@15: Can you translate the moonspeak/legalese?
17
Holy Jesus, moonspeak it is. Yikers.
18
@9:

Doesn't editing video to make it appear to say something roughly opposite from what it actually says demonstrate a certain amount of malice? At least, (along with Breitbart's statements) I think it's pretty easy to demonstrate that he intentionally showed something he knew to be fraudulent to try to make a point?
19
I think malice is pretty easy to demonstrate in this case.
20
@9, good point, but I'd rather this was adjudicated impartially than that she just decided not to pursue it. At the very least it will be very bad press for the motherfuckers involved.
21
@9 and @14 - Yes, the bar is set very high, as it should be. It does seem that malice and intentional slander can be proven. The damages are definitely trickier, but not necessarily insurmountable. I think it will be a difficult case for her to win because of our strong First Amendment protections (and rightfully so). But even if she doesn't win, if she's allowed to proceed to trial (also iffy), it may help shed enough light on this cockroach that even FOX won't dare touch his fabrications next time.
22
@21 - One reason that I think the damages issue isn't insurmountable is that she was not offered her job back, she was offered a different job. I have no idea what that different job is, or how the salary, responsibilities, and career objectives may differ. That may be a factor. But she may also be able to argue that the scandal may negatively impact her ability to be appointed to other appointed positions in the future. Of course, speculative arguments like that are extremely difficult.
23
Insurmountable? Maybe not, Kevin. But it's far from the "slam dunk" some of the other commenters here seem to think it is.
24
damages can include lost wages easily, so something greater than nominal damages should be very easy to prove. but i think per se defamation -- which this may meet the burden since her fitness to conduct her business was questioned -- doesn't even require proof of damages, they are assumed. if that applies.

also, i don't think intent or malice are necessary for libel. i'm not sure what the exact elements are, but usually it's something like a false statement, identifying the person, is published, is defamatory to the person's reputation, damages occur, and the defendant is at fault. the "at fault" might mean intentional, or negligent.

i guess i'm not sure, but it seems like no one in this thread really is sure. so....????