Thanks to David Weigel for presenting this story, which I've avoided blogging because of its complexity and moral ambiguity. Where do you start? I've only copied the Daily Beast's headline and subheadline here, and it's an odd list of things. Robin Williams and Taylor Swift aren't actually important, but passing references. "Islam" is much more generic than "Everyone Draw Mohammad Day" (which I always said was a bad idea, but, of course: free speech). And the word "pedophilia" doesn't even appear on the list, but it's at the core of this defamation case.
When he called McCain to the stand, Kimberlin handed McCain a print-out of a 2009 blog post about how to get traffic, and asked him to read tip number four: “Make some enemies.” Kimberlin, having made his point—this guy was starting a fight to make money—tried to take back the document. McCain snatched it and kept reading.The right-wing bloggers win in the end, and when they win, they look like this.
“At the same time, however, don’t confuse cyber-venom with real-world hate,” said McCain, giving a drawled, dramatic reading of one of his favorite posts. “Maybe Ace of Spades really would like to go upside Andrew Sullivan’s head with a baseball bat, I don’t know. But at some point you understand it’s just blogging about politics, and you start wondering if maybe it shares a certain spectator-friendly quality with pro wrestling. For all we know, Ace is spending weekends at Sully’s beach shack in Provincetown.”
McCain plunked the document back on the witness stand. “A sense of humor is not a crime in this country,” he said.