December 22, 2016

"For decades, the news media benefitted from the deference paid by courts to the judgments of newspaper editors."

"The judge in federal court treated Gawker’s editors as if they were running a newspaper, and he declined to second-guess them about what constitutes the news. The jury in state court did the opposite. The question now is whether the law, instead of treating every publication as a newspaper, will start to treat all publications as Web sites—with the same skepticism and hostility displayed by the jury in Tampa. The new President and his fellow-billionaires, like Thiel, will certainly welcome a legal environment that is less forgiving of media organizations. Trump’s victory, along with Hulk Hogan’s, suggests that the public may well take their side, too."

Writes Jeffrey Toobin in "Gawker's Demise and the Trump-Era Threat to the First Amendment/Hulk Hogan’s smashing legal victory shows us that publishing the truth may no longer be enough."

126 comments:

Tarrou said...

Why don't they try publishing the truth, just once. You know, for laughs.

Ann Althouse said...

"For decades, the news media benefitted from the deference paid by courts to the judgments of newspaper editors."

Another example of the double letter I've been talking about: benefitted.

MadisonMan said...

Why does it matter to the New Yorker that Hogan's lawsuit was underwritten by someone Rich with an axe to grind against Gawker?

If you cannot afford to sue Gawker, does that mean Gawker can do what they want?

Todd said...

So, they are no longer being treated like the sole protectors of truth, justice, and the American way? Well they earned every bit of disdain and contempt they are shown. The "media" has repeatedly demonstrated that they can not be trusted to "tell the truth" or to present the facts.

Welcome to [finally] getting what you have worked so hard to earn.

traditionalguy said...

The Truth has died in News Media. That is the issue. Judges stay with stare decisis view that Fake Reality is the best we can hope to do, but the voters and jurors are overruling that lazy excuse to allow abuse of people's reputations...the heart of the Libel Law.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Hillary believed the government had the right to shut down political speech, except for MSM publications like the New York Times. That's okay with liberals.
Trump made an offhand remark that he thinks MSM publications should be able to be sued in civil court if they print lies about public figures. Liberals think that it's the end of the Republic.

Larry J said...

Tarrou said...
Why don't they try publishing the truth, just once. You know, for laughs.


Some possible reasons:
1. Because that would be too much work.
2. Because getting it right is less important than reporting it first.
3. Because they have a narrative to define their truth and then go looking for sources to confirm what they already want to report.

It's probably a combination of all of those things with #3 getting the most weight.

Michael K said...

Truth has certainly been a victim of the recent wave of Social Justice Warfare.

Every "hate crime" that I hear of is a hoax.

george said...

My spelling life has benefited from the American-English rule that words accented on the final syllable, or single-syllable words, double their final consonant. The rule works 90% of the time.

Todd said...

george said...

The rule works 90% of the time.

12/22/16, 8:13 AM


58.72% of all statistics are made up...

Matthew Sablan said...

"The new President and his fellow-billionaires, like Thiel, will certainly welcome a legal environment that is less forgiving of media organizations."

-- If we're going to start using the media to punish, blacklist and censor other media as "fake news," then yes. Yes, I want us to be less forgiving of media organizations.

For example, Rolling Stone? Should be shut down, bankrupted and spend the rest of their money making endeavors paying to rehabilitate and finance the easy living of the people they smeared as racists to score political points.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Every "hate crime" that I hear of is a hoax."

-- I hate that this is the case, but also am glad. Like the burning of the church; I like that it was a hoax instead of a racist trying to intimidate people of a race he or she hated. The fact it was a hoax reaffirms my belief that, while there are racist bigots out there, many of them are effectively defanged.

Still, this is why I try and take a wait and see approach to any reported, sensationalistic hate crime. I've been burned too many times in the past believing people, that I'd rather have someone wait a few days to confirm that they are a victim as they say they are.

What we need to do is stop coddling people who fake-report, and I think a lot of police stations have gotten that way in the last few months with reports of people being charged for filing fake police reports.

Lewis Wetzel said...

One of the several things that bother me about Zuckerberg's plan to form a truth squad is how will he know if it works? What kind of feedback does he expect to get that isn't just the truth squad's own mistakes getting fed back to him?

David said...

Gawker's entire business model was to draw traffic by publishing embarrassing information about celebrities (or in some cases non-celebrities.) When they published the true information that Peter Thiel is gay, they picked on someone who could equal or exceed them in resources. Mr. Thiel is not ashamed of being gay, but he is a very private person and was harmed by the gratuitous disclosure. He was not well known to the public at the time of the Gawker article about him. Nevertheless he had no legal remedy in California.

It does not disturb me to see a more level playing field here. The advantages are still with the media. And the law and juries are capable of understanding when something is an invasion of personal privacy as opposed to a genuine exploration of a matter of public interest that happens to be embarrassing.

Quayle said...

Ho hum. Another "traditional" [read dinosaur] journalist is complaining that someone else's subjective judgment of their subjective judgment is ruining their position of power.

Old-school journalists have already lost.

All that remains now is their whining and complaining.

Livermoron said...

Too many people don't care about the bullshit that they get from the media...all they want is someone to confirm their own prejudices/belief system. For example, the oft-repeated (even by Obama after the claim had been refuted) but logically impossible claim of 1-in-5 women will be sexually assaulted in college.

Greg said...

Toobin is a dishonest lying weasel journalist, sorry for the redundancy. Gawker wasn't punished for publishing 'The Truth', they were punished for showing the video without permission, which was made illegally to begin with. Just as it is illegal to publish selfies stolen from celebrity Iphones, it is also illegal to film and publish sex acts without permission.

Laslo Spatula said...

"... it is also illegal to film and publish sex acts without permission."

Oh shit.

I am Laslo.

AllenS said...

Let us not forget that Toobin was one of the original JournOlisters. They could have cared less about the truth.

Chuck said...

I see a number of commenters just above -- Greg is one -- haven't even read Toobin's article. They just went by the Althouse blog-quote.

Because Toobin spends several paragraphs -- the heart of the piece -- discussing the differences, and their significance, in "invasion of privacy" litigation versus defamation cases.

And, because Toobin has an earned reputation as being anti-Trump, and because he writes for the New Yorker, the Trumpkins at Atlhouse all reject him out of hand.

Personally, I'd be game to argue with Toobin's theses 8 times out of 10. But this was a tremendously interesting and thoughtful exploration of media litigation in 21st century America.

Big Mike said...

Trump’s victory, along with Hulk Hogan’s, suggests that the public may well take their side, too.

It doesn't help the media that they openly look down upon the sort of people who sit on juries.

Alexander said...

Sounds like some 1%ers bitterly clinging to their privilege that they should be deferred to in a court of law.

rhhardin said...

You're always free to use the correct spelling, regardless what Americans are said to do.

Freder Frederson said...

Every "hate crime" that I hear of is a hoax.

So Dylan Roof didn't kill those nine people? Or it wasn't a hate crime? Which is it.

Peter said...

"The First Amendment is falling! The First Amendment is falling!"

Well no, it's not. Reporters and publishers have same First Amendment rights as everyone else- no less, but also no more. The Constitution does not require they be given any special deference; they are not a special, protected class with rights superior to those of other citizens.

In any case, I'll bet New Yorker writers have no concern at all that demands to criminalize "hate speech," and attacks on Citizens United are direct challenges to that same First Amendment.



William said...

I read the article. I think everyone should have the right to privacy when they're having sex with the exception of porn stars on set and Jennifer Lawrence. Flamboyant wrestling personalities who brag about their sexual prowess also have a right to privacy. Everyone has this right. This case doesn't cast a long shadow on press freedoms. It will be far more harmful to the revenge porn industry than to any intrepid investigative reporters........You know what would be amusing. They should plant a hidden camera in the rest rooms at NBC. It would be fun to see the facial expressions of various on air personalities when they're taking a dump.

Bruce Gee said...

I just finished watching a wonderful series on Amazon called The Worricker Trilogy. Its a LeCarre genre sort of spy story updated to the last decade. There is a fascinating exchange in the third episode between the wily old spy, Johnny Worricker, and a wonderful cagey London paper editor. Both of them “rat catchers” in the editor’s words. When she asks why the news he’s leaking hasn’t been reported, he replies something to the effect that journalists lack the tenacity to dig out the truth. She tossed back at him, “Or the motivation.”

Bottom line.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

If you characterize/allow your headline writer to characterize the ruling against Gawker as being punished for telling the truth then why should I trust your judgement enough to even read your article?

theribbonguy said...

"So Dylan Roof didn't kill those nine people? Or it wasn't a hate crime? Which is it."

I'm sure Michael K can speak for himself, but it seems that an "overwhelming" number of reported hate crimes turns out to be false flag shite...perhaps not "every".




Quayle said...

"Personally, I'd be game to argue with Toobin's theses 8 times out of 10. But this was a tremendously interesting and thoughtful exploration of media litigation in 21st century America."

It was tremendously interesting and thoughtful if you are the kind of person who found a nostalgic discussion of the benefits of horses and buggies versus gas powered automobiles to be interesting and thoughtful.

Fernandinande said...

"Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper." -- Jefferson

HoodlumDoodlum said...

William said... I think everyone should have the right to privacy when they're having sex with the exception of porn stars on set and Jennifer Lawrence

That's funny, and I'm sure you know Gawker was incandescently hypocritical in their treatment of privacy violations of Hogan and Lawrence--they laughed at Hogan's demands for privacy and excoriated anyone who did anything to help violate Lawrence's...because of feminism, or Leftism, or maybe just because they like Lawrence and dislike Hogan (since he's apparently such a terrible racist, and a white male to boot).

Toobin's tears over the lack of deference shown to a Media entity are doubly delicious when you recognize that the Media entity in question went out of its way to flaunt a lack of decency towards anyone that entity decided was "bad." They were assholes, in other words, and proud of that fact. Well, a jury said "we don't owe deference (on the basis of some imagined respect/reverence for "journalism") to these assholes and they intentionally committed bad acts, so they're gonna have to pay."
The more jackasses like Toobin link "the Media" with a shitty organization like Gawker the better--help spread & reinforce my low opinion of the Media, Jeff!

Chuck said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...
If you characterize/allow your headline writer to characterize the ruling against Gawker as being punished for telling the truth then why should I trust your judgement enough to even read your article?


I'd trust your judgment a lot more if you knew how to spell judgment.

mikee said...

Freder, the Fort Hood attack was only workplace violence, not a hate crime.

I remember back when there were crimes, and they were crimes because of actions, not differences discernible between perpetrator and victim. Seemed to avoid an injection of political opinion into judicial hearings doing it that way.

All crimes are hate crimes, when you get right down to it. The criminal hates the victim enough to violate their person or property. That seems enough, in my view, to merit punishment. Adding "He yelled an epithet at me!" to the charges is too prone to abusive prosecution, or non-prosecution, to make any sense.

gerry said...

If only they had stuck with publishing the truth instead of deliberate half-truths that promoted a destructive political agenda, they wouldn't be in this mess.

robother said...

NY Times v Sullivan was decided in an environment where the "Press" had elevated its image to that of an objective reporter, holding all public figures equally accountable. This was perhaps somewhat true in the 50s and 60s, but certainly has become a fiction now, as the 2016 election made painfully clear. Like most websites, every "news" organization is in the business of purveying an intentionally biased version of reality to a target audience. That audience's demographics are what they sell to advertisers.

To grant such enterprises effective immunity from those they choose to intentionally victimize (which the burden of proving actual malice does) is offensive to Americans who know the score.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Chuck said...And, because Toobin has an earned reputation as being anti-Trump, and because he writes for the New Yorker, the Trumpkins at Atlhouse all reject him out of hand.

I'm not a Trumpkin myself, Chuck, and I don't care about Toobin's opinions on/writings about Trump, but I am familiar with Toobin and as far as I'm concerned he's earned his reputation as a biased hack. Maybe this article's good, maybe he makes some good arguments this time and it's worth reading, and the Professor linking to it makes me much more likely to read it than I otherwise would...but there's nothing wrong with using what you know about an author's past work when deciding whether it's worth reading their new scribblings.

Not everything's about Trump, Chuck.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Chuck said...I'd trust your judgment a lot more if you knew how to spell judgment.

Good one, busted; ya got me there, Chuck. I'm going to work on living with the knowledge (spell checked that one) of your diminished regard for me as a result of my shameful error. One day at a time, I guess; one day at a time.

Chuck said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...
...
The more jackasses like Toobin link "the Media" with a shitty organization like Gawker the better--help spread & reinforce my low opinion of the Media, Jeff!

Again, I wonder how carefully anybody is reading the linked article. Toobin carefully and cleverly details the tawdriness of Gawker, its principals, the subjects of this story, and the story itself. I think that is one of Toobin's main points; asking how much outlets like Gawker are themselves the cause of greater media liability.

Hagar said...

Not much izvestia in the Pravda and not much pravda in the Izvestia.

traditionalguy said...

Is a Trumpkin a pumpkin with a big smile? The term sounds like a Pixar Movie.

DanTheMan said...

>>So Dylan Roof didn't kill those nine people? Or it wasn't a hate crime? Which is it.

He was charged with multiple counts of murder. Which is not a "hate crime". Murder being illegal predates the invention of "hate crimes.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Chuck said...Again, I wonder how carefully anybody is reading the linked article

You convinced me, Chuck: a victory for whining, perhaps, but I read the full article. I read it carefully, even.

The prospect of liability, perhaps existential in nature, for true stories presents a chilling risk for those who rely on the First Amendment

See, that's Toobin linking Gawker & the rest of the Media--characterizing them (all) as "those who rely on the First Amendment." I'm not saying he's equating Gawker with the New Yorker, but he is putting them in the same boat and trying to convince you that you should be worried that the law isn't as deferential towards the occupants of that boat. Me, I think the new attitude towards the Media--to the extent that it's even a real thing/new thing--is richly deserved.

The Hogan case had another dimension that was equally ominous for media organizations. The courtroom battle took place as Donald Trump’s candidacy for President was accelerating, and it drew on some of the same political forces

That's Toobin straying from his thesis about the law & the Media and trying to make a large point about the cultural/political forces that (I guess) he thinks might be partially behind the legal reality changes. In the next 9 sentences (I counted, reading carefully) Toobin describes Trump/Hogan's side in political/partisan terms (including how they portrayed themselves) but for some odd reason does not characterize the other side in equally political terms--if it's true that Hogan/Trump represent the "right" then it's it equally true that the Media in both cases represents the "Left" and acts accordingly? Seems logical, and necessary for Toobin's analogy, but of course he can't admit that--the Media is just interested in telling the truth, you see, no partisanship/ideological bias there.

[A number of paragraphs recapping the case, bio of Hogan, Denton, Thiel]

HoodlumDoodlum said...

(continued)

The difficulty of defining newsworthiness leaves judges a good deal of leeway in finding certain subjects off limits for public consumption.
Yes, and again that gets back to the problem of embracing Gawker as part of the "should-be-respected/deferred-to" Media--when a bad actor like Gawker poisons the well (by acting badly and using claims of newsworthiness/public interest as a defense for those bad actions) it harms everyone in the Media. It's silly to blame that on supporters of Hogan or Trump. Anyway the fear he's expressing here seems to be that judges will follow juries in being less likely to defer to Media's alleged good judgment...so now I'm supposed to worry that high-minded arbiters of the law are so easily swayed? And swayed by "the forces that elected Trump," no less. Lotta MAGA red hats on federal judges' heads, huh?

Thanks to Peter Thiel’s subsidy, Hogan’s lawyers could spend as much as they needed to persuade a jury, in effect, that Gawker resembled a stalker more than a newspaper.

What tendentious framing! The problem is that Thiel's $ gave Hogan's team some sort of unlimited ability to persuade a (presumably stupid) jury of something...in a way I guess Hogan's legal team would never have been able to do had they not been backed by big bucks. Waaah, waaah, it's not fair that the other side might have access to deep pockets (you know, like many Media companies have/use).

[Several paragraphs about the Hogan trial]
They called Mike Foley, a professor at the University of Florida, who had been an editor at the St. Petersburg Times.
Since I was reading so carefully I know that's not Mick Foley (the wrestler/Santa enthusiast) but on first pass I read it that way, yeah.

[More paragraphs about the case, the verdict, Hogan's fate, Hogan's lawyer working for Trump people.]

And...concluding paragraph--the one Professor Althouse clipped.

I dunno, Chuck, I read the whole thing and I'm not sure I gained much over just that excerpt the Professor clipped + my prior judgment of Toobin.

I'd dispute that Toobin "cleverly detail[ed]" much of anything, but I was already pretty familiar with the case, myself.

Mike said...

I don't believe in hate crimes or thought crimes. Murder is always wrong, by definition. Dylan Roof should be prosecuted for murder, like anyone else who kills nine people. Why he did it is irrelevant and unknowable, to me (why should I trust him to tell me the truth when he is morally depraved enough to commit murder?). He is evil. He should be punished.

Hatred is an emotion. Should we consider the joyful spree killer less evil than a hateful bigot who kills? That seems stupid and irrelevant to me.

Yes, two r in irrelevant. Two l in killer. Two o in Roof.

Unknown said...

How is this the "Trump Era threat"? He didn't create the web, comboxes, the elimination of any moderating function on the part of an editor. He understands how to use it, yes.

Was the jury hostile, or just skeptical?

FullMoon said...

Livermoron said... [hush]​[hide comment]

Too many people don't care about the bullshit that they get from the media...all they want is someone to confirm their own prejudices/belief system. For example, the oft-repeated (even by Obama after the claim had been refuted) but logically impossible claim of 1-in-5 women will be sexually assaulted in college.


Not impossible since sexual assault has been defined down. "Nice ass". sexual assault.


Chuck said...

Do some of you think that Dylann Roof hasn't been charged with murder? He's been charged with nine counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder by South Carolina prosecutors. He was simultaneously charged with the federal hate crimes and weapons counts. The federal trial went first. Both cases, state and federal, are being pursued as death penalty prosecutions. The state trial is scheduled for early 2017.

Fernandinande said...

I think this music video was supposed to be anti-American, but it made me feel all patriotic and fuzzy:
Rammstein - Amerika

FullMoon said...

Freder Frederson said...


So Dylan Roof didn't kill those nine people? Or it wasn't a hate crime? Which is it.


The exception that proves the rule

Chuck said...

Now, Hoodlum, you make an excellent point:

What tendentious framing! The problem is that Thiel's $ gave Hogan's team some sort of unlimited ability to persuade a (presumably stupid) jury of something...in a way I guess Hogan's legal team would never have been able to do had they not been backed by big bucks. Waaah, waaah, it's not fair that the other side might have access to deep pockets (you know, like many Media companies have/use).

I agree! Large litigation resources don't always equal a trial victory. For instance, Donald Trump's frivolous litigation against the author and publisher of "Trump Nation" didn't get to trial, despite his wealth. Melania Trump's specious libel claims against the Daily Mail aren't likely to succeed, despite her marital wealth. Cheri Jacobus' defamation suit against Trump is not likely to succeed either, despite a vast group of people in America -- many of them wealthy -- wanting to see Donald Trump burn.

Fernandinande said...

FullMoon said...
Livermoron said... ...logically impossible claim of 1-in-5 women will be sexually assaulted in college.

Not impossible since sexual assault has been defined down. "Nice ass". sexual assault.


4 out of 5 college women don't have nice asses? That sounds like a hate-stat.

Jess said...

From my perspective, his article reflects the arrogance, and condescending nature of too many involved with journalism. The media, in all its incarnations, was never considered a group of shining examples of integrity beyond reproach. Considering the behavior of many during the last election, their climb to integrity will be long, if not impossible.

traditionalguy said...

The definition of Murder (in 1st degree) is the original hate crime, a/k/a "malice aforethought."

Michael K said...

Blogger Freder Frederson said...
Every "hate crime" that I hear of is a hoax.

So Dylan Roof didn't kill those nine people? Or it wasn't a hate crime? Which is it.


"Hate crimes" are usually not mass murders. The "hate crimes" generally involve "victims" who are alive and often uninjured.

Now, if you want to define all murders as "hate crimes." feel free to do so.

David Baker said...

Jeffery Toobin has been wrong about virtually everything ever since he predicted a guilty verdict in the OJ trial. Why his viewpoints carry any weight at all is one of life's small mysteries.

FullMoon said...

Fernandinande said...

FullMoon said...
Livermoron said... ...logically impossible claim of 1-in-5 women will be sexually assaulted in college.

Not impossible since sexual assault has been defined down. "Nice ass". sexual assault.

4 out of 5 college women don't have nice asses? That sounds like a hate-stat.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder..

mccullough said...

So Toobin wants courts to rule that sex tapes of celebrities who don't know they are being taped is still publishing on a matter of public concern instead of an issue that the jury should determine whether or not it is a matter of public concern. As the law stands now, it's a jury determination subject to independent review by the judge based on the facts found by the jury because it implicates a first amendment issue (public concern speech is protected by the first amendment but speech disclosing a private concern isn't protected).

Toobin lambastes Trump's crudity but wants courts to say that publication of private sex tapes are automatically protected as publication on a matter of public concern. Politics is downstream from culture. A society inundated with vulgar public discourse and sex tapes of celebrities isn't going to be bothered by a grab them by the pussy president.

SukieTawdry said...

Just the facts, ma'am, is a good rule of thumb. I'm less concerned with "the truth." In far too many cases, that which is subjectively deemed true is not necessarily required to be in accordance with fact.

Truth #1: The climate is changing because the planet is warming. Truth #2: That change is anthropogenic. Truth #3: 97 percent of scientists subscribe to truths 1 and 2. Truth #4: Any facts that cast doubt on truths 1 through 3 should be summarily ignored, buried or ridiculed (or all three) and those peddling such should be censured or even threatened with a loss of position and livelihood (or worse).

Laslo, you delivered my first sustained laugh of the day. Thanks.

joucas said...

Melania Trump's specious libel claims against the Daily Mail aren't likely to succeed, despite her marital wealth.

Are her claims specious? Why did the Mail withdraw the publication?

This is interesting because we all know that the media publishes stuff (e.g., the Melania story) that is vindictive in nature. If the story is "true", does the vindictiveness not matter? That's the law currently, at least with public figures, but it is bit ugly isn't it?

Chuck said...

Truth #1: The climate is changing because the planet is warming. Truth #2: That change is anthropogenic. Truth #3: 97 percent of scientists subscribe to truths 1 and 2. Truth #4: Any facts that cast doubt on truths 1 through 3 should be summarily ignored, buried or ridiculed (or all three) and those peddling such should be censured or even threatened with a loss of position and livelihood (or worse).

It's worse than that, in actual Democratic Party policy initiatives.
Truth #1: Just as you say.
Truth #2: Just as you say.
Truth #3: Just as you say.
Truth #4: Just as you say.
Truth #5: If you don't accept that we need to regulate Corporate Average Fuel Economy for cars sold in the USA, to some level lower than a Kawasaki 500, you are a "denier," because we need regulations like that, and they are good policies that will actually have some discernible effect.

Mac McConnell said...

Has Toobin fathered anymore illegitimate children with his friends' daughters?

Quaestor said...

Someone should ask Toobin what he thinks of the "Russians" publishing the truth about Hillary and her campaign.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Chuck you did it again--you took a Trump turn and made me look something up and side with Trump. It's a gift, man.

I don't know much of anything about Melaina's lawsuit against the Daily Mail. You described it as "specious," so I looked it up. Here's the first paragraph of a CBS News article on the suit from earlier this month:

Future first lady Melania Trump appeared in a Maryland courtroom Monday in her defamation case against Britain’s Daily Mail and blogger Webster Tarpley. Mrs. Trump filed a lawsuit in September, claiming they published false articles alleging she had worked as an escort, and saying that she suffered a nervous breakdown during the campaign. The stories were later retracted.

So...specious? Sounds instead like she'd have a pretty good case, no?

CBS News legal analyst Klieman: “What she has to prove is that when they published these statements, that the statements were false... but they were done without any kind of investigation, without any kind of sourcing, without any kind of proof. In fact, both the Daily Mail and Mr. Tarpley know and say that they were just throwing out rumors out there, that these were rumors that they were then going to continue to publish.”

Hmm, sounds a lot like she might have a case, Chuck.

And, what do you know, Melania Trump's lawyer in this case just happens to be Hogan's lawyer in the case against Gawker!

Anyway I guess I understood "specious" to mean "wrong, in a (deliberately) misleading way," so I'm assuming you have some reason to think that this particular lawsuit against the Daily Mail is seriously flawed despite sounding, from my initial reading of the news summaries, to be pretty plausible.

Chuck said...

Are her claims specious? Why did the Mail withdraw the publication?

Because the Daily Mail did nothing more than publish the fact of the story of what the Slovenian outlet published, about Melania working as an escort. The Daily Mail's follow up was to remind everyone that they did just that, and that there had been little corroboration of the story. All 100% accurate.

And, they were probably scared by Trump's pitbull lawyers. I'd be concerned too. Concerned in the same way that a pack of vandals that had defaced the property of four of my neighbors would concern me.

Chuck said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...
Chuck you did it again--you took a Trump turn and made me look something up and side with Trump. It's a gift, man.


Thank you for noticing. I make it look easy, but it's actually a lot of work.
:-)

See how I worked "Melania Trump:Sex Worker" into it? It's Trumpian! Sad.

Chuck said...

I owe you, too, Hoodlum.

I did not know, until you told me, that Melania claims to have suffered a nervous breakdown over the story. If she claims physical/psychological injury, the defendants can subpoena all of her medical records. Sad!

RV Martinez said...

Jeffrey Toobin is a creature whose natural habitat is the swamp. His self serving concern is that after the Gawker case and the way the press abused their privileges is their coverage of Trump – which they do not call abuse, since they were saving the nation from Trump – "will start to treat all publications as Web sites—with the same skepticism and hostility displayed by the jury in Tampa".
If the press' "legal environment becomes less forgiving of media organizations" is because they abused their first amendment protection.
They should be treated as "abusers", who, if proven guilty will loose their privileges.


Chuck said...

By the way; I now have a team of investigators looking into Melanija Knauz's history with the sex trade in Slovenia. They are finding amazing things. I am going to keep you in suspense about the details.

Michael K said...

"I am going to keep you in suspense about the details."

I would appreciate it if you would keep me in suspense about whether you are still alive. Thanks, in advance,

hombre said...

Toobin and the other mediaswine are worried that the SCOTUS will notice that NYT v. Sullivan is not actually ensconced in the First Amendment. What a tragedy for them if in this era of fake news, media bias and dishonorable journalism the standard for the media, once again, becomes truth.

Birkel said...

Lifelong Republican, Chuck, who happened to vote for Hillary Clinton sure has a penchant for siding with the status quo. The status quo is that of an expanding federal government that involves itself more fully in the lives of free citizens. What a goof.

hombre said...

I see Chuck, "lifelong Republican," is still channeling a Soros troll.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

So, wait. Chuck, my man, Chuck. Your point is that a news organization like the Daily Mail should be able to spread any kind of unsubstantiated rumors/gossip/charges against anyone just so long as they say "hey, this is a rumor out there, we haven't found any support for it, but some people somewhere are sayin' it, so here it is!" That's...that's cool, with you?

Are you sure you aren't a big supporter of President Obama? That's his favorite rhetorical trope, isn't it? "There are some who say X [where X = a ridiculous caricature of an extreme position almost one one takes], but I say no, Y [where Y = an unrealistic gloss on his own position]."

That's cool with you, man--for the Media to do the same thing? Only some likely-corrupt billionaire w/pitbull lawyers would object to such a thing--that's what you're saying?

Concerned in the same way that a pack of vandals that had defaced the property of four of my neighbors would concern me.

Yeah, someone suing the Media over the spreading of a false story (saying that someone was a prostitute) is very equivalent to law-breaking vandals, Chuck, good analogy. Lawyers, right?!

Hey, this is a bit out of left field, but have you considered that maybe you're allowing your dislike for Trump to overcome your better judgement generally here, Chuck? Like...isn't it possible that Trump's a bad dude AND the Media deserves punishment when they act badly (by helping spread the lie that a woman was a prostitute)? Or no--does it have to be true that if Trump's against it, it's a good thing? Seems...well, it's difficult to find a kind word for it, man.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

[Sorry, that should have been judgement. Sloppy tags, my bad.]

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Anyway, someone not fixated on Trump might try to tie this discussion in with this news:
Michael Mann defamation lawsuit can continue, rules Court

The ruling dismissed the action against NRO/Rich Lowry but says the suit can continue against Mark Steyn and the other defendant.
Personally, I blame Trump--before him the courts deferred to Media organizations' judgment when deciding what is and isn't actionably libelous...but obviously Trump has changed all of that. I mean, this case started several years ago, but that Toobin fella convinced me.

Mike said...

HoodlumDoodlum: Mrs. Trump filed a lawsuit in September, claiming they published false articles alleging she had worked as an escort, and saying that she suffered a nervous breakdown during the campaign. The stories were later retracted.

So Hoodlum says the Press published two false stories about Melania, later retracted.

Chuck: I did not know, until you told me, that Melania claims to have suffered a nervous breakdown over the story.

And Chuck wonders why we (a) say he has a reading comprehension problem, and (b) why we say he has an unnatural (two n in unnatural) affinity for anti-Trump propaganda.

It's a head-scratcher!

Mike said...

Two f in affinity you know!

khesanh0802 said...

Before I read the rest of the comments I thought I would ask the simple question why the problem Toobin has identified is a "Trump era" problem. Obama was the President when the Gawker case made it to the courts. Liberal asshole!

Unknown said...

I think Steyn would rather be right than dismissed.. which is a questionable strategy. This thing has taken him off the playing field for a long time, and he could very well, even though "right", lose.

wildswan said...

I carefully read all "lifelong Republican's" comments in this thread and declare troll. But a more original and quick-witted troll. (two t's). In the court of the Troll King, he is probably the Fool because he can and does do more than grunt out: I heart left.

Quaestor said...

So Dylan Roof didn't kill those nine people? Or it wasn't a hate crime? Which is it.

Neither.

Chuck said...

wildswan said...
I carefully read all "lifelong Republican's" comments in this thread and declare troll. But a more original and quick-witted troll. (two t's). In the court of the Troll King, he is probably the Fool because he can and does do more than grunt out: I heart left.


I'm just not a team player, am I? Not part of the Trump Team, that is.

I dare you -- I fucking challenge you -- to find a single anti-Republican comment from me. Ever. And while you're at it, find all of my pro-Democrat comments too. Unless you equate "Trump" and "Republican." In which case Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh might want to review your comment for possible edits.

Todd said...

Chuck said... [hush]​[hide comment]
HoodlumDoodlum said...
...
The more jackasses like Toobin link "the Media" with a shitty organization like Gawker the better--help spread & reinforce my low opinion of the Media, Jeff!

Again, I wonder how carefully anybody is reading the linked article. Toobin carefully and cleverly details the tawdriness of Gawker, its principals, the subjects of this story, and the story itself. I think that is one of Toobin's main points; asking how much outlets like Gawker are themselves the cause of greater media liability.
12/22/16, 9:31 AM


I am much less inclined to have my opinion of "the media" influenced by a tawdry scandal sheet like Gawker or the National Enquirer than I am about discovering that numerous "reporters" all had joined a "super secret" forum in order to exchange story ideas and "get their fact straight" on what stories to push and which ones to squash. JournoList did much more to "diminish" the media than the publishing of sex tapes by an online scandal rag.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

@Chuck

http://www.dailywritingtips.com/judgement-or-judgment/

orthodoc said...

"The new President and his fellow-billionaires, like Thiel, will certainly welcome a legal environment that is less forgiving of media organizations."

Good. There's nothing in the First Amendment that gives priority or deference to a particular protected group. The fact that you have enough scratch to put together some worthless fishwrap, or broadcast a teevee show, should not earn you any preferred protection.

johns said...

although I agree with Hoodlum in this discussion, I do think that Chuck is not a troll or a Democrat. While he never lets an opportunity to trash Trump go by, his descriptions of his views as being Republican and anti-Hillary do not strike me as phony liberal troll attempts to conceal his true views. Chuck makes a good foil for a lot of the arguments here.
as Paul Samuelson said about Milton Friedman, if he did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.

Chuck said...

The First Amendment DOES single out a particular protected group, if you accept that "the press" is a particular group.

I'd suggest that there ought to be no governmental barriers for individuals to become part of "the press," but the plain language of Amendment I does say it:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of THE PRESS; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (Capitalization added for emphasis.)


Chuck said...

While he never lets an opportunity to trash Trump go by...

I try. All's I can do, is try. (I missed some of the Kellyanne Conway thread, but I managed to just now post a shot at the Trump White House. So many Trump Targets, so little time.)

johns said...

"... it is also illegal to film and publish sex acts without permission."

Oh shit.

I am Laslo.

Hilarious. He uses two words, in context, that create a great comic image. People can try to define humor, but in the end, it is just a gift.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Todd said..JournoList did much more to "diminish" the media than the publishing of sex tapes by an online scandal rag.

I'm sure you know this, Todd, but just in case: Jeffrey Toobin was a part of JournoList.

Isn't it ironic--don't you think?

Bob Loblaw said...

I think that is one of Toobin's main points; asking how much outlets like Gawker are themselves the cause of greater media liability.

There seems to be a lot of casting about for external causes when it comes to the media's (meaning "serious" news outlets in this context) loss of reputation. They're looking everywhere but the actual reason, which is a little closer to home. If they want their reputation back they need to start doing all that old boring journalism stuff - checking sources, getting multiple sources, triple-checking sources that are telling you what you want to hear.

Dan Rather was allowed to retire instead of being fired, and when he did his colleagues gave him an award. That tells you all you need to know about the American media establishment.

khesanh0802 said...

I have now read the article, and though interesting, it is clear that Toobin's referral to Trump is gratuitous and completely unnecessary. Thiel would have financed Hogan if he had been a Stein supporter. I stand by my comment that Toobin is a liberal asshole.

Thee only case limiting the First Amendment I am familiar with is when Justice Holmes said the First Amendment did not cover yelling fire in a crowded theater, but this case never really was about the First Amendment. It seems to me that the jurors were correct when they decided Gawker's intentions were malicious and I think, too, that it is a good warning to some of the other jerks that inhabit the internet.

Chuck said...

Wait a minute; the context of "Trump" for Toobin's essay has at least three elements:
1) Trump has a rather breathtaking personal history with defamation lawsuits and threats of same; utterly unlike anyone else in modern political life, and it presumably led him to:
2) Making grand and probably idiotic campaign statements about "opening up the libel laws."
3) And upon winning the election, Trump has now cooperated with Peter Thiel, who was of course central to the Gawker case, in hosting a President-elect meeting with the CEO's of all of the tech giants.

gadfly said...

@Tarrou said...
Why don't they try publishing the truth, just once. You know, for laughs.

Truth is always a condition colored by the eyes of the beholder. For example, voters bought into Trump's tall tales, strange priorities, dead-wrong ideas, empty promises and incessant bragging. So politicians need to become wild-ass liars but Gawker published a sexual assault video and lost everything. Not all is fair in love and war.

mccullough said...

Chuck,

"The press" refers to the printing press under the original understanding, not news reporters and the companies they work for. It complements the right of persons to speak also in the first amendment. So persons, be they individuals or multi-billion dollar media corporations have the same right to publish (disseminate their information/opinions through technology). "The press" is not the newspaper companies and the people who work for them. The Supreme Court has never held that media companies and their employees have more rights to speak and publish than any individual.

SeanF said...

Chuck: The First Amendment DOES single out a particular protected group, if you accept that "the press" is a particular group.

I'd suggest that there ought to be no governmental barriers for individuals to become part of "the press," but the plain language of Amendment I does say it:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of THE PRESS; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (Capitalization added for emphasis.)


"The press", in the First Amendment, refers to the device - or more accurately, the process. "...freedom of speech, or [freedom] of the press" means the government can't stop you from saying it, and they can't stop you from printing it. Doesn't matter who "you" is.

SeanF said...

I guess I took too long to type, eh, mccullough?

mccullough said...

SeanF,

So nice we had to publish it twice

Chuck said...

I simply raised the question as to whether "the Press" might refer to an industry/institution; I didn't try to answer it.

Prof. Volokh answers it pretty persuasively in the exact way that you guys are suggesting:

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1802229

So there's that.

campy said...

Chuck's mistaken view of the First Amendment "Press" wording is very common among lifelong democrats.

Drago said...

"lifelong republican" Chuck: "Personally, I'd be game to argue with Toobin's theses 8 times out of 10."

LOL

Sure you would. Sure.

Drago said...

Toobin is a complete and utter left wing hack and always has been.

No true "lifelong republican" who also happened to be a lawyer could possibly miss that.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/02/down-the-toob.php

It surprises no one that "lifelong republican" Chuck finds no issues with this latest bit of hackery from a leftist.

Bob Loblaw said...

Truth is always a condition colored by the eyes of the beholder. For example, voters bought into Trump's tall tales, strange priorities, dead-wrong ideas, empty promises and incessant bragging.

Why would you think that? People who voted for Trump just thought he was a better choice than Clinton. It's not like you can defend her from an ethical standpoint.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Laslo stole my joke and I demand satisfaction. I said nearly the same thing he did in circumstances a lot like these circumstances are, only I did it first.

Back in 1992 to my buddy Landershanks Brevelon III at St. Thomas Academy for Advanced Lightworkers.

I knew he was getting all these complimentary remarks 'cause he was stealing my junk. I knew it.

Chuck said...

Drago, I just want to shove this down your miserable throat.

A previous time, when I applauded Ann Althouse in taking down the New Yorker (to which we both subscribe) and Toobin in particular:

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-new-yorkers-lame-effort-at-un.html

You shithead. Go fuck yourself. Keep reading, you might learn something.

Chuck said...

Oh and here is another one, where I took on the Scalia/conservative position, in essentially arguing with Professor Althouse in the matter of "precedent" in the Lawrence/Windsor/Obergefell line of cases. Prompted by another Toobin-tagged post, where I mos' def' was against Toobin.

You want me to go on with these, Drago? It would be worth my time, if I knew that I could actually make you suffer in the process. But I can't know that, and so I don't think I'll bother.

Go through the "Jeffrey Toobin" tags yourself. You asshole.

Chuck said...

oops; forgot the link in my anger:

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=6329595&postID=6665223587669019197

Drago said...

"lifelong republican" Chuck: "......

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Looks like "lifelong republican" Chuck gets very very very very upset when anyone impugns Jeffrey Toobin.

Unexpectedly!

Drago said...

Not to worry. It should only take "lifelong republican" Chuck about 5 minutes to find another left wing hack that writes something that "lifelong republican" Chuck finds on target.

Keep up the good work "lifelong republican" Chuck!

Drago said...

Gee, "lifelong republican" Chuck sounds as angry as those asshats on the JetBlue flight that harassed Ivanka Trump and her family.

Hmmmmmmm

narciso said...

Yet gawkier was backed by a Russian oligarch himself, vekselberg, cockburns protege silverstein pointed this out.

Toobin I've disliked since I read his first book about prosecuting Oliver north, Jim webb is on that list for the same reason.

Drago said...

You know, fat, dumb and democrat is no way to go thru life pal.

Chuck said...

Drago, you are always after me to say something bad about Democrats. You'd be able to find it yourself, if you looked through this blog's archives.

For my part, I am wondering where you've said anything negative about Trump. You know, the guy who was the Birther/Truther/Vaxxer/Draft Dodger. He's going to be president now, a fact that neither one of us minds too much.

If you ask me if Hillary Clinton was a harridan and we are lucky to not have her and her husband back in the White House, I'll agree with you.

If I ask you whether Donald Trump has done or said something stupid on a near-daily basis for the last year, will you agree with me?

Chris Lopes said...

@Chuck
Trump is more likely than not to say or do something stupid on an hourly basis. That's just the kind of guy he is. That's why I question the idea that some people around here seem to have that attacking him on every single stupid thing he does is the best way to keep him in check.
Given Trump's ability in that area, you'd be exhausted by the mid-terms.

Chuck said...

Oh I wouldn't dream of keeping Trump "in check."

But having voted for him, with him as a nominal "Republican," I just want to keep my distance. I want plausible deniability. I want him and all of his progeny out of the Party as soon as his usefulness/term is over.

I want my Republican friends to know where I stand on Trumpism; and I want my Democrat friends to know that I'm no dummy, and that I see the Trump stupidity for what it is.

Drago said...

"lifelong Republican" Chuck: "Drago, you are always after me to say something bad about Democrats"

Don't care. I already know you will never offer any detailed disagreement with anyone on the left.

Ever.

And each day I already know what you will be saying because I peruse all the Lefty websites.

Chuck said...

But Drago, I just gave you -- at your own goddamned request -- two places where I took issue with the New Yorker and Jeffrey Toobin. Precisely in the way that you thought never happened. And where I stood with Justice Scalia on the Lawrence/Windsor/Obergefell line of cases. Long before The Age of Trump.

You really are a fucking useless waste of my time.

Fritz said...

Can they put Dylan Roof to death with the needle for murder, then revive him and jail him for life on the hate crime?

Zach said...

None of these ponderous think pieces on The Meaning of Gawker seem to quote the headline on the piece in question:

Even for a Minute, Watching Hulk Hogan Have Sex in a Canopy Bed is Not Safe For Work but Watch it Anyway

Here's the first paragraph:

Because the internet has made it easier for all of us to be shameless voyeurs and deviants, we love to watch famous people have sex. We watch this footage because it's something we're not supposed to see (sometimes) but we come away satisfied that when famous people have sex it's closer to the sex we as civilians have from time to time. Meaning: it's hardly ever sexy the way we expect it to be sexy, even when the participants are ostensibly more attractive than the majority of our sex partners will be.

The suit against Gawker had to meet a very high standard of proof in order to succeed. It did so because the article in question is a voyeuristic piece of trash that has zero news value and quite easily supports a finding of actual malice.

Drago said...

"lifelong republican" Chuck: "But Drago, I just gave you -- at your own goddamned request -- two places where I took issue with the New Yorker and Jeffrey Toobin"

LOL

From this link: https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=6329595&postID=6665223587669019197

Here's the totality of your brutal takedown of Toobin in that thread:

"lifelong republican" Chuck: "PRECEDENT, Professor Althouse?

Lawrence and Windsor specifically declined to endorse same sex marriage over the will if the several states. Scalia TAUNTED Kennedy in that notion.

There's no precedent in any of the Circuit decisions for the Supreme Court; not unless you want to include the Sixth Circuit.

There was precedent in the matters pertaining to Lawrence v Texas; that was Bowers v Hardwick. But the Kennedy bare majority just blew that off. Not precedent enough, apparently.

There is some precedent, at least enough that should rightly have controlled all the circuits. That was Baker v Nelson.

4/28/15, 10:06 AM"

LOL

Yeah, that was quite a blistering attack on Toobin there genius.

You really are a clown.

geoffb said...

"Has Toobin fathered anymore illegitimate children with his friends' daughters? "

Does Gawker have the relations on video? Would Toobin mind if they showed them to the world?

narciso said...

Scalia was very prescient and his passing was the third tumbler on the ekevtion, the first being steinle, the second San Bernardino.

PianoLessons said...

To those interested in the power of the media to promote "fake news" into actual USA policy ....

Time to revisit the Yellow Journalism Wars :

The Spanish-American War is often referred to as the first "media war." During the 1890s, journalism that sensationalized—and sometimes even manufactured—dramatic events was a powerful force that helped propel the United States into war with Spain. Led by newspaper owners William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, journalism of the 1890s used melodrama, romance, and hyperbole to sell millions of newspapers--a style that became known as yellow journalism.

William Randolph Hearst was competing against his mentor Joseph Pulitzer....he wanted to drum up War with Spain in his publications and he sent a famous illustrator Fredric Remington to Cuba to verify that things there were calamitous.

"Though the Cuban insurrection against their Spanish rulers was stagnating, Hearst continued to send many of his high-profile writers and illustrators to the Cuba in hopes of capturing a great story. Among Hearst’s employees was the famed illustrator Frederic Remington. In 1897, Remington became very bored by the lack of anything newsworthy in Cuba and cabled to Hearst, “Everything quiet. There is no trouble here. There will be no war. Wish to return.” In response to Remington’s message, Hearst reportedly replied, “Please remain. You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.”

sorry I don't do code....but it's a really interesting "fake news" and "media starts a war back in the day" story folks. Do your research.


https://www.pbs.org/crucible/frames/_journalism.html



Arthur James said...

This one is for Professor Althouse just having fun https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2Nd3E3dVYw

Chuck said...

Drago here is another old Althouse link. I keep finding them. In this one, I am attacking the Democrat/Trial Lawyer axis:

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2014/04/john-edwards-comes-full-circle-hes.html