- Charlie Brown, after attempting to kick Lucy's football
What do you do or say when someone you love and respect (politically, from a distance) commits self-immolation in public?
My heart is broken. But here it is.
Sarah Palin's lawyer has shot across the bow of the MSM and the blogosphere by warning them that if they repeat certain allegations of wrongdoing by the Governor, that they will be sued for defamation.
A law firm sent out a four page letter warning anyone repeating a specified allegation as fact then they will be sued. (I don't want to get sued so I'm not going to quote the letter in full; go and read it yourself.)
To the extent several websites, most notably liberal Alaska blogger Shannyn Moore, are now claiming as “fact” that Governor Palin resigned because [of specific allegations of] criminal wrongdoing, we will be exploring legal options this week to address such defamation. This is to provide notice to Ms. Moore, and those who re-publish the defamation, such as Huffington Post, MSNBC, the New York Times and The Washington Post, that the Palins will not allow them to propagate defamatory material without answering to this in a court of law. The Alaska Constitution protects the right of free speech, while simultaneously holding those “responsible for the abuse of that right.” Alaska Constitution Art. I, Sec. 5. These falsehoods abuse the right to free speech; continuing to publish these falsehoods of criminal activity is reckless, done without any egard for the truth, and is actionable.
Thomas Van Flein, for Governor Sarah PalinTo which I can only say: what UTTER FRAKKING STUPIDITY.
Doesn't she realize that she is a "public persona" and as such, the laws protecting against libel and slander, for all intents and purposes, DO NOT APPLY TO HER? The Alaska Constitution is trumped by the U.S. Constitution. Under New York Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964), it is a matter of free speech rights to write anything about anybody who is a public figure without any practical restriction. (Why do we see National Enquirer informing us about the states of the internal organs and/or private sex lives of celebrities? THAT is why; celebrities pay for their fame by having their weenies described or misdescribed on the front page.)
If it weren't for Sullivan, governors and other politicos would be suing for defamation (or silencing speech through threat of lawsuits) every single day.
The fact that the Governor has resigned doesn't allow her to start suing. The protection is absolute. Which any first-year con-law law student could have told her.
Threatening to sue people for lying about her, when she is world-famous as a candidate for the Presidency of the United States, is an act of utter, brain-waggling foolishness. Not only because it won't work, but ALSO because it makes her look like she's using the courts to silence freedom of speech (which only applies, of course, to leftist liberators and not to "right wing neanderthal nazis who insist in giving birth to defectives" (Do I really need to add "(/sarcasm)"?).
Furthermore, sending out this letter gives the MSM the 'cover' they need to repeat the allegations while pretending that they're discussing the letter.
Finally, WHAT SHE IS TALKING ABOUT IS THREATENING A "SLAPP" SUIT - "Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation." Which is a form of political evil, a way of the politically strong and rich to silence the poor and politicaly weak. SLAPP suits are a dangerous threat to our First Amendment rights, and she should not, not, not, go there, ever.
SLAPP suits are .... evil.
I am sorry, Sarah my love, but you are WRONG WRONG WRONG to be going here. Truly.
I admire you, Sarah. I had you picked as the VP candidate in April of 2008. I think your political career has been an amazing testiment to our political heritage. We have needed you.
But here, on this issue, we part company.
And I leave with tears in my eyes.