Tag Archives: defamation

Sue the Bastard, Shirley: Libel and Shirley Sherrod

Sometimes bloggers forget that we have to consider the same laws and rules of the land that everyone else does.  It’s one thing to switch some video footage around to create a funny mashup or to edit audio to make it sound like someone said something that they didn’t.  It’s another thing to pass your edited footage off as the real thing with no disclaimer.

Most reasonable people who run websites know that you have to let the public in on the deception at some point.  Humor goes a long way when it comes to this.  People get the hint when things are funny or outrageous.  They say, “Hey!!  That’s not real right?!?!” not “Oh my God!  How terrible!”.   However, the editing that conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart did to footage of former Dept. of Ag staffer Shirley Sherrod speaking at an NAACP function was not your common funny video mashup one could find on YouTube and forward on to co-workers and friends.  No need for me to rehash that whole drama of her firing, people backpedaling after realizing the deception, etc.  You know the story.

I’m happy to see that Ms. Sherrod is SUING Breitbart.  At the time that this happened, she was a private citizen doing her job, not a public figure or celebrity who doesn’t enjoy the same legal protection because of their status.  Defamation is defamation.  Breitbart should have attacked the NAACP as an organization if he had an axe to grind (which is what seems to be the case), instead of going after a government employee.

Mrs. Sherrod has accused Mr. Breitbart, employee Larry O’Connor and the unnamed source of the video with defamation, representing her in a false light and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The lawsuit, filed Feb. 11 in Superior Court in the District of Columbia, seeks the removal of the video and related blog posts from Mr. Breitbart‘s site and monetary compensation, including punitive damages, to “punish the defendants’ reprehensible conduct and to deter its future occurrence.

“Defendants deliberately edited the full video of Mrs. Sherrod‘s 43-minute speech down to a short, highly misleading two-and-a-half minute clip that defendants knew, or should have known, would portray Mrs. Sherrod in a false and defamatory manner,” the lawsuit stated. – source

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Mother sued for blogging about discrimination at daughter’s school

Whatever happened to free speech??? More who are using the internet to vent their frustrations are being sued (anti-defamation) by those they trash. This has even effected parents who complain about poor school performance and environment.

“Late last month an Orlando, Fla., mother blogged about her 7-year-old daughter’s private school, which she claimed discriminated against “mixed-raced” students and generally made her child unhappy.

When the New School of Orlando got wind of the Sonjia McSween’s blog, it sued her for defamation for claiming that the school had a “kickback” scheme arranged with a psychologist.

McSween could not be reached for comment.

“This has nothing to do with someone not liking a school or not liking their treatment,” said David Simmons, the lawyer representing the prep school, who brushed aside the notion that the school was just unhappy about the negative attention. “It has everything to do with the allegations that there was a kickback scheme that she has no basis for. We are suing her to make her stop.”” – ABCNews.com

You know black people LOVE to put their kids in private school. Love, Love, Love. Well, you better just gossip and spread your opinion via phone and lip, huh??? Good old fashioned trashing a good name. LOL

As a blogger, of course I feel that i should be able to say whatever I feel…within the generally accepted rule of law of course. I’m not trying to be sued, but I’m also not trying to be censored or bullied. Visit this article from ABC News to learn about other cases of consumers and parents being sued.

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