Shirley Sherrod’s Defamation Suit

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Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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  1. Avatar Lee Stranahan
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    says:

    I posted at Doug’s site on this point — he makes no mention that as a public official, Mrs. Sherrod faces a much higher standard. There’s a lot of other points, but let’s start with that one.Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Lee Stranahan
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      says:

      Yes, let’s start there. Shirley Sherrod’s career did face a higher standard, one which involved Farming While Black.Report

    • Avatar timb in reply to Lee Stranahan
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      says:

      Legally, in the context of false light and defamation, she was NOT a public official. Being an employee of the government does not make one a public official in the context of tort claims. The defendant has to prove her reputation was well known in the community to show she was a public figure. Good luck with that, Mr. Stranahan. I’d start looking for a different dishonest hack to work for, since I think Mr. Breitbart’s empire is gonna have serious cash flow problems over the medium termReport

      • Avatar Chris_H in reply to timb
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        says:

        timb, I’m not so sure it’s as clear-cut. She was *the* state director for a federal agency. That seems like a public figure and if nothing else, a “matter of public concern.”Report

        • Avatar timb in reply to Chris_H
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          says:

          Sorry, Chris, you just can’t go around slandering the regional director of Dept of Education or claiming the Regional Asst Director of the IRS for Toledo is a pedophile and then claim that because that person works for the government means they are a “public” official for the purposes of tort law. Public means widely known, where it would be assumed that the receivers of the slander/defamation would have some previous knowledge of the person’s reputation to inform a reasonable weighing of the slander versus the truth.

          No one, outside of Georgia, knew who Sherrod was and this slander was created to influence a national audience, not a Georgian one.Report

          • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to timb
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            says:

            This has been my general sense of things here as well – it’s quite unlikely she would qualify as a public figure. However, there’d still be an issue where some degree of scienter is required (at least in the jurisdictions I’ve researched) due to the fact that this is quite clearly a matter of “public concern.”

            Somewhat OT – but I’m starting to think that the decision to actually file suit here was in fact motivated by Breitbart’s pursuit of the Pigford issue. It seems likely to me that his pursuit of that was bound to wind up being highly invasive for Ms. Sherrod, so perhaps the biggest reason to avoid filing this suit (ie, the invasiveness of discovery) was effectively removed.Report

    • Avatar Chris_H in reply to Lee Stranahan
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      says:

      Isn’t it just that she also needs to prove 1) maliciousness and 2) that it was false? Usually, those things are tough to prove, but it seems pretty clear here.Report

      • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Chris_H
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        says:

        Yes, the higher standard is just “actual malice” if she fits within the definition of a public figure. Actual malice means that the defendant either knew that the statement was false or acted with reckless disregard for the truth. However, even if she’s not a “public figure,” she was still speaking on a matter of public concern, which usually means that there has to be at least some modicum of scienter on the defendant’s part.

        Actual falsity is an element of a defamation claim regardless of whether she is a public figure.

        I don’t think proving actual malice will be a major issue in this case if she proves actual falsity. Her bigger hurdle is the fact/opinion distinction and the outcome of the discovery battle. Her complaint has more allegations that fall on the “fact” side of the distinction than I had anticipated, and the quality of her attorney will pay ample dividends in the discovery process.Report

        • Avatar Chris_H in reply to Mark Thompson
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          says:

          Interesting stuff, thanks. I only have cursory knowledge about defamation so this was helpful.Report

        • Avatar Pat Cahalan in reply to Mark Thompson
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          says:

          > the outcome of the discovery battle.

          Doesn’t it always come down to the outcome of the discovery battle?

          You give me enough of Breitbart’s mail store, I can probably find enough damning email in there to make him lose any court case. You withhold enough of it, probably not.

          This stands for just about anybody, mind you.Report

          • Avatar Diana in reply to Pat Cahalan
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            says:

            Pat, that’s not true. (Full disclosure: I am a lawyer, although I don’t get paid for suing people for defamation. I do get paid for suing them for fraud.) Actual malice in this case, as I understand the facts, requires proof that Breibart deliberately cut the tape to misrepresent Sherrod. It isn’t going to be a general fishing expedition, and Breibart can have as many nasty statements in his email as he likes without incurring liability, the discovery is going to be very narrowly focused on his intent with respect to the tape that he showed. He either doctored it or he didn’t. This is a black and white question.Report

            • Avatar Pat Cahalan in reply to Diana
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              says:

              > the discovery is going to be very narrowly
              > focused on his intent with respect to the
              > tape that he showed.

              Fair ’nuff. My point was that deciding what is discoverable and what isn’t often sets the narrative in a way that seriously predisposes an outcome. Do you not find this to be the case?

              Of course, not everything is discoverable.Report

            • Avatar tom van dyke in reply to Diana
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              says:

              Well done, Diana. Plus it was the Obama Administration who screwed Sherrod, not Breitbart, by hastily asking for her resignation.

              And then, they offered her her job back, if not a promotion, but she refused to mitigate the damages. [One is required to “mitigate” damages. You fix the leaky roof, you don’t let it destroy the house, then sue. We call this fairness, and “common sense.”]

              Sherrod has suffered no real harm. The most she should win is $1 from Breitbart, tripled if they want to find for punitive damages.

              3 bucks.

              I find Kirkland & Ellis’ representation of her more interesting. They represent every Black Hat in the book, Big Tobacco, Big Pharma, Big Lead [as in lead poisoning]. I found it doubtful she’s paying full fee—$800 an hour for lead litigator Thomas Yanucci, and he has a team of at least another 3 top-dollar lawyers.

              I reckoned this at the first since I know a bit about the lawyer game, more here:

              http://patriotpost.us/opinion/ben-shapiro/2011/02/16/shirley-sherrods-unconstitutional-attack-on-andrew-breitbart/

              It’s amazing how quickly the curious and suspicious get uncurious and unsuspicious about these things. Inquiry ends; crickets begin to chirp.

              Let’s be frank: Sherrod’s lawsuit is probably being backed by someone larger than Sherrod. Her lawyers are the famed law firm of Kirkland & Ellis. They wrote a 40-page complaint to lead things off. If Kirkland & Ellis charge Sherrod their usual rates, such a complaint probably would cost a minimum of $40,000 to produce. A full-scale lawsuit would cost Sherrod hundreds of thousands of dollars — if she were paying.

              In all likelihood, she isn’t. Kirkland & Ellis just happens to be the second largest donor, through its employees, to President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign committee and leadership political action committee. Its lawyers are committed liberals, and as a Chicago-based firm, it is heavily tied in to the Democratic Party. As Andrew Breitbart drew the left’s spotlight in 2009 and 2010 by defending the tea party, intensely pursuing Obama administration corruption and exposing liberal allies from unions to Hollywood, the left took notice. And they went to their favorite firm, Kirkland & Ellis, to deliver the knockout punch.

              Shirley Sherrod made no effort to mitigate her “damages,” and she is not paying her law firm like any normal person would have to. This is the game, folks, and welcome to it. Kirkland & Ellis, by leftist lights, is the devil. On the side of “the angels.”Report

              • Avatar Murali in reply to tom van dyke
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                says:

                Even if Sherrod is backed by the Obama administration, Breitbart still defamed her. It is not clear (in that I’m not familiar with american tort law) that punitive charges are to be just triple of what would ordinarily be awarded. Call me old fashioned, but I generally consider defamation something that ought to be punishable. As such awarding massive punitive damages is something that (unless precedent argued against) I would support.

                On the matter of mitigating damages, it seems that there ought to be some standard regarding the reasonability of the alternatives, and the reasonability of turning it down. I’m sure that it can be argued that it is otherwise reasonable to turn down the job. The fact is that Sherrod could not be reasonably expected to return to working for the USDA when it fired her on hearsay without bothering to do even the most cursory of investigations. It would not have been unreasonable for her to view returning to work as being degrading, perhaps akin to prostitution.

                The alternative is that if one is expected to take any and all measures, even the most personally degrading in order to assess the damage one has suffered, the results would be perverse. No common law court would have such perverse results, and tort law in the US, if I’m not wrong, is still one of the few remaining aspects of US law which still follows the common-law tradition.

                Sherrod should win this and probably is going to do so as far as I can tell (I don’t really know much about american law, so my assumptions about legal principles used may be faulty).Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Murali
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                says:

                Every Global Warming discussion includes a lengthy exchange where the funding sources of those performing anti-AGW studies is questioned, and it’s usually presented as “well of COURSE they’d find that AGW doesn’t exist, EXXON IS FUNDING THEM, argument OVER, you LOSE, good DAY sir!”

                But somehow that argument doesn’t apply here? It’s the facts that matter and not the motives? I’m glad to see you believe that, but just remember it next time.Report

  2. Avatar ThatPirateGuy
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    says:

    Couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.Report

  3. Avatar Seitz
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    says:

    As long as we’re on a subject that revolves around farming, I hate to get all pedantic, but I’m pretty sure it’s “row to hoe”. I personally am no farmer, nor am I a claimant in Pigford I or II, but I think it would be fairly difficult to cultivate crops in the middle of a road. 🙂

    And screw Breitbart.Report

  4. Avatar Michael Drew
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    says:

    Does anyone know what Sherrod’s path has looked like since the incident? She was offered a job by the administration but turned it down, I believe. Has she taken another position somewhere? Was it ever reported what federal or other retirement options she had prior to her (wrongful?) dismissal, and how the dismissal affected those? Has she sought to avail herself of those at all?

    And does any of this potentially bear on her legal action, and any future ones? Does she have a case against the government for wrongful dismissal?Report

    • Avatar tom van dyke in reply to Michael Drew
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      says:

      Yes, Mr. Drew, of course Sherrod has a case against the Obama Administration. Instead she goes after Breitbart. Wise up. This is about anything and everything than the actual facts of the case. [See below. I had the Kirkland & Ellis thing from the outset, but writing it out would have been a waste of time in this forum.]Report

  5. Avatar Michael Drew
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    says:

    Thanks, tom. I was hoping someone who actually knows what they’re talking about might respond, but I guess you’ll do.

    Well, actually you won’t, but whatever. I imagine that a case against the Administration would depend on a lot of things about her employment contract that I don’t know. But I guess I have no reason to believe you don’t know them. You are probably right about this, though: former Administration official Shirley Sherrod probably does have some residual loyalty to her former employer, and sees the real culprit for her dismissal as the person who released an incomplete version of her comments to the media, even though she may have a wrongful termination cause against the employer.

    I’ll need to take a moment to get my head around the implications of that. Okay, done.

    Whatever else happens in any case, tom (I’m declaring us on first-name basis), I will try to Wise Up. Thanks for the advice.Report

    • Avatar tom van dyke in reply to Michael Drew
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      says:

      Sorry, Mr. Drew, it wasn’t intended personally. If Breitbart’s not the villain, there is little interest in the surrounding facts.

      Indeed it’s the Obama Administration that’s the real villain, her employer, firing her before all the facts were in.

      So too, Ms. Sherrod’s motives are questionable—a) she could have mitigated the damages bu taking her job back [indeed, wasn’t she offered a promotion? and b) she targets a political enemy, Breitbart, instead of the real villain, an ideological ally

      I find Kirkland & Ellis’ involvement more interesting. As previously noted, the represent the evilest of evil corporations, and it seems unlikely that Sherrod can pay them their fees upfront, nor that there’s a big pot of Breitbart’s gold at the end of their rainbow.

      Also as previously noted, big bad law firms take these “on the side of the angels” cases all the time, to burnish their images among potential critics, not to mention appease their friends in high places.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to tom van dyke
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        says:

        Andrew Breitbart is a man possessed of a big mouth, a mouth which has just outrun his ass. That captious ass is about to be handed to him, like the head of John the Baptist upon a platter, a fitting reward for his captious rants about Iniquity in High Places, a fate worthy of any spittle-flecked prophet.

        Blaming Obama. Was fur chutzpah ist das? I thought Breitbart had his facts in order. How could Breitbart possibly have been wrong? Wasn’t Breitbart presenting the facts? Of course he was: just not all the facts, it seems. Shirley Sherrod said every word he put on his website. All that remains is to see if he removed any.Report

        • Avatar tom van dyke in reply to BlaiseP
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          says:

          They’re trying to turn it back on Breitbart, but the administration requested her resignation precipitately. They did the actual harm, not him. This is a political football, and I betcha a dollar it’s Sherrod and Kirkland & Ellis who’ll punt first.Report

          • Avatar Pat Cahalan in reply to tom van dyke
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            says:

            > They’re trying to turn it back on Breitbart,
            > but the administration requested her
            > resignation precipitately.

            Absolutely agreed with the second clause in your sentence.

            The first… wait, if the Administration precipitately requested her resignation… why did they do that again? Oh, right, because somebody posted a heavily doctored video of her on the Intrawebs.

            Bad on the Administration, sure. I don’t think that Mr. Breitbart deserves pity or kudos here, though. You can’t “turn it back” when the “it” is something explicitly… yanno… sorta designed… by…

            Never mind.Report

            • Avatar tom van dyke in reply to Pat Cahalan
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              says:

              “Heavily doctored” seems to be the standard rhetorical formulation on this. Is it accurate?

              My understanding is that it was an excerpt, but there was no internal editing or “doctoring.” Am I wrong on that? If I’m not, it seems the rhetoric has strayed from reality.

              Further, the administration is supposed to be made up of adults [unlike the internet, or journalism itself]. That they threw Sherrod under the bus so quickly is probative.Report

              • Avatar Pat Cahalan in reply to tom van dyke
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                says:

                > My understanding is that it was an excerpt,
                > but there was no internal editing or
                > “doctoring.” Am I wrong on that? If I’m
                > not, it seems the rhetoric has strayed from
                > reality.

                I suppose, if you are going to claim that *editing out all context that disproves the charge which you are leveling towards your target*, when you claim that the abridged video *proves* your charge… if that constitutes “not editing” or “doctoring”, then the rhetoric has indeed strayed from reality. As you define “rhetoric” and “reality”.

                I already agreed that the Administration’s actions were terrible. This does not excuse Breitbart of his, please stop bringing this up as a disclaimer.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to tom van dyke
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                says:

                There was more than simple “doctoring”. Breitbart added the following statements as narrative to his videos:

                Mrs. Sherrod admits that in her federally appointed position, overseeing over a billion dollars, she discriminates against people due to their race.

                This federally appointed executive bureaucrat lays out in stark detail, that her federal duties are managed through the prism of race and class distinctions.
                .

                That’s in the present tense: “she discriminates”. “are managed”.

                That’s precisely where Andy Breitbart stepped on his weenie. Had he merely presented the video, without the voiceover, he might have a chance. Now he doesn’t.Report

          • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to tom van dyke
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            says:

            Now, that just won’t do, Tom. Andrew Breitbart told the world he had “video proof” Shirley Sherrod discriminated against white farmers while at USDA.

            Video proof. Proof is a solemn word, a terribly definitive and dispositive word. At first, Breitbart was believed: the camera did not lie.

            Your task, not you will take up the cudgels for him, is to explain why Breitbart can be excused from the charge of falsely depicting Sherrod as an unrepentant racist.Report

            • Avatar tom van dyke in reply to BlaiseP
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              says:

              Thx, PatC & BlaiseP. I wasn’t sure of every detail and said so. This is well below my radar, and thx for the clarifications.

              “Out of context” is the best that can fairly be claimed per the “heavily doctored” charge. A lengthy excerpt without internal editing arguably—meaning simply a reasonable argument—falls short of “heavily doctored,” which carries far more evil intent and villainy.

              However, with the additional material

              “Mrs. Sherrod admits that in her federally appointed position, overseeing over a billion dollars, she discriminates against people due to their race.”

              Breitbart may have indeed stepped on his wienie. But how much is tortious? Did he make any modification-withdrawal-correction of the above remarks? [I don’t know one way or the other.] Further, how much does the First Amendment protect such allegations?

              [A reasonable defense would be that further on in the video excerpt, Ms. Sherrod does indeed express an affinity for class warfare rather than racial. Should the Breitbart defense come up with an instance where Ms. Sherrod continued to practice race warfare, the key word “discriminates” as opposed to “discriminated” is validated. And since First Amendment speech is protected, a lesser defense could be argued that breitbart is entitled to his political opinion, that Sherrod never stopped discriminating based on race.]

              The rest of my [counter]argument stands, that the administration and Sherrod herself are the bigger villains here. The admin aborted her without due diligence, and she made no effort to mitigate her damages. If someone scratches you—intentionally or otherwise—you don’t let it go gangrenous then sue for the loss of your arm. That is law, and it’s common sense.

              Since Ms. Sherrod has suffered no irreparable harm, even if the plaintiff prevails, the damages amount to $1, triple damages as punitive. Mr. Breitbart will send a check to Ms. Sherrod for 3 bucks.

              Kirkland & Ellis might get their attorney’s fees, however, which likely will exceed $1M. That’s sort of the joker in the tort deck.

              Thanks to you gentlemen again for a clarification and reasonably sober and civil discussion of the issue at hand. I prefer it this way, meself.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to tom van dyke
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                says:

                Three torts are alleged: defamation, false light and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

                Defamation requires proof the defendants knew the information was false: the operative phrase is “actual malice”. False light requires proof of a malicious and embarrassing publication, different from mere defamation in that it’s a tort of privacy. The intentional infliction of emotional distress is a tort of outrage and very seldom succeeds: it’s only there to cover the bases.

                The complaint was filed in Washington D.C. This is interesting, in and of itself: D.C has a Long Arm Statute and many states don’t.Report

              • Avatar tom van dyke in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                Thx, BlaiseP. We might agree that best case, Sherrod gets her $1 and Kirkland&Ellis scores their attorney’s fees, bottom line.

                They break even financially, score points as being “on the side of the angels” instead of accruing demerits for their bread&butter, defending Big Tobacco, Big Pharma, and all the other assorted corporationist evildoers. Sherrod gets her “vindication.”

                Works for me.

                Not a bad discussion, bottom line. Clarity over agreement, as one good thinker puts it. 😉Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to tom van dyke
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                says:

                The complaint asks for a jury trial in an overwhelmingly black venue. A DC jury will take every button off Breitbart’s shirt. This is really the end for Breitbart et. al.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                Well, D.C. defamation law is extremely clear. Proof of actual malice in this case is a slam dunk.

                Breitbart will attract considerable support, both financial and otherwise, that much seems certain. It will not help him much, but it will buy his lawyer a new Jaguar.

                Had Shirley Sherrod engaged in racial discrimination as alleged by Breitbart and his buddies, she would be guilty of a crime, which makes this discrimination per-se, and thus makes Breitbart vulnerable to damages.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                From that page:

                It should be noted that the actual malice standard focuses on the defendant’s actual state of mind at the time of publication.

                That strikes me as a steep hill.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                Most defamation suits fail: usually someone’s accusing someone else of having carnal relations with their livestock mostly to make them get up and deny it.

                This case is quite different. The guiding case here is Solano v Playgirl, and here’s where Breitbart will be put up against the adobe wall and given his cigarette.Report

              • Avatar tom van dyke in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                Yes, you keep saying that, BlaiseP, but I got a dollar cash American money sez you’re wrong.

                Until then, I believe we’ve stated our cases. At some point, both plaintiff and defendant must let them rest.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                I will take that bet and up it by 99 dollars. If I win, you will go down to the food pantry and make a 100 dollar donation.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                “The complaint asks for a jury trial in an overwhelmingly black venue. A DC jury will take every button off Breitbart’s shirt.”

                Interesting, so you’re arguing that the jury should ignore the law and vote based on emotion? Remember that the next time you see a bookstore owner accused of selling pornography to minors.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to tom van dyke
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                says:

                Over and over in the complaint, the phrase “video proof” appears. If only Breitbart hadn’t used that specific phrase, he’d have a fighting chance. The standard for defamation cases after Hustler Magazine v. Falwell went up considerably. Had Breitbart merely called Sherrod a Skanky Ole Hoe Bigot, he would have gotten off, as did Larry Flynt. Instead, he used the word “proof” and that’s where he’s going to get tied to the cross and whipped for a good long time.Report

              • Avatar Pat Cahalan in reply to tom van dyke
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                says:

                > The admin aborted her without due
                > diligence, and she made no effort to
                > mitigate her damages.

                I’m not certain the second clause is true. Is it? I have no familiarity with her attempts or lack thereof to retain her position. I’m also not entirely certain it’s germane: what’s her possible method of mitigation, aside from suing the government?

                Let’s say she can sue the government, or Breitbart, but doesn’t feel that she has the capability to deal with two lawsuits at once. Let’s say her lawyer says she has a very good chance to win against both, but she just feels more injured by Breitbart and chooses to go after him first. I don’t know that this shows an unwillingness to mitigate the damage. It certainly shows a desire for vengeance, but that’s sort of part and parcel with suing somebody in the first place.

                > If someone scratches you—intentionally
                > or otherwise—you don’t let it go gangrenous
                > then sue for the loss of your arm.

                True within the context. I’m not sure the analogy is apropos.

                > Since Ms. Sherrod has suffered no
                > irreparable harm

                I’m not entirely certain this is the case, either. I’m passing familiar with people who have lost their job due to nefarious machinations, it’s certainly not a trivial injury.

                I personally have not been made out to be a horrible person on the Internet (at least, not that I know of), in an established narrative that will certainly extend on for quite some time in many peoples’ minds.

                About the First Amendment and free speech aspect, I’m not inclined to debate on this thread. Although it in and of itself might be an interesting thread; a quick glance at Wikipedia shows defamation law predates the War of Independence, so I’d be curious how the textual/originalist/modernists crowd around here would balance the two.Report

              • Avatar tom van dyke in reply to Pat Cahalan
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                says:

                Mitigation of damages. If they offered her her job back, it’s germane. [I believe they did, if not a promotion! Both of which she refused.] But thx for the hearing, Pat. Dunno if we can limn the issues much better than we have. The rest will be settled on the political football field. Limning is about the best we can do here.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to tom van dyke
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                says:

                The government didn’t defame Sherrod. Breitbart et. al. defamed her and her employer terminated her on the basis of Breitbart’s “video proof”.

                That Breitbart was lying never entered into anyone’s thinking, at first. But Andy Breitbart is a liar and a defamer, that much now seems obvious. Wouldn’t you admit as much?Report

  6. Avatar Koz
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    says:

    It’s anybody’s guess how this will end up. If Sherrod’s lawyers can show that Breitbart had the full video ahead of time, and purposely edited it to defame Sherrod, she’s got a good case. Otherwise, it’s pretty weak sauce and she’s got to be hoping to outlawyer Breitbart or get the benefit of a rogue jury.

    In any case, let’s just say that anyone with an ounce of integrity should be rooting for Breitbart to win the case. He published the full video as soon as he got it, and Sherrod was offered her job at USDA back, which she refused to take. People have got to be able to comment fairly on public issues, and especially people like Breitbart who’s done yeoman work in bringing the light of day to conspiracies and other sordidness of the other team that they’d prefer we not know about.Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Koz
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      says:

      There more to it than merely proving Breitbart had the full video. Even if he did not have the full video, Breitbart is on record continuing his defamation, long after the full video was brought to his attention.Report

      • Avatar Koz in reply to BlaiseP
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        says:

        But of course there is no defamation. There is an opinion, or characterization say, of her based on evidence. And when more evidence is available, Breitbart published it.

        None of the elements of the case are strong for Sherrod. The falseness depends on claiming that Breitbart’s racism claims were about her recent duties wrt USDA as opposed to the context of the speech. The malice part is belied by the assertion that Breitbart published the full record as soon as he got it. And I don’t see what she can claim for damages when she refused to take her job back.

        But this is for the lawyers to hammer through. The important part is that we hope Breitbart wins. Breitbart performs valuable public service in publishing important facts that the other team wants to keep hidden.Report

        • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Koz
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          says:

          The important part is that we hope Breitbart wins.

          No kidding.Report

          • Avatar ThatPirateGuy in reply to Mike Schilling
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            says:

            Koz meant to use scare quotes around facts but he is a busy person so i can do it for him.

            Breitbart performs “valuable” public service in publishing important “facts” that the other team wants to keep hidden.Report

            • Avatar Koz in reply to ThatPirateGuy
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              says:

              Heh.

              We don’t need Breitbart for punditry or analysis. But we do need him to get the tape and publish it. We know the other team is going to keep it hidden, as we’ve seen in Wisconsin, Planned Parenthood, Journolist, or ACORN.Report

              • Avatar Simon K in reply to Koz
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                says:

                Its on YouTube for god’s sake. Don’t you even know when to give up defending the indefensible?Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Simon K
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                says:

                Because I don’t think it is indefensible, obviously. Or to say it another way, to differentiate what should be defended from what shouldn’t.

                It’s impossible to predict for sure what will happen with this lawsuit. If Mrs. Sherrod does win, it certainly won’t be the most ridiculous successful lawsuit, and or worst one that ever won in DC. Lawsuits have their purpose, but one problem with them is that they’re so random. It’s a very rare one indeed that is so ridiculous, either in facts or law, that has no chance at all of succeeding. There’s an inherent quality of Russian roulette about them.

                But, whether she wins or not, “we” know that this lawsuit is basically a bad joke. Nobody who is inclined to support this lawsuit is actually going to consider Breitbart’s opinion their estimation of Mrs. Sherrod’s reputation.

                And, let’s also recognize why she got fired in the first place. Because of the record of the NAACP, SPLC and the like, Secretary Vilsack, President Obama or whoever was actually responsible for having her fired, they “knew” she was guilty already. They didn’t have to check the tape, they knew what it was going to show. Of course, in this case what the tape showed (when people saw the whole thing) wasn’t at all what such parties expected it to be. But that’s not Breitbart’s problem.Report

              • Avatar tom van dyke in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Exactamundo.: “Nobody who is inclined to support this lawsuit is actually going to consider Breitbart’s opinion their estimation of Mrs. Sherrod’s reputation.”

                Ms. Sherrod’s reputation is far above and beyond Mr. Breitbart’s poor power to add or detract, either with her critics or sympathizers.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                But we do need him for unabashed, barefaced lying.Report

              • Avatar ThatPirateGuy in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                You mean the planned parenthoodn thing where they reported the scammers to the FBI before they ever got their tapes published?

                Where they explained the legal options?

                Lila Rose is not to be trusted.Report

              • Avatar tom van dyke in reply to ThatPirateGuy
                Ignored
                says:

                Planned Parenthood = eugenics, then and now.

                Disparate impact. More than half of American black babies conceived are being aborted in many jurisdictions.

                Fact. And I am not arguing a point on which I’m not sincere. FWIW.Report

              • Avatar ThatPirateGuy in reply to ThatPirateGuy
                Ignored
                says:

                Unfortunately no one responded to this.

                But if someone had they would be accusing black women of committing eugenics against themselves which is a pretty racist thing to say as it assume they are too stupid to know what they are doing.

                Perhaps the theoretical respondent would also like to note that paying for the black women’s birth-control would reduce the problem. Especially at a time when one considers that congress is trying to defund the efforts to do that.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to ThatPirateGuy
                Ignored
                says:

                Why is birth control a Federal issue?

                I can understand condoms being under the purview of the CDC, maybe. But birth control?Report

              • Avatar ThatPirateGuy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                It is all part of sexual health. They also defunded treatment and testing for STIs, cancer screenings, etc.

                It also saves the government 4 dollars for every dollar they spend on birth control. So if your problem is the government taking you tax money/the deficit this is the worst possible place to cut.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Whatever, if they want to have any credibility as legit medical providers, they can stop doing abortions. That’s what real doctors do (pro-life and pro-choice).Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to ThatPirateGuy
                Ignored
                says:

                Why not? The record shows pretty clearly for me at least PP’s complicity with underage prostitution. We might suspect that already without the videos but now we know for sure.Report

              • Avatar ThatPirateGuy in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Your world sounds scary.

                I’d hate to be living with your delusions.Report

        • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Koz
          Ignored
          says:

          That’s simply not so. Breitbart went right on defaming, long after the full version of events had been revealed.Report

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