In a decision with potentially large ramifications, New York Federal Judge LaShann DeArcy Hall won't dismiss a libel suit against "Shitty Media Men" creator Moira Donegan.
Explaining, the judge says it is possible that Donegan created the entry herself. The judge believes that Elliott should be able to explore whether the entry was fabricated. Accordingly, discovery proceeds, which will now put pressure on Google to respond to broad subpoena demands. The next motion stage could feature a high-stakes one about the reaches of CDA 230.
A Letter to Fox & Friends
Dear FOX & Friends:
I’m just writing a quick note to say “Hi” and see how your summer went. Great, I hope!
I heard wonderful things about your Summer Concert Series. I know that other people say that a news network putting on concerts is a little weird, but I’m not one of them! I think it shows people that you care about music, and people, and… um… well, people that really like music. And may I say it’s about time, because I for one am getting tired of people always saying how FOX and conservatives are so unhip because supposedly “popular” lamestream wash-ups like REM, U2, Madonna, Jay-Z and Lay Gaga are always backing left-wing causes. It’s great to see you bringing in some real musical acts, and showing those lefties who the real hipsters are! Besides, I suspect that Pat Benetar and KC & the Sunshine Band were grateful to have a day when they weren’t playing at some county fair or North Dakota casino. And I bet the members of Lynard Skynard are just happy not to be dead any more. (Seriously, how did you guys do that? I tell you, that Rupert Murdoch never ceases to amaze.)
Anyway, I just wanted to say keep up the great work, and have a great Fall!
Crap. No, see, I’m screwing this up already. I’m sorry. I told myself to practice this a few times in front of a mirror before I said it out loud to you, but things came up and time kind of slipped away, and, well… here goes.
So look. The thing is, I’m really writing to you because I’m a little worried about you these days. And I know I’m probably over reacting, but hear me out. And remember, I’m only telling you this because I love you.
One of the things I’ve always loved about you guys is the way you stick with one another through thick and thin. Like, remember that time when that one guy shot a kid, and Gerlado said that instead of examining the potential impact of Stand Your Ground laws we should focus trying to get kids to wear fewer hoodies? Or that time Steve worried that if we pulled out of Afghanistan China would invade because “China is not too far way and it’s a great big country that needs a whole bunch of stuff?” Or that time Brian said Swedes are pure because they only marry Swedes, but we American aren’t because we “keep marrying other species and ethnics?” I mean, a lesser news network would have a problem with stuff like that on the basis of it being, well, kind of stupid. But not you guys! You guys have always had one another’s back!
But lately I’m sensing a bit of an edge between all of you that worries me. Like, there was that time this summer when Gretchen walked off the set because Brian made a slightly sexist comment? Most women I know wouldn’t have even done that (even if they would have sympathized) and so at first I was worried that maybe she was getting all feminazi on you. But after thinking about it, now I’m worried that it’s really all some other kind of internal hostility and not about feminism at all. I mean, it wasn’t that long ago that Gretchen was laughing at Brian’s borderline sexual harassment on the Hooter Girls salute, or calling Brian’s giggling wrestle match with Lingerie Football models one of the best things she’d ever seen on TV. She loved that stuff, whereas most women I know would have probably just punched Brian in the face. But the whole walking off the set thing… well, it was starting to look like you guys weren’t ceaselessly chipper anymore. Still, I figured it was just one of those things you’d work out.
But this past week I’ve become concerned that maybe you’re losing it.
Earlier this week, of course, there was that kid you interviewed. I’m sure you remember it. You were doing a story about how the cool kids today hate Obama, and to prove it you brought in an actual, real live person. And of course, it went pretty badly:
You guys allowed yourself to get pranked pretty bad there. I was pretty sympathetic about that for two reasons; the first one being that, hey, anyone can be fooled once, and the second being that the guy that hoaxed you was kind of a dick. Still, it was water under the bridge as far as I was concerned, until I came across this little tidbit from this morning:
I have to admit, it seemed a pretty amazing scoop at first. You’d managed to catch the President of the Untied States, the most powerful man in the Free World, doing a photo op – and just a week after the terrorist attack on our Libyan embassy, no less. But this wasn’t just any photo op, this was a photo op he was having with a pirate…. when you were really hoping he’d talk to this totally different guy! After having first seen this, I was assuming you were already dusting off a little shelf space for the inevitable Peabody. And who could blame you? This baby had the three classic elements of any great piece of television journalism: An “uncovered investigative expose” of something that was specifically designed to be done in front of news cameras, people sitting in chairs, and pirates. This powder keg was set to make that whole Watergate coverage look like a recycled Ann Landers column.
What a tremendous shame it was, then, to learn that the photo you used to build that Woodward and Bernstein moment around wasn’t taken today at all; it was one that had been sitting around your archives since May, 2009 when the photo was taken.
Look, Fox & Friends, I get it. I do! You really, really don’t like this President. You didn’t like him was he was running, you didn’t like him when we was sworn in, and you don’t like him now. And yet now, for probably no other reason then to spite you, he looks poised to be reelected. That has to totally suck rocks for you. And I can totally relate, because once my neighborhood grocery store had this Grocery Bingo promotion, and I totally hate bingo, and I was sure they were only going to do it for a month but then it turned out they did it for two months. So I totally know what you’re feeling right now. But the thing is, you’re trying just a little too hard to take him down all by yourself. And that’s a pretty tall order for any news organ, even one as respected as Fox & Friends.
So take my advice, and give yourself a day off here and there in between today and the election. You don’t have to find a new smoking gun that proves Obama is a socialist, fascist, Kenya, terrorist-sympathizing usurper every day. Let Hannity carry some of that heavy burden every now and then, or O’Reilly. Because you really need to stop getting caught having swallowed whatever silly prank any college sophomore might decide to throw your way.
Because if you don’t, you’re going to risk losing all of your hard earned credibility.