Devin Nunes Beclowns Himself
Rep Devin Nunes (R-CA21) is suing Devin Nunes’ Mom and Devin Nunes’ Cow for defamation. I cannot fully express the humor typing that out warms the cockles of my heart. However, as a matter of optics, it is frivolous and idiotic. For a member of congress, it is unbecoming, and legally should be summarily tossed out.
But let us back up.
Last Congress, Devin Nunes cosponsored a bill called the “Discouraging Frivolous Lawsuits Act”https://t.co/muQ0FhmUO7
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) March 19, 2019
Stung by obscene and pointed criticism, Representative Devin Nunes, a Republican from California, said he was suing Twitter and three users for defamation, claiming the users smeared him and the platform allowed it to happen because of a political agenda.
The complaint, which Fox News reported was filed in Virginia on Monday, seeks $250 million in damages. In making his case, Mr. Nunes, a loyal ally of President Trump and the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, repeated several common Republican complaints that Twitter has repeatedly denied: that it censors Republicans, “shadow bans” their accounts and actively helps their opponents.
Though absorbing criticism comes with the territory for politicians, the complaint described the objectionable tweets from the three users as something “that no human being should ever have to bear and suffer in their whole life.”
To make his case, he cited a wide variety of tweets that included accusations of criminal misconduct, crude jokes at his expense and relatively banal criticism. The complaint says the tweets “falsely stated” that Mr. Nunes had brought “shame” to his family and that he was voted “Most Likely to Commit Treason” in high school, and that one of them included a cartoon image of a sexual act with Mr. Trump and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. The complaint lists dozens of other tweets he found insulting.
Just to be clear; sitting Congressman Devin Nunes, through counsel, has claimed in a court of law that Twitter accounts @DevinNunesMom and @DevinCow insulting him is too much pain and shame to bear and he should be entitled not only to relief but compensation.
I’m not sure what the current working definition of the overused “snowflake” is, but I submit this would work just fine.
Twitter is an easy target, and popular one for the right-leaning commentariat. The decision making by Jack and company can range from mildly bewildering to shockingly tone deaf. President Trump joins in on the chorus of criticisms, complaining about the very platform that he has used more than any other to drive the news cycle for the better part of three years now. It’s a company providing a service. A service folks use voluntarily. When signing up to use it voluntarily you agree to a user agreement that, in layman’s terms, gives that company the right to do pretty much whatever they want on said platform within the confines of the law. If you used Twitter you agreed to those terms. Same with Facebook or any other social media. Read the fine print; if you don’t like the terms, don’t agree to the arrangement.
I’m frankly tired of this line of argument that social media needs to be regulated for bias. If you don’t like how social media conducts itself, don’t use it. 15 years ago few had a Facebook account. Twenty years from now I doubt many will have a Twitter account. It will be on to the next new thing. If your argument is we must protect free speech by using the power of the government or courts to suppress free speech on platforms that you voluntarily use, the problem in free speech isn’t the tech companies, courts, or government. It is you.
Free speech means you get made fun of by internet randos. Which you can block or mute, a simple step one might consider before launching a high visibility, frivolous lawsuit. But since the point is to get the high visibility regardless of the greater ramifications of said lawsuit, that is the course of action Devin Nunes took.
Some will try to parse out the ongoing “publisher v speaker” arguments, but even if found to be a publisher there is plenty of precedent and a very high bar to clear for defamation. Hustler v Falwell is still on the books, last I checked, and public figures are not immune from mean words published, spoken, or even tweeted. Good luck proving actual malice on the part of Devin’s Cow and Mom.
No, the point is Devin Nunes, no longer having the lofty perch of a committee chairmanship that he used to turn the House Intelligence Committee into a total circus the past two years compared to the workings of it’s senate counterpart, has now decided to put on a show by suing Twitter.
A clown show.
Staring Devin Nunes.