Saturday, July 31, 2010

Breitbart Sounds The Retreat.

Breitbart is back pedalling as fast as he can.

She said she simply wanted an apology? Why not just do it?

[...] This thing has gotten to a place that’s far beyond where it should be. I’d be more than happy to meet with her in private and have a discussion with her.

Is that an invitation?

Sure, I’ll go whoever she wants. I’ll go to Albany, Georgia. I’ll go anywhere to have a private discussion with her.
Although there is every indication that he might have left all of this far too late.
Sherrod said she had not received an apology from Breitbart and no longer wanted one. “He had to know that he was targeting me,” she said.
Now, as is to be expected, Breitbart's web sites are talking of how unlikely Sherrod would be to win such a case.
Thus she would have to meet the rigorous standard, set forth by the Supreme Court in New York Times v. Sullivan (1964), of proving not only that Breitbart published a damaging falsehood about her but that he did so “with ‘actual malice’–that is, with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.”
I think, given the history of Breitbart's actions with another tape involving Acorn it could be quite easily proven that this is someone with a track record of putting things out there "with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not".

He made no attempt to contact Sherrod before publishing to even ask her side of the story. Indeed, if he is to be believed, he didn't even ask to view the full tape - despite having released a falsely edited tape before concerning Acorn - before he published this thing.

I think she would a very easy time proving that he acted recklessly.

Of course, Breitbart's colleagues are horrified - horrified I tell you - that journalists applauded when Sherrod said she might sue.
But one aspect of this story strikes us as passing strange: The venue in which she issued this threat was a convention of journalists. What’s more, someone who was there tells us that when she said she planned to sue, the audience applauded. Our source was careful to note that there were nonjournalists in the audience too (PR men and corporate sponsors). Still, we have to ask: What kind of journalist would applaud the threat of a defamation lawsuit?
Erm, ones who care about journalism and realise that Breitbart isn't a journalist?

Click here for full article.

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