The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Because Truth Is an Absolute Defense’

Posted on | August 20, 2012 | 14 Comments

The quoted phrase from the Moore v. Hoff ruling should be drilled into the head of every blogger, as it was drilled into my head years ago as a beginning reporter. How many times did my editors tell me, “Get your facts right, and they can’t touch you”?

An editor has a moral obligation to defend at all hazards a reporter who is telling the truth, which is why the first three rules of journalism are accuracy, accuracy, accuracy.

The principles that apply to newspaper reporting should apply equally to blogger Johnny Northside (who reportedly had only 500 readers per day). Get your facts wrong and you’ve got a problem, but nobody can successfully sue you for writing the truth. And plaintiffs who try to claim “harassment” or “tortious infererence” because they know they can’t win a libel case are a menace to the First Amendment.

This is why I became so enraged by the attempts of Brett Kimberlin to silence his critics with “harassment” claims and other legalistic nonsense, and it’s why I have long since tired of Neal Rauhauser’s cowardly efforts to conceal his malicious acts — the “Gaped Crusader”! — with sockpuppet accounts and other deceptions.

Put your name on it, you gutless punk, or shut the hell up.

UPDATE: Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) has introduced anti-SLAPP legislation that would protect journalists (including bloggers) from nuisance suits. The Rhetorican suggests it should be called “The Kimberlin Law.”

UPDATE II: Welcome, Instpundit readers!




14 Responses to “‘Because Truth Is an Absolute Defense’”

  1. Goddess OfTheClassroom
    August 20th, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

    Your site’s motto,
    One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up.” — Arthur Koestler
    is one of the reasons why I respect you and your blog so much.

  2. jlwellfonder
    August 20th, 2012 @ 2:39 pm

    Preach it brother!

  3. Should we call it the Kimberlin Law? Federal Anti-SLAPP bill introduced in U.S. Senate. « The Rhetorican
    August 20th, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

    […] R.S. McCain links with related content. Thanks! Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedIn […]

  4. Quid Est Veritas? | hogewash
    August 20th, 2012 @ 3:18 pm

    […] Senator John Kyle (R, AZ) has introduced the Free Press Act of 2012 (S.B. 3493) which would provide protection in the federal court from SLAPP lawsuits. More info here. (H/T, Stacy McCain) […]

  5. JeffS
    August 20th, 2012 @ 3:22 pm

    Indeed, truth is an absolute defense.

    But that assumes that key members of the “dispute arbitration process” (be it legal, political, diplomatic, or military) have an interest in hearing the truth.

    This is not always the case.

  6. Adjoran
    August 20th, 2012 @ 4:57 pm

    It’s an important win, but notice the blogger had to go through a trial AND appeal, with all their attendant expenses, to prove it. And was facing a $60,000 judgement if he lost.

    Also, the decision is only a “controlling legal authority” for Minnesota, since it was a state case, so unless you happen to live, blog, and get sued in Minnesota, this doesn’t help you at all.

    The point of “lawfare” tactics like Kimberlin uses isn’t necessarily to win cases – little Brett has a record of something like one win, 100+ losses – but rather to force the victim to spend money and time to avoid a default judgement. He would be satisfied with this case because it certainly did that.

    Anti-SLAPP legislation is a good start, but is hardly a panacea.

  7. SDN
    August 20th, 2012 @ 10:11 pm

    No, that would be “loser pays”.

  8. Instapundit » Blog Archive » STACY MCCAIN: ‘Because Truth Is an Absolute Defense.’…
    August 21st, 2012 @ 6:31 pm

    […] STACY MCCAIN: ‘Because Truth Is an Absolute Defense.’ […]

  9. tdperk
    August 21st, 2012 @ 6:47 pm

    Losing lawyer pays.

  10. werewife
    August 21st, 2012 @ 6:47 pm

    No fair, you beat me to it.

  11. Micha_Elyi
    August 21st, 2012 @ 7:10 pm

    Even better!
    After all, in them bad old medieval days when ones champion lost he died. Thus it should be even if ones champion competes with a silver tongue in a courtroom rather than with a sword in an arena.

  12. RebeccaH
    August 21st, 2012 @ 8:31 pm

    The Kimberlin Law. I like it.

  13. SDN
    August 21st, 2012 @ 11:08 pm

    No, loser pays; that way lawfarers like Kimberlin who file their own suits get nailed too.

    Oh, and they can’t file another lawsuit until they pay off the one they lost.

  14. TheTruthRulesTheDay
    August 22nd, 2012 @ 11:31 am

    Please welcome the members of SOCNET.COM to your website. SOCNET members are being sued in the same manner, by one John Giduck. Defamation, slander, libel, etc. These active and retired members of the special forces community called John Giduck out for being a fraud, using his falsified credentials to bleed money from the Gov’t teet.