US Blogger Successfully Defends Libel Action

Journalist-blogger Richard Silverstein has won a libel suit, brought against him by a certain Rachel Neuwirth:

…She sued me for libel in Los Angeles Superior Court because I called her a “Kahanist swine.” Her claim was that this was the same as claiming she was a Jewish terrorist since Kahane Chai, Meir Kahane’s Israeli political party, is designated by the U.S. Treasury Department as a terrorist organization.

…We won the case with an anti-SLAPP (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation) motion under which the defendant must prove that his speech was made in a public arena and furthered a public good and that the plaintiff was a public figure. Rachel’s key argument was that she is a private figure (she argued that she was merely a real estate agent) and…my blog was a private forum (because I “controlled” it), all of which are patently false since she herself calls herself an “internationally respected journalist” in her online bio.

…Unfortunately, others have threatened me with similar lawsuits in the past and perhaps some will do so in future. I think we have taken a stand that such intimidation will be met with a firm defense of my First Amendment rights and those of all bloggers.

Alas, not all bloggers have “First Amendment rights” for the simple reason that we are not all American. Where I live, there is no “anti-SLAPP legislation”, and there is not even legislation recognizing that the public good requires the free and unhindered scrutiny of those who choose to involve themselves in public affairs. Several responsible UK bloggers in recent months have had either to edit or to remove posts due to bullying legal demands, and in one case blogs were pulled by their webhost at the behest of a controversial billionaire (click “Silencer of the Blogs” button on the right for further details). Interestingly, among those dishing out the threats is at least one supposed “libertartarian” – the blogger Paul Staines, whose attack on Pickled Politics is dicussed here.

Silverstein adds:

The judge understood the important of protecting speech on an issue as critical and controversial as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict…

Indeed.

(Hat tip: Jews Sans Frontieres)

12 Responses

  1. Leftist, America-bashing and Self-hating Jew Richard Silverstein gets a legal kick in the pants:
    http://www.saneworks.us/Leftist-Americabashing-and-Selfhating-Jew-Richard-Silverstein-gets-a-legal-kick-in-the-pants-newsblog-2437.htm

  2. Given the rhetoric of that piece – “Silverstein and Hamas most certainly deserve one another” – it seems to me that certain people can dish it out but can’t take it.

  3. I guess you too, Richard Bartholomew, is a Hamas admirer and supporter like your friend RS. I wonder what you would say if you carefully read the appeal court ruling –. that’s portrays your friend, RS, even worse. Double check it.. Next time don’t t rush to parade your friend’s ‘victory’!

  4. No, I’m in no way an “admirer” or “supporter” of Hamas.

    Interesting that when Silverstein writes something he puts his full name to it, while you hide behind internet anonymity.

  5. Like Richard Bartholomew, I don’t support Hamas either. But hey, David Yerushalmi, who runs SANEWORKS, and whoever this Joel is never bothered to let facts stand in their way before. Why should they start now?

    I wear the abuse and insults of people like them with pride. The rest of the world knows them to be lies which only show how loony they and their views are.

    Justice has by no means run its course on this one.

  6. And for a far different analysis of the ruling, please read one written by a leading expert in cyber law who works at Harvard’s Berkman Center.

  7. The contrast between the two articles is telling – SANEWORKS is abusive and rambling, while Citizen Media Law is measured and puts the story in the context of relevant case precedents.

  8. Interesting that when Silverstein writes something he puts his full name to it, while you hide behind internet anonymity.

    “Joel” is not really Joel at all, but Neuwirth herself. Why she can’t fess up that she’s shilling for herself all over the web is beyond me. As Richard B. wrote, I don’t hide behind a sock puppet whether things go for or agin’ me. For some strange reason, she can’t stand behind herself.

  9. Dealing with two loony Richards, is certainty enough crap by itself. Both of you are shameful to humanity at all. Common sense does not reside in any of your cells. Shame on both of you for supporting and emboldening those who would decapitate you in no time given the chance. Go ahead and hand the rope to those who would hang you.

    Yes, we read Sam Bayard’s analysis but he ain’t getting it either. Read comments below in his article.

  10. I notice you are complaining that I didn’t put my full name and suggest I am Ms. Neuwirth, ha..ha..ha.. But this site present the low life too.just like creepy RS..

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