Breitbart, You Magnificent Bastard! You Read Their Book!

Let this be a lesson to all: don’t cross with Andrew Breitbart. He won’t destroy you. No, he’ll just enable you to utterly destroy yourself. And you won’t be able to stop yourself.

Well, Creepy Joe McGinniss’ stalker’s-eye-view of Sarah Palin is out, and – as expected – it’s filled with anonymous reports, scurrilous rumors, and unsourced allegations. And, as expected, it’s having no effect whatsoever – the only people giving it any real weight were already heavily anti-Palin, and her supporters recognize it as a smear piece – an expensive and shoddy one, no less.

And Creepy Joe and his publisher, Random House, did a good job of keeping the book just this side of running afoul of libel laws. I once had good reason to know a bit about libel laws (an editor of my college newspaper), and while I’m no lawyer, I do recall enough of the key words and concepts to recognize them when they’re brushed up against.

Should Palin want to seek recompense over the falsehoods in the book, she would have several very high hurdles before she could win a judgment – and even then, to see a single penny. In my slightly-more-than-a-layman’s view, here are the elements that stand in her way:

Public Figure: Sarah Palin is, indisputably, a public figure. The bar for libeling a public figure is much, much higher than a private citizen.

Reckless Disregard For The Truth: Simply being wrong isn’t enough to qualify for libel. You have to show that a reasonable person would have known it was wrong, and that the would-be libeler made no effort whatsoever to find out the truth – they had their story, and they stuck with it even though they should have known it was doubtful at best.


Original source.

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