I don't think you do justice to the article in question. According to the piece, Hale claimed the company had threatened her life and violated state identity theft laws. Most people and/or business entities do not take such disparagment lightly, for good reasons. Further. these accusations were not made on her blog, but in comments on adult websites.
It seems to me that Hale doesn't like the business the company is in (software for XXX websites) or has a beef with the company itself and used the shield law defense when she got called on the carpet. I'm not sure how she can refuse to name her sources in regard to her claim that her life was threatened. Regardless, if we're going to assign journalism status to the comments field of an adult messageboard, then darn near anyone who has ever posted anything online is a member of the press. I don't think the spirit of the law in question was ever meant to be that broad.
Again, reading the judge's comments, I think he is endeavoring to determine the appropriate balance between true journalism and wanton rants and he has little precedent to help guide him. He may not be the most computer savvy person in the country, but I didn't get the impression that he is some dunderheaded old fogey who don't understand them newfangled computer thingies and ruled willy-nilly.
When I speak of rights, I don't always mean Constitutional rights. Every time the word "right" is used in reference to one's freedoms, liberties, protections, etc., it isn't necessarily spelled out in the Constitution. You need to learn to make the distinction.
We have these things called "laws" and some of them grant us legal rights. A person is within his legal rights to sue a slanderer if he can prove the action meets the legal standard. A property owner has the right to build a structure on his land within limits. These may not be Constitutionally protected rights, but the terminology is the same. Sorry if I confused you...I'll use smaller words next time.
Interestingly, you don't seem to be taking the others on this board to task for their claim that Palin (acting as a private citizen in this matter) is attempting to abridge the freedom of the press through legal means, but I guess that's to be expected.
Regardless, Palin was not the presidential nominee, and all this blather about how she'd be the leader of the free world had she won is an exercise in fantasy. McCain would be in charge, not Palin, and all your talk of "he's as good as dead!" doesn't change that, no matter how much you want it to.
"Ahh so unfortunate, you were doing so well until the last sentence when you showed you don't even know what the first amendment is."
Oh, please. If I have to connect the dots for you, I will. The doctrine of freedom of speech sourced in Amendment I is the foundation for the prohibition of libelous statements and, by extension, provides the basis for redress against such action. Palin is asserting her right to freedom from slander and her willingness to use the courts to attain satisfaction should her rights be violated.
Far from "shutting up anyone who does not agree with you or who says something about you that you do not like," Palin, by my reading of her attorney's letter, is asserting her right to be protected from slanderous statements. A bit proactively and arguably overzealously, but given the nasty treatment she's received from the craven cheap-shotters on the left, not surprising.
Put simply in deference to you, Jack, slander is a first amendment issue and Palin's endeavor to preempt it is also within her rights to speak freely. Period.
"If anything Palin is trying to violate others 1st amendment rights, mainly freedom of speech and freedom of the press"
That is absurd. There is no first amendment protection for spreading false information. This statement appears in the second paragraph of the letter from Palin's attorneys:
"...several unscrupulous people have asserted false and defamatory allegations that the “real” reasons for Governor Palin’s resignation stem from an alleged criminal investigation pertaining to the construction of the Wasilla Sports Complex."
This is the premise upon which the letter is based. Notice the word "false". It is not a violation of anyone's first amendment rights to prevent them from creating, repeating or propagating lies. If members of the press, bloggers or print, wish to report on corruption and illegality, they have to be able to prove the veracity of their charges or be prepared to face legal remedies. That is the law.
It appears to me that the context of this blog is more concerned with circling the wagons 'round Anonymous Cowards and others who want to strike from a safe distance, when it should be concerned with the truth. If Gov. Palin is guilty of wrongdoing, that should be discovered and determined through due process, not the idle speculation of bloggers whose real motivation is not justice, but ideology. I would like to see a vigorous defense of Palin's rights to battle her detractors should they be lying rather than another "We can do whatever we want! We're on the Internets!" piece.
"anyone with two brain cells to rub together knows that "Hockey Mom" is not an appropriate leader of the most powerful country in the world"
Your response is so typical of left-wing misinformation. Palin was not running for President, or don't you remember that? If her ticket had won, John McCain would be leader of the free world. And please spare me the "one heartbeat away" line so often repeated by left wing ventrilquist dummies. I'd thank you to use your mind and assemble your own thoughts.
All the nasty little barbs about Palin being "thin-skinned" or worse are typical of today's left. We no longer have a debate on issues of policy or ideology. Instead, we have anonymous school children calling names and spinning tales from behind mommy's virtual skirt. Ad hominem, mysogyny, elitist rants - all are standard fare and are tolerated, nay indulged, by people who immediately hate a person simply because her politics do not jibe with their own.
Sarah Palin ran for Vice President a year ago. She was savaged as if she were running for president and subjected to a level of ridicule and spit-in-one's-face vitriol that her RUNNING MATE'S opponent never saw even a tenth of. That man, who ultimately won the presidency, has made a shambles of the US economy and of foreign policy, still the HuffPo klatsch can't quit focusing on Palin's wardrobe or children. Sarah's team lost, but the left can't resist kicking a woman when she's down. It's a level of cowardice that is usually manifested in adolescent cliques, and it's pitiful.
I don't know if a preemptory threat is the wisest PR move, but defamation is defamation, and just because a twentysomething manchild who blogs from mommy's basement and gets his political views from movie stars and MTV does it, it's no more protected than if the New York Times printed it. It's called libel and it is black letter law. My reading is that Palin's attorneys put the press on notice that if they report untrue rumor as fact (i.e. libel her), there will be consequences. AND THERE SHOULD BE.
Predictably, we'll see the typical inarticulate responses to the Palin tactic, like calling her (and I quote) "a pathetic piece of sh*t", because for all their bloviation about how erudite their side is, all the liberals can muster is to call names and print defamatory rumors about their opponents. This is the absolute best they can do. They won in November, but they can't even win with class.
I have my issues with Palin, especially not fulfilling her term. If she ran for an office, she should complete her duty to the citizens of Alaska. However, I will not tell people to "get f*cking real" or attack her looks or her family. And if I post a defaming statement on the internet, you can be DAMN sure I'll back it up with rock solid facts. Would that the owner of this blog be as concerned about Palin's 1st amendment rights as he is about the right of ill-informed bloggers to mouth off recklessly and anonymously, results be damned.