American Spectator Magazine Deletes All Mentions Of Brett Kimberlin Following Apparent Settlement

from the why? dept

We recently wrote about the Brett Kimberlin saga — which is long and involved, and which we’d avoided jumping into for a long time, given how complex and nutty it was. If you’re not familiar with it, go back and read that post to catch up on it, but the super short version is that Kimberlin has been suing a lot of people, in large part because he doesn’t like the way they’re characterizing his past. And he’s more or less indicated that he intends to tie people up in court for as long as possible, leading some to put out calls to have him declared a vexatious litigant. Most of the folks he’s sued are fighting back, and so far are winning (easily), but apparently the publication The American Spectator not only caved in and likely settled, but it appears to have also deleted all stories from its site about Kimberlin. That seems exceptionally questionable. Pretty much everyone who’s looked at these cases has said that Kimberlin has little legal leg to stand on. Many of his legal claims could be summed up as “those people said stuff about me that makes me look bad, and I don’t like it.”

It was pretty clear that the American Spectator settled when Kimberlin filed to dismiss the charges against the publication with prejudice, which usually suggests the parties worked out a settlement. But to then completely remove all stories that mention Kimberlin entirely raises questions about what sort of standard the American Spectator has concerning its own journalistic integrity. I will admit that I know little about the publication, and don’t recall ever having read anything there, but given Kimberlin’s lack of success in court to date, it’s difficult to see why a publication like that would agree to settle in this manner.

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Comments on “American Spectator Magazine Deletes All Mentions Of Brett Kimberlin Following Apparent Settlement”

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18 Comments
That One Guy (profile) says:

No questions

But to then completely remove all stories that mention Kimberlin entirely raises questions about what sort of standard the American Spectator has concerning its own journalistic integrity.

That would be ‘none’, they have no journalistic integrity, or at least, not any more.

Not writing any more stories on the lawsuit happy moron is one thing, but to go back and remove any stories about him? He clearly got a complete and total victory here, and meanwhile, they have just stated loud and clear that if anyone doesn’t like what the magazine says about them, just threaten them with a lawsuit and they’ll fold like wet paper.

Anonymous Coward says:

The basic reasoning that I’ve seen put forward is that AS apparently functions of a shoestring budget, and cannot really afford the legal representation needed to pay for winning even a slam dunk case. Not being able to afford to fight, they’ve chosen instead to cave and walk away.

This general idea is part of the whole strategy behind Kimberlain’s lawfare. Even if he has little or no chance of winning, as a pro-se litigant it’s costing him little to press the lawsuits, and inflicts legal fees on others to defend themselves.

The strategy isn’t working out so well against some of the defendants, as some are defending themselves pro-se, and doing a good bit better at it than Kimberlain himself. Others have gotten good pro-bono representation.

But in the case of AS, at least, Kimberlain’s strategy appears to have worked out.

Anonymous Coward says:

There is a lot of lawfare going on these days with completely baseless suits against Governors in WI (where the prosecutors are on the verge of losing their official immunity for their actions) and TX, with suits against bloggers and publishers, with suits against climate skeptics etc…

What all of these have in common is that they are intended to sideline or shut up those who are the targets of the suits. Having lost the battle of ideas in an open marketplace these people resort to trying to achieve through force, in the form of court rulings, what they could not gain by legitimate means such as persuasion or reason.

They don’t even have to win since the process is the punishment and you can ruin your opponent if you have deeper pockets or are pro se and willing to devote your time to it as is the case with Kimberlin who is quoted as saying something to the effect that he will never stop suing those he just lost his case against. And it was a directed verdict by they way where the judge ruled he had not presented any evidence at all to put before the jury. Think about that. A year of wrangling and legal expense where there was no evidence of wrongdoing whatsoever.

People forget that Obamacare passed because one Senator was removed by a completely bogus set of charges that were alleged against him. But exoneration took years and the damage was done. This is a very effective tactic.

It has gotten so bad that we now live in a country where a man who made a politically inconvenient video was hunted down and jailed just so the current regime would have a scapegoat for one of its failures. So it is not exaggerating things at all to say that the First Amendment is under attack on many fronts.

Given this climate of fear and intimidation it is incumbent on everyone to stand up when challenged. The American Spectator failed to do this and its actions will only embolden those who have caused this problem. Thus they are dead to me.

conor says:

Re: Re: Re:

No, it was one vote in the Senate, and that was using a questionable parliamentary procedure. But it passed nonetheless. The real question is, why would anyone support this mess, no matter what side of the debate you’re on? I presume you mean you support Wwhat people promis d it would be, not what it actually is.

Rocco Maglio (profile) says:

Re: Re: ACA Obamacare passed filibuster by one vote

ACA (Obamacare) passed the Senate filibuster (60) by one vote in the Senate on a party line vote. This is why when Scott Brown won they had to use the once a year budgetary exception on the bill in conference. The Senator he is referring to is Ted Stevens, apparently there was issue with the prosecution coaching one witness and hiding another witness. The judge at the time said it was some of the most egregious behavior he had ever seen by a prosecutor.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: ACA

In my experience, there are two main threads of dislike for the ACA. In one, the dislike is related to the general hatred of taxation. In the other, the dislike is because it effectively cements the insurance companies into the system.

I’m in the latter camp, personally. I think the ACA makes actual meaningful reform much, much more difficult to pull off. However, given that the way health care has operated in the US is, without question, totally broken and that the ACA does, in fact, mitigate some (but by no means all) of the problems — in addition to the fact that people are suffering and dying right now because of the awfulness of our health care system, this is a fight I’m largely on the sidelines of. In effect, we’re sacrificing tomorrow to try to take care of today. Sometimes, that’s the only thing that can be done.

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