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The Rorshach Test Of The Covington Catholic Boy's DC Encounter Now Extends To Bogus Lawsuits And Confidential Settlements

from the everyone-sees-what-they-want-to-see dept

Buckle up folks, because this story takes a few twists and turns, and some of them may make you angry — though I hope people will hold back their kneejerk reactions, because that kind of thing is what created this mess in the first place.

As you probably recall, a year ago, there was a whole viral media shitstorm regarding an encounter in Washington DC between some kids from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky, Native American activist Nathan Phillips, and a bunch of other people, including members of a group known as the Black Israelites, who appeared to be egging everyone on. A first video that made the viral rounds on Twitter just showed the encounter between CCH student Nick Sandmann, clad in a red MAGA hat, and staring down Phillips who was banging a drum. Later videos added in more context, including the Black Israelites and their role in the whole thing. One of the points a few people raised is that your interpretation of the whole thing is very much a Rorschach test for what you already believe. You can reasonably argue that people completely misrepresented the encounter and you can reasonably argue that they did not.

It is a subjective issue. You see it through your own context and experiences, and it comes down to each and everyone’s opinion. I’d personally argue that there was a little bit of truth in nearly all of the viewpoints, and not having the entire context is not akin to false statements, but rather simply not having the full picture. As more context was added, many people changed their views, and that’s cool too.

But given that these are subjective opinions, the idea that one might sue over them is simply batshit insane. And yet, people rushed to sue. In particular, we highlighted how the CCH student at the center of all of this sued the Washington Post, and later both NBC and CNN, for their coverage. Sandmann was represented by L. Lin Wood and Todd McMurtry. (For what it’s worth, Wood recently lost that high profile defamation case against Elon Musk on behalf of cave diver Vern Unsworth). We found little in the lawsuits to be compelling, and were not at all surprised when a judge tossed out the one against the Washington Post, noting that everything they published was protected by the 1st Amendment. However, that case has been reinstated on fairly narrow grounds, following an amended complaint that targets some very specific language used by the Post. I’d still be surprised if he won, but the more narrow claims do at least have slightly more validity to them, especially if the court agrees that Sandmann is not a public figure (which would lower the bar for a defamation claim).

Earlier this week, news broke that CNN and Sandmann had agreed to settle that complaint — and once again we had a bit of a Rorschach test. The terms of the settlement appear to be totally confidential, which is disappointing, but not at all uncommon. It is, in fact, possible that no money exchanged hands at all. However, many people who support Sandmann are insisting that this is vindication for him, even if that’s not at all clear. Some are even saying that CNN must have paid “in the millions.” Again, no information on the settlement is public, and to say that this was vindication or to speculate on any settlement amount seems ridiculous — especially given that the entire thrust of the lawsuit was about news media commenting on issues without knowing the full details or context of the story.

But the story then got even stranger. Because on Wednesday, PJ Media had a headline trumpeting that author Reza Aslan would “face the music” for tweeting that Sandmann had “a punchable face.” Already that should have raised alarm bells, because there is literally nothing at all defamatory in saying someone has “a punchable face.” PJ Media — who at times pretends to support free speech — acted as though this was a legitimate lawsuit. Of course, tellingly, even though they said they had a copy of the complaint, reporter Tyler O’Neil did not link to or publish the lawsuit. Perhaps because it’s utter and complete garbage. You can read it here.

It was actually filed last August. And here’s where we’ll go back a bit. Right after the original Sandmann incident, we had noted that infamously silly lawyer Robert Barnes, who has filed multiple trollish lawsuits that have flopped spectacularly, announced that he would represent any of the Covington kids pro bono in filing lawsuits.

Yet, you will note that Sandmann’s lawsuits were not filed with Barnes as his lawyer, but Lin Wood and Todd McMurtry. However, the lawsuit that PJ Media was trumpeting, about a comment on Sandmann, was filed by Barnes. So this lead to some head scratching. Had Sandmann retained both lawyers for different cases? The answer is no. Barnes simply filed lawsuits on behalf of the Covington kids as John Does.

It’s not even clear that any of the Covington kids are actual clients of his. They may be, but the filing doesn’t confirm that this is actually true. And the key Covington kid, Sandmann, has made it absolutely clear that he is not a Barnes’ client, and that this lawsuit is obviously bullshit — because with regards to Aslan’s statement, it only references Sandmann (and his allegedly “punchable face”) rather than any of the other Covington kids:

If you’re unable to see that image, it’s Sandmann asking Barnes on Twitter:

… would you like to explain why you?re suing for me without my permission? You?ve blocked my lawyers on twitter and now claim you?re suing over the Reza Aslan tweet? Retract and stop lying to the public.

Yes. Barnes can claim all he wants that he?s filed it on behalf of the covington kids but we both know that isn?t true. Reza?s tweet references only one kid, and i take up a majority of the picture. The article he even linked (now deleted) stated this.

It clearly states it?s about me in the title!

And we’re not done with the strangeness yet. The lawsuit itself was filed last August. So why was it making news now? Because Aslan just deleted that tweet. Why did he just delete that tweet now, a year later? Because Barnes only just now served Aslan:

It’s unclear why Aslan even bothered to delete the tweet, other than perhaps a kneejerk reaction upon being served. There’s nothing defamatory at all in what he said. The lawsuit itself is ridiculous. Beyond Aslan, there are a bunch of other plaintiffs who merely stated various opinions about Sandmann (mostly, rather than the supposed “John Does”). Aslan’s co-defendants include Elizabeth Warren, who tweeted “Omaha elder and Vietnam War veteran Nathan Phillips endured hateful taunts with dignity and strength, then urged us all to do better.” What’s defamatory about that? Barnes’ suit claims that she “omitted the true facts.” But that’s not how defamation works. Other defendants include NY Times reporter Maggie Haberman, ABC News commentator Matthew Dowd, Mother Jones Editor-in-Chief Clara Jeffery, historian Kevin Kruse and more. None of what any of them said was defamatory.

And, again, the entire lawsuit is completely laughable, and it’s not even clear who Barnes’ clients really are. Yet, when PJ Media (and Barnes) framed it in a way that suggested to people that the lawsuit against Aslan (who supposedly is going to “face the music”) was on behalf of Sandmann, the Rorschach test continued, with tons and tons of Sandmann’s supporters cheering on a nonsense lawsuit. Indeed, some of the commentators even appear to believe that the CNN settlement was done by Barnes:





It goes on like that for a lot longer, but you get the idea. Notice that basically all of them are doing exactly what Barnes and Sandmann/Wood/McMurtry are suing over: commenting enthusiastically about a story where they only know a small piece of the details, and possibly have the large crux of the situation wrong. Particularly silly is that many of those commenters egging on a completely bogus attack on free speech pretend to be “free speech supporters.”

And, of course, then Sandmann’s actual lawyer Lin Wood had to go on Twitter and demand that Barnes cease and “correct his prior false statements.” It includes what appears to be a threat to take legal action:

Again, here’s the text if you can’t view the screenshot:

Nicholas Sandmann has many legitimate defamation cases remaining for resolution through litigation. @ToddMcMurtry & I prefer to focus on those matters & not be forced to take legal action against another lawyer but Robert E. Barnes crosses line with his claims about Nicholas.

Barnes has been previously warned to stop publicly suggesting or stating that he represents Nicholas. In response, Barnes ?blocked? @ToddMcMurtry & me on Twitter. Barnes apparently cannot control his desire to garner publicity by falsely using Nicholas? name.

For those who can access @Barnes_Law & support his legal efforts for others, please remind him that he cannot ?block? a formal demand letter, a civil complaint, or an ethics complaint. I hope he finally gets the message.

If Barnes does not cease publishing & then correct his prior false statements, Nicholas? attorneys are fully prepared to take legal action against him. So Barnes can take the easy way out or he will get out the hard way – we will sue him. His choice.

Later, Wood (hilariously) claimed that Barnes is “on the right side of CovCath issue.” Which, uh, no.

But, once again, this is all a form of a Rorschach test, and everyone seems to view the story through their own particular prism — as did all of the initial commenters that Wood/Sandmann/Barnes/whoever are suing. And that’s why all of those lawsuits are such bullshit. People reacting to news is not defamation. People not having the full context is not defamation. People expressing their opinion, or explaining how they view things, is not defamation. And the people who have responded to all of the news this week are doing exactly the same thing they seem to think others should be sued over.

So, maybe, just maybe, the best thing here would be stop filing so many bullshit defamation lawsuits, and recognize that free speech sometimes includes speech we don’t like, and that includes people not fully understanding the context. But, of course, that’s not going to happen. Indeed, Sandmann’s other lawyer, Todd McMurtry has instead promised to get back to suing more people:

Sigh.

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Comments on “The Rorshach Test Of The Covington Catholic Boy's DC Encounter Now Extends To Bogus Lawsuits And Confidential Settlements”

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244 Comments
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That One Guy (profile) says:

Lovely standards there

Argue that ‘they have a punchable face’ is worthy of a lawsuit, while dishonestly using the ‘victim’ of that as a prop for attention, despite them and their actual lawyer telling them to stop. The only thing sadder than that pathetic play for attention is that it apparently worked on a good number of gullible people.

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Khym Chanur (profile) says:

Not the "punchable face" statement that's the issue

From what I understand, what Robert Barnes filed doesn’t claim that "punchable face" is defamatory. Rather, it claims that the tweet which contained "punchable face" also was a retweet of a news article about the Covington Catholic High School encounter, and retweeting a news article implies that everything in that news article is true, and thus Reza Aslan is liable for defamation for all the statements in the news article. Which is as least as absurd, if not more, than saying that "punchable face" is defamatory.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Not the "punchable face" statement that's the issue

You would think so. But even here on TD the regulars here in the comments section twist the opposite direction when it’s on a topic with which they disagree. It seems this is just human nature, as mentioned in the article above:

commenting enthusiastically about a story where they only know a small piece of the details, and possibly have the large crux of the situation wrong

We are (almost) all afflicted by this, not just the nutjobs on the fringes.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Confusing at first...

yeah, it takes a very close read of the article to decipher the main point.
Apparently there are three points:

  • the original Sandmann/Phillips encounter can not ever be described objectivly, even by neutral observers of the entire event — only subjective opinions of the event can exist anywhere.
  • Barnes is a sleazebag lawyer
  • there should be less defamation lawsuits

(no mention of libel/slander/defamation laws themselves or why they should/shouldn’t exist in present form and process)

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Confusing at first...

the <insert event here> encounter can not ever be described objectivly, even by neutral observers of the entire event — only subjective opinions of the event can exist anywhere

This is true of every event everywhere that ever happened or will happen. The moment you apply a description to the event you introduce your bias, and we all have bias. Descriptions and summaries are, by nature, subjective.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Confusing at first...

"Reasonable people can disagree on how reasonable…"

No, reasonable people analyze the causes of any disagreement and seek the truth.

‘Reason’ means logical, rational, factual and analytic thought.

claiming that heavily biased subjective opinion is reasonable … is transparent nonsense.
invoking the 1st Amendment to excuse false news reporting is also transparent nonsense.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4

invoking the 1st Amendment to excuse false news reporting

The reporting on the situation involving the Covington students was incomplete, not “false”. Reporters did what they do when a breaking news story hits their desk: They wrote about the facts they had at the time. When more facts came to light, journalists reported those facts as well. Being right is more important than being first, but someone’s still gotta be first.

If you can point to a single part of the reporting from either CNN or WaPo that was a 100% factually false statement based on a complete set of facts and not a statement of opinion or statements made with an incomplete set of facts, do it. If you can’t, don’t call it “false reporting”. Call it “sharing an opinion” or “incomplete reporting” instead.

And yes, the First Amendment protects opinions and incomplete reporting. That’s more than I can say for you, apparently.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

The initial reporting on the situation involving the Covington students was absolutely false.

The media’s lmmediate, collective condemnation of Sandmann and his classmates was overwhelming, based merely upon a brief cherry picked video snippet/photo and a totally false narrative concocted by politicql activist Phillips.

CNN/NBC/Washpost blithely rushed to condemn Sandmann even though the full 2 hour exculpatoryvideo was available, as was the extensive news documentation of Phillips as an extremely unreliable witness.
The media deliberately ignored any serious journalistic look at the available facts.

1st Amendment is a legal restriction on "Government" interference with speech — not some general protection against criticism for false speech and lies.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6

I know Mike already eviscerated you, but I’m always happy to kick a troll while they’re down. ????

The initial reporting on the situation involving the Covington students was absolutely false.

Prove it.

The media’s [i]mmediate, collective condemnation of Sandmann and his classmates was overwhelming, based merely upon a brief cherry picked video snippet/photo and a totally false narrative concocted by politic[a]l activist Phillips.

In the specific context of the defamation claims: So what? The media is allowed to express opinions in addition to reporting facts. The condemnations of the Covington students — which Mike correctly notes are opinions — came about because of incomplete reporting. They’re not outright lies that rise to the level of slander.

As for that comment about Phillips: The Covington students were there to attend the pro-life/anti-abortion March for Life rally. In the context of that situation, what does that make those students?

CNN/NBC/Washpost blithely rushed to condemn Sandmann even though the full 2 hour exculpatory[ ]video was available, as was the extensive news documentation of Phillips as an extremely unreliable witness.

That equals defamation…how, exactly?

The media deliberately ignored any serious journalistic look at the available facts.

And we can thus condemn the media for its mistakes and adjust our views of those outlets accordingly. But…

1st Amendment is a legal restriction on "Government" interference with speech — not some general protection against criticism for false speech and lies.

…what nobody can (or should be able) to do is use the courts as a means of silencing media outlets for saying things somebody doesn’t like. That includes opinions based on an incomplete set of facts.

And besides, you can’t separate bias from journalism. Someone must decide what to publish, what to distill out of the mass of available data, and what facts to check. You can say the people who reported on this situation first did some shoddy reporting because of their biases. I won’t begrudge you that opinion. But you can’t seriously suggest that all biases should be left at the door before a journalist enters the room. Not only is doing so impossible, but even if it were, it would ultimately be the end of Fox News.

You can find media outlets with as little bias as possible. But their biases will still sneak into their reporting. To believe otherwise is to believe a load of bullshit…in which case, I suggest you keep watching Fox News, since that seems like your kind of media outlet.

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bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Confusing at first...

That’s based on hindsight after all the facts are in.

Reasonable people could disagree on how much information needed to be gathered before reporting as there’s no telling how long it would take before all facts on a situation become available or even if all relevant information and reports can be obtained. When is a good time to publish your first report on a story is highly subjective, as is the amount and kind of research necessary for that initial report.

Furthermore, when the information available is incomplete, which conclusions to draw is also highly subjective. It will largely consist of opinions. (And choosing to wait before drawing any conclusions is not the only reasonable choice.)

Besides, all opinions are based on bias and subjectivity (that’s why their opinions and not facts), yet some opinions are reasonable. “Reasonable” doesn’t necessarily mean “factual”, “analytic”, or “rational”, and it can include elements besides logic.

Finally, reasonableness is not a black-and-white thing. Not only is it subjective, there are many degrees of reasonableness between “unavoidable”, “logical”, “unreasonable”, and “completely ridiculous”. Some things may be more reasonable than others, even if both are reasonable or neither are reasonable.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2

we all dwell in a mystical world with no objective reality that can be observed and reported?

The United States military, under the orders of the Commander-in-Chief, killed Qasem Soleimani, an Iranian Major General in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, via drone strike on the 3rd of January 2020. This is an objective fact.

Whether you consider the killing to be justified/morally righteous, or whether you consider the killing to be a political assassination, is subjective opinion. The biases we bring to the table will always affect how we interpret a given event. You can’t be unbiased, no matter how hard you try.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

It’s actually not objective fact that they killed him. It’s objective fact that they triggered a series of events that may have contributed to his death, but they didn’t, in fact, actually kill him. Since you’re such an anal-retentive pedant, I knew you’d appreciate the correction.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Confusing at first...

"This is true of every event everywhere that ever happened or will happen."

Because there is an ass in every crowd? Some like to go out of their way just to be a thorn in side of others, some like to watch the world burn. Does that really mean that the rest of us cannot communicate as a result?

No Name says:

At this point news organizations can use shoddy journalism as a defense against irresponsible reporting causing harm to someone. Until the actual truth came out, these kids faced multiple death threats and fear of harm, not to mention just being treated like pariahs. They really didn’t ask for any of this. News organizations just really don’t care because reputation these days means far less than the narrative that they are trying to push.

So when does this shoddy reporting cross the line? At what point can someone really claim damages for actual harm caused by a news organization just not caring enough to do basic research to verify a story?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

If person A paints a target on someone, and persons B-Z shoot at the victim specifically because there’s a target painted on them, who bears the greatest responsibility for the harm done? Sane logic says it’s the painter. With great power (and influence!) comes great responsibility, and when that power is abused, they must be held responsible.

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bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

At best, you described reckless endangerment or speech directly causing or threatening imminent violence. That would not be defamation. Defamation doesn’t follow the same standard as those.

Also, I would still say in that particular scenario, persons B-Z still bear more responsibility because they shouldn’t be firing at anyone just because a target was painted on them. Don’t fire at people unless you’re in the military and are ordered to, in self-defense, or there is no other option. Sure, person A should also bear some responsibility for increasing the risk, but I wouldn’t say it’s the majority of the responsibility. So that’s just a bad example, anyway. Not only is it a poor metaphor for this situation, it doesn’t even prove your point.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

just look at what happens to people like andy ngo and you will see a pattern that the left shuts down speech that they dont like with violence. So when people receive death threats from these same people, you must take it seriously.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

its on video. Its obvious that you are so arrogant that you have the same thought process as these types of people: "I don’t agree with them, so they deserve what they get from violent people." The arrogance stems from the fact that you can’t fathom that you just aren’t right. You must equate those who don’t share your view of the world with evil. We no longer live in a world where people say "I don’t agree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it". We no longer can have an honest debate, because those on one side don’t have reason behind what they believe, only emotion. It is a religion to many, because they have nothing else to believe in.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5

You can disagree with/mock someone’s opinions and still defend their right to express those opinions. This isn’t a zero sum situation.

Also:

those on one side don’t have reason behind what they believe, only emotion

You mean like American Christians who think government neutrality towards all religions is an attack on Christianity? Or conservatives who use anti-LGBT rhetoric like “cis people will try to say ‘I’m trans’ to get into bathrooms and rape people” without a shred of evidence to back it up?

Your comment reeks of someone who wants to whine about liberals and “SJWs” and “politically correct snowflakes”. Just remember: Your “side” isn’t walking on water any better than my “side”.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Just because one side uses violence to silence speech that they dont agree with and justifying it by equating the people who believe that with Nazis, doesnt make it right.

…wait, are you talking about the groups associated with the hateful bastard that rammed a car into a crowd of people counterprotesting those groups and killed Heather Heyer as a result?

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Why do you assume everyone’s experience includes choosing to be on a side? How many sides are there? More than two? Who’s side are you on? Why? Did your side do something good for you? Did the other side do something bad to you? Which side is winning? I like both sides: mashed potatoes and stuffing. Gotta pick a team, I suppose… or not.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2

The GOP built anti-LGBT positions into its overall platform. That generally excludes LGBT people.

The DNC built pro-LGBT positions into its overall platform. That generally excludes those who hate LGBT people.

The platform of a political party will always have parts that exclude people — or at least make people who disagree with those parts feel excluded. To believe otherwise is to believe a lie.

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Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

They are high school students, so proclaiming they were displaying exclusionary beliefs seems like it is you who is projecting your views on to others.

A MAGA hat is a MAGA hat, buddy. Unless his mom is still picking out his outfits, he put it on knowing exactly what it means and what it announces to other people.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Keep commenting like you are and even diehard TD fans will see you for the bias you harbor.

These are teenagers from KY on a field trip to the big city. I rather doubt they gave any thought to the hats that obviously set you off (why is anybody’s guess given you do not even live in the US) other than their value as souvenirs.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

One can easily form an opinion of someone who displays their own opinion on their head, whether or not they chose consciously to display it at that particular time or not.

Not sure what it has to do with anything. Maybe you also missed the fact that we agree with said teenager that some fuckwit lawyer not connected with him in any way should stop filing cases claiming to represent said teenager? Because it sure seems like you are the one with the prejudices and preconceptions, and wanting to make some left/right bullshit out of it.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Bro they weren’t on a field trip. They were from a high priced private school come to protest against abortion. Please at least try not to lie about the most basic facts about this story before you lie about their motives.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

You mean they are not treated like pariahs and receiving threats now? Or they are just converting that to possible cash and further popularity with the same sort of folks with whom they were popular with since the incident?

This is the hilarious thing about defamation: It’s more like going after representatives of the sort of people who feel one way about something, while the other half of the public supports the putatively defamed person under the guise that they were defamed, but really because they are on board with the thing which is supposedly defamatory.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

The kid was 17. I have a 17 year old, I cant imagine the headaches that family must have gone through. I’m sure you were so quick to criticize anyone saying anything negative about thunburg who put herself in the spotlight. Yet, this kid deserves what he gets because you dont agree with him…right.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Uh, what even?

What did the kid get? Settlements? Did he deserve them? IDK.

I didn’t say anything about Thunberg. If people threaten her or Sandmann, they are asses and that is possibly actionable, but not defamation. If they are irrationally mocked, the people doing that are also asshats. The media isn’t an ass for just showing what they know about them, however.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

It’s a single frame cherry-picked from a video. If I had a video of you, carrying on a perfectly normal conversation with a friend for one minute, I could pick and choose single frames to make you look anything from serene to outraged to hateful to joyous to mentally retarded to smug, simply because people’s mouths and faces go through a broad range of motions to do even simple tasks while speaking.

This is one of the oldest, simplest dirty political tricks in the book. Why? Because it works, because idiots like you keep falling for it.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Whether I agree with what Sandmann did, or how it was characterized, or how he reacted to the broader sociopolitical reaction of what he did, is ultimately irrelevant. The most well-known (and thus ultimately relevant) image of Sandmann from that day is of him flashing a smile that makes him look like a smug asshole. I will use that fact any way I see fit. Your anger at my doing so will not stop me.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

What is the contingency when there is no contingency?

If Barnes is suing on behalf of the Covington 8, yet does not actually represent the Covington 8 (therefore no agreement to share any winnings) how does he intend to get paid? If he wins, the winnings would go to his ‘clients’ and without a contingency agreement would have no legal claim to any of those winnings.

Shel10 (profile) says:

Sandman Lawsuits

I can’t agree with this article. Nick Sandman was not a public figure at the time of the event. He was made a public figure based on the content of the Washington Post article. The reporter added personal opinion to the article which lead readers to believe that Sandman was purposely challenging a Vietnam veteran. The video was edited to leave out the beginning of the event and didn’t show the Black Israelite group taunting the crowd. Sandman was staring down anyone. He was simply smiling while he was being approached.

CNN and all of the other news media made the situation worse because the simply followed the WP and the Facebook content. They never followed up to see if there was more to the story. This all resulted in Sandman and the school being harassed and threatened with physical harm.

The Judge in the WP suit had a responsibility to teach the news media a lesson about publishing on a portion of the event story. News reporters seem to forget the reporter part of their job and add personal commenting.

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Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: Sandman Lawsuits

News reporters seem to forget the reporter part of their job and add personal commenting.

If that’s an issue then it’s between reporters and their employers, and has nothing to do with the courts. The fact that you can apparently so easily distinguish between reporting and opinion/interpretation in this matter is precisely why it’s not defamation.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I’m not a lawyer.

The courts are not the place to hash out issues with philosophies on media and journalism. No judge should have the right to rule on whether the news is being done “the right way” or journalists are telling “the right story” — the right to “teach the news media a lesson”, as it were. Unless you’d like a judge to say that a journalist isn’t a “real journalist” only because of that journalist’s political leanings (which would have massive implications in re: the First Amendment), you shouldn’t be asking for judges to have that right.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: RIP all reporting

The Judge in the WP suit had a responsibility to teach the news media a lesson about publishing on a portion of the event story.

No, they most certainly did not, the judge’s responsibility started and ended on ‘are the actions the defendants are being accused of in violation of the laws they are being accused of breaking’? It is not a judge’s responsibility to ‘teach the news media’ any sort of lesson past ‘don’t break the law’, and it’s certainly not their responsibility to violate the first amendment in dictating what is and is not ‘proper reporting’.

As came up in comments in earlier article regarding the subject if you have to wait until you’ve got all the facts before reporting on something you will never be able to report on anything, because there will always be a chance for new information to come out down the line.

They reported on what they had, and while it might have been nice if they’d done their own digging before commenting they had no responsibility to do so, and certainly nothing that would rise to the level of defamation simply by reporting on what they knew and offering opinions on that.

News reporters seem to forget the reporter part of their job and add personal commenting.

‘According to this video/report Person X said/did Y’ is still reporting, even if nothing more is added, additional information they currently lack would provide more context, and/or no further investigation is done by the reporter. If you don’t like news that has the potential to include personal bias and/or commentary then stop reading news and start reading papers on mathematics.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Sandman Lawsuits

He was made a public figure based on the content of the Washington Post article.

It’s a true bummer that they were so unaware that they had no expectation of privacy in a public place. But that’s what happens when you send your children to a Catholic school in Kentucky. Too much god learning and not enough common sense.

Hugo S Cunningham (profile) says:

Caitlin Flanagan summed up the Covington story well

writing for <i>The Atlantic</i> on 2019, Jan 23.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/01/media-must-learn-covington-catholic-story/581035/

Flanagan suggested that the elite media who ran with the fake Vietnam vet’s version failed at

a concept that once went by the quaint term “journalistic
ethics.” Among other things, journalistic ethics held that
if you didn’t have the reporting to support a story, and if
that story had the potential to hurt its subjects, and if
those subjects were private citizens, and if they were
moreover minors, you didn’t run the story. You kept
reporting it; you let yourself get scooped; and you
accepted that speed is not the highest value. Otherwise,
you were the trash press.

Admittedly, however, sleazy ethics does not prove a libel lawsuit.

The term "punchable face" is an incitement to violence, aka "incitement to imminent lawless action", but that is not the same as libel. Also, the lawless action did not take place.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: Caitlin Flanagan summed up the Covington story well

The term "punchable face" is an incitement to violence, aka "incitement to imminent lawless action"

I strongly suggest you read up on how courts evaluate that definition, because you are very wrong if you think that comes anywhere close to qualifying.

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This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

What makes it extra funny is that they are the same person who just up the thread wished for the murder of Pelosi via drone strike. If those posting are ‘sick fucks’ for simply talking about whether ‘punchable face’ is an incitement of violence then they are well past that point themself.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

I’m sorry, but what is so sick about debating whether “he has a punchable face” or “someone should punch that guy” would be considered defamation or incitement to imminent lawlessness, two of the few exceptions to the First Amendment? It’s just a debated on the potential legal ramifications of one quote by someone else and another hypothetical but similar statement.

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bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Caitlin Flanagan summed up the Covington story well

No, tweeting or even saying the term “punchable face” is neither an incitement to violence nor an incitement to imminent lawless action (and those two aren’t equivalent anyway). Saying or tweeting “someone ought to punch him in the face” might be an incitement to violence, but in order to be an incitement to imminent lawless action, it would have to incite imminent violence, and that’s not it (at least not without more context).

The first thing I can think of that would be incitement to imminent lawless action would be to explicitly tell someone to “punch him in the face”.

Of course, none of those would be defamatory.

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Anonymous Coward says:

The kid does have a massively smug (punchable) face but sadly he faces some rather stiff competition. In this timeline there is the face of Ajit Pai to consider along with Trump, Laura Ingram, Janine Piro and who can forget the good old Tucker Carlson. They all make great candidates for the most punchable face in America. If we expand to the rest of the world… The possibilities are endless with Putin and kim Jong Un being really good candidates.

Can’t we just declare a tie and award them an all expenses paid one way trip to the surface of the sun? 🙂

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Anonymous Coward says:

53 statements were defamatory. 53.

53x$2M=$106M settlement.

Good for him.

He deserved it.

Public humiliation for CNN, that’s a good thing.

The best part of this is that even though CNN wanted it to be back page news, it’s front page news. Everywhere. HAHAHA!

Hopefully groups that try to ruin others will be held responsible.

This is kind of the "fightback" in this new era that President Trump has Inspired!

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Is your opinion based in whole or in part on the FACT that YOU are part of a GROUP that tries to RUIN others?

Are you dedicated to RUINING people you don’t even KNOW and never even MET?

Do you RELISH in trying to RUIN people, even though they be STRANGERS to you?

Are you SATAN, or do you worship SATAN?

Who but for SATAN could fail to CONDEMN those GROUPS that try to RUIN others?

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Esther 7:10
So they hanged Haman on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the fury of the king subsided.

Psalm 7:15
He has dug a hole and hollowed it out; he has fallen into the pit of his making.

Psalm 7:16
His trouble recoils on himself, and his violence falls on his own head.

Psalm 57:6
They spread a net for my feet; my soul was despondent. They dug a pit before me, but they themselves have fallen into it! Selah

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Bro says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Yeah!

Bro!

(bro-mouther shouts,”oooouuch!" as their AI styled bro-schtick gets its fucking face shot off like a turkeys ass in a mountain mouth shoot, with a Joe Biden shotgun® blast( in its faggoty bro mouthing fuck- face hole)

Bro-mouther says: My dildo-face mask is too tight! …

as Nazi Papa® takes a shit down that piece of shits facehole, clear to the bottom of its vapid, mommas tit dsucking, substanceless jackboots.

I would personally pop a crap in your ass if it were legal, but find joy in watching you define "what is vapid and stupid" for the win, everytime.

Clearly, thats worse than.death, by a thousand car bombs in the trunk of your kith and spawn.

And, fuck you in your tard face-yeah, its you, tardface, every time!

AC Winner®

KABLOOEY!

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Yeah, uh…I’m gonna need a citation where a court ruled that at least one of the 53 statements to which you refer were defamatory. An out-of-court settlement says nothing but “we didn’t want to keep fighting this because it’s a pain in the ass on multiple fronts”.

Also:

This is kind of the "fightback" in this new era that President Trump has Inspired!

I’m pretty sure the kind of “fighting back” Trump wants would involve beating up protestors at his political rallies or killing someone with a car during a “rally” held by a bunch of “very fine people”.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

You start to see a parallel between right-wingers and copyright enforcement-types – they think a "settlement" is a sign of legitimacy, instead of "you annoyed your opponent and/or the judge so much they decided that money needed to change hands just so you’d shut the fuck up".

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AC Liberation Front NOW! says:

Soooo…Elizabeth Warren meets Rachel Dolezal in a dimly lit bowery gay bar, to discuss their differences, as the doorman, a septagenarian from the UK, stuffs his Nazi Papa Underwear®in some vile ACs ass in the alley…

Warren: I think that whole "Little Matterhorn massacre with all those Hindus and Col. Mustard was just a tragedy-my great, great great grandmother-a Looseachicki native was there when it happened. Maybe if we highlight that inequity, we could beat the Bern”

Dolezal: Well, sure, genocides are bad, but its nothing compared to this NIGHTMARE tanning booth session I had a week ago, fo’shogina!! Fried me like a chicken f’sho!

Vincent ‘Vinnie’ Barbarino: [brainstorming ideas to raise money for 2020] We could have a casino night. Maybe offer free massages….

Irv Rubinst ghost: I could toss some thunderbolts and sulphur at em from hell, maybe crack some kneecaps from a manhole cover when they walk by-they wouldnt even see it coming from down here in this shithole!

John Lennons angelic voice comes over the HAARP frequency modulator:

Ev’rybody’s talking

about Bagism, Shagism,
Dragism, Madism
Ragism, Tagism, Thisism,
Thatism, Isn’t it the most

[Chorus]
All we are saying
is give peace a chance

All we are saying
is give peace a chance

Ev’rybody’s talking about

Ministers, Sinisters,
Banisters and Canisters,
Bishops and Fishops,
Rabbis and Popeyes Bye bye bye bye

HAIL DIVERSITY!®

Bini Naziyahoo: Yeah, but wheres the money in THAT?

ADL: Dont worry, we have this one covered. Lets all say Antishemitismisticyclcisms® REALLY LOUD!

ADL♥ JDL4EVER©

Then:

Warren-Dolezal 2020!

(ever notice how the SCOTUS is packed with Catholics and Jews, tighter than a pig corpse and blow fly maggots? Why is that?)

Sincerely,
Arnold Horschak

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Its For (Our) Children® says:

that child needs a Joe Biden shotgun blast in his face

That smug, little* WHITE, Catholic bastard!

If he comes a’creepin round my teepee (which somehow was camped on his face mound) I will pull a Joe Biden, and blast some shotgunshrapnel in his (childish, 17 year old ) face!

Buy a Shotgun NOW!®

[cut away shot to Scotland Yards Hamish Brown, advising the FBI and the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals(ATAP) at a talk in Texas, and another in LA, on “How to Find, and Discover, and Re-Discover, and then Recover Again, and Again*, An Eighteen Year Old (Idiots) Girls Boobie Pictures Online”]

Scene 7: Prince Charles (pre-Markle, pre-Epstein scandal) pennetrating the cloth of thecsuit worn by the Noble Scotland Yard Detective Hamish Brown(who was a GWB associate) the Iron Condom Award for the,Protection of Maidenhood, and Hymenological Phenomena (which looks like tulips for some reason, and which is a special award given ONLY to ranking males whose sex drive is thoroughly entrapped in Bank of England schemes, and the fuckwaddery of Bilderbergs and the CFR (also for some reason)

https://www.theblaze.com/news/2013/04/12/joe-bidens-5-most-absurd-quotes-about-firearms-and-gun-owners

[Meanwhile, back at camp Looseachiki, Elizabeth Warren and the ADL plot more fakerapes.]

ADL: Maybe say more about vaginas as #safespaces?

E. Warren: Well, I am safe. I am Vagina.

Oprah Winfrey: No, no, no!

Hitler: Well, she DID say "no” a few times….But then…. butt…then …..(Hitler laughing madly about the great religious coup de tat of 1993, that began with VAWA, Biden, and the ADL/Bnai Bitch spy rings)

[Cut away, long shot, face of fascism on Italian building, 1927, looks slightly like “OBEY!”, mouthing words from Il Deuces mistress/Jewish propagandistress, juxtaposed against an idealized portrait of Queen Esther, doggystyle, barking orders, like Hitler. ]

Scene 13: Its Nat Nazi when WE NAZI!

TDs butt plug: Was that a GODWIN!?Or just another “crazy person.on the internet?!

TDs cop-lovin accolytes( and brt, absent FOR SOME REASON) now dialing 911 to report BUTTHERTZ! ANTISHEMISTICYCLICISMS® AND ANTISHEMYSTICYCISMS®!

Rabbi Meir Kahane: Good work today, kids! Now, Otherforth!

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: that child needs a Joe Biden shotgun blast in his fa

IDK. Some bizarre stream of consciousness with radical conspiracy theories, antisemitism, anti-Catholicism, possible racism, possible homophobia and/or sexism, poor attempts at crude humor, misuse of IP symbols, and no respect for anyone or anything, not even the English language. So basically, the same thing ROGS has been doing for weeks only in the form of what appears to be trying to be a script for a play.

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bhull242 says:

Re: Re: Re: that child needs a Joe Biden shotgun blast in hi

Before I found “fuzzy porn,” and dogs, banging senoritas in the Sonorran desert online, I honestly thought about doing myself in for lack of inspiration.

Emphasis on "shut-in” and its anti-metaphor of coming out, of course.

But since I discovered TECHDIRT, my whole life has changed! People think I am not an AI robot! I am REAL!

I am no longer ashamed of eating boogers in public (its a bad habit, I know) or fonding myself in the produce section of Aldis as I seek bargains that are compatible with my state assistance budget.

Techdirt saved my life, and, taught me the value of thrift, when citing shit that I am too stupid, AND lazy to research, while using under-researched, vacuous words and concepts onlline.

Oooooh, if only I can get the top commenter spot next year! Maybe a few more libels, smears, and quips about shit that I know nothing about….I can do it….,I CAN DO IT!

Protip: competing against passive agressive online septagenarians, Aspergers and proven retards for TD awards, anything is possible!

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 that child needs a Joe Biden shotgun blast i

  1. You’re only proving my point about your immature, poor use of crude humor and showing “no respect for anyone and anything, not even the English language”, y’know.
  2. You’re really bad at making fun of people. I’m honestly disappointed. I actually expected better quality trolling than this.
  3. I’ve been meaning to ask this for a while, but what the hell do you have against people with Asperger’s, anyway?
  4. What a massive amount of hypocrisy and projection on display…
  5. Sinking to this kind of talk only demonstrates that you have no substance to add to this discussion.
  6. When, precisely, have I articulated a false statement of fact?

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You can read? says:

Re: Re: that child needs a Joe Biden shotgun blast in his fa

I thouht Naschis only burned books, and come to find out, one or two of you read!

Fuck ME! I was,wrong about Naschis. Maybe there is Hope®

That Hull fellow, on the other hand, too stupid to know whiich way the wind blows, but will blow with it regardless of direction.

Cuz, blows.

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The Bern, Busted says:

Soooo…Elizabeth Warren meets Rachel Dolezal in a dimly lit bowery gay bar, to discuss their differences, as the doorman, a septagenarian from the UK, stuffs his Nazi Papa Underwear®in some vile ACs ass in the alley…

Warren: I think that whole "Little Matterhorn massacre with all those Hindus and Col. Mustard was just a tragedy-my great, great great grandmother-a Looseachicki native was there when it happened. Maybe if we highlight that inequity, we could beat the Bern”

Dolezal: Well, sure, genocides are bad, but its nothing compared to this NIGHTMARE tanning booth session I had a week ago, fo’shogina!! Fried me like a chicken f’sho!

Vincent ‘Vinnie’ Barbarino: [brainstorming ideas to raise money for 2020] We could have a casino night. Maybe offer free massages….

Irv Rubinst ghost: I could toss some thunderbolts and sulphur at em from hell, maybe crack some kneecaps from a manhole cover when they walk by-they wouldnt even see it coming from down here in this shithole!

John Lennons angelic voice comes over the HAARP frequency modulator:

Ev’rybody’s talking

about Bagism, Shagism,
Dragism, Madism
Ragism, Tagism, Thisism,
Thatism, Isn’t it the most

[Chorus]
All we are saying
is give peace a chance

All we are saying
is give peace a chance

Ev’rybody’s talking about

Ministers, Sinisters,
Banisters and Canisters,
Bishops and Fishops,
Rabbis and Popeyes Bye bye bye bye

HAIL DIVERSITY!®

Bini Naziyahoo: Yeah, but wheres the money in THAT?

ADL: Dont worry, we have this one covered. Lets all say Antishemitismisticyclcisms® REALLY LOUD!

ADL♥ JDL4EVER©

Then:

Warren-Dolezal 2020!

(ever notice how the SCOTUS is packed with Catholics and Jews, tighter than a pig corpse and blow fly maggots? Why is that?)

Sincerely,
Arnold Horschak

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Dude, you already posted this. It was flagged and hidden for, among other reasons, being a wall of text with no discernible substance or relevance to either this article or any other previous comment on this article, containing offensive language, containing no evidence for any claims being made, coming from a repeat offender who has never posted any constructive or civil content on this site, and just being full of nonsense. However, it’s still there, and reposting it isn’t going to help at all.

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Jack Crabb Rorschachki says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Read Dee Brown

You sound like you have Aspergers, no kidding, and your just actually genuinely stupid and #derailing.

And no apologies for your lack of ability to understand nuance, humor, or thought patterns, aka “thinking in large pieces” that goes beyond one liners and poorly crafted snarky ad-homs.

It has EVERYTHING to do with a white kid, and a Native American in a standoff

Signed,

Jack Crabb

98 year old survivor of the Sand Creek, Washita, Little Big Horn, and Wounded Knee massacres

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Read Dee Brown

Well, you know what? I do have Asperger’s. That said, I also have a decent sense of humor and the ability to understand nuance. In fact, I am very aware of the shortcomings I have thanks to my autism, which is why I avoid rushing to judgment and ask for clarification when needed. In some ways, in my experience, that caution combined with my unique perspective has allowed me to find and address nuance where others missed it. I’m not perfect by any means, but you shouldn’t dismiss me out of hand either.

Also, the one derailing this thread is you. That’s why I said of your comment,

it has nothing to do with what I just said, nor does it address anything I said, so this shouldn’t have been a reply to that comment.

That’s textbook derailing. Even a joke or insult should have something to do with what was just said or who said it. It either should have been the start of a new thread or a reply to your own comment. That would have made a lot more sense.

Also, apparently, you did not understand what I was trying to do with that line about being a WWII vet. It was largely a joke, since I find it highly unlikely that you are old enough to have even been able to serve in WWII. It was meant to make fun of the repetitive nature of your comments and the fact that they often don’t appear to relate to what came before. Of course, it also references the way you spoke of Nazis, which really gave off vibes of some old man living by himself with a rifle, muttering about how the Nazis are everywhere.

I actually thought that that might have been deliberate; that you were potentially making fun of people who are obsessed with Nazis by comparing them to, say, a WWII vet with PTSD. A part of me actually chuckled a bit. Well, the part of me that wasn’t rolling my eyes, confused at the apparent non sequitur, concerned that you might genuinely be experiencing or recovering from some sort of trauma, or exasperated at your umpteenth attempt to derail things. I figured my response could actually be seen as playing along, and actually partly expected you to say that you were poking fun at the PC culture that sees Nazi rhetoric in everything.

However, unlike you, I won’t assume that you’re inability to grasp my attempt at humor was necessarily due to your own shortcomings. It’s entirely possible that my joke just wasn’t funny or was too obtuse for most people to grasp.

Now then, would you mind explaining how your comment should have been taken, for future reference? Believe it or not, I am actually trying to learn the skills that I lack due to my autism, so any help would be appreciated.

And in that spirit, I’m going to assume that the sign-off at the end is also a joke that I am just missing the humor of, since the Sand Creek, Washita, Little Big Horn, and Wounded Knee massacres took place in 1864, 1868, 1878, and 1890, which would mean that a survivor of those would be 91 years old in 1937 at the latest (assuming they enlisted at age 18 just in time for the Sand Creek massacre), and Jack Crabb appears to be a fictional character from a movie or something. I don’t really understand the joke, but I feel pretty safe in assuming that it is a joke.

I’m also confused about where Native Americans enter into this. I’m sure it’s part of the joke, but as I’ve said, even a joke should bear some resemblance to what has come before.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Read Dee Brown

Also, while I conceded the possibility of simply missing the precise thrust of your humor (though apparently I wasn’t the only one who did, so it probably wasn’t my Asperger’s), I’m not sure what nuance there was to be had in the comment in question. “Humor” I can see, even if I don’t think it’s all that funny, but I’m not quite seeing “nuance”, and I’m particularly confused how such a short and simple comment could be both humorous and containing nuance.

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Irv Rubins Porn Stash says:

Here in hell, I had the strangest experience the other day.

I looked in the mirror (here in hell, all the mirrors are broken, but I will get to that later…)

I looked in the mirror, and Lacan was behind me, fondling his dick, with a photo of Bernays in his hand. Weird, right?

But waaaaay more weird was that he looked EXACTLY like the love(hatefuck?) child of Bini Naziyahoo, George Bush, and Bari Weiss/ Sabrina Rubin Erdely!

The weird part isnt just that each parent of the hatefuck child had two heads on each side of its lineage-but that this monster was eating both pig, and chicken shit, jowl-deep, at the bottom of the trough, as if they were chewing all the way through the earth, eventually hitting China, which a ringingvpig-fang strike(have you ever heard pig fangs strike pyrite?)

Yeah, I KNOW it sounds weird, but yeah, it was real, at least to me, here in hell.

Well, anyways: here in hell, I look a lot like J. Edgar Hoover in better days. You know, before he was a fat,old noxious secret police drag queen. I mean, everyone has good days before ADLification meets the “Ye Olden EndvTymes”.

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Punch Childrens Faces NOW! says:

Reza Aslan looks lynchable to me, but only because hes human garbage for picking on children, no other reason.

Maybe, his child would look lovely with a bullet in his face…or, a cap in his (her?) ass

Just sayin’. And I bet his daughter-if he has one-might find the empathy her father lacks, with ALL CAPS, in her ass.

EQUALITY NOW!

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R/O/G/S.... says:

bhull 42

Well, thanks for that concession. Your types are not easilly outed, because most of you (in my opinion ) are victims of mis -diagnoses, and predatory psychology /ists.

ROGS FUCKING BINGO.

Read this instead, for nuance, keeping in mind that intelligence agents /agencies PREY UPON people with MHI online (but also remember those special classes you were forced into in grade school, too: ….

https://www.columbian.com/news/2017/apr/06/stephen-reichow-murder-trial-underway-brandon-maulding/

This is what organized gang stalking looks like when it appears in the MSM, and it is,a cleverly crafted message that denies accountability for police state practices of punitive psychology.

Then, have,a look at my respinse to SDM on another thread :

Well, cause and effect have nearly nothing to do with so -called counter terrorism initiatives that suborn the libel (witty online banter ), slander, and actual perjury of sysadmins, but thats another topic entirely, be cause frequently, it is sysadmins,(in.the US they are FBI created Infragard ) that are totally complicit with CVE programs.

Lets try to restart this, ok?

You make excellent, somewhat effective points in many places, but seem to be a cockblock on issues that affect communities that you suborn to speak for, aka, communities of color, etc.

And in so doing, you perform actual dis -service to those communities, by ignoring the vernacular that they speak, and concepts that they use every day.

So, I suspect that you are lily white, which I use that phrase as both a pejorative, and as an educational dialectic device: lily white has distinct racial and religious connotations (another conversation ) but also, pejorative meaning dating back decades.

So, can I show you something derived from activist culture?

http://www.city-data.com/forum/san-diego/1881755-san-diego-hot-bed-gang-stalking.html

I am not inferring that you are beyond hope, but I am saying directly that you might be a bit out of touch, and clearly enabling the exact racist, blahblah system.that you appear to speak against, because activists from EVERY ACTIVIST COMMUNITY are reporting on ORGANIZED gang stalking, and Mr. Cushing is too.

But this *easily debunked /derisive /disinformative perspective of conspiracy theory is NOT what you claim it is -Hanlons Razor, slicing and dicing the crazies online, because in fact and in practice (and I consistently provide evidence ) it is what I,say it is: Counter Terror ”Professionals“ “slicing Ochams Throat” with a razor, and turning logic, and expedient explanations on its head.

It IS military derived harrassment, targeted at individuals, and it is horrific.

Now, to the substance of your post:
Lets start at the ass end, and work our way inward towards the guts, like wolves wearing sheeps clothing arecsaid to do with carcasses they have killed.

  • “Stormfront perhaps, or Breitbart”- I suspect that this is itself, your own confession of loyalty. Whats your nym there?

  • blind assertions- You NEVER read the linked material. Not once, ever. I suspect lily white cockblocker parade

  • you lie outright – No, I do not, as tegards the,ACTUAL and empirically documented fact that organized gang stalking is a highly coordinated and well financed high.policing methodology, but lies(whatever those actually are ) aka demonstrative speech are -with qualified exceptions, too many to discuss here. But about you, I am certain you are lily white*and approaching dialectic space as if the average activist ever had such privileged education, to EVERY n know the difference.

You certainly do not.

Feel free to dispute that.

(tired now )

Best regards

p.s.I am not sure why YOU are around here either, other than that TD(and Masnick Et al ) is fairly white, and has a major blindspot about its own whiteness, and, regular commenters like you

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: bhull 42

but also remember those special classes you were forced into in grade school, too

I know that I said I have Asperger’s, but I’ve never had to take special classes for it, unless you count the gifted program and honors classes for those who do exceptionally well in school. Asperger’s isn’t typically a huge problem with academics, so they don’t really have special programs to attempt to make us “fit in”. I’m not sure you understand what autism actually is.

[link from the Columbian]

This is what organized gang stalking looks like when it appears in the MSM, and it is,a cleverly crafted message that denies accountability for police state practices of punitive psychology.

I’m not seeing anything that could suggest “police state” here, and unless you have supplementary evidence to suggest that anything was mischaracterized or something, I can’t exactly criticize the credibility of this article from a seemingly credible source on a topic I have no additional knowledge of and that seems to not include any substantial opinions or characterizations from the writer beyond facts and quotes from both sides of the courtroom and facts that don’t appear to be in dispute. Well, aside from a brief reference that two of the people involved shared “paranoid” beliefs that they were victims of “gang stalking”, but I’d need more particular evidence to prove that their beliefs were anything more than the result of paranoia. (And no, even if you proved that “gang stalking” is a real thing that causes real harm, that wouldn’t be enough to change my opinion on how it applies to this case.)

Incidentally, you ask me to use “nuance” here, but now I’m beginning to wonder if you understand what “nuance” actually is, because while there are some nuances to the article, it’s mostly a straightforward, evenhanded recitation of facts on one particular case without trying to draw conclusions of being part of a trend or pattern. Nuance is essentially stuff like allowing for figurative language, multiple interpretations, cultural differences, reasonable disagreements, “wiggle room”, exceptions to rules, etc. I’m not sure how that really applies to this article. I mean, I’m open to having a nuanced discussion about it, if that’s what you mean.

Well, cause and effect have nearly nothing to do with so -called counter terrorism initiatives that suborn the libel (witty online banter ), slander, and actual perjury of sysadmins, but thats another topic entirely, be cause frequently, it is sysadmins,(in.the US they are FBI created Infragard ) that are totally complicit with CVE programs.

[citation needed]

You […] seem to be a cockblock on issues that affect communities that you suborn to speak for, aka, communities of color, etc.

And in so doing, you perform actual dis -service to those communities, by ignoring the vernacular that they speak, and concepts that they use every day.

I don’t recall speaking on behalf of communities of color or anything. Nor do I recall their vernacular being at issue here, so I don’t see how I’d be ignoring them.

The most I’ve done is ask for you to explain certain terms that I am unfamiliar with and not to assume that everyone is necessarily familiar with the vernacular and/or concepts that may be commonplace or well-known in your community. That isn’t ignoring anyone’s vernacular or everyday concepts. If anything, it’s a request that you help others like myself understand them.

So, can I show you something derived from activist culture?

[link to a forum post about gang stalking]

Now, the first red flag that popped up was the fact that the post contains a lot of links that are supposed to provide additional information but were removed by moderation. That’s pretty significant.

Additionally, I’m not seeing any statistics or evidence that it exists, only a description of what it is. Plus, this is a forum post on a site that looks like it was cheaply made and that I’m unfamiliar with, so the credibility out of the gate isn’t terribly high. Forum posts tend to lack credibility in general, and the number of links removed by moderation only exacerbates that.

I may read this more later, but at a glance, it’s not looking like it’s strong evidence of anything.

activists from EVERY ACTIVIST COMMUNITY are reporting on ORGANIZED gang stalking, and Mr. Cushing is too.

Again, I would like actual evidence of this. Also, activists report on a lot of things. Some are real; some are not. The mere fact that activists report on something isn’t evidence of anything. And I find it hard to believe that every activist community is reporting on this, given that some only cover scams or wildlife preservation.

But this *easily debunked /derisive /disinformative perspective of conspiracy theory is NOT what you claim it is -Hanlons Razor, slicing and dicing the crazies online, because in fact and in practice (and I consistently provide evidence ) it is what I,say it is: Counter Terror ”Professionals“ “slicing Ochams Throat” with a razor, and turning logic, and expedient explanations on its head.

First, you have not consistently provided evidence, and when you do, it often doesn’t support your claims at all.

Second, I don’t recall ever actually claiming to know exactly what you’re claiming or actually calling it a conspiracy. I did say that it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but I never said it was. Most of this has been trying to get you to actually explain what your claim—conspiracy theory or not—actually is and to provide evidence supporting the claims that I did—more or less—understand. Whether it’s a conspiracy theory or not, I just asked for clarification and evidence, which should be expected.

At any rate, I’m not sure you understand how much of what you’re referring to works, and you’re missing one of the important tools. Let me summarize:

  • Hanlon’s Razor — “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.” It essentially means “don’t assume bad faith when incompetence or ignorance is still a reasonable explanation.” For example, if you make an absurd claim with no evidence to support it and claim the evidence is being covered up, rather than assuming you’re a liar or have an agenda, it’s usually better to assume that you’re just being paranoid or are extremely gullible. It’s often useful as a tool to avoid just dismissing someone because of their arguments and to reduce anger and frustration on both sides. After all, ignorance can be remedied. Of course, it also presents an issue for conspiracy theories, which often involve presuming that multiple, often seemingly unrelated events are connected and that the purpetrators are acting in concert for ill purposes. Hanlon’s razor leans in favor of them not being in a conspiracy or acting in good faith.
  • Occam’s Razor — “The simplest solution is most likely the right one.” Essentially, this is used when you have two or more competing explanations for some phenomena, events, whatever. As a general rule, if all else is equal, the “simplest” one (the one that requires the fewest assumptions to accept) is generally the right one. This is often used in debates over creationism and conspiracy theories. See, one of the fundamental problems with many conspiracy theories is that they generally involve a large number of people—from important, powerful, rich, and/or famous to unimportant, weak, poor, and/or completely unknown—all being in on the conspiracy without any of them leaking anything. That’s a pretty massive assumption compared to what the alternatives tend to offer. Now, the balance may change with additional evidence (like the Snowden leaks), but that only shows how having no leaks, especially over a long period of time, is pretty unlikely. Essentially, it shifts the burden of proof to be stronger on explanations that require more assumptions, that are more complex.
  • Hitchen’s Razor — “What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.” You didn’t mention this, but I feel it’s worth noting. It’s essentially a statement about the burden of proof. A lot of conspiracy theorists (and others) tend to assert claims but never provide actual evidence that supports their claims, or that make their claims any more likely compared to other potential explanations. When called out on that by demanding more evidence, they often claim that the evidence is “out there” and demand others search for it (“Do your own research!” “Google it!”), assert that the lack of evidence is merely proof of a cover-up (that the lack of evidence supporting it proves their claims), or demand that the other side submit evidence that the claims are false. Hitchen’s razor is used to prevent that from working by making it clear that the burden of proof is on the person making the claim, and you don’t need proof or evidence to dismiss a claim that was made with no evidence.

These are tools in logical and rational discussions that help weigh claims’ truthfulness. The first two involve explanations where the evidence doesn’t strongly favor one particular explanation over its competitors, and can be overcome with enough evidence that supports the disfavored explanation but not the alternative(s). The third just makes it clear that someone making a claim should provide evidence if they don’t want their claims to be dismissed out of hand. It’s all about burden of proof and how much proof is needed for different alternatives. Unless you have evidence of their misuse, I have no idea what your problem is.

It IS military derived harrassment, targeted at individuals, and it is horrific.

As far as I understand it, you seem to be claiming that US government agents, the ADL, zionists, and people online (among others) are conspiring to engage in mass online harassment of various people for unspecified reasons (which is apparently known as gang stalking). Among the targets appear to be so-called incels and Muslims. The supposed goal appears to be to get these people to commit terrorist acts and then jail or execute them as terrorists. The alleged motives for doing so is unclear to me but appears to be to promote some sort of Zionist or Israeli agenda or something.

Now, if true, that would certainly be horrific, and there are a few kernels of truth here and there (like the fact that government agents have been known to “manufacture” terrorists out of law-abiding citizens, though not through the means described). However, there are a number of problems with this claim. First, of course, is Occam’s and Hanlon’s razors, particularly the former. Basically, the assumption that this is some sort of organized effort rather than standard online mobbing is a pretty big assumption. (Basically, if “gang stalking” is the online equivalent to “gang violence”, then “online mobbing” would be the online equivalent to a riot or something; no actual organization, just a group of people who started something bad and more people just got caught up in it and joined in.) To overturn the much simpler and more benign alternative explanations in favor of your “organized gang stalking” theory (even excluding the government’s involvement, which has its own wrinkle) would require substantial evidence which you haven’t provided.

And regarding the involvement of Israel, the government, or the ADL, you’ve provided no evidence at all, so Hitchen’s Razor is also a major roadblock here. (Well, you did provide evidence regarding the ADL doing something like that, but you haven’t proven that they’re involved in this particular conspiracy.)

Additionally, while you’ve alleged that certain particular incidents involved “organized gang stalking”, the articles you provided lack either any evidence of harassment, evidence of organization, or both. The only article that even mentions gang stalking doesn’t provide any evidence that gang stalking actually occurred. So even if the alleged trend exists, you provided no evidence that these particular events were even part of that trend.

On top of that, you’ve provided no evidence of anything connecting these different events or of a trend in general, so I have no reason to believe that there is a trend to begin with as opposed to some isolated incidents even if they were as you claimed.

Now, to the substance of your post:

This short segue actually has some issues. First, since this comment was the first in a new thread rather than a reply to one of my posts, so I don’t have any definitive way to know which post of mine you’re referring to. Ordinarily, I’d use the points you’re addressing to figure that out, but that leads to the next, even larger issue: in this section, you don’t address anything in any of my posts, let alone their substance. In fact, of the things I said, the only parts you appear to address in any part of this comment are some requests for more information/evidence (though as mentioned, they’re insufficient) and the fact that I “conceded” that I have Asperger’s. So no, you certainly haven’t addressed the substance of my post.

• “Stormfront perhaps, or Breitbart”- I suspect that this is itself, your own confession of loyalty. Whats your nym there?

I think you may be confusing me with someone else and this comment section with a completely different one. I’ve never mentioned Stormfront at all, here or elsewhere, and the only time I’ve ever mentioned Breitbart was when someone tried to use it as a source or in an article or thread discussing Breitbart (or when comparing the credibility of a source to Breitbart), and that was always to say that Breitbart is not a credible source. I never mentioned Breitbart in this comment section or in any of my discussions with you.

Additionally, based on a quick search, no one else has mentioned Stormfront or Breitbart by name anywhere in this comment section either. The only result I got for either search term on this page at all was in your comment that is allegedly quoting me.

So I have no idea who said that or where or when it was said, but it wasn’t me, and it wasn’t here. And to answer your question, I am not a visitor to either Breitbart or Stormfront, let alone a frequent one. I may have read the occasional article in Breitbart, but that was pretty rare and I took anything I read there with a mountain of salt. As such, I have certainly never commented on either site, so I have no nym there.

So no, that is certainly not my “confession of loyalty”. I didn’t say it, and the alleged conclusion is false.

• blind assertions- You NEVER read the linked material. Not once, ever.

While I cannot recall every single case offhand, it’s worth noting that you rarely link material to begin with. However, with such a broad, absolute statement, I need only mention one counterexample. Even excluding the material linked in this particular comment, I read the very first linked article you posted. You remember? It was the one about the first online incel community being founded by a lesbian. Yeah, if you actually read my response to that (as well as several later posts that mention the issue), you would know I read the article because I specifically note that it says that, even early on and increasingly as time went on, the incel community was dominated by heterosexual cismales. And that’s according to the founder’s testimony. I also noted that the article describes one famous misogynistic guy who went on a killing spree, and that it doesn’t say anything about him being the victim of any harassment, organized or otherwise.

I also specifically remember reading an article about some terrorist in Europe being arrested. I think it was supposed to be evidence that the terrorist was radicalized by the government or online harassment, but the article presented no evidence of anything like that.

To say that I have never read any of the material you linked is completely false and unsupported by the evidence. If you think that the fact that I say that you fail to back up your assertions with evidence means I just haven’t read what evidence you have provided (which isn’t often), that’s fallacious reasoning. In each case you provided a source, I specifically noted that I read it and couldn’t find evidence to back up your claims (except the one case that involved the founder of incels, but again I never argued against that, and the rest of the article doesn’t support any of your other claims). Just because you provide links doesn’t mean that you’ve supported your claim with evidence. If the linked source is unreliable or (in your case) doesn’t provide any evidence supporting your claim, then you haven’t provided evidence of your claims, and your claims are essentially “blind assertions” or wild speculation.

• you lie outright

I just want to say that I never said this, either. I have not accused you of lying. I have said that you’re wrong, mistaken, ignorant, or trolling, but I never called you a liar.

Now I want to skip to a particular part of this point.

but lies […] aka demonstrative speech

That’s not what demonstrative speech is. Demonstrative speech is where you give instructions on how to do something. I believe you criticized me for not understanding anything about demonstrative speech (a subject that had never previously discussed), and I actually explained what it is and how it has nothing to do with what we’ve been discussing. However, it would appear that the issue was that you were mistaken about demonstrative speech all along.

No, I do not, as tegards the,ACTUAL and empirically documented fact that organized gang stalking is a highly coordinated and well financed high.policing methodology

You haven’t presented any empirical documentation about this alleged “fact”, so I’m afraid I’m going to have to use Hitchen’s Razor again and disregard this claim. (Note: this isn’t calling this an outright lie; it’s just an unsupported claim.)

And by the way, if you think that what you’ve presented thus far constitutes “empirical documentation”, then you clearly don’t know what “empirical” actually means. Hint: it involves statistical analysis of data, not just a bunch of anecdotes.

but lies(whatever those actually are ) […] are -with qualified exceptions, too many to discuss here.

Considering that this is supposed to be refuting the supposed allegation that “you lie outright”, I’m not sure what your point is here. It makes it sound like you’ve told so many lies that there are too many for you to possibly discuss. Maybe you were referring to times people have alleged that you lied? And what are these “qualified exceptions” that are apparently not too numerous to discuss here? Why not describe those, then?

But about you, I am certain you are lily white*and approaching dialectic space as if the average activist ever had such privileged education, to EVERY n know the difference.

Again, this has nothing to do with the claim (which, to reiterate, I never made) that you are supposedly addressing.

At any rate, I never assumed you had a “privileged education”. In fact, based on how you sometimes misuse terms like “demonstrative speech” and your sometimes poor grammar and spelling, I was more leaning towards the opposite.

If you’re referring to my statements that an activist like yourself should be prepared to answer questions like the ones I’ve asked and similar statements/suggestions, I was offering advice and guidance about being better at communicating your claims, as well as what is expected of you in this sort of environment. I never expected you to have any more knowledge or education in general than I do, but as an activist, I do expect you to have more specific knowledge about whatever it is you’re advocating or trying to spread awareness about. Actually, that’s not quite limited to activists but people online in general.

I approached this “dialectic space” for informed discussions on certain subjects, and in many cases it’s been successful. As such, I don’t see any specific reason to drastically alter my approach to discussions.

p.s.I am not sure why YOU are around here either, other than that TD(and Masnick Et al ) is fairly white, and has a major blindspot about its own whiteness, and, regular commenters like you

Like I said, it was for the interesting takes and discussions on subjects I’m interested in, like copyright, free speech, silly laws, and silly lawsuits. It certainly had nothing to do with skin color. I don’t even know what any of these people look like (with the exception of some of the writers), have no interaction with them outside of this particular site (at least as far as I know), and I can’t exactly infer someone’s skin tone through text unless they outright say it (or say something really bigoted).

Jay Hallinan says:

Your "interpretation" of the story may be subjective. But the facts aren’t. The teens were innocent no matter which way you try to spin the story. The Black Hebrew Israelites as always were the instigators (which seems to be their sole purpose for existing). Nathan Phillips and his native American hecklers are opportunistic and pathetic trouble seekers. The liberal horde that erroneously jumped on the media bandwagon, including all the celebrities who tried to appear righteous are guilty of unjustifiable bullying and child abuse. There are no relevant facts to support a subjective opinion that the Covington kids were the problem. Those who can’t accept the facts are only deluding themselves and should seek deeper meaning in their lives. I feel bad for them.

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