Alexander Vindman Now Threatens Bogus SLAPP Suit Against Fox News & Laura Ingraham

from the can-we-stop-with-the-slapps dept

SLAPP suits and SLAPP threats are flying back and forth these days. The latest is that Lt. Col. Alex Vindman, who is a key player in the impeachment hearings, is threatening a highly questionable defamation lawsuit against Fox News and Laura Ingraham, because she had on a guest who suggested Vindman was guilty of espionage (he's not). The threat letter was sent by David Pressman, a lawyer who works for Boies Schiller Flexner, a law firm which has a history of sending around bogus threat letters to the media for doing reporting.

Even if you think that Fox News is terrible (it is), that Ingraham is not to be trusted (she's not), and that her guests are fools (they are), this threat is still completely bogus and silly.

During their exchange, Ms. Ingraham said, “Here we have a U.S. national security official who is advising Ukraine, while working inside the White House, apparently against the president’s interest, and usually, they spoke in English. Isn’t that kind of an interesting angle on this story?”

“I found that astounding,” Mr. Yoo replied. “Some people might call that espionage.”

The Mr. Yoo in question is John Yoo, whose biggest claim to fame is writing the legal justifications for torture during the Bush administration. I wouldn't trust him to throw a ball to a dog, let alone opine on matters regarding the administration, but that doesn't mean that what he said was defamatory. As Ken "Popehat" White explained in a Twitter thread, even if everything Yoo and Ingraham said is ridiculous (and it is), there's nothing in there that rises to the level of defamation:

No matter which side of this you stand on, hopefully we can all agree that bogus threats of defamation, and silly cease and desist letters over people stating a (bad and dumb) opinion are not helping anyone.

Filed Under: 1st amendment, alexander vindman, cease and desist, david boies, david pressman, defamation, espionage, free speech, john yoo, lauara ingraham, slapp, threats
Companies: fox news


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  • icon
    hij (profile), 21 Nov 2019 @ 1:43pm

    Pride goeth before the fall

    There ain't no hurt like butt hurt.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 21 Nov 2019 @ 1:47pm

    He needs better lawyers advising him.

    I can totally understand the desire to sue.
    I can also see how horribly it would end.

    Given he is already fending off death threats against himself & his family I can forgive him making an easy mistake cheered on by well meaning but stupid people to try and stop what he see's as the source generating the threats.

    We need a Federal Anti-SLAPP law, it might encourage less of these cases moving forward.

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    • icon
      nasch (profile), 22 Nov 2019 @ 7:42am

      Re:

      I can totally understand the desire to sue.
      I can also see how horribly it would end.

      Agreed on both points. I'm guessing the accusation of espionage is especially infuriating to an active duty military officer, and he certainly doesn't deserve that. But that doesn't make it a good idea to sue.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 3:33am

        Re: Re:

        I don't think it's fair to hide baseless allegations behind "opinion." If that were true I'd be legally able to accuse everyone of the vilest crimes and get clean away with it by tacking "In my opinion" on to the end of every lying sentence. That doesn't seem right to me.

        Yoo accused the man of espionage. He should be sued into the bloody ground.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 7:16am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yoo accused the man of espionage. He should be sued into the bloody ground.

          Even if he just came out and said, "Vindman is guilty of espionage" (which he didn't quite), proving slander would be a high bar to clear. Since Vindman is now a public figure, he would need to prove "that the writer or publisher acted with actual malice by knowing the falsity or by reckless disregard for the truth." There's no way he's going to be able to prove that.

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        • icon
          Thad (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 7:49am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I don't think it's fair to hide baseless allegations behind "opinion." If that were true I'd be legally able to accuse everyone of the vilest crimes and get clean away with it by tacking "In my opinion" on to the end of every lying sentence.

          That's not really true. It takes more than saying "in my opinion" to make a statement a statement of opinion. If I said "In my opinion, Joe Blow walked into the bank at 4:30 PM, pulled out a gun, and shouted 'Everybody on the ground!'" that's not a statement of opinion, it's a factual statement that could potentially be defamatory, even though I put "in my opinion" in front of it.

          Yoo accused the man of espionage.

          He didn't, though, any more than Techdirt accused Shiva Ayyadurai of fraud. "Espionage" is a word that people frequently throw out as rhetorical hyperbole; like "that's treason," "he's a fraud," or "copyright is theft," saying "that's espionage" is not a statement that a reasonable person would understand to literally mean that the party is guilty of the statutory crime described by that name.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 25 Nov 2019 @ 10:32am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yoo accused the man of espionage.

            Espionage is one of those laws written so broadly it would probably be unconstitutional if fully enforced.

            I would guess that most people have violated that statute if they live very far into their adulthood and many children do also.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Robert Beckman, 30 Nov 2019 @ 7:52am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            More specifically, Yoo’s statement is based on disclosed facts - the very facts that Vindman attested to.

            Yoo’s opinion (and ignoring the “some might say” part because it’s immaterial) is that based on what Vindman said he did, he committed espionage.

            That’s not an allegation of fact (Vindman did X), but an opinion that an undisputed fact (X) met a particular definition (espionage). An opinion based on disclosed facts is always protected.

            However, had Yoo said, “I’ve also heard from the intelligence community certain things about Vindman that would raise the espionage to treason” it would not be protected, because his opinion on treason would be based on an implied fact, so his statement implies a fact (Vindman did something that’s treasonous) in addition to his opinion.

            Note: this is the law in the US, whether you think it’s the right law or not.

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  • icon
    btr1701 (profile), 21 Nov 2019 @ 1:56pm

    Lawyers

    The threat letter was sent by David Pressman, a lawyer who works for Boies, Schiller & Flexner

    I'm curious how Vindman and Fiona Hill are paying these pricey lawyers at Boies, Schiller & Flexner. Partners at that firm bill out in the neighborhood of $1000/hr. Not easy to afford on a government salary. Pro bono, you say? Well, Vindman is a government employee. There's rules against accepting gifts, especially gifts directly tied to one's employment as this would be.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      James Burkhardt (profile), 21 Nov 2019 @ 2:11pm

      Re: Lawyers

      Pressman also works for the government, which may avoid the rules you are referencing. Or, Pressman may be operating on contingency, which would not be a "gift". Finally, I do not believe the rules on emoluments would apply in this case given Vindman's position in the government.

      If it was a concern though, id have imagined the republicans would have brought it up instead of trying to kill shot him on being offered a job.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        btr1701 (profile), 21 Nov 2019 @ 2:58pm

        Re: Re: Lawyers

        Pressman may be operating on contingency, which would not be a "gift".

        What contingency? Vindman isn't suing for anything. He's not asking anyone for monetary damages. He hired this firm to represent him in his appearances before Congress throughout this whole impeachment process. Basically, to advise him what to say and what not to say to legally protect himself. There's no way to work a client like that on a contingency. Either you get paid upfront or you do the work for free (pro bono).

        Finally, I do not believe the rules on emoluments would apply in this case given Vindman's position in the government.

        This has nothing to do with emoluments. It would fall under statutory and OPM rules on the solicitation or acceptance of gifts by government employees.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Nov 2019 @ 2:32pm

      Re: Lawyers

      Not easy to afford on a government salary.

      Maybe he knows how to manage his money better than you do and is sitting on a huge savings account with which he could use to hire a top lawyer, even if it is for dumb reasons.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Nov 2019 @ 2:45pm

      Re: Lawyers

      That is almost certainly a valid question and not a sad appear to smear the mans good name. I mean it’s not like he’s earning 6 figures a year with free healthcare,
      housing, food, and travel. How could he possibly afford a ham sandwich, much less a two hours of a lawyers time?

      And do tell us how very concerned you are, while totally coincidentally wink parroting Fox News latest batch of bullshit talking points.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        btr1701 (profile), 21 Nov 2019 @ 2:53pm

        Re: Re: Lawyers

        two hours of a lawyers time?

        Two hours? You think all the depositions, interrogatories, and multiple appearances before House committees only took two hours?

        Well, you're good for a chuckle, if nothing else.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Nov 2019 @ 3:21pm

          Re: Re: Re: Lawyers

          I was speaking just to write the letter to Fox. For the rest of it, as another AC said. “Maybe he knows how to manage his money better than you.” In the mean time let’s all really pretend to be so concerned who’s paying for his lawyers until we get our next set of talking points.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2019 @ 5:39am

      Re: Lawyers

      There's rules against accepting gifts, especially gifts directly tied to one's employment as this would be.

      Well, it's not a big deal really. If he is accepting it as a gift, I'd argue why it's inappropriate in this case but not with respect to the president.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2019 @ 6:24am

      Re: Lawyers

      Enforce them against trum then you can have everyone else down the chain until then your "concern" is flat out dishonest and borderline trolling.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2019 @ 7:43am

      Re: Lawyers

      "I'm curious how Vindman and Fiona Hill are paying these pricey lawyers "

      Is that is your take from the impeachment hearings?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Nov 2019 @ 2:03pm

    I do not like the cable station but I do like the website because it has an RSS feed and gives you a less than 1 minute read of many relevant news stories. It is a lot better than some of their competitors if you want a quick description of ongoing news events.

    Espionage. I didn't watch or read and don't know anything about the circumstances to render a valid opinion but I doubt he crossed the line just by going to congress.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 21 Nov 2019 @ 2:11pm

    "A republic -- if you can keep it"

    Any democratic structures and freedom of speech rely on an informed and mature populace. As long as it is profitable to send this kind of tripe to a national audience, freedom of speech comes with the obligation to shun misinformation, not pay extra for it.

    You can't fix stupid with laws, you can only fix it with education, and the U.S. makes education expensive to the individual while it becomes cheaper and cheaper to peddle misinformation for profit.

    Sondland has right now dealt democracy its heaviest blow likely for decades to come: he has told a story about open corruption not just concerning Trump but also Pence. This makes it impossible for Republicans in the Senate to convict Trump since any conviction would equally affect Pence, and the third in command is Nancy Pelosi, clearly not a Republican.

    So Republicans need to justify their decision not to convict Trump and the only way to do that is alternate facts. The White House will put up a fight against "fake media" unparalleled since historical fascism and the next election will face a split populace believing in utterly incompatible versions of reality.

    And whoever gets elected president will only be able to speak for and with half the populace.

    Defending freedom of speech takes more than defending the right to talk. It also takes giving the listeners the means to tell right from wrong. And this is spiraling downwards.

    I cannot blame the powerless all too much for thinking that it can't be right for the truth to go down like that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      James Burkhardt (profile), 21 Nov 2019 @ 2:28pm

      Re: "A republic -- if you can keep it"

      >Sondland has right now dealt democracy its heaviest blow likely for decades to come: he has told a story about open corruption not just concerning Trump but also Pence. This makes it impossible for Republicans in the Senate to convict Trump since any conviction would equally affect Pence, and the third in command is Nancy Pelosi, clearly not a Republican.

      Not so. If they convict Trump, the argument could then be made that while pence was aware of the crime, and may have contributed to it, his actions did not rise to the corrupt action necessary for impeachment. Its the argument Republicans should have been arguing from the beginning. We don't need to further impeach Pence, unless I missed the part where Sondland confessed Pence was VP Agnew 2.0. Impeach Trump, and maintain oversight, but don't start impeachment against Pence. Impeaching Pence would be using Impeachment as a political tool.

      Issues of the president speaking to half the populace predate trump, and will continue with our without impeachment.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        David, 22 Nov 2019 @ 4:48am

        Re: Re: "A republic -- if you can keep it"

        Issues of the president speaking to half the populace predate trump, and will continue with or without impeachment.

        It's basically during the impeachment inquiry that the bulk of the remaining news anchors of Fox News left, leaving the political coverage to shows. The step from giving the facts a particular spin to just not bothering with them in the first place is a comparatively new one. We are no longer talking about different views of reality but different realities here.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Thad (profile), 22 Nov 2019 @ 8:01am

          Re: Re: Re: "A republic -- if you can keep it"

          Shep's gone; he was the best newsman they had. Now that title falls to Wallace, who's been doing a pretty good job but he's just one man. The network's always been run by the pundits like Hannity, but that's more the case now than ever.

          Not for nothin', Roger Ailes created Fox News for precisely the purpose of making sure that the next time a Republican president had a scandal like Watergate, it wouldn't bring him down. Fox News is doing exactly what it was designed to do.

          The biggest difference between now and the Bush Administration is that there's a feedback loop now. Fox certainly took its cues from Bush, but now Fox is taking its cues from Trump and Trump is taking his cues from Fox. There's a symbiosis there that wasn't there when Bush was president. (Trump is a man who makes Bush look smart and statesmanlike by comparison.)

          The biggest irony of all is that Trump is now facing impeachment because he believed a conspiracy theory he heard on Fox; all this "the DNC server is in Ukraine" business is bullshit he heard on the teevee. Which is, arguably, how he rose to political prominence in the first place (as a birther).

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        David, 22 Nov 2019 @ 5:27am

        Re: Re: "A republic -- if you can keep it"

        If they convict Trump, the argument could then be made that while pence was aware of the crime, and may have contributed to it, his actions did not rise to the corrupt action necessary for impeachment.

        Well, it's the same train wreck. Having a draisine in the tender isn't enough to stop bothering about the consequences of impact.

        Particularly if that decrepit engine is going to explode and insist on taking down the whole train.

        You've seen the "Never Trumper" rhetoric that is applied as a normal propagandist would use "unpatriotic" and "scum" for Republicans not unconditionally backing Trump. Trump would have to be locked away from Twitter for this to work.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        David, 24 Nov 2019 @ 5:22am

        Re: Re: "A republic -- if you can keep it"

        If they convict Trump, the argument could then be made that while pence was aware of the crime, and may have contributed to it, his actions did not rise to the corrupt action necessary for impeachment.

        However, the involvement of Pence would make a Gerald Ford kind of deal "resign voluntarily and I'll give you my presidential pardon for everything you did" politically untenable. Not that Trump would resign voluntarily anyway.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2019 @ 6:42am

      Re: "A republic -- if you can keep it"

      "Sondland has right now dealt democracy its heaviest blow likely for decades to come"

      Truth hurts ... better to deal with it now than later.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 22 Nov 2019 @ 7:48am

      Re: "A republic -- if you can keep it"

      Regardless of what testimony is offered, Pence cannot be just automatically swept up in the articles of impeachment against Trump. The House would have to also draft articles of impeachment against Pence, and there is no way they would do that. They know what a political crapshow that would be, just like you say.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Nov 2019 @ 2:12pm

    What’s the problem with him suing if the guy in Thailand can sue for being called peudo

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      James Burkhardt (profile), 21 Nov 2019 @ 2:20pm

      Re:

      The specifics of the case.

      The original pedo guy comment was likely protected opinion, but Musk later stated that he had evidence gathered by a PI that the British Ex-pat met and married a 12 year old girl in Thailand, a false statement of fact. The PI actually reported his wife was 18 when they met and married, and his wife argues she was even older. The later statement has the strongest case, as Musk seemed to be clearly arguing facts at that point, not merely opinion based on prejudices

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 Nov 2019 @ 2:28pm

        Furthermore, the court recently said the man suing Musk was a private citizen, not a public figure — which means the bar to proving defamation is much lower.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2019 @ 10:47am

        Re: Re:

        The original pedo guy comment was likely protected opinion

        It's unprovable in any case, because sexual orientation cannot be determined as a matter of fact. No illegal actions were alleged until Musk started to double and triple down.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 22 Nov 2019 @ 12:54pm

          FYI, pedophilia is not a sexual orientation. Only homophobes with a vested interest in linking pedophilia to LGBT people for the purposes of legal (and social) marginalization sincerely believe otherwise.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2019 @ 1:21pm

            Re:

            Go argue with the prosecutors at nuremberg. Techdirt can't change that international law for you.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Robert Beckman, 30 Nov 2019 @ 8:15am

            Re:

            And pedophiles who want to benefit from the demarginalization of those groups.

            Just see the massive growth of MAP and NoMAP discussion on platforms such as Facebook.

            Notes: MAP = Minor-Attracted Person. Growth = change in size, not absolute size.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Nov 2019 @ 2:15pm

    If it's good enough for the Cheeto in charge...

    If the President can file bogus law suits to annoy, harass, and make false statements about people, why can't the peons?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Nov 2019 @ 2:20pm

    Look man

    Alex look you cant sue people ever things you yourself are most likely guilty of.

    That’s like borat calling out twitter.
    Which he did.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Nov 2019 @ 2:34pm

      Re: Look man

      Alex look you cant sue people ever things you yourself are most likely guilty of.

      So what facts and proof do you have that he is most likely guilty of espionage?

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      • icon
        Bloof (profile), 21 Nov 2019 @ 2:43pm

        Re: Re: Look man

        He testified against Trump so clearly he must be guilty of something! They say it so it must be true. If they can't find a smear that sticks, they'll just photoshop a slice of pizza into his hand so the drooling cretins of 8chan have something to make long youtube videos and twitter threads about.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 21 Nov 2019 @ 9:29pm

      Re: Look man

      Even if he were guilty of espionage (that is if you're too stupid to realize Trmpz and his ilk are gonna try every smear no matter how obviously false) it wouldn't change the fact that Trump DID try a quid pro quo.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        David, 22 Nov 2019 @ 8:30am

        Re: Re: Look man

        Well, quid pro quo is the bread and butter of politics. That's a red herring. The question is just what quid pro quo we are talking about. The president is the highest executive responsible for the decisions of the moment. He certainly has the authority to hold up foreign aid, even for putting some quid pro quo in the interest of the United States in effect.

        But this authority and the reasons for executing it are subject to oversight. He can't just do it for better reelection chances even if he imagines that to be in the interest of the United States. That's putting the cart before the horse. He is perfectly entitled to improve his reelection chances by furthering the interest of the United States, but not the other way round.

        So the real problem is not that there was a quid pro quo. The problem is just what the "quid" and "quo" are. And why they had to be hidden from plain sight. Sure, sometimes you need to do secret diplomacy, but "secret diplomacy" is not synonymous to "dirty deals".

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    icon
    383bigblock (profile), 21 Nov 2019 @ 3:37pm

    Trustworthy..??? Really

    FoxNew is terrible and laura can't trusted then I can only assume someone's been sucking too hard on the CNN and MSNBC Kool-Aid straw. Liberalism is a dangerous thing. It is comforting to see another side to the monolithic liberal media

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Nov 2019 @ 4:00pm

      Re: Trustworthy..??? Really

      The brand of conservatism that thinks liberalism as a whole is "a dangerous thing" is even more dangerous. It's convenient to categorize everything in US politics as black & white, good & bad, liberal & conservative but those views are really far-right and far-left. Everyone else, admittedly what seems to be a minority these days, is capable of viewing both "sides" with a healthy dose of skepticism and form their own thoughts. You do not appear to be among them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 Nov 2019 @ 4:16pm

      Fox[ News] is terrible and laura can't [be] trusted

      Yeah, pretty much. Fox News carries water for the GOP, with all that phrasing implies, and Laura Loomer is a professional conservative grifter.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bloof (profile), 21 Nov 2019 @ 4:19pm

      Re: Trustworthy..??? Really

      Fox give the other side of things? Well, I suppose fantasy is the other side of the coin to reality. Must be comforting to have a sea of white faces confidently state that the real reason your life is crap is some conspiracy involving some 'other', minorities, liberals, immigrants, they're all plotting to take what you want to have.

      Nothing dangerous about winding up your audience for years, telling them to buy guns, giving them an enemy then pretending that conservatives/christians/white people are under attack, nope. There's no chance that's ever going to result in innocent people being murdered.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Nov 2019 @ 9:13pm

      Re: Trustworthy..??? Really

      Howdy Ivan. You just now find the password to this account?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Nov 2019 @ 4:16pm

    The article’s parenthetical statements are spot on (they’re not).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    bhull242 (profile), 21 Nov 2019 @ 4:32pm

    I think what’s most confusing to me is how Ingraham is liable. She didn’t say, publish, or broadcast anything defamatory.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Nov 2019 @ 5:55pm

    White and Masnick have such similar points of view.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Nov 2019 @ 6:38pm

      Re:

      Paul Hansmeier lost his appeal. Get over yourself, John Smith.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 Nov 2019 @ 7:16pm

      So what?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Khym Chanur (profile), 21 Nov 2019 @ 7:36pm

        Re:

        I believe that John Smith has claimed that Masnick and multiple lawyers, including Ken White, are engaged in a conspiracy to... something or other, so he might be implying that them having very similar points of view is evidence of that conspiracy. A conspiracy to what, exactly? Well, according to John Smith, he's still in the process of getting all his ducks in a row, crossing all his T's and dotting his I's, and so on, so that when finally reveals all he'll be 100% certain of winning any defamation cases against him. I think he's been claiming this for a least a year now.

        He's also recently claimed to have inside information that Masnick, White and co-conspirators are already under investigation by the Feds.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 21 Nov 2019 @ 8:18pm

          Re: Re:

          Ah the incoherent ramblings of a deranged and/or trollish lunatic... truly, they are the gift that keeps on giving, or at least the report function stress-tester that keeps on giving anyway.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2019 @ 12:44am

          Re: Re:

          Pretty much. Though the claim about Masnick and White is not nearly anything recent. John Smith's hateboner for White goes all the way back when Popehat was covering the Prenda Law saga.

          Since any IP enforcement coming under scrutiny rustles John Smith's jimmies harder than a Richter 9 earthquake, he's held a deep-seated grudge for White ever since. You can check out Smith's diatribes over Techdirt's coverage of the Prenda saga when he was still posting under his "horse with no name" moniker. Starting from this one, where he shakes his fist in outrage at Otis Wright.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2019 @ 7:12am

          Re: Re:

          claimed that Masnick and multiple lawyers, including Ken White, are engaged in a conspiracy

          Ooh ooh, does that mean he's going for RICO? grabs popcorn

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2019 @ 5:18am

          Re: Re:

          This John Smith guy sounds a lot like that O'Keefe character.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 26 Nov 2019 @ 2:33am

          Re: Re:

          "I believe that John Smith has claimed that Masnick and multiple lawyers, including Ken White, are engaged in a conspiracy to... something or other, so he might be implying that them having very similar points of view is evidence of that conspiracy."

          It's far simpler than that.

          Popehat went after Baghdad Bob's big heroes, the stalwart copyright trol...err, "defenders". As did Masnick.

          To old Baghdad Bob anyone who dissents with the skewed views he himself finds in the la-la land emerging from his crack pipe must be an abject rarity so I'm guessing he's simply started down the "logical" road of trying to prove to himself that White and Masnick are one and the same person.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Nov 2019 @ 9:14pm

      Re:

      Chris and Jhon have such similar points of view.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2019 @ 6:17am

      Re:

      Trump and Putin have such similar points of view.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    mcinsand, 22 Nov 2019 @ 4:56am

    maybe my favorite sentence from your writing

    >Even if you think that Fox News is terrible (it is), that Ingraham is not to be
    >trusted (she's not), and that her guests are fools (they are), this threat is still
    >completely bogus and silly.

    I really can't say enough how much I like this sentence.

    applause

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 22 Nov 2019 @ 11:34am

    dear Mr. Vindman..

    Considering your rank and location in the Gov..
    what would it take to talk to a gov/state agency and have Some one knock and raid a persons Home??
    There are enough Dumb Judges out there that would sign anything for you, Probably..
    Knock and rummage thru a house and take all electronics based on an anon complaint..(I love ANON he/she/it is sooo cute)
    then have his Stuff Sold in 7 days.. Or scan the spit out of it, and Find something stupid..(his porn accounts would be great)

    ANd you can add to that request by telling them NOT to tell anyone of have the cops/police/idiots return and do it again..
    (Who needs the Mob)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    any moose cow word, 22 Nov 2019 @ 11:44am

    That's exactly how Fox "News" games the system: they frame outright lies and attacks as conjecture or "opinion", knowing very well that such insinuations are just as effective at persuading a gullible public yet protected from legal repercussions. One can't shout "FIRE!" in a crowded theater, but they can light a fat stogie, waft it about unseen in the dark, and then scream about the smoke to imply there's a fire. The end effect is the same, as most in the theater who can see the smoke would be to far away to smell that it's from a cigar. I'm not a lawyer or legal scholar, so I don't know how to best deal with this without trampling on legitimate free speech, but one doesn't need to be either to see how erosive such prevalent fake "news" is to the social and political stability of our nation. And more specifically in Vindman's case, endangers lives. We've already seen that these propagandists are not above using hateful rhetoric to not only paint targets on perceived enemies but provoke violent attacks on them.

    Some argue that one must fight speech with speech. In the previous example, someone would need to shout down the provocateur with the fact that the smoke is from a cigar. However, that would require someone to effectively persuade the crowd in the narrow time frame before panic sets in. While events tend to evolve over much longer timescales in actual public discourse, the time required for an effective response to propagate can still be relatively short. "Better education" is another proposed solution. While I don't disagree that is required, we're already generations into that downward slide; it would take another generation or so for formal education to begin to effect our social course. While today's net-native youth may be more savvy about social media, they still don't do well against fake "news". https://www.forbes.com/sites/prudygourguechon/2018/05/13/think-you-can-tell-fake-news-from-real-new- study-says-think-again/#6bb94fe228e7

    What's the solution? I don't know... But to shrug of Fox "News" style attacks and refuse to recognize how they game free speech laws to intentionally harm others is dangerous and simply unacceptable.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 22 Nov 2019 @ 3:19pm

    How many times..

    CAN a news channel post opinion/... And NOT be considered protected..
    HOW many idiots do they Run across the screen, saying the SAME BS, And its..We didnt say it..
    How much do they Pay others to State, BS, and get away with it,cause they DIDNT SAY IT..

    Love, get Paid for your comments. even if you are told what to say. Hinted at what to say..
    At one point is was the same persons up there More then any others..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 23 Nov 2019 @ 1:49pm

      Re: How many times..

      worst part of this is papers and sites can say..
      "THEY posted it",. we only reported what THEY SAID..

      No Proof of anything is needed.
      That AINT NEWS.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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