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How do I teach this punk a lesson?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by forever_town, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I wrote a column about a situation where a group allegedly barred a reporter representing a Latino television network from its meeting. I wrote the column as an opinion piece and was careful to write it in such a way as to not accuse the guy of a crime or anything of the sort.

    Anyway, the guy wrote a long letter/guest column in response. In it, he accused me of libel AND said what I wrote: "ranks with the best of the propaganda generated against my people by Dr. Joseph Geobbels during the Third Reich."

    That sounds like defamation of character to me ... what do I do about it?
  2. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    Your paper ran that?
  3. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    You're going to teach the ignorant a lesson? Good luck.
  4. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Well, first of all, if you write an opinion piece and somebody writes an opinion in response, and he only likens your work to that of the Nazis, and doesn't say you're a card-carrying Nazi (and even that almost certainly wouldn't do it), then you'd better get a lot more familiar with what constitutes "defamation of character."

    There is absolutely zero that's actionable there, and unless you're leaving something out, his claim of libel might be OK copy, but as a legal threat, it's just as hollow. He's got no libel case, you've got no defamation case.

    Even in a straight news story, "ranks with" is simply a comparison and his opinion.

    What you should do about it is zero.
  5. VetBroMan

    VetBroMan New Member

    Nothing! You just have to roll with the punches, unfortunately.
  6. TwoGloves

    TwoGloves Well-Known Member

    C'mon, I can't believe nobody suggested the obvious: Find out where he lives and upper deck him.
  7. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    I think of instances like this and my response is always one sentence:
    "I've been called worse by better."
  8. Stoney

    Stoney Well-Known Member

    You get a thicker skin. As offensive as you might've found them, those words won't support an actionable defamaton suit. Particularly if they're in response to something you first wrote and published about him. You sue and you'll get nothing but costs and further embarrassment.
  9. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    In other words, give him enough rope, let him hang himself.

    He didn't need my help to make him look like an idiot.
  10. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    Or throw a bag of shit at his house. That usually works, too.
  11. A flaming bag of shit works better.
  12. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    Outing alert: Mike's real name is Ronald Miller.
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