Patterico's Pontifications

10/16/2009

The Liberal Media’s Addiction to Truth Rush

Filed under: Media Bias — DRJ @ 4:20 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

It’s been one entire day since I posted on the reaction to Rush Limbaugh but Reason Magazine Editor Michael C. Moynihan did it better:

“As someone who has been consistently critical of Rush Limbaugh’s brand of conservatism, I nevertheless agree with former Reason intern (and current editor at the Washington City Paper) Mike Riggs: quite a few media hacks owe the right-wing talker a serious apology.”

Moynihan proceeds to wryly skewer Rachel Maddow, Rick Sanchez, and David Schuster for repeating fake racist quotes and attributing them to Limbaugh. He even has a bonus paragraph on Chris Matthews.

— DRJ

14 Responses to “The Liberal Media’s Addiction to Truth Rush”

  1. This is not America. It’s some dirty socialist bastardization of America.

    I think it blows.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  2. After the complete bitchasseyness from MadCow towards a guest last night, this is a nice column to read.

    JD (b9a8a2)

  3. Question to all the lawyers who read this blog: What would be the chances of success for a libel suit in this case (against CNN and MSNBC, et al.)? Better or worse than celebrity suits against tabloids?

    Glen Wishard (02562c)

  4. Well then, just as long as Maddow is “cheerful, careful and civil!”, we shouldn’t quibble over a bit of lying, eh?

    Dana (863a65)

  5. Actually, Dana, if Maddow is cheerful, careful, and civil, I would hate to see her be angry, careless, and rude.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  6. So that’s what integrity looks like…

    Re: Glen,

    About as badly, I suspect. He’s a public figure, so would have to prove malice to collect.

    Though “willful stupidity and a blatant lack of source-checking” should qualify, I don’t think it does.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  7. Glen Wishard,

    This is my opinion and not legal advice. I think the point of a defamation action is to win, to repair the damage to one’s reputation, and to do it at a reasonable cost. I assume Limbaugh can easily afford to hire attorneys to bring a defamation action but it’s expensive even for people like Rush — in part because discovery can be expanded when reputation evidence is involved and in part because media defendants have deep pockets and little to lose.

    IMO winning depends on being able to prove the defamation was spoken (slander) or written (libel) and that it was false or, in public figure cases, that it was published with knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard of whether the statement was false. (I assume this is still the public figure standard but I haven’t researched it. Whatever the standard is now for public figures, I think it’s fair to say it isn’t easy for plaintiffs to prove.)

    In addition, whether litigation will repair the damage to one’s reputation depends on other factors such as what a person’s reputation was before the defamation and whether continuing to publicize the defamation will do more harm than good. Very few plaintiffs consider the last factor before bringing suit, a consideration some end up regretting.

    DRJ (7fbae6)

  8. Was the CNN story broadcast in Britain? Would that allow Rush to bring suit in British court and use the more stringent British rules against those that libelled him?

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  9. Having managed quite a few complex litigations, discovery in any action Mr. Limbaugh brings against these various media defendants will likely be a gold mine of dishonesty, disingenuousness and dysfunction when the inner workings of those organizations are exposed. It would be worth the costs simply for that.

    Brooks (5bcf3a)

  10. Seems the phony quotes have been linked to a rather large liberal law firm in NYC, which is linked to the white house. Damn, life is good sometimes. I posted yesterday that the slime and slander had President O’Dumbo’s prints all over it.

    Scrapiron (4e0dda)

  11. #3: Pretty hard, actually, at least for those anchors who immediately retracted and did so without digging a deeper hole like Rick Sanchez did when he pointed out all those other unsubstantiated quotes (which were also fraudulent). Those who dug in their heels after the fraud became apparent would be in a different situation because at that point they clearly knew they were peddling falsehoods.

    One other point: I don’t know where Limbaugh would sue, but many states have anti-SLAPP suits designed to throw out cases in the preliminary stage when they affect people’s constitutional rights to free speech. Therefore, before Rush ever got the chance to conduct discovery, he would have to show he already has the evidence to support a prima fascia claim for libel.

    just for the record I’m not a constitutional scholar so my law degree doesn’t give me much specialized experience as far as this hypo goes.

    Sean P (50f5d9)

  12. The best possible outcome from this debacle would be for Madcow’s viewers to wake up and say to themselves, “Hey! Why the hell am I watching this smug, self-serving, LIAR?”

    Icy Texan (6fdd44)

  13. But their training in doing a daily radio show with no script in front of them and no producer talking in their earpiece makes them naturals for TV. ,

    No_limits83 (17fd38)


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