Random Thoughts Again

sameoldlama
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby sameoldlama » Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:14 pm

Alex Jones is a Class A fraud but the people who should be held accountable for harassment are the people who engaged in the harassment. You can make a case that Jones' behavior rose to the level of libel or slander and hold him accountable in that manner. But if you go there then you need to call for some checks to be written by a whole lot of people and "news" organizations who fail to vet stories or stroke the social media mobs because they are promoting an agenda or trying to drive ratings.

Jones is a total turd - he is a conspiracy hustler in the same way Al Sharpton is a race hustler - they are both pimps and their rhetoric is the goods they pimp and their followers are the johns. But as reprehensible as the pimps are no one is forced to act on what they are selling. Start holding a few of these clowns who take what hustlers like these say too far accountable. Maybe some people will think twice before following a fool down the path.
Wendall : That's very linear Sheriff
Ed Tom : Age will flatten a man Wendall

Blue&White
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby Blue&White » Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm

He's not being sued for what his followers did. He's being sued for the damage from what he said.
Baseball season!!!!

sameoldlama
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby sameoldlama » Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:16 pm

The claim is what he said (which amounted to defamation) resulted in damages (harassment by his followers) and that Jones knowingly misrepresented the event with intent to harm victims (malice). Without the actions of his followers you'd lose a significant degree of harm or damages to the plaintiffs.

Harassment by his followers would likely be easier to prosecute but not as lucrative and you are not cutting the head off the snake. Libel cases can be difficult because of free speech protections - you are allowed to say stupid stuff - and malice can be difficult to prove and it is hard to monetize the damages.
Wendall : That's very linear Sheriff
Ed Tom : Age will flatten a man Wendall

Blue&White
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby Blue&White » Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:13 pm

I have not read the specific complaints and I am always dubious about press reports on legal claims. But, from the little I saw, they are claiming things about impact to reputation and standing in the community. I am sure their lawyers were very careful in how they put this together or they never would have gotten this far. He's already made several attempts to get this bounced out of court based on various 1st Amendment arguments on both freedom of speech and freedom of the press. I've not followed this that closely, but I did pay attention a few months ago when his motions on that were filed because I was interested in that aspect of it. That they have gotten this far tells me that their lawyer has done a good job in writing this. But, it also potentially limits their damages some as they can't really hold him accountable for the harassment they have faced (which he has been a big contributor to).

As for libel cases being dificult, they are a lot easier when you are not a public figure. The standards of malice are just not the same as they are for someone who puts themselves out into the public. And, none of these people were public figures. They didn't seek notoriety or fame and fortune. They are not politicians. And, advocating on behalf of your dead children (or parent in the case of the daughter of the school principal who was murdered) is not likely to reach the threshold of "public figure" although that will depend on the facts. So, I don't think proving their case is going to be that dificult. Damages is another story, but for tort claims you don't need to line up the damages to actuals. You can get punitives to send a message. But, without that, it's going to be tough to get much in actual damages due to his defaming them. I'm not aware that anyone lost a job or suffered economic loss.

I will confess to being somewhat torn on this whole thing. I think Alex Jones is a reprehensible human being and I really hope they leave him desitute. But, I am concerned about a precedent that runs the risk of shutting down legitimate reporting becuase the press can sometimes get it wrong. But, the issue here isn't that he got it wrong. It's that he blatantly ignored the truth. But, they really need to prove that.

We'll see how it all plays out, I guess.
Baseball season!!!!

sameoldlama
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby sameoldlama » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:50 am

I understand the ideological concept of protecting the free expression of ideas - even ones that are not necessarily popular - but sometimes as a society you have to make judgment calls and say someone can't be a total a-hole to another person and harass them under the guise of free speech - when you get about a 9,999 to 1 ratio of people recognizing someone is being a jerk for the sake of being a jerk - and harassing someone - you've got to call it out.

The Westboro Baptist Church comes to mind.
Wendall : That's very linear Sheriff
Ed Tom : Age will flatten a man Wendall

Blue&White
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby Blue&White » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:02 am

I understand the ideological concept of protecting the free expression of ideas - even ones that are not necessarily popular

I'd change that to especially ones that are not necessarily popular. Rights are defined at the margins. The right to express an unpopular opinion is fundamental to the concept of a free society. The rights of the West Boro Baptist Church, disgusting as they are, to spew their hatred is fundamental to our society. It has to be. Once you get into the business of determining which speech is acceptable, you've basically conceded it's not a right but a privielge that can be taken away if you're not playing ball with those who decide what "proper" speech is. The implications of that are frightening

What is not ok, or funademental to freedom, is the right to spew your hatred at someone else's funderal. Regulations of time, place and manner of speech are acceptable as long as they are reasonble and don't really infringe on the righ to speak. Where the Westboro asshats cross the line is the "place".

Alex Jones is a different issue. They are going after him for defamation. You don't have the right to make up horrible stories about people.
Baseball season!!!!

LioninVa
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby LioninVa » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:17 am

I have probably mentioned this before... The Navy has a mandatory Rights and Responsibilities class. Many forget the responsibility aspect of the rights.

sameoldlama
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby sameoldlama » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:32 am

I'm delineating when speech crosses over to harassment - and I would agree WBC can express any opinion they wish - what I don't agree they have the right to do is show up at funerals (even if it is a public cemetery) for the express purpose to harass someone with their absolutely meritless garbage. I would also say in no way, shape, or form should they be considered an entity that enjoys tax free status.

We can be strident in protecting ideological principles on which are nation is founded - we don't need to be pathological.
Wendall : That's very linear Sheriff
Ed Tom : Age will flatten a man Wendall

Blue&White
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby Blue&White » Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:25 pm

No, you don't need to be pathalogical but you do need to be consistent and unbiased. And, it's important that whateve restrictions are put in place are on time, place and manner of speech but not on the message itself. And, I fully agree that harassing people is not protected speech. But, Jones didn't harass people. He only provided fuel to lunatics who did.

As for Westboro Baptist Church, I vaguely recall there was an effort to strip their tax exempt status when Obama was President but it failed for some reasons. I don't recall the details now.
Baseball season!!!!

Blue&White
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby Blue&White » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:14 am

My wife and I were at a wedding for one of my wife's good friends yesterday. The happy couple's first dance was to Al Green's Let's Stay Together. I could see they were talking to each other during the dance and, while I couldn't actually hear what they were saying, I am convinced that the discussion was something like this.

I was trying to lip read it for my wife and, for some strange reason, she kept getting annoyed with me. Women have no respect for the classics.
Baseball season!!!!