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June 23, 2005
Lying Liars

Hillary Clinton is in a tight spot.

Yeah, she's been lied about in that idiotic book, whose title I won't lower myself to quote, but she can't come out and pitch a fit about the "she's a lesbian" claim without making it sound as though being a lesbian is something bad. It's impossible to deal with it when the Other Side is tossing frantic 'insults' at you and you don't consider what they're calling you an insult...but you'd like to respond to their intent, if not their words. It's a no-win situation.

And she can't address the rape issue without having her words twisted and distorted out of recognition. (Arguably, her husband, who has been accused of rape, could bring Klein up on charges...but then, why turn a petty-minded insect into a nuclear threat?)

So, you know, to add my bit to the issue, let me point out that Edward Klein is a scum-sucking swamp toad.

Edward Klein is a partisan hack with the morals and the integrity of roadkill.

(Are those statements actionable? I suspect those statements are actionable.

Will I be called upon to defend those remarks in court, or since the guy has made himself "public" by publishing a book and doing interviews, is he fair game? Am I contributing to the moral decline in our political process by referring to roadkill?)

I mean, we all know that politics in this country isn't as high-minded as we'd all like, but in this book, Klein has rised the sewage level about ten notches.

The fact that the Right stoops to using these kinds of smear tactics only proves how little they deserve to be in power in this country and how threadbare their "policies" really are. (They didn't have many ideas, and none of those have proven, upon execution, to be good ones, and now they're freaking out.)

Also, although it will hurt, because I buy about 400 books a year on all kinds of topics, I think I'm going to stop buying anything with the Penguin imprint, because publishing this book was irresponsible and ducking the heat is unprofessional.

This country, as I've said before, is stuffed with people who actually believe that, "it must be true, or they wouldn't have let him print it" so now Penguin has made their (substantial) contribution to lying to the public.

I just can't support that kind of thing.

(Update: Achenbach takes on the topic.)

Posted by AnneZook at 10:24 AM


Klein has no cause, but roadkill will surely object to the comparison. I mean, finding out that the light at the end of the tunnel had 18 wheels was supposed to be the worse thing that could happen to an armadillo and now you're comparing him/her to to Edward Klein.

Posted by: Bryan at June 23, 2005 07:39 PM

Heh. That's true. I'll probably start getting huffy e-mails from roadkill around the world.

Posted by: Anne at June 23, 2005 07:57 PM

"Edward Klein is a partisan hack with the morals and the integrity of roadkill."

It's not actionable. To be libel, it has to be factually false, and courts don't view insults as fact-based statements. If you said Klien took bribes from Karl Rove to write the book, and then Klien proved that he did not take bribes from Karl Rove, he'd win a case against you. At a stretch (which I doubt courts would accept) if you called Klein a cock-sucker and he could prove that he never sucked any cock, then he might have a case against you. But if you call Klein the scum of the earth, then the courts wouldn't be interested. It's clearly your opinion and not a fact.

At least, that is the law I learned in a basic law class on torts. However, these things vary by states. In some states, you can not be sued over things you say in private at a restaurant when you are out with friends, but in other states you can be (for "defaming" the person in question).

I'm not aware of any libel case that ever resulted from straight-forward insults.

Posted by: Lawrence Krubner at July 7, 2005 09:56 AM

Amazing. Your web server won't let me post a comment with the word "s p e c i a l i s t" in it, because inside that word is the word "c i a l i s", but I'm allowed to post the words "cock-sucker".

It really is curious how these anti-spam filters work.

Posted by: Lawrence Krubner at July 7, 2005 10:03 AM