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June 04, 2012

'Birthers' loses libel suit over Esquire parody

A #libel #lawsuit filed by 'Birther' Joseph Farah and others against Esquire magazine has been tossed out, with the judge ruling the disputed Esquire piece amounted to a "satirical swipe" protected by the First Amendment.

In a 20-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer granted Esquire's move to dismiss the libel action undertaken by Mr.  Farah, editor of WorldNetDaily.com, and author Jerome Corsi. Mr. Corsi authored the book entitled "Where’s the Birth Certificate? The Case That Barack Obama Is Not Eligible To Be President."

By prevailing under D.C.'s anti-SLAPP statute, Esquire may be in a position to seek attorneys fees. Good news for Laura Handman and her winning team at Davis Wright Tremain.

Messrs. Farah and Corsi have been serious about pursuing questions about the president's birth status, as the judge enumerates:

"From June to December 2008, WND posted more than 60 Internet items on the issue of the President’s birth certificate. In the period between January 2009 through January 2010, WND posted approximately 280 entries on its website that in some form questioned the legitimacy of the President’s short-form birth certificate. From February 2010 to March 2011,WND posted another approximately 266 articles on the same issue."

Esquire.com fired back with a May 2011 posting, purporting to report that WND had pulled the Corsi book from the shelves for being so bogus. The satire -- which was not, in fact, particularly funny -- was labeled a "libelous smear" by the WND team, which subsequently filed a $120 million lawsuit.

Judge Collyer was unsympathetic, noting in the course of dismissing the lawsuit under D.C.'s anti-SLAPP statute:

"The Blog Post contained an expression of views that communicated to members of the public in connection with an issue of public interest, i.e., the dispute over whether President Obama qualifies by birthright to be President of the United States. Having become such well-known proponents of one position on the issue, Plaintiffs cannot complain that the very intensity of their advocacy also became part of the public debate. Those who speak with loud voices cannot be surprised if they become part of the story."

 

 

 

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Laughing at them

'Birther' Joseph Farah is a real joke. The lunatics of society are taking over. Something is very wrong.

JNagarya

Corsi is probably worse than WND when it comes to smearing poppycock fueled with lying.

The "birther" "issue" has been repeatedly shown to be nonsense. But it is serious nonsense in view of the fact that it is based entirely upon recism against President Obama. And here's how we know it's nonsense and a lie:

In order to run for president, one must get one's name on the ballot in every state. Every state has long-standing laws stuipulating how one goes about doing that, including proof that one qualifies in keeping with the Constitution. Barak Obama did that, in every state of the 50, including in states controlled by Republicans.

Those who believe the "birther" nonsesne, and push it, are morons, or racists, or both.

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mike

"Suits & Sentences" is a legal affairs blog written by Michael Doyle, a reporter for McClatchy's Washington Bureau. He was a Knight Journalism Fellow at Yale Law School, where he earned a Master of Studies in Law; he also earned a Masters in Government from The Johns Hopkins University with a thesis on the Freedom of Information Act. He teaches journalism as an adjunct instructor at The George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs.

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