Thursday, June 01, 2006

Suing Michael Moore

It looks like Michael Moore's penchant for falsehood is catching up to him. According to this AP story, a disabled Iraqi war veteran, who lost both arms in Iraq, is suing Moore for $85 million in damages due to a "loss of reputation, emotional distress, embarrassment, and personal humiliation," that came from being portrayed as anti-war. Sergeant Peter Damon says the problem in Moore's Fahrenheit 911 was the editing - placing pictures of Damon on a gurney complaining about the pain caused by his injury right after a Democratic congressman argued that the president has "left behind" veterans. Sgt. Damon, however, "says he 'agrees with and supports the President and the United States' war effort, and he was not left behind.'"

$85 million? Yeah, that's ridiculous. No embarrassment or loss of reputation is worth $85 million. But America does have a long history of libel lawsuits. Due to the New York Times Co. vs Sullivan case Damon should have to show "actual malice" - meaning that Moore "knew that the statement was false or acted in reckless disregard of its truth or falsity." This is not an easy task, especially since the alleged defamation occurred by inference due to insidious editing.

In general, I am opposed to frivolous lawsuits. They cost taxpayers money, clog up the courts, and rewards Me-thinking behavior in our culture. However, in this case, I hope Damon's attempt to show Moore's willingness to distort the truth in order to make a political propaganda film in election year is clear and cogent.


Anonymous Jason said...

Only two posts in 3 days, and already your archives section spans two months! Indeed this hunk of cyberspace is "well-landscaped".

And I do agree that this is a high-stakes lawsuit with unsually full merits.

12:27 PM  
Blogger Kyky said...

He is, indeed, going to have an uphill battle. Though I, for one, wouldn't mind Michael Moore's "documentaries" getting taken to task.

12:56 PM  

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