Rich Family Sues Fox Over “Sham Story”

150px-Foxnewslogo.svgThe family of the late Democratic National Committee Staffer Seth Rich has sued Fox News for intentional infliction of emotional distress and related torts in the airing of allegations of a conspiracy involving Rich and Wikileaks.  Despite my great sympathy for this family in the loss of Seth Rich, the complaint (below) is in my view without serious merit.  The causal connections are too attenuated and liability would undermine first amendment protections for the free press.

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The Not-So-Friendly Skies: United Airlines Under Fire After Dog Dies In Overhead Bin


250px-United_Airlines.svgUnited Airlines is under fire after a flight attendant ordered a pet dog to be placed in a passenger’s overhead bin on a flight from Houston.  When United Flight 1284 arrived in New York, the French Bulldog “Kokito” was found dead.  The horrific scene could well result in a tort action for negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and other claims.  As a common carrier, United is subject to a high standard of care in the treatment of passengers.

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High School Teacher In California Injures Student After Accidentally Discharging Weapon In Class

Photo courtesy of the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office via Wikimedia Commons

In a story that is likely to resonate in the national debate over President Donald Trump’s push to get teacher’s armed in school, a teacher at Seaside High School in Sand City, Ca. injured a student when his gun discharged in a class.  Even more embarrassing is that the class was on gun safety.


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Prominent Egyptian Television Host Arrested For Disrespecting The Police

441px-Coat_of_arms_of_Egypt_(Official).svgThe rollback on civil liberties and press freedoms continues in Egypt where our close ally is arresting journalists for insulting the government or police.  Now even pro-government media figures are being arrested.  The arrest of prominent television host Khairy Ramadan is an example of how, once censorship and the criminalization of speech starts, the appetite for speech control becomes insatiable.

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CNN Accuses Florida Student Cited By President As Lying About Scripted Question

200px-Cnn.svgColton Haab, a survivor of last week’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., has appeared on national television to voice his allegation that CNN tried to get him to read a scripted question at the network’s recent Town Hall event with survivors and leading politicians.  The allegation led President Donald Trump to tweet that CNN had been caught in an act of “fake news.” Now however CNN has posted the original email and accused Haab of “doctoring” the emails and lying about its exchange with its producer.  If CNN is doctoring the emails (which is unlikely), Haab could sue for defamation.  However, the network says that critical language was removed by Haab or his family.


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Second Trump Staffer Resigns In A Week After Spousal Abuse Allegations As Trump Decries “Shattered Lives” [Updated]

article-abuse-0209A second White House official has resigned following a media investigation into allegations of domestic violence.  As discussed yesterday the disconnect between Rod Porter claiming that the allegations were false but his subsequent failure to seek a legal remedy or even threaten a defamation action.  David Sorensen, a speechwriter for President Trump, has raised a possible defamation action against his wife in denying the accusations. Indeed, he alleges that she was the abuser — creating a possibility of libel actions on both sides (much like the Roy Moore situation).  President Donald Trump has responded to the two cases by decrying the impact of “mere allegations” in “shattering lives.”

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Defamation or Damage Control? Trump Praises Rod Porter While Porter Claims Innocence

Rob Porter's ex-wife Colbie Holderness is pictured in a photo from 2005, when she says Porter gave her a black eye on an Italy trip.It is like a broken record in politics. A powerful man is accused of a despicable and criminal act toward women.  He emphatically denies the allegation and then . . . crickets.  President Donald Trump cited Rod Porter’s claim of innocence and praised him and is now facing criticism over his failure to express concern for the women in the scandal.

In the meantime, Porter has not done the obvious thing if his two prior wives are indeed lying about his being a vile abuser of women . . . he has not threatened, let alone promised, a defamation action.

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