Saturday, February 02, 2019
SAVE STEVE ROSE FROM OLD SCHOOL GOP SLAPP!!! HERE'S ONE MORE REASON WHY WE THINK THE GOP LAWSUIT AGAINST THE KANSAS CITY STAR IS GARBAGE!!!
First a definition of terms and real info for all the amateur & pro legal minds who gather on this blog every day . . .
A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition. Such lawsuits have been made illegal in many jurisdictions on the grounds that they impede freedom of speech.
A quick review of the sitch:
The Kansas City Star is hurting financially. Their parent company is buying out old school workers, downsizing and their stock is teetering on the verge of collapse.
Like the lucky among us, columnist Steve Rose isn't getting younger and as a veteran of the news scene his advancing age is seen by many as weakness in the new media world. Age discrimination for anybody over 40 is for real and as the workplace grows more competitive we're seeing increased pressure on older workers.
The Kansas GOP was WALLOPED in every important contest last election. Republicans LOST Johnson County to the Blue Wave and now an upcoming Senate contest threatens another historic transformation of the Sunflower State. Middle-class white women are abandoning the party and so the dominant political school of thought for generations realizes that holding a majority against more than half of the electorate is becoming increasingly impossible.
All of this sets the stage for a lawsuit claiming nothing more egregious than an alleged misquote - A disputed statement on a silly and unimportant aspect of the healthcare debate in Kansas.
Again and again, what we've seen is, in our opinion, a frivolous crybaby claim that'll be settled quietly for pennies on the dollar OR dismissed outright.
One more time for the cheap seats, defamation claims against political combatants are a tough sell. Earlier we note that Stormy Daniels now has to work the pole again because her defamation lawsuit against the Prez FAILED.
Closer to home, remember that Missouri biz dude Dave Spence sued former Guv Jay Nixon over campaign commercials claiming sketchy behavior. It was a big deal at the time but ultimately nothing newsworthy came of it. The Law & crime blog reports: "Dave Spence’s lawsuit charged the incumbent Gov. Jay Nixon defamed him for running election ads that charged Spence used government bailout funds to enrich himself and his bank. However, the lawsuit was quietly dismissed a few weeks after the election that Spence lost by 12 points."
Reality check: Accusing a biz dude of bank sketchiness is a way bigger deal than an ALLEGED misquote.
Time and time again courts mostly shy away from playing referee in political slap fights because the expense limits the conversation for all Americans and the claims are so often impossible to prove or disprove.
Remember that Mr. Rose told The Star that he talks to Sen. Denning all of the time . . . Essentially making this a he said / she said drama where no actual damage to the reputation of a political public figure can be proven. Any ruling against Steve Rose isn't just unlikely, this drama is a clear throwaway case that will likely never see the inside of a courtroom. Those who claim otherwise are simply showing their own ignorance and inexperience in this kind of tough game of chicken that already killed the career of Mr. Rose at the daily paper.
Nevertheless . . .
For all pundits, newsies and denizens of the discourse it's important to stand with Mr. Rose and The Kansas City Star against this misguided attempt to silence free speech and criticism rather than engage in further discussion and debate.
Sen. Denning could have asked for equal time.
He could have taken his misquote complaints to TV and reached an even bigger audience.
Instead, the hypocrite Republican used big government, the courts and lawyers against a member of his own party because his leadership is clearly in question and, again, his side of the aisle is facing historic challenges. Sadly, the only plan they've devised is to circle their wagons and attempt to shut down any criticism. This myopic strategy is a big part of the EPIC KRIS KOBACH FAIL and simply a sign of desperation and a worn out playbook.
Still . . . This case is bigger than partisan slap fighting betwixt RINO & Po'dunk politico.
What's at stake here is the 1st Amendment and the prospect of any politico paying the crybaby defamation card when confronting a depiction they don't like . . .
Fact is, the validity of a mostly meaningless quote at the center of this lawsuit is a distraction for timid newsies and political hacks. Look closely and there's really nothing very scintillating in the words . . . Moreover, the contention in court dox that journalists are responsible for mean digital messages to politicos isn't just frivolous . . . It's a despicable blame shift that eschews the personal responsibility of the e-mail author.
THE LAWSUIT AGAINST STEVE ROSE AND THE KANSAS CITY STAR BETRAYS ALLEGED CONSERVATIVE IDEALS AND MAKES REPUBLICANS LOOK LIKE CRYBABIES!!!
Moreover . . .
THE EFFORT SEEMS LIKE A SLAPP TACTIC TO SILENCE CRITICS FROM THEIR OWN PARTY AND THREATENS OPPONENTS ACROSS THE AISLE!!!
And so . . .
What we've done is not only destroy a lot of the speculation surrounding this case but also hopefully remind readers that the 1st Amendment is far more important than the hurt feelings of some low rent politico like Kansas State Sen. Jim Denning who would seemingly hide under his desk and ask lawyers to do his bidding rather than debate his ideas about healthcare or the worsening state of the Republican party under his incapable leadership.
Developing . . .