Saturday, February 02, 2019


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.


Moreover . . .


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 . . .


Anonymous said...

The star should take back steve rose.

Anonymous said...

There was a really good comment the other day about the star actually wanting Steve gone. $75K isn't too high of an asking price to void whatever contract he might have had.

Anonymous said...

Denning did the Star a favor. It's not about the lawsuit at all, it's about getting a new class of journalist in Kansas. I think that's an idea we can all support not matter your political party.

Anonymous said...

Steve basically beat Kobah. This was the price that he paid.

Anonymous said...

The most hilarious thing about this post is that tkc would even offer an opinion on defamation. I mean, he did so well last time when he was slapped down by the courts right? He's as wrong now as he was wrong then. What a chucklehead.

Anonymous said...

Golly wut da heck!

Super Dave said...

I understand Tony's side of this but I think Steve cook his own goose here and will I'm sure have to either do maga amount of public kissing Dennings butt or hire a good lawyer. But Rose screwed himself when he told Denning what he did was wrong and he knew it. So Rose in writing admitting such is the same far as I am concerned as a signed confession.

Oh, this will cost Steve way more than any 75k.

Anonymous said...

Misquote?! Doesn't matter. Pro journalists should be extra cautious in the current "fake news" sensitivity. Seems it was a case of Rose jumping out of his seat in the crowded theater and loudly proclaiming, "Hey, that guy over there in the fifth row , said FIRE!" People rush out, while getting pushed and panicked. Now, he has to own the effects of that public declaration, when he's being told that nobody said 'FIRE'. Even with good intent to try to alert others, he could be misquoting something. Mistakes can have undesired consequences.

No matter what Rose thought he heard Denning say, it's still Rose's responsibility for providing proof SINCE HE PUBLISHED THE REMARKS.

Anonymous said...

^^^Only if he pleads truth of the allegedly defamatory speech as his defense.

Anonymous said...

Republicans ARE crybabies.

chuck said...

4:05 - That's interesting.

Anonymous said...

I love TKC but this is just another case of media folk prsotecting one another. They always criticize others but can't stand even the slightest criticism of themselves.

Anonymous said...

The crackerjack legal minds here forget defendants are innocent until proven guilty.

The burden isn't on Rose to prove anything. That's not how it works in America.

Denning has to prove these were false statements; even if they were, then that Rose knew they were false; and lastly that Rose acted with intent to damage or in a grossly negligent manor.

Dennings has two chances of proving all that. Fat and Slim.

Anonymous said...

How can anyone think Rose’s departure from the Fallen Star is a bad thing? And how desperate must he be to want to stay there?

Anonymous said...

...and lastly that Rose acted with intent to damage or in a grossly negligent manor." Nope, that is not part of Denning's burden. He has to show he was damaged, but that is given if he can show he was defamed and Rose knew or should have known his defamatory statements were false.

Anonymous said...

This post came out swinging wildly and MISSED!

KC Falling Star's dire financial picture = IRRELEVANT
Steve Rose's advancing age = IRRELEVANT
KS GOP, JoCo Blue Wave, Middle-class white women = IRRELEVANT
Stormy Daniels = IRRELEVANT
Dave Spence/Jay Nixon = IRRELEVANT

Mr. Rose told The Falling Star that he talks to Sen. Denning all the time = RELEVANT

Sen. Denning said he hasn't spoken to Steve Rose in 1-2 years = RELEVANT

Steve Rose resigned from The Falling Star in an attempt to placate Sen. Denning for lying about him, and to leave The Falling Star with his reputation intact = RELEVANT

"'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." = DEAD WRONG CONCLUSION

"Sen. Denning could have asked for equal time. He could have taken his misquote complaints to TV and reached an even bigger audience." = This is technically accurate, but Sen. Denning is the aggrieved party here, and he shouldn't be burdened with having to disprove the lies of Steve Rose. Filing suit is the efficient method to hold the liar and his publisher responsible for their ethical violations. Can you say FAKE NEWS?

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Freedom of Speech / Freedom of the Press

The most basic component of freedom of expression is the right of freedom of speech. The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without government interference or regulation. The Supreme Court requires the government to provide substantial justification for the interference with the right of free speech where it attempts to regulate the content of the speech. Generally, a person cannot be held liable, either criminally or civilly for anything written or spoken about a person or topic, so long as it is truthful or based on an honest opinion, and such statements. KEY WORD = TRUTHFUL


Anonymous said...

Roses pinko pimples need a popping at his retirement home, go away and do it. We will get along great without you.

Anonymous said...

8:59 game, set, match

Tony's simply sucking KC Red Star dick in hope she can get a job with them, even if it's cleaning the shitters.

Anonymous said...

Tony wants a job? Bwahahahahhaha! You must be joking! Bloggers have no ambition. This is just TKC repeating stuff that his lawyer funders are saying. Will Steve win? Probably, the guy is suing for a measly 75,000. That's chump change and shows he doesn't really have a case.

Granger said...

Like most cases, this one gets settled. I do think this post explains more than any of the others I've seen.

Anonymous said...

The biggest sin that Rose committed is not having any friends. Heating didn't work to make better contacts within the Kansas Republican Party. If he had his columns would have been better and he would have been protected from this kind of frivolous lawsuit. Basically you're just seeing a guy with no pull get hosed.

Anonymous said...

8:02, maybe as a private citizen, but Denning has the extra burden of proving intent as he is a public figure. I know he filed as a private citizen, but he evidenced an email from a constituent to show damages, which actually confirms his public figure status.

Anonymous said...

Well they can have Tony update the application he filled out that's currently framed and hanging in Mike Fannin's office.

True story.

Anonymous said...

LOL ^^^^ would believe that but then i would have to think that The Star really considers this blog a threat. its fun and i read it all the timebut i don't think it is replacing real papers or tv staions. The comments crack me up. just show Tony has a lot of influence over the readers. the shit i their heads is hilarious.