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killing Trayvon - Page 273

post #4081 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by munchausen View Post


The standard has been expanded to "figures of public interest" or something like that. Zimmerman would fit. Malice is defined differently, basically knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard for truth. NBC is absolutely guilty of that. Your last sentence is where I see it getting tripped up. It's not a bright line. If they had taken words or lines out of his speech then I would say it's a slam dunk. Because his words are played and only the dispatcher's words are edited out, they might get away with it.

 

I also think he'd have a very difficult time proving damages. The damages in a defamation/libel case are meant to compensate for loss of reputation - i.e. plaintiff can no longer get a job because the defendant said such horrible things about him publicly. I think that there's been so much coverage of this case, and so much of it negative for Zimmerman, that he couldn't possibly prove that any one news channel or program or journalist caused him a libelous reputation.

 

There's actually a defense to defamation to the effect of "the plaintiff is incapable of being further defamed." I think Zimmerman is what's called a libel-proof plaintiff: http://www.speechandprivacy.com/2011/05/what-is-libel-proof-plaintiff.html

 

Relevant excerpt:

"A claimant is incapable of further defamation–e.g., the claimant's position in the community is so poor that defamation could not do further damage to the plaintiff. Such a claimant could be said to be "libel-proof", since in most jurisdictions, actual damage is an essential element for a libel claim. Essentially, the defense is that the person had such a bad reputation before the libel, that no further damage could possibly have been caused by the making of the statement."

post #4082 of 6250
The key word is "before." NBC edited that call while the media's case against Zimmerman was still building steam. If anything, you're helping to prove his damages for him...
post #4083 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ataturk View Post

The key word is "before." NBC edited that call while the media's case against Zimmerman was still building steam. If anything, you're helping to prove his damages for him...

 

Maybe. I didn't follow this closely enough to know all the relevant facts. Still, I'd say this: I suspect that enough true things were said about Zimmerman during this whole ordeal that caused significant damage to his reputation that it would be very difficult to separate out damage to his reputation caused by untrue and potentially defamatory things that were said. This makes actual damages very difficult to prove.

post #4084 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuadowen View Post

Maybe. I didn't follow this closely enough to know all the relevant facts. Still, I'd say this: I suspect that enough true things were said about Zimmerman during this whole ordeal that caused significant damage to his reputation that it would be very difficult to separate out damage to his reputation caused by untrue and potentially defamatory things that were said. This makes actual damages very difficult to prove.

But you don't have to prove damages with complete certainty, do you? I know in my state at least you can get a jury instruction that says the fact that a plaintiff can't prove damages exactly doesn't mean he's not entitled to them.

Anyway, remember the various things that were reported by the MSM (including NBC) that turned out not to be true:

1) The NBC-edited call

2) "Fucking coons."

3) Zimmerman had no injuries

And I'm sure there are others.
post #4085 of 6250
NBC will settle before it ever gets to a trial.
post #4086 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by harvey_birdman View Post

NBC will settle before it ever gets to a trial.

And will admit no guilt of course, as part of the settlement.
post #4087 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ataturk View Post


But you don't have to prove damages with complete certainty, do you? I know in my state at least you can get a jury instruction that says the fact that a plaintiff can't prove damages exactly doesn't mean he's not entitled to them.

Anyway, remember the various things that were reported by the MSM (including NBC) that turned out not to be true:

1) The NBC-edited call

2) "Fucking coons."

3) Zimmerman had no injuries

And I'm sure there are others.

 

You don't have to prove them in an absolute sense, but as with other elements of a civil case, the plaintiff must prove damages by what's called a preponderance of the evidence. That usually gets interpreted to mean "more likely than not." My point was evidentiary (i.e., can he prove it?) so much as it was causal (i.e. can he connect the defamatory statement to an actual injury?).  I think Zimmerman would have a very difficult time connecting any of the 3 things you listed directly to some actual injury on his part. He would have to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that NBC reporting that he had no injuries after the attack caused X injury to him. In a defamation case, X is usually equal to "now I can't get a job," or "now all my friends have shunned me" or "people are threatening me." Because so many things were said (some true, some not) that may have caused these reactions, it would be hard to show that any one of them caused it in a legal sense.

 

Also, there are a number of potential defenses to defamation. The flip-side of having to show malice is that a defendant can claim that a statement was made in good faith and was reasonably believed to be true. So, NBC reports Y, Y turns out not to be true, and was injurious to Zimmerman's reputation. NBC can say, "well, we got a call from a witness who told us Y was true, and we had no reason to doubt them. we are sorry that it turned out not to be true, and will print a retraction," and that's pretty much the end of it.

post #4088 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by harvey_birdman View Post

NBC will settle before it ever gets to a trial.

 

I actually don't know that they would. The balance is strongly in favor of news media organizations in any case that involves First Amendment concerns, and the history shows journalists don't like passing up opportunities for First Amendment defenses.

post #4089 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuadowen View Post

I actually don't know that they would. The balance is strongly in favor of news media organizations in any case that involves First Amendment concerns, and the history shows journalists don't like passing up opportunities for First Amendment defenses.

I bet you $1 they settle. NBC is firmly in the wrong here, this isn't a 1st Amendment issue.
post #4090 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuadowen View Post

You don't have to prove them in an absolute sense, but as with other elements of a civil case, the plaintiff must prove damages by what's called a preponderance of the evidence. That usually gets interpreted to mean "more likely than not." My point was evidentiary (i.e., can he prove it?) so much as it was causal (i.e. can he connect the defamatory statement to an actual injury?).  I think Zimmerman would have a very difficult time connecting any of the 3 things you listed directly to some actual injury on his part. He would have to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that NBC reporting that he had no injuries after the attack caused X injury to him. In a defamation case, X is usually equal to "now I can't get a job," or "now all my friends have shunned me" or "people are threatening me." Because so many things were said (some true, some not) that may have caused these reactions, it would be hard to show that any one of them caused it in a legal sense.
Wrongful conduct doesn't have to be the sole cause of an injury, just a substantial contributing factor. That's elementary tort law. Whether it's true in defamation cases, I'm not sure, but I bet it is.
post #4091 of 6250
Despite the fact that this case is a disaster and a tragedy on about 4700 different levels it's good to see that the jurors made the right call based on the evidence presented to them.

Someone asked whether or not Zimmerman is immune from a civil lawsuit. That would depend entirely on whether or not FLA has that written in their self defense law. In my neck of the woods if the self defense case falls under our castle doctrine the answer is yes. Outside of the castle doctrine laws the answer is no though it's unlikely to prevail in Missouri if one is filed.

I'm also relieved that I don't see headlines about riots all over the place as well. I hope it stays that way. Now with all that said I believe there is a real danger that some asshole is going to go after Zimmerman and kill him. IMO that would be a racial hate crime among other things. If that happens will the media call it what it is or would they spew about "street justice"? Will that racially driven bastard piece of shit named Al Sharpton rile everyone up over a real hate crime? Of course not.
post #4092 of 6250
It's actually pretty funny to watch MSNBC this morning. They are in such a state of hysteria. Some crazy racist lady just said we shouldn't respect the jury's verdict. Melissa Harris Perry is losing her shit. It's fantastic. They just can't wrap their heads around how this happened.
post #4093 of 6250
She's trying to blame the threat of riots on "fear mongers." Yeah, it had nothing to do with the first person statements on twitter and social media threatening exactly that.

69F7508B-22D0-4BAC-A1F0-9BAB17B08044-3290-0000031FFC657118_zps5b19d434.jpg

Yeah, that's one of those "fear mongers."
post #4094 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by harvey_birdman View Post

It's actually pretty funny to watch MSNBC this morning. They are in such a state of hysteria. Some crazy racist lady just said we shouldn't respect the jury's verdict. Melissa Harris Perry is losing her shit. It's fantastic. They just can't wrap their heads around how this happened.

Stupid is as stupid does. Any questions as to why they're melting down?
post #4095 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by harvey_birdman View Post

Melissa Harris Perry is losing her shit. It's fantastic.

A few weeks before the Zimmerman incident she dedicated an entire show to honoring Notorious B.I.G. It was on the anniversary of his shooting, or something. A few weeks later she's wearing a hoodie on her show to prove that a black man wearing a hoodie doesn't mean he's a drug dealer or a criminal - yet a black man who made a living off raping about his life as a drug dealer and criminal should be honored as a hero in the black community. Gotcha.
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