Web PM

O'Reilly needs crash-course in free speech

The Truth Will Set You Free | October 16 2006

Anyone accusing a fellow American of mass murder better have undeniable facts to back it up. I am fed up with these America haters hiding behind [free speech].

And I am fed up with uninformed, overpaid morons like O'Reilly, who've been handed control of OUR airwaves.

Clearly, O'Reilly didn't bother to consult with a constitutional lawyer before he opened his flap.

Not a single American needs "undeniable facts" to accuse a public official of impropriety, malfeasance, or even treason.

Contrary to O'Reilly's nit-wit rantings, the First Amendment puts the burden on public officials to prove that the defendant acted with actual MALICE.

[The Supreme Court] determined that in the case of a public official, such as the police official in Sullivan, the First Amendment rights of free speech and expression outweigh the public official's rights unless the public official can prove that the defendant acted with actual MALICE. Actual malice means that the defendant who communicates a defamatory statement does so knowing that the statement is false or very likely false. The defendant need not harbor ill will toward the plaintiff for the public official to recover in an action for slander or libel; the public official need only prove that the defendant knew that the defamatory statement was false or had serious doubts as to its truth.
If Bush or anyone of his cronies filed a defamation suit against US for accusing them of orchestrating 9/11 - they would open themselves up to a full-fledged judicial investigation into what happened on 9/11 - exactly what we want.

So, go ahead - file suit against US - make my day.

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