Brian Blair Threatens Libel Suit Against Blogger
I'm late to the party. I just read about St. Petersblog 2.0 blogger Peter Schorsch being threatened with a libel suit by former Hillsborough County Commissioner Brian Blair. This is an absolutely frivolous lawsuit.
Blair is infamous for lawsuits. He filed suits against political opponent Kevin Beckner and Carrabba's Italian Grill. In the latter suit, Blair claimed an injury at the restaurant impaired his career as a professional wrestler. Blair wrestled in Japan after the alleged incident. Blair's explanation was tag-tag matches were less strenuous. Blair's blood-alcohol level was 0.089 90 minutes after the accident. Blair claimed he only had one sip of wine.
Blair has hired the law firm of Barker, Rodems and Cook to possibly sue Schorsch.
Dear Mr. Schorsch:
Our law firm represents Brian Blair. We have reviewed your web posting dated February 1, 2010. , at http://saintpetersblog1.blogspot.com/2010/01/fraternal-order-of-police-endorses.html.
We write today to serve written notice under section 770.10, Florida Statues which provides that "[b]efore civil action is brought before publication or broadcast, in a newspaper, periodical, or other medium, of a libel or a slander, the plaintiff shall at least 5 days before instituting such action, serve notice in writing on the defendant, specifying the article or broadcast and the statements therein which he or she alleges to be false and defamatory.
The Supreme Court case Times v. Sullivan found that actual malice must be proven to meet the standard of "false and defamatory." Blair's attorneys make claim there are several factual errors in Schorsch's post. The Supreme Court ruled that doesn't meet the standard of actual malice.
(c) Factual error, content defamatory of official reputation, or both, are insufficient to warrant an award of damages for false statements unless "actual malice" -- knowledge that statements are false or in reckless disregard of the truth -- is alleged and proved. Pp. 279-283.
Then we have Sticks of Fire blogger Tommy Duncan attacking the day after Schorsch announced he is being sued by Blair. Duncan wrote the post "brian blair threatens loose blogger," with barely mentioning Blair's lawsuit against Schorsch. Duncan defended Blair by stating the charges were dropped (true) and calling Schorsch "juvenile" for bringing up the arrest. Tommy goes into a Bill O'Reilly "I'm really a moderate" diatribe to diss Schorsch and lament on why we can't we have civil discourse. It is no secret that Sticks of Fire is a conservative blog. I find it hysterical the blog editor of a site that sell stripper thongs and published Rachel Moran's controversal post advocating assaulting homeless people is lecturing us on good taste. Glass houses and stones.