Friday, April 11, 2008

The Canadian blogosphere libel frenzy: Get. Over. Yourselves.

At the risk of hacking off people who are normally on my side, let me comment briefly on the following:

Terrible News For the Canadian Blogosphere

The first casualty of the Conservative bloggers lawsuit has claimed an unlikely victim. The SaskBlogs Aggregator, run by Lance Levsen, has been taken offline due apparently to the likely threat of a lawsuit. The Aggregator contains Small Dead Animals (myself, and 200+ others) as a member, and thus has stored posts claimed as libelous, even though they only LINK to an alleged libelous statement.

I’ll be providing coverage of this story as I can get more information, and will continue to run the complimentary website where Saskatchewan Bloggers can at least regroup without an otherwise single, central voice in the blogosphere.

On the one hand, you can claim that this disturbing new development demonstrates the imminent danger to free speech and unencumbered discourse in Canadian BlogWorld, and that we should all be terribly, terribly concerned and that we're all in this together, yadda yadda yadda.

On the other hand, you can interpret this same development as the inevitable result when you link to dishonest, irresponsible hacks like Kate McMillan and her screeching, racist colleagues, who have now managed to fuck things up for everyone else, innocent bystanders included.

I'm sure that, in hindsight, I'm going to wish I had phrased this differently, but I think you get the idea. In short, Saskboy, while I feel for you (and, sincerely, I do), it's you folks who chose to share your sandbox with Kate, and now you're having to deal with all the little turds she's left in it.


. There is some definite entertainment value in the observation that Mr. Levsen's "SaskBlogs" aggregator is an early, drive-by victim in all of this. After all, it was Mr. Levsen who wrote:

Without Kate the left-o-sphere would be down to two posts a day.

Her blog is so far above everyone else that the left-o-sphere has to do something to rebuild the shattered egos. It must be a penis thing.

She kicks their asses day in and out with numbers of comments, variety of commentators, and numbers of visits a day.

[sarc]It could never be that her writing style resonates with the vast majority of Canadian blog surfers. NEVER! Liberalism is normal! Canadians hate that radical conservative Neanderthal crap.[/sarc]

Not a single champion offered up by the left to take on Kate has won. Not a single one.

Do what Kate does, shrug it off, it's just mosquitoes on a mammoth.

So, Lance ... how's that unfettered, Kate-flavoured hero worship working out these days? Yeah ... not so well. Bummer.

. I didn't even realize that it gets even better, as ti-guy explains here:

This is the same Lance (the one I uncharitably call CheersLance) of CatPrint in the Mash who has posting privileges at SDA and who has guest-blogged there before.

Yeah, just savour that for a minute or two ... Lance has to pull down his aggregator due to the hideous irresponsibility of a blog at which he has guest-posting privileges.

Please tell me there's more. It would be a shame to stop now.


Somena Woman said...

You know.. all this screching and caterwauling and freaking out reminds me of something... if I could JUST put my finger on it...


Oh Yeah..

Ti-Guy said...

Shorter Lance: "Kate is awesome, she highlights how non-rightists have nothing to say because they are vermin. How disappointing that none of them is defending her."

The guy's either an imbecile or is profoundly dishonest.

E in MD said...

Seems to me that the solution is simple. Don't post lies about people and you won't have to worry about it.

It's one thing to say "I think this guy x" or "My opinion on this guy is X. " its another to say "This guy did x" when you have no evidence to support your assertion.

So, fuck 'em all. I hope they all rot.

As far as this Lance douchebag he really should pull his tongue out of her asshole. I mean how is she supposed to walk to the courtroom with him hanging out of her ass.

Cameron Campbell said...

I continue to be amazed at the law and order crowds complete lack of understanding of, you know, the law.

You'd think that would be key to spouting off about law and order.

It is my understanding that libel and slander are not protected free speech.

There are so many ways to write things that cover your ass on this that it's not even funny.

"Alleged", the old saw "some people are reporting that" (which is iffy if no one is actually reporting it)..

Anyway.. funny

¢rÄßG®äŠŠ said...

We should at least give Lance credit for knowing his audience and recognizing that he'd better label as such anything that's intended to be sarcastic.

And he writes beautifully.

CC said...

I'm sure I don't need to point this out, but it is amusing that the people who have perpetually accused us "Leftards" of being rude, uncivil, vulgar, libelous, slanderous sociopaths are, in fact, the ones who are currently embroiled in this cesspool of legal accusations.

Given time, the truth always outs, doesn't it?

Somena Woman said...

"Don't post lies about people and you won't have to worry about it."

Hey... these guys COULD get away with posting lies about Warman, On two conditions..

1) That they are commenting on matters of general public interest

2) That they did not engage in malicousness with respect to their comments.

I will keep hammering this point until the pearl-cluthing pee-pants people get over their hysteria.

These people have had several months to mitigate the damage they have done to Mr.Warman. He gave them every opportunity to retract their false statement. They refused to do so.

In fact, they took this as an excuse to pile on more invective and abuse against Warman.

They only have themselves to blame. And I am quite sure, based on the last libel case that Warman won, that he will prevail in this case.

Freedom of Speech is not being threatened by this action. The freedom to maliciously malign people to great excess is.

And I for one am actually glad that some of these bozos who have been spoiling for a fight and viciously attacking anybody who disagrees with them, have now got one on their hands.

Saskboy said...

And yet when the headlines read, "Blogger pays tens of thousands of dollars to subject of libelous blog post", that isn't going to make our hobby any easier, even IF we don't go out of our way to call people racists and "leftards".

I've met Lance several times. He's a reasonable guy, and unlike many conservatives he's not brain dead. Sure, there's an aspect of protest to the closure, but it was his volunteer project and whether or not Kate remained a member of the Aggregator, any ONE of the over 200 members put him at legal liability. That was made clear in the claim against SDA. He's friends with Kate, so it's not surprising that he's doing what he can to support her. Several other partisan bloggers are able to see this is an issue that will burn across party-blogger lines. So the sandbox you're talking about isn't as small as you think CC. That smell you get over in Ontario is something rotten in Denmark, and we're all entering a new phase of blogging in this country. As a leading edge blogger who depends on apparently malicious humour, you of all people should be more in touch with the lay of the land.

CC said...


You should understand a couple things. First, note carefully that the main point of this post was the delicious irony of Lance's aggregator being "shut down" because of the actions of his bloggy heroine Kate McMillan. Even you have to see the humour in that, no? Hoist by one's own petard and all that.

Also, the fact that Lance took down that aggregator was a decision entirely of his own making. In my humble opinion, I think he's being a bit of a drama queen about all of this. Sure, better safe than sorry, but I can also agree with Big City Lib that Lance is heavily into woe-is-me, martyr mode.

And, finally, there's this "Oh, but for the grace of God go I." As hard as it might be to believe, we here at CC HQ are generally pretty damned careful about what we say. Frankly, I still don't see this as an issue of free speech. Rather, I see it as an issue of suing people who make libelous accusations. So, no, it's not "All for one and one for all."

As long as we here at CC HQ know where those boundaries are, we're really not going to have a lot of sympathy for those folks who insist on stepping over them. In short, someone else's whining about being sued for libel does not equate to our publicly defending their right to free speech.

KEvron said...

"any ONE of the over 200 members put him at legal liability. That was made clear in the claim against SDA"

clear as mud. apple mud, not that orangey stuff.

lance is blaming warman. warman isn't all-powerful. even he must face a judge.... firstly.