Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Warman Goes For It!

Via the exquisite JJ, who points a snarkular finger toward Big City Lib, we learn that one Richard Warman has decided to haul his detractors before a judge and give them a mighty pinch.

Richard Warman has named The National Post Company, Jonathan Kay, Ezra Levant, Kathy Shaidle, FiveFeetOfFury.com, SmallDeadAnimals.com, Catherine McMillan, Mark Fournier, FreeDominion.ca and Constance Wilkins-Fournier in a statement of claim filed today.

Well... gosh! I don't even care for popcorn but this will require vast quantities of Orville's best. Fire up the microwave kids, this should be just squinchy good fun.

48 comments:

LuLu said...

Buttered or just plain nekkid, PSA?

Chet Scoville said...

Oh my.

pretty shaved ape said...

if i'm allowed to be barabara bush for just a moment, this should all work out very nicely for them. the googlenews.ca search for richard warman turns up a plethora of coverage from lifesite, hotair and all the usual suspects. the pledges are rolling in. buddy can you spare a shaidle must be thrilled that there's a new audience out there, willing to support the little beggar.

Southern Quebec said...

KKKate's got a little fund raiser goin' on over there. She is listing all the bloggers supporting her...Michelle Malkin and MesopotamiaWest...eclectic! (Is this all about the time she gave KKKathy the keys to the blog...?)

Ti-Guy said...

Oh, yeah...Michelle Malkin. That'll help...Ms "Intern The All!" herself.

*sigh*...Sometimes I wish I'd never learned English.

M@ said...

I remember how all those people that are in support of Kate were all united in their anger about Ezra Levant's libel suit against his former employee.

Wait, what?

(Btw, The Politic and Messopotamia West are commenting in support? Friends in high places indeed!)

jj said...

It should be interesting, anyway.

Although there's an irresistible element of schadenfreude at seeing some of these nitwits get bitchslapped, I can't say I'm too happy at the idea of litigation flying around the blogosphere. The statement of claim was disturbing in some respects.

Oh well, pass the popcorn, I guess we'll see where it goes.

(Thanks for the linkie, PSA.)

Dr.Dawg said...

I think Warman has a decent case in many respects, although I'm not sure about his claim against Kate McMillan. She lent her car to a hit and run driver--doesn't necessarily make her share in the liability.

Dean Steacy has a far better case: Steyn openly accused him of criminal conduct. I hope he sues Steyn's ass.

More at my place. And Damian Penny has asked his colleagues in the legal profession to chip in with some expert advice on defamation law. Stay tuned!

Alpha Male said...

Just thought I would point out, if Warman gets his way, it will open a flood gate of libel suits against blog owners.

I wonder if there are any bloggers around here who should be concerned about this?

Ti-Guy said...

I wonder if there are any bloggers around here who should be concerned about this?

Gee, I wonder what he means by that?

I swear, I'm going to dedicate the rest of my life to teaching people how to use declarative language to articulate what they are prepared to say and to defend. I think a lot people's problem start at that point.

pretty shaved ape said...

i am not a lawyer and i never play them on tv (though i have played jesus). in all honesty i've remained peripherally aware of the nonsense with ezra and warman and the other characters involved but it never captured my interest. i share some of jj's caution about the blogosphere crumbling under litigation and i have similar reticence about the use/abuse of hrc tribunals to chilling effect.

i don't know any of the individuals involved personally, i only know them as online characters, personae. i don't care for those characters. at the same time, it bears remembering that we are responsible for the things we say about others. as noted in the comments over at jj's it is safer to stick to general name calling. when people stray into accusations there is the potential for problems to arise.

i'll have to go back into the issues at hand to more fully grasp what is being fought here. until then, i'll reserve my opinions. though it all seems shadenfreudelicious.

M@ said...

She lent her car to a hit and run driver--doesn't necessarily make her share in the liability.

Not really an accurate analogy. If a defamatory statement is printed in a magazine, the publisher is surely as liable (or more liable) as the author of the statement. If bloggers aren't responsible for the content of their blog, who is? No one else has control of the content on the blog.

If a problematic comment is on a blog and the blogger takes it down when asked, no judge would award a libel suit against the blog, I guarantee. People have this idea that someone posts a comment, and bang! lawsuit. That's just not the way it works.

Again, why is this so much worse that Levant's libel case against his former employee? Because IOKIYAC, of course.

I'm not in favour of libel laws at all -- they're useful for the rich and pretty much no one else -- but Warman's statement of claim seems pretty reasonable. Unless there's some good proof they defendants have that show that he was the author of that "Cools" comment, he might well win this.

Alpha Male said...

ti-guy one does not have to wander to far around these parts to find "kkkate" or "neo-nazi ____..." One thing to associate such things with handles, a completely other to be attributing them to first name last name individuals.

I am making a plain faced statement of fact. This case should be worrisome to all of us on the blog sphere, as it will not be long before more suits follow because the precedent would be set.

Roll the dice if you will... I shant contribute to your defence fund should you ignore the writing on the wall.

Oh, and for the record, before the name calling startsrnst, SDA and freakdominion are caustic blots on the internet. I care for them less then I do you lot. Lumping them in with the inbred village idiots at stormdrain is a stretch... Further I believe that all the morons at stormdrain should have to register as mentally defeicient and prevented from procreating.

pretty shaved ape said...

alfalfa male, if bloggers commit acts of libel and if the victims of those libels choose to pursue legal remedies, then so be it. it will have nothing at all to do with warman. blogs have always been open to libel actions. your notion might have some bearing if the action against kate is allowed to proceed by the court.

again, my understanding of the details is nebulous so i'm going by what other, better informed folks have said, the appearance is that kate is named in the suit for comments made by others on her site and she is liable as publisher of those comments. if that is the case, then there are some repercussions to consider for bloggers. suppose you decided to stir the pot and swung by on a sunday morning in your finest sock puppet regalia, dropping incendiary comments and making defamatory comments.

in that hypothetical, we as publishers, would be liable should we not notice the comments or be away from the keyboard or what have you. the onus is then on the blogger to police their comments more stringently and perhaps ban them altogether. that would take a lot of the fun and sport out of things. as for canadian cynic at blogspot dot com, i don't think we have anything specific to be concerned over in our original content. so that answers your question. you might not like our opinions or the language we might choose to express those opinions but that doesn't make them actionable. pissing off twerps like you is a public service.

liberal supporter said...

I think a libelous comment on your blog is not a problem for you unless someone tells you about it and you don't remove it in a timely way. It would depend on where it appeared, if someone tacked it onto an old post, I would think you cannot be expected to constantly scan the old posts.

And calling Catherine a nazi is not libelous, it is merely insulting.

KEvron said...

heh. i read a rather libelous article about warman at lifesite last week. tried to find it again via google. go ahead, click the headline "homosexual activist warman's hate remarks over black pro-family...." it's been pulled.

and they don't need to beg for legal funds....

KEvron

Cherniak_WTF said...

Seems that the Jesus Fetus freaks over at Lifesite have deleted their articles about Richard Warman.

Nothing says I'm accountable like erase shit you posted...

Now if they could only remove the other 99.9% that they "publish"



http://www.lifesitenews.com

Alpha Male said...

Ahh PSA, you touched on the point I was making, and then danced away...

It would be a public service for folks like you to study your subjects just a little bit better... But alas, I also want to win the lottery and marry Jessica Alba. I guess I am more likely to marry Jessica Alba.

Ti-Guy said...

One thing to associate such things with handles, a completely other to be attributing them to first name last name individuals.

Yes, and it's too bad some people, like rightwing bloggers, for example, don't consider that before launching into group and individual defamation and providing venues for all kinds of defamatory statements to go unchallenged.

I think you're creating libel chill under the guise of warning against it. That's really not dialogue in good faith. If I were the owner of this blog, I'd start thinking about deleting your comments as this sounds very under-handed to me.

Maybe not, though. Maybe that's just the way you talk. In any case, why should you be worried?

Somena Woman said...

"She lent her car to a hit and run driver--doesn't necessarily make her share in the liability."

Kate owns the blog. She has the ultimate control over what is allowed on her blog. She has demonstrated in the past that she does engage in some kind of moderation. She has deleted comments in the past, and has monkeyed with other comments.

She would be in much better shape from a legal point of view if she did NO moderation whatsoever. But the fact that she has moderated when it's to her, or her friends benefit (in removing libelous or mean comments) demonstrates that she has excercised some level of control over the com-box.

If she had let the comments from other people stand, (which they did not please her) she could plead to the courts that her website is actually more like a discussion forum where each individual is more likely to censor themselves in accordance with their own interpretation of libel laws or hate speech.

I would wager that in court, Warman will be able to prove that Kate has deleted some comments and edited others and that as such it can be assumed by those using the forum that she takes responsibility for hosting a place/discussion where she will step in, if things are out of hand.

Furthermore - since Kate is the ONLy person who is able to strike down libelous comments, she assumes a further meta-responsibility towards the publishing of information on her site that even the users don't have, which she has excercised in the past.

In a regular discussion forum like Free Dominion, people who have made comments are able to erase their comments if they come to realize that the comment was libelous or perilous when it came to libel law.

One thing to keep in mind when considering the issue is that Control and Responsibility are corrollaries.

That's why I moderate all my comments. I sometimes don't vist my own blog for days at a time because I'm worried somebody might say something which crosses that line and I won't be around in time to catch it before becoming responsible for it being on my site. Call me a coward - or a censor, but I was already sued for simply asking questions about the very questionable accounting and business practices of my Band - and it's not an experience I would like to repeat.

Dr.Dawg said...

M@:

As I recall (and I might stand corrected), Kathy Shaidle was guest-blogging while Kate was off at a dog-show somewhere, and retracted before Kate even returned. Whatever my feelings about Kate (and due to mature language, they cannot be reproduced in their entirety, even at CC's place), I think the link to her is fairly tenuous in this case.

Dr.Dawg said...

MWW:

See my comments addressed to m@.

KEvron said...

eat my dust, c_wtf!

KEvron

Alpha Male said...

I'm not worried, nor should anyone here be worried of me. I might despise you, and "disagree with what you have to say. But I will fight to the death to defend your right to say it."

"Speech" laws and libel (as someone else pointed out) only protect those with a hell of a lot more money then I have.

Ti-Guy said...

But I will fight to the death to defend your right to say it.

Please don't. I'll defend to my own death my civil liberties.

KEvron said...

"But I will fight to the death to defend your right to say it."

*yawn*

i feel safer already....

KEvron

M@ said...

As I recall (and I might stand corrected), Kathy Shaidle was guest-blogging while Kate was off at a dog-show somewhere, and retracted before Kate even returned.

Okay, I've misunderstood the situation then. So the post is gone, and all the libellous comments are gone? If that's the case, then yes, Warman's going nowhere with the claims related to this. (Unless he can show that those claims specifically caused him loss of income or whatnot. Doesn't seem likely.)

Still, the magazine publisher being sick the day the article was accepted doesn't absolve him of his responsibility. If it's on your blog, you're responsible for it, and unless you can show that you took action to reverse the effect of the libellous statements (e.g. deleting them or publishing a retraction), you're still responsible. The "I was airbrushing other people's intellectual property onto a helmet in Foam Lake that day" defence doesn't really help Kate out.

By the way, just throwin' this out to the peanut gallery here -- isn't there a charge of $0.50 or so for processing every Paypal donation? What if people were to donate their pennies to Kate's defence fund one at a time through Paypal? Wouldn't that cost her quite a bit of money? Just sayin'.

Ti-Guy, you're right, this non-declarative stuff is awesome!

pretty shaved ape said...

oh alfie, you're so adorable when you try to be clever. you seem to be implying that we, the authors at canadiancynic, have committed libels or permit libel in the comments. failing that, the fact that a litigious individual who might well have a case is pursuing it in the courts, should somehow impact our lives. i'll contend that we don't exceed legal bounds of comment. further, should we be so accused we would act in a reasonable and timely manner to remedy the situation.

one might also bear in mind that this site exists to commit acts of satire, sarcasm and lampoonery. while we occasionally tackle issues with a more serious tone, we exist to mock and make snark. says so right at the top of the page.

jj said...

"we exist to mock and make snark." and do it so well, I might add;)

There's a pretty big line between insults, even gloriously creative insults, and libel, and nothing I've ever seen here crosses it. An enviable skill.

KEvron said...

ah-ha! here's that lifesite article, but you'll have to go to stinkfront to read it. click at your own risk.

since we're on the subject....

does anyone think warman really is the author of the "cools" comment at stinkfront? i don't really know much about him, but i don't buy it.

KEvron

Somena Woman said...

I still think she's on thin ice - but you are right, it's murky Dawg. If that's how it went down, Kate may be able to mitigate the problem for herself by proof that Kathy Shaidle was responsible.

However, there is the issue of oversight of people you leave in charge of your website. Kate has also "blogged from the road". I've seen it.

Warman is going to have to try and prove who it was that allowed the comment to stand, and whether or not Kate was in direct oversight of the website during the guest blogging by Kathy.

Control and Responsibility... corelates.

Did Kate erase the comment - or Kathy? How long did the comment Stand? Overall -- what instruction did she leave for Kathy - in her absence?

I can see it going either way depending on the answers to these questions.

But hey... when I was sued, I was named, as well as my editor, and the newspaper I wrote for, AND the publisher, AND CanWest Global...

Canwest can't very well say "oh - we didn't know about the horrible things that were said. From what I saw of my lawsuit, because Canwest owned the newspaper in question they were considered liable for my comments.

I don't see how blogs would be any different.

The blog is owned by Kate, and ultimately she is responsible for what goes on it, and who she put in charge of the blog.

Just like Canwest Global couldn't turn around and say "Sorry - We hired a dingbat writer and incompetent editor and shit got said... but we weren't paying attention at the time"

Sheena said...

Wow. And somewhere tonight some stressed out lawyer is looking in the mirror, head in hands, pulling his/her eyelids inside out and thinking what the fuck am I doing with my life if this is what it's all come to.

[insert eye roll smiley here and the inevitable too much time on yer hands git a job blosers harrump]

¢rÄßG®äŠŠ said...

FIRST!

¢rÄßG®äŠŠ said...

shit.

Ti-Guy said...

[insert eye roll smiley here and the inevitable too much time on yer hands git a job blosers harrump

What's a bloser? It's not something vulgar, I hope.

Dr.Dawg said...

What a great portmanteau word--blogger and loser, with echoes of hoser. I'm impressed. It is yours?

Dr.Dawg said...

Aw, guess not.

KEvron said...

"It is yours?"

smacks of diablo cody.

KEvron

CC said...

Oh, Lord ... I turn my back for a few hours and all sorts of bad shit goes down.

And as for who wins this pissing contest, at this point, I don't much care, I'm just praying for injuries.

Red Tory said...

¢rÄßG®äŠŠ — That "First!" thing never gets tired, especially when punctuated into the middle of a busy thread.

¢rÄßG®äŠŠ said...

Well, RT, I can't seem to help myself. I cling to the notion that there are people out there whose sense of humour has at least some intersection with mine. Your place and this place seem to be pretty good spots to find them (my office, not so much). Top-grade snark, too.

catnip said...

I see Kate won't even reveal how much she's raised from donations. I'm sure she'll be enjoying a nice little trip to Hawaii shortly where she can find herself a comfy fainting couch to prop herself up on.

Has anyone even asked her if she's actually hired a lawyer?

Somena Woman said...

I heard from a reasonably reliable source that all the bloggers involved would be provided with good legal representation. It's already been co-ordinated.

They will ultimately in the end be responsible for paying the fees for said lawyers.

I would strongly urge the individual defendents to NOT rely upon a lawyer who defends CanWests interests when it comes to protection of their own interests.

Even though I dislike all of the bloggers involved immensely -- I still would issue the caution.

I relied upon the Canwest lawyer for the lawsuit against myself and it became very clear after the initial Statement of Defence was drafted that the lawyer hired by and paid for by CanWest was ONLY interested in preserving Canwest's bottom line.

As in - to protect Canwest, it was neseccary to throw me under a bus (after the initial "We'll fight them tooth and nail, and take it to the wall.. and we will win this - Don't you worry!" Shtick)

I have learned my lesson from that and from my experience with adoption that went really weird... When everybody in the room has a lawyer representing their interests except you - you are probably going to get Fucked over big time.. and nobody's taking you out to dinner and a movie first!

The Phantom said...

As I've mentioned here a few times, you lot are going to be just SO upset when it gets to be your turn to be thrown under the bus.

When rogue bureaucrats start censoring things, they don't usually stop until -they- decide every single little thing that gets printed.

For historical perspective please see the fabulous "100 Flowers Campaign". Truly a classic of its type.

BTW, before one of you bright sparks starts howling "paranoid fantasy!" or some such brilliant come back at me, the term is "slippery slope". We are at the top of the toboggan run, where the brakes still work. This is the right place to use them.

LuLu said...

*yawn*

Shorter Phantom: Blah, blah, blah ... you'll be sorry, too!!!!!

Cherniak_WTF said...

Shorten Phantom: I want to spew my fucking hate, and it you don't me, the police will come after you...

USpace said...

IMHO Warman is acting like a certified fascist. I bet American, European and Australian bloggers can mock Warman right into a straight jacket. Everyone in Canada must hear about this Warman and the HRC injustice!

This fellow in the HRC, Richard Warman, sounds like a totally wonderful human being who doesn’t have a huge chip on his shoulder or one evil bone in his whole fair-minded body.

He doesn’t at all sound like a sick and demented bastard who is angry and bitter because he got his butt massively kicked in those elections years ago.

.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe likes
human rights commissions

that violate human rights
while claiming to protect them

.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe hates
real freedom of speech

an American concept
which is NOT for Canada

.
Why Does Canada Allow This?

All real freedom starts with freedom of speech. If there is no freedom of speech, then there can be no real freedom.

http://www.richardwarman.com/

http://haltterrorism.com

:)
.

M@ said...

All real freedom starts with freedom of speech. If there is no freedom of speech, then there can be no real freedom.

I say, old thing, is that a haiku?

Because, if not, your smiley-face icon makes no sense at all.