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View Diary: Dining Family Says They Did Tip Gay ex-Marine Waitress in NJ Restaurant (60 comments)

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  •  Just goes to show you can never take (7+ / 0-)

    things like this at face value.  There was a lot of condemnation of that family, and it now seems that there's a question as to whether it was warranted.

    For me, assuming the credit card statement is not forged, the fact that their card was charged for an amount that included a tip would indicate that there's a problem with the story the waitress and/or restaurant are telling, but like I said, I could be convinced otherwise if more evidence comes up.  

    As an attorney, I have to point out that if it turns out that that this waitress somehow fabricated this -- and the restaurant was in on it -- to essentially defame this family (I'd bet that they've gotten some measure of venom over what they supposedly did), I could see a lawsuit.  If this was fabricated (and right now, only the people involved know for sure) -- well, you can't go around just making up bad stuff about people and spreading it around in the public domain for some purpose of your own.  

    •  As I said elsewhere, the restaurant's canned (0+ / 0-)

      response seemed very odd to me at the time though I couldn't put my finger on why. Once again my intuition holds true.
      Agree about them being unnecessarily condemned, and explains why they felt the need to speak out

    •  Is it defamation, if the diners' identity was (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heavy Mettle, Tonedevil

      never revealed? The diners revealed their own identity to the media. Nobody fingered them prior to this. Can you still claim defamation?

    •  Fox News, and others? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Miniaussiefan
      you can't go around just making up bad stuff about people and spreading it around in the public domain for some purpose of your own.  

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 11:35:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sure they could be sued if they (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe

        said someone objectively false that defamed someone.  If they said, So and so has a criminal record, and so and so was never convicted of a crime, that could bring a lawsuit. For ordinary people, just putting out something that is objectively factually false that damages their reputation can be actionable.  Something that's largely opinion -- even if the opinion is unfounded -- cannot be actionable. So, if I falsely say you were born in Kenya, and that hurts your reputation (say you lose business) that's actionable.  If I say, "she's a slut," that's not actionable because it's opinion.  If I say, she had sex with these 10 men, and that's false, that might be actionable.

        The issue with a network like FNC or MSNBC or CNN is that most of the time, they are talking about public figures.  And the standard is higher for public figures.   Even if what you say about them is factually not accurate, it's not actionable UNLESS it was done with "actual malice" -- actual knowledge that the statement is false or with reckless disregard of the truth.  (see New York Times v. Sullivan.) So, if someone says, "President Obama was born in Kenya," to make that actionable, you'd have to prove that the person saying it actually knew that it was false -- not that he should have known it was false.  "Actual malice" can be overcome pretty easily -- if some CT says, "well, his U.S. Birth certificate looks fishy because of this, and this statement he made 20 years ago indicates to me that he was born in Kenya," that's probably stupidity, or being a CT, but not "actual malice" when you are dealing with a public figure.  And, you'll notice that most of the reporters on FNC don't make the statements like "the President was born in Kenya." They'll report what somebody else is saying.  So the reporter cannot be sued for that.  That's an overly simplistic view -- but read that case if you want to see the standard for when the press -- and yes, FNC is considered part of the press under the law -- can be held liable for false statements about a public figure.  

    •  Social and 24/7 media... (0+ / 0-)

      have turned us into a nation of very gullible people.  We believe it because it's on TV(and now Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc.).

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