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View Diary: Shirley Sherrod Sues Andrew Breitbart! (259 comments)

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  •  Not exactly. (1+ / 0-)
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    It's settled law that private figures do not have to prove negligence. It is not even remotely settled that Shirley Sherrod was a private figure before the Breitbart mess.

    I don't believe Ms. Sherrod's job was high enough up the food chain for her to qualify as a public official or public figure (2 different things under defamation law) solely on the basis of that job. But she did give a speech on a topic of public interest at the convention of a major civil rights organization. I don't see an expectation of privacy there. If you do something a "reasonable person" would know could lead to publicity, you're a voluntary public figure.

    There's an involuntary category as well, but that's a whole 'nother  ball of wax. Don't think it would apply here.

    Just because you're not a drummer doesn't mean that you don't have to keep time. -- T. Monk

    by susanala on Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 12:53:37 PM PST

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    •  Professional organization != public (3+ / 0-)
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      sfgb, eru, elwior

      Nobody outside of her field knew who Sherrod was before all of this went down.  She hadn't done anything to cause the kind of public curiosity that the SC ruled made you fair game for the papparazzi.  I'm sure Breitbart's lawyers will try exactly this argument, but I am very sure it will fail.

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