WorldNetDaily's threat to take legal action against Esquire magazine over its satire of WND and Jerome Corsi's birther book got us to wondering: What happened with WND's last big lawsuit?
Last year, WND threw a fit because the White House Correspondents Association wouldn't sell it the number of tickets it demanded in order to promote Les Kinsolving's nepotistic bio, at first trying to intimidate the WHCA into giving it the tickets it wanted, and then filing a $10 million lawsuit against the WHCA claiming "arm to its business and other relationships" because of the refusal to accede to WND's demands.
One curious thing about the WND story announcing the lawsuit: It never reported in which court the suit was filed. We've since learned it was the District of Columbia Superior Court.
Another curious thing: That story was pretty much the last we heard about the lawsuit, aside from attorney and WND columnist Larry Klayman's threat to add the White House to it. That's because the suit was dismissed almost immediately.
According to DC Superior Court records (case No. 2010-CA-002364), Klayman filed the case on April 13, 2010. On May 3, 2010, the WHCA filed a motion for dismissal, which was granted on June 22. The case was slapped down just over two months after its filing.
Adding insult to injury, the copy of the order sent to Klayman's office was returned was returned to the court because it was "Not Deliverable as Addressed, Unable to Forward."
No wonder WND didn't want to talk about it anymore.
WND has had a horrible record in court of late; in addition to the swift dismissal of the WHCA case, it was forced to admit that its series of articles attacking Al Gore and his associates, particularly Clark Jones, prior to the 2000 presidential election contained claims that no witness or documentation could verify, prompting an abrupt out-of-court settlement just before a trial in the case was to begin after seven years of litigation.
With that record -- as well as the history of legal opinion that gives broad protection to satire -- WND might want to think twice before suing Esquire. But given that lawsuit-happy Klayman is apparent WND's attorney of choice, thinking before acting is not necessarily WND's strong suit.
(h/t reader L.C.)
UPDATE: Looks like WND editor Joseph Farah is all in on suing Esquire. From a May 19 article:
"I have concluded with attorneys who say we have an excellent chance of winning a lawsuit or lawsuits for the reckless disregard for the truth demonstrated by Mark Warren, Esquire and the Hearst Corporation in this matter," said Farah. "Personally, I think we should set our sights on taking ownership of Esquire. I think that would be a fair settlement. Obviously the magazine is in dire need of professional management."
So, will WND retain Klayman again, or will he bring in Gary Kreep of the right-wing U.S. Justice Foundation?