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Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Another WND-Klayman Lawsuit Goes Up In Flames
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Larry Klayman and WorldNetDaily are batting zero on the lawsuit front.

A June 4 WND article reports:

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has dismissed WND’s $250 million lawsuit against Esquire magazine alleging damages for a false report that the WND Books expose “Where’s the Birth Certificate? The Case That Barack Obama Is Not Eligible To Be President” by Jerome Corsi had been recalled and repudiated by the publisher.

“The court’s decision is significantly flawed and intellectually dishonest,” said WND’s attorney in the case, Larry Klayman.

Klayman, founder of the D.C. watchdog group Judicial Watch, plans to appeal the ruling.

Judge Rosemary M. Collyer of the U.S. District Court in D.C. granted Esquire’s motion to dismiss based on D.C.’s anti-SLAPP law, which is designed to protect media and public figures from frivolous lawsuits.

[...]

Klayman, noting that the decision had been pending for nearly a year, said Collyer ignored three requests for a status conference. It was only after his team’s May 7 letter to the court’s chief judge, Royce Lamberth, he said, that Collyer “apparently commenced in haste to reach this decision, which was poorly reasoned as a matter of fact and law.”

“The decision was so poorly reasoned it rises to a level of negligence, if not a desire to dump the case because it is not palatable to the Washington establishment,” Klayman said.

For all of Klayman's ranting about the anti-SLAPP law, nowhere is he quoted commenting on the judge's key ruling in her dismissal -- namely, that Farah admitted the Esquire blog post was satire before it became "inconvenient" for him to do so:

About an hour after esquire.com issued the Blog Post, Mr. Farah told the Daily Caller that the Blog Post was “a very poorly executed parody.” Findikyan Decl., Ex. 28 (dailycaller.com post May 18, 2011 at 12:06 p.m.). In other words, Plaintiffs immediately recognized the satiric nature of the Blog Post. Mr. Farah also took to the radio airwaves immediately following the Blog Post to mock those who asked him for comment, saying, “are you guys serious? . . . You think I’m gonna pull a best-selling book off the shelves?” Id., Ex. 43 (WND.com post May 18, 2011 at 9:24 p.m.). Because later it became inconvenient to treat the Blog Post as satire cannot erase Plaintiffs’ own contemporaneous admission that it was so intended. Political satire can be, and often is, uncomfortable to its targets, but that does not render it any less satiric or any less an expression on a topic of public concern. The controversy surrounding President Obama’s birthplace reached such a crescendo prior to the release of his long-form birth certificate that it was dubbed the Birther Movement. That Movement had, and apparently continues to have, some committed proponents. Plaintiffs themselves played leadership roles in the Birther Movement, contributing hundreds of articles questioning the legitimacy of the Obama Presidency and enthusiastically advertising the Corsi Book.

The Blog Post itself bore indicia of its satiric nature. The page was tagged as “humor.” Findikyan Decl., Ex. 27 (esquire.com Politics Blog post May 18, 2011 at 10:50 a.m.). The Blog Post started with an exaggerated headline announcing in bold print “Breaking: Jerome Corsi’s Birther Book Pulled From Shelves!” Id. Real news does not usually contain an exclamation point and would not be reported on an opinion page. Further, the headline was accompanied by a logo of a siren, a symbol used by conservative Matt Drudge when commenting on current news to his readers. Id. The text asserted that Messrs. Corsi and Farah announced “plans to recall and pulp the entire 200,000 first printing run of the book” Id. The reference to a first run printing of “200,000 books” is an exaggerated number for a first printing. Also, the Blog Post refers to a fake book, alleged to be authored by Mr. Farah, called “Capricorn One: NASA, JFK, and the Great ‘Moon Landing’ Cover-Up.” Id. The book title alludes to “Capricorn One,” a 1978 movie starring O.J. Simpson and others about a government Mars landing hoax. Finally, the Blog Post includes absurd quotes, such as Mr. Farah’s alleged statement about his own Birther Movement views that “bullshit is bullshit.” Id. These clues reveal that the Blog Post was satire; Mr. Farah immediately recognized that it was.

This marks the second lawsuit by sue-happy defamer Klayman on WND's behalf that blew up in his face. In 2010, WND's Klayman-led $10 million lawsuit against the White House Correspondents Association because the WHCA wouldn't sell WND the number of tickets it demanded for the annual correspondents dinner was swiftly tossed out of court on a WHCA request for dismissal. 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."

WND, Klayman and birthers extraordinare Jerome Corsi and Mara Zebest announced the lawsuit against esquire last year at a sparsely attended dog-and-pony show. When we asked about the WHCA lawsuit at that time, Klayman brusquely dismissed us, saying that "we decided not to pursue that." If the lawsuit was so unimportant to pursue, why bother filing it in the first place? (Besides publicity, that is.)

The fact that Klayman pursues dubious and time-consuming lawsuits for the purpose of [publicity shows you what kind of lawyer he is. Which is to say, the kind of lawyer who has trouble making a living as a sue-happy defamer.

Yet WND apparently has Klayman on retainer. Go figure.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:12 AM EDT

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