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Saturday, October 5, 2013
What WND Didn't Report About Esquire Lawsuit Hearing
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've already reported on what WorldNetDaily's Garth Kant didn't report about what happened in a hearing on WND's defamation lawsuit against Esquire magazine. Now you can listen for yourself.

Via Fogbow, we've learned that the federal appeals court where the hearing took place has posted audio of the hearing, so you can hear Larry Klayman's incompetent lawyering in real time.

One Fogbow poster who listened to the hearing pointed out that despite WND and Kant making a big deal out of the claim that Esquire "lied" about its blog post about WND pulping Jerome Corsi's anti-Obama birth certificate book being tagged as humor (in fact, it's Joseph Farah and WND who are lying by submitting a screen shot of the post that cut off the tags), Klayman didn't bring up the issue in his arguments:

I've listened to the oral argument at the cadc site listed above. KKKlayman says that firstly, this case has nothing to do with eligibility issues, that Esquire's exhibits are not 'authenticated' (though the judge pointed out that Klayman had not challenged the documents' authenticity, Klayman said that this was "not relevant"), and that the case is about commercial injury and Farah's 1st amendment rights. Unfortunately though the attorneys are easy to hear, the judges are not, so it's hard to get a sense of what the judges are asking, particularly as Klayman seems to find it difficult to stick to answering the questions without saying things like [paraphrase] anyone calling us birthers are mean poopyheads, and that the previous judge was biased for making a ruling that Obama was born in the USA.

Klayman touches on eligibility issues more than once, asserting that 25% of the population have doubts about Obama's eligibility, calling the birth certificate the "alleged" birth certificate. He didn't argue about the fake screenshots.


squire's lawyer who seemed more focused on the issue of whether this was satire, and thus protected by the first amendment, or whether, as Klayman argued, the Esquire blog was designed to defraud the public. He pointed out that any commercial injuries that the plaintiffs claim would have had to be suffered only within the first 90 minutes after the blog was posted, before the clarification that it was satire was added. He stated political debate is protected speech, that satire and rhetorical hyperbole are accepted to be part of political commentary. He made a point of the 'humour' tag, which Klayman didn't address either in his argument or in rebuttal. One judge asked about the font size of the humour tag on the screen. Klayman in his argument, in response to a question, accepted that if the blog piece is satire then it is protected speech and Esquire's lawyer underlined this. However, Klayman seemed to resile from this in rebuttal. Both lawyers cited to the Falwell (?) case and another one which I couldn't hear properly.

Esquire's lawyer argued that the reasonable reader would think that it was satire; especially given the improbable quotes, and that the book was published three weeks after the release of the birth certificate and it is therefore unlikely that the publisher would do nothing to withdraw the book during those three weeks but ship the book to bookstores and then recall it the next day. He also stated that even if some people didn't recognise it was satire, it should be obvious to the 'reasonable reader', and therefore the case should not go ahead. 

Another Fogbow poster notes that the hearing included one subject WND has yet to mention to its readers -- the fact that, according to the judge who dismissed the lawsuit, WND editor Joseph Farah had admitted the Esquire blog post was satire before it became "inconvenient" for him to do so:

At one point (around 7:45), Klayman said that Mr. Farah's statement to the Daily Caller shortly after Esquire posted the article--where Farah said that the Esquire post was poorly done satire--was evidence that the article wasn't satire at all. That got an outburst of laughter from one judge and a giggle from another.

Kant is not being paid by WND to tell the truth about his employer -- he's being paid to make his employer look as good as possible, even if that is at odds with documented facts. Of course, when have documented facts ever gotten in the way of WND's right-wing agenda?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:11 AM EDT

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