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Tuesday, December 14, 2004


What's amusing about the story is this statement:

Present management was not aware of the history of this litigation, and greatly regrets the re-publication of the libels in the current collection.

Back in 1969 they'd published a rant by Gore Vidal that resulted in a lawsuit filed by Buckley. Forgetting that bit of their own history, they'd allowed the article to be republished in a 2003 book.

Their blunder reminds me of a Seattle-area libel I heard about in a media law class. A newspaper had intended to honor a local woman who was active in public affairs. Unfortunately, although they had intended to say that she'd worked for years as a "social worker," someone goofed and typed "street walker" instead. Needless to say the paper issued a very prompt retraction and settled out of court.

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