Archive for March, 2012

Ding Dong! Righthaven is Gone!

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Righthaven, the Nevada-based copyright thugster that sued scores of mom-and-pop bloggers with heavy-handed lawsuits seeking six-figure awards, has had its engine – or it’s malignant beating heart, the metaphor’s up to you – pulled out of it. The U.S. District Court in Las Vegas has ordered the transfer of all of Righthaven’s copyrights – the copyrights it used as its basis to sue – to a court-appointed receiver to auction them off against $186,680 owed to creditors, including Righthaven defendants who won fee awards.

The first auction may start on Monday.

Video Blogger Sues Keith Olbermann

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

James O'Keefe (Image: O'Keefe, via Twitter)

Conservative video blogger James O’Keefe is suing liberal TV talker Keith Olbermann for defamation, reports The New York Post)

O’Keefe is an A-lister of politically fueled citizen investigative journalism. He gained his fame by going undercover to expose the shenanigans of liberal community-activist group ACORN.

Last week, Olbermann-show guest David Schuster called O’Keefe “a convicted felon” and said he’d been accused of rape by a former co-worker. It appears that, in fact, O’Keefe once pled to a misdemeanor charge and had once been accused of harassment by a co-worker. Kind of not the same thing. Or even close.

If that’s all true, it looks like a decent libel case to me. But since O’Keefe is a public figure, he’ll have to over come the First Amendment standard of showing “actual malice,” which can be hard.

I personally didn’t realize that Olbermann was still on TV. It turns out that after disappearing from MSNBC, he’s turned up on Current TV, an Al-Gore-backed left-leaning cable network, which, I guess, I had kind of heard about some time ago. Current TV is also named in the suit.

Referring to the “mainstream media” by acronym, O’Keefe tweeted: “MSM will say, do anything to take a stop a citizen journalist they can not control. Understood. I’m going to sue them for libel, each time.”

I understand that O’Keefe is venting, but referring to Current TV as “mainstream media” is going off a little half-cocked. Mainstream? I’m not sure I get Current TV in my channel lineup, and I get approximately 17 bazillion channels. I think O’Keefe’s slam may be the best compliment Current TV has gotten recently.

Andrew Breitbart is Dead at 43

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Andrew Breitbart (Image: biggovernment.com)

Conservative superblogger Andrew Breitbart has died. He collapsed while walking in his Brentwood, California neighborhood shortly after midnight. He was 43.

Breitbart was best known for distributing a deceptively edited video that painted USDA employee Shirley Sherrod as a racist. The video resulted in her firing before it became understood that the Sherrod had not actually advanced a racist position in the speech videoed, but had, in fact, been telling a story championing racial healing.

Sherrod issued a classy statement:

“The news of Mr. Breitbart’s death came as a surprise to me when I was informed of it this morning. My prayers go out to Mr. Breitbart’s family as they cope through this very difficult time.”

Josh Gerstein at Politico speculates that Sherrod’s defamation lawsuit against Breitbart is “likely to continue.”

There’s nothing about Breitbart’s death that will legally affect the suit. But Sherrod could choose to drop it now. Either way, I would expect the lawsuit to continue against Larry O’Connor, a Breitbart aide who is a defendant in the suit.