How a billionaire GOP rainmaker tried (and failed) to rewrite history by suing Mother Jones

Hmm, I like that, as long as the breaks are for individuals and not companies. :smile:

ETA - On second thought, what’s the difference? Silly me.


Anti-SLAPP statutes. Suing for defamation regarding the reporting of true things is the exact definition of a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, is a form of censorship, and in our best states is so frowned upon that you can often get an immediate dismissal of the case if you’re fast enough and can get a lawyer for fifteen minutes.


We could also have a progressive income tax on investments, instead of treating rich people like they actually earned the money, or did work, or even need it.


It’s fair enough to assume that if it’s not inherited income, it’s earned.

With that said, wealthy people and companies (what’s the difference!?) get breaks because they’ve influenced lawmakers to twist things their way. Tax 'em at at least the rate everyone else pays!

And that said, I do think that our higher earners should do more, because they have the means, and a healthy society benefits them.

No more loopholes. I hope Pres. Sanders will do this, but I’m holding out for my mythical hero.


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What is the connection between a gay reporter and covering news stories about pedophiles or Boy Scouts? Is it that a gay reporter shouldn’t be allowed to work in journalism, or that those two groups get a special pass from being reported on by journalists?


Surely there is some way for newspapers to get creative with their corporate structure to protect against this kind of thing?

His company reminds me of Amway, which too spawned some rapacious hardcore right-wing billionaires in Michigan. A person would have to be a natural born mega asshole to start a company like that.


I would think it would be difficult but not impossible to compensate an anonymous reporter through some kind of blind mail system.

And the really shocking thing is that this is still surprising anyone – harassment and intimidation via vexatious litigation is nothing new, and hasn’t been in my 43 years on this planet. When British media mogul Robert Maxwell died in 1991, he had over a hundred defamation actions in train, a good chunk of them intended to shut down journalists asking awkward questions about the state of his employee’s pension funds. (Spoiler: They weren’t there any more.) And he financially and professionally ruined a lot of good people in the process.

Even if they can, you don’t need a crystal ball to see millions more in legal fees (and years of time and energy) going down the crapper. That’s petty cash to the likes of VanderSloot, but I really doubt Mother Jones hasn’t got beter things to do.

In The Amulet of Samarkand, set in England, there’s a scene where a girl sued someone for assaulting her with magic and seriously injuring her friend with the same.

The defendant showed up late and was fined for being late.

Due to a rare immunity to magic, the girl was uninjured in the attack. The judge, seeing no injury and thinking she was lying, dismissed the case and transferred the fine onto her.

Is that really what would happen in England? Even the fines for things the other side does wrong are imposed upon the loser of the case?

Please tell me that’s just fiction.

What the hell? VanderSloot was claiming material drawn from public records were defamatory lies. Honestly, I don’t want to indulge in mental health shaming language but if this isn’t at least in the vicinity of clinical psychosis, I don’t know what is.

Yeah, I think we’ve established she’s not going to be taking out a subscription to Mother Jones any time soon. She still threw out his defamation action, root and branch.

As many others have pointed out, if VanderSloot’s views on LGBT equality have “evolved” over time, good on him. But what he shouldn’t be allowed to do – what NOBODY should be allowed to do – is bully others into rewriting history he now finds politically inconvenient.

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