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Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side Bloof with a response to some cookie-cutter COVID conspiracy nonsense:

As someone who was healthy prior to getting Covid due to someone else’s inconsiderate behaviour and is still suffering the after effects of a disease that’s ‘at worst ordinary flu’ nearly 6 months later, go **** yourself and stick your empty bottles of brain force plus where the sun don’t shine.

The only conspiracy is being carried out by far right grifters who will happily let you destroy your lives, your families and your health as long as you keep on clicking links on their bs websites, watching their 20 minute stream of conciousness rants on yourube or whatever grifter video service they’ve migrated to, and buying pills, potions and poltices that do nothing to help anything but their bank balance. You rant about the rich yet happily parrot lines from the imagination of Alex Jones, a man with a dozen rolexes and blood on his hands,

In second place, it’s James Burkhardt responding to the comparison between Sidney Powell’s defamation defense and Rachel Maddow’s:

Kinda? Rachael Maddow disclosed true statements and then formed opinion based on those true statements. Her defense was that the facts were true and therefore not defamatory, and her conclusions were opinions reasonably reached by the disclosed facts and therefore not defamatory. She knew the reporter worked for Russian State Media (among other facts, this is off the top of my head) and so claiming the reporter was writing Russian State propaganda is a reasonable conclusion.

In this case, Sydney Powell is not claiming an underlying factual basis for her opinions. The reason she is being sued is because her factual claims were false. Sydney is claiming that her factual inaccuracies were in fact rhetorical hyperbole and no one would assume her facts were indeed facts. That’s why the lawsuits she filed are important – she made express statements under penalty of perjury that her facts, the basis for the lawsuits, were true.

We have seen this behavior before – Alex Jones and Tucker Carlson have both made similar defenses for content they spewed on their shows. Focusing on tucker, he was sued for defamation by survivors of school shootings. Tucker had claimed they were lying and that those grieving the dead were crisis actors. Tucker argued that the contents of his show is opinion, and no one would believe what he says is factual. Tucker wasn’t saying here is the company this parent works for, here is the kid alive and well, its all fake. He presented no facts, only assertions. That is a more dangerous territory. That is why he didn’t rely on Maddow’s defense that his work was reasonable opinion based on disclosed facts. Rather, he relied on a defense that his bullshit was so insane no one should have believed him.

The differences between the defenses should be clear. but if not:

1) I have evidence that X works for Y, and therefore it was reasonable to hold the opinion that he did Z

2) I lied but my lies are so outrageous no one should believe me and you can’t hold me accountable for the rubes who did.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we start out with a comment from DocGerbil100 about judicial attacks on fundamental First Amendment standards:

While I think it very probable that there is a better standard for libel to be found than NY Times vs. Sullivan, I am also reasonably confident that Justice Thomas and Judge Silberman are, by far and away, the judges least likely to find it.

Impartiality in forming legal doctrine surely requires one to at least manage some awareness that being anywhere to the left of far right extremism does not necessarily make a person into a raging communist. Based on their publicly-stated views, I highly doubt that either judge is capable of doing so.

Next, it’s Thad with another comment about one such judges in particular:

I can think of a reason Clarence Thomas might wish it was easier for public figures to sue people who said bad things about them.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is Melvin Chudwaters with a response to the latest incident of cops being caught brazenly lying:

Before we all jump to conclusions, I’d like to remind everyone that their jobs are so important that we have to hold them to a lower standard.

In second place, it’s Stephen T. Stone with an excellent quip about “cancel culture”:

Remember: It’s only cancel culture if it comes from the Cancelle region of France. Otherwise, it’s the sparkling consequences of your own fucking actions. 😁

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we’ve got two more comments about Sidney Powell’s legal defense. First, it’s kallethen enjoying the implication:

I love the subtext in this

So if no “reasonable” person would believe her allegations, what does that say about all of the Trumpers who bought into them?

Finally, it’s techflaws responding to the complaint that our criticisms of the defense are untrustworthy because they come from a journalist who thinks they are an attorney:

Sidney Powell IS an attorney and look how that turned out.

That’s all for this week, folks!

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Author: Leigh Beadon

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