These "Lies" are LIES, Your Honor
Ex-girlfriends, ex-boyfriends, and parents of writers out there might want to pay attention. There's a "libel-in-fiction" case before the courts for the first time in 25 years.

"This statement is false."

A libel-in-fiction claim is one of the hardest things to prove within an evidence-based legal system. You have to prove that a fiction writer's characterization of events is both

A) true, insofar as it describes the reality of what happened (in order to become party to the suit in the first place);


B) false, insofar as it is libelous and damaging.

You've also got to do this while not admitting guilt, or provoking the speculation that "hey, maybe he DID fuck his mother in an outhouse" or "hey, maybe these hamburgers really ARE made out of cowshit and old newspaper" or "hey, maybe cigarettes really DO cause cancer."

America is a hard place to win a libel lawsuit. That's why we have the words "truth" and "fiction," so we can throw cases like this out immediately. Why, oh why, judges, are you entertaining doubt here?

"Fiction writers have too much power to influence people!" says Ravi, the lawyer bringing this suit who claims his life has been ruined. "They have to be stopped!"

No, Ravi, no goddammit, no they don't have too much power, not nearly as much as they should. Ravi: that's why you became a lawyer, and not a writer.

An interesting wrinkle that I'm sure we will all appreciate is that the louder this man gets, the more he becomes a public figure, and therefore no longer immune from more gross and glorious libels as protected by "Hustler vs. Falwell."

So, he may not be a criminal, but who is to say that he is not a piss-drinking pony slave who likes it rough, who doesn't like to be CALLED mister or sir, who likes to be called "Princess" because he IS a Princess?

Posted by miracle on Fri, 21 Mar 2008 08:52:17 -0400 -- permanent link

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