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Tag Archive: libel

Should Members of Congress Respond to Bad Press with Threats of Lawsuits?


Obviously, no. And I'm sure that Josh Marshall feels the same way. Marshall speculates that Sen. Harry Reid's hiring of a lawyer indicates that Reid might be planning to file a libel suit against John Solomon and his former employer, the Associated Press. I trust that he forgot to add that such a suit--or even the threat of one--would be an assault on the First Amendment and the public's right to know. Sen. Reid is a public figure, and that it's unclear how exactly he has been harmed by the Associated Press story in question, so it would seem that a lawsuit would be problematic from the get go. Remember too that Reid had to amend his financial disclosure forms in response to the AP story (the Senate Ethics Committee is reportedly still reviewing the new filings). The AP continues to stand by the accuracy of the report; if it contains inaccuracies, Reid apparently has not pointed them out to the satisfaction of the AP.

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