November 13th, 2017

Will Moore sue?

Reports are that’s he’s threatening just that:

According to AP, Moore told his supporters in Huntsville, Alabama on Sunday that the WaPo story was “fake news” and “a desperate attempt to stop my political campaign.”

Moore added that the newspaper “will be sued,” a declaration that received applause from the crowd.

I don’t see how such a lawsuit could possibly succeed, given Sullivan:

The actual malice standard requires that the plaintiff in a defamation or libel case, if he or she is a public figure, prove that the publisher of the statement in question knew that the statement was false or acted in reckless disregard of its truth or falsity. Because of the extremely high burden of proof on the plaintiff, and the difficulty of proving the defendant’s knowledge and intentions, such claims by public figures rarely prevail.

“Extremely high” isn’t a strong enough phrase to describe the necessary burden of proof. One could easily substitute “nearly impossible.” As long as the accuser or accusers told a reporter that Moore grouped or abused them or kissed them nearly 40 years ago—or whatever the allegations about a public figure might be—and as long as the WaPo showed the minimal amount of due diligence (in this case, for example, ascertaining that the accuser’s mother did have a court hearing around that time and that Moore had an ofice in the courthouse at that time), the paper is judgment-proof, IMHO.

The only thing that could cause Moore to win a lawsuit like that is if there is a recording or other record of the accuser telling the WaPo reporter that she’s lying. Of course, nothing like that is at all likely to exist.

This isn’t just about Moore. It isn’t about whether the allegations are true or not (I do not know, nor do you). It’s far more general. The decision in Sullivan, coupled with the increasingly open and nakedly partisan political agenda of the MSM—there’s hardly even a pretense of objectivity any more—results in the MSM’s willingness to print any rumor about any figure it wants to destroy. And it can do so with impunity.

[ADDENDUM: And right on cue, there’s a report that Gloria Allred has found a new accuser and will be making a statement soon. Fancy that.]

39 Responses to “Will Moore sue?”

  1. Dave Says:

    Since this allegation has absolutely no leg in a court of law then the only thing that matter is if an indecency has been established. even if we treat everything written in the story as true, everything to me clinch on one question, did Moore know of the age of the girl? If Waspo has clear evidence that Moore know of the girl’s age, they would have clearly stated that in the report to make the accusation more profound, if nothing about that was mentioned then obviously a devious purposeful omission. So basically the story was a grown man of 32, still very youthful in every standard dating a girl he thought was 16-18 based on her mature makeups and choice of dressing, stop at foreplay when she requested to stop, she might or might not mentioned her age at the same time.

    So basically everyone is asking him to drop out of the race for one mistake that he made, he forget to check her ID.

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    Dave:

    As I’ve written many times before, whether Moore knew her age is legally irrelevant. But they’re not going to try him anyway, as you seem to be saying.

    However, one of the things the WaPo wrote is that the accuser alleged that he called her at home and agreed to pick her up in his car around the corner from her house. I see that as being an attempt to say he probably knew she was underage. She also alleges (in the WaPo story) that on one of their two dates (I’m pretty sure it was the first one, but I don’t have time to check right now) she told him her age. So by the time he is alleged to have stripped down and tried to get her to touch his (clothed in underwear) genitals, according to the accuser’s report he already knew her age.

  3. Dave Says:

    okay then my bad

  4. TommyJay Says:

    I’m sure Moore is aware of Sullivan and its consequences. But if Moore can file lawsuit papers quickly, can’t he begin to make demands on the paper? Of course, the paper can refuse or stall. Depending on the nature of the demands, even the refusal could be telling.

    Then again, time is so short; but that is the nature of the “October Surprise” in November. Almost reason enough in and of itself, to cast aspersion on the surpriser.

  5. expat Says:

    He just seems like a weirdo to me. He’s just the kind of person Bannon likes.

  6. vanderleun Says:

    “…results in the MSM’s willingness to print any rumor about any figure it wants to destroy. And it can do so with impunity.”

    Well, yes, until the reporters and the editors and publishers of the MSM rumor mills start to get shot in the head while out walking the dog. (Not that that will EVER happen because, well, this is America and those things just CAN’T happen in America. Can they?)

  7. Griffin Says:

    Sat quietly through an interesting conversation at a family gathering this past weekend involving my mom, two sisters and a couple of twentysomething nieces. None of these women are Trump supporters (maybe one sister I’m suspicious is) and the talk turned to all these sexual harassment allegations and they had very little sympathy for most of these accusers especially the ones from long, long ago. They even referred to that ‘Alabama senator guy’ who I have no doubt none would support but they had a real hard time with something from 38 years ago coming up now.

    Makes me wonder if this entire hysteria is or has become mostly a media generated endeavor now.

  8. Griffin Says:

    Eventually some woman is going to accuse somebody the left really cares about and is invested in and then this will be just like Clinton in the 1990s again. It’s easy for them to write off a bunch Hollywood people but somebody very important to the cause I’m not so sure.

  9. Dave Says:

    Neo:

    How common are young women driving in the 70s, we can’t assume he knew her age just because he had to go to her house to pick her up. She alleged told him her age in her story, the question is, did she tell him her true age?

  10. Dave Says:

    No surprise there, ambulance lawyer Gloria presented to us yet another groping allegation. Why sexual assault allegations against republicans are always groping? groping is the easiest lie to make, no evidence needed, don’t even need to fabricate a story, just find an event two persons were in close vincinity and say he touched her, almost identical story to that one where an ex apprentice contestant accusing trump of publicly forcefully French kissing her while shoving her head to his dirty place. So many hungry starving screen writers in Hollywood, hire one to come up with a better story. I know people who ever falsely accused of sexual assault so don’t bs me about women never lie. Women lie about being groped casually, especially in the age before cellphones, ask a police officer, women lie about being touched all the time when there is a dispute between a man and a woman, the statistics remain small only because most of the stories never get to court after easily dismissed by the handling officers as lies.

  11. AesopFan Says:

    Griffin Says:
    November 13th, 2017 at 3:31 pm
    Eventually some woman is going to accuse somebody the left really cares about and is invested in and then this will be just like Clinton in the 1990s again. It’s easy for them to write off a bunch Hollywood people but somebody very important to the cause I’m not so sure.
    * * *
    You make a good point; the problem now seems to be that there is no longer any one person who is that important to the left. T
    heir hypocrisy in rallying around President Clinton (soooo glad we don’t have to add any identifying qualifier to that) was not unprecedented, but it did have the effect of enabling lesser lights.

    Even the Atlantic has repented, although for a somewhat less-than-virtuous reason.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2017/11/reckoning-with-bill-clintons-sex-crimes/545729/?utm_source=atltw

    “The Democratic Party needs to make its own reckoning of the way it protected Bill Clinton. The party needs to come to terms with the fact that it was so enraptured by their brilliant, Big Dog president and his stunning string of progressive accomplishments that it abandoned some of its central principles. <b/The party was on the wrong side of history and there are consequences for that. Yet expedience is not the only reason to make this public accounting. If it is possible for politics and moral behavior to coexist, then this grave wrong needs to be acknowledged. If Weinstein and Mark Halperin and Louis C.K. and all the rest can be held accountable, so can our former president and so can his party, which so many Americans so desperately need to rise again.”

  12. neo-neocon Says:

    Dave:

    The entire charge is based solely on her allegations. It is a report in the WaPo as to what she said.

    She said he picked her up in his car, but that’s not the important part. The important part is that he did NOT pick her up at the house; he picked het up (she said) about a block from her house. In other words, she had to sneak around and he knew that. At least, that’s what her story indicates.

    She also said she told her age, 14.

  13. Dave Says:

    If there is one thing that women are definitely better than men by light years is lying about their age

  14. Ann Says:

    I watched the video of the press conference with the new woman accusing Roy Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was 16. Don’t see how Moore can continue with his campaign. Not only is she very convincing, she’s also got the yearbook that he signed for her back then, saying: “To a sweeter more beautiful girl I could not say Merry Christmas. Christmas 1977. Love, Roy Moore… Roy Moore, DA.”

  15. Griffin Says:

    AesopFan,

    What do you suppose the reaction from the left would be if on say October 20, 2020 a woman comes out and says she was harassed by the Democrat VP candidate in 1986? Same type of ‘proof’ as the Moore accusers.

  16. Griffin Says:

    For me this issue is way bigger than Roy Moore. Are we now going to live in a society where someone can effectively kill someone’s reputation and livelihood years and years after the fact with virtually zero proof. Everybody should be really alarmed at this because it could happen to anybody in public life.

  17. DNW Says:

    neo-neocon Says:
    November 13th, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    Dave:

    The entire charge is based solely on her allegations. It is a report in the WaPo as to what she said.

    She said he picked her up in his car, but that’s not the important part. The important part is that he did NOT pick her up at the house; he picked het up (she said) about a block from her house. In other words, she had to sneak around and he knew that. At least, that’s what her story indicates.

    She also said she told her age, 14.”

    I have no idea of what to make of this.

    Thirty-eight years ago it was 1979, and the sexual revolution of the 1960’s had filtered down – like drug taking and drinking – to the high school and even junior high school level.

    “If it feels good, do it”, was the motto from just a few years before.

    Sociology professors in school, meaning college, disciples of Meade or not, were preaching sex at puberty, and I was told by one in class, that at 19 we males had already peaked when viewed in terms of potency and … shall we say stamina.

    Girls, like my precociously developed secretary admits/volunteers to then being, thought it cool to sneak out of their suburban bedroom windows at night for assignations with boys/men … a little pot, a little wine, a little “adventure”. I don’t ask for details, and she mentioned it in anticipatory horror at what her daughter might have tried.

    Moore seems plenty weird to me. And pretty disgusting. Almost as disgusting as the pedophilia excusing (cultural relativity), hebephilia celebrating, moral voids of the progressive left with whom we have shared a political space these many, many, unfortunate years.

  18. Dave Says:

    Ann

    Let’s keep a yearbook signed by my attacker for many years so I could bring it out to bring him to justice 1 month before an election, give me a break.

  19. Dave Says:

    Who’s creepier, George bush or Moore, bush has more alleged victims as it stands now

  20. DNW Says:

    Good grief.

    Imagine yourself at 20, sitting on the floor of a living room reclining against the couch. It’s full of similar folks, music is playing, you’re half stoned beer in hand, and some young hippie chick wannabe newly empowered by her ability to fill out to bursting a pair of low cut hiphuggers and a midriff baring tube top crawls swaying across the floor to offer you a joint as she seats herself on your blue jeaned thighs. It leads to who knows what. And I am not sure you get a drivers license first.

    This may not be Moore’s story, and it apparently is not; but it’s the story of a million guys and girls encouraged and egged on by their social elders, (if certainly not by their usually disapproving parents) in the mid 70’s to early 80s. Just before whatever it was that AIDS was first called … GRID or something appeared.

    I say usually disapproving parents, because some progressive, or despairing moms, were getting their daughters birth control pills as soon as they possibly could. “It’s only natural”

    I suppose that Good Mothers that they were, they assumed the girl would only be fu**ing guys more or less her own age.

    That was the era. It does not excuse, but it partially illumines.

  21. Manju Says:

    Can Moore even demonstrate that WaPo printed false and defamatory statements about him?

    If he can, he should:

    1. Demonstrate it to the court of public opinion

    2. Maybe even file a lawsuit. Even if he looses, presumably because he can’t hit the Actual Malice Standard, a court finding that WaPo printed false a defamatory statements about him would be his justice.

    Sullivan is the least of his problems. I haven’t seen any evidence that he could even win a Common Libel case.

  22. The Other Chuck Says:

    Wiki has this brief summary of Statue of Limitations:

    The purpose and effect of statutes of limitations are to protect defendants. There are three reasons for their enactment:

    A plaintiff with a valid cause of action should pursue it with reasonable diligence.
    By the time a stale claim is litigated, a defendant might have lost evidence necessary to disprove the claim.
    Litigation of a long-dormant claim may result in more cruelty than justice.
    In Classical Athens, a five-year statute of limitations was established for all cases except homicide and the prosecution of non-constitutional laws (which had no limitation). Demosthenes wrote that these statutes of limitations were adopted to control “sycophants” (professional accusers).

    With this latest accuser sitting tearfully alongside Gloria AllRed while reading a carefully prepared and bogus statement, we have the epitome of a professional accuser situation.

    In some ways this is perfect justice: A former State Supreme Court Justice who refused to enforce the law being ruined in the court of public opinion in a totally lawless manner.

  23. M J R Says:

    So lemme get this straight.

    With any candidate who is very much out of favor with the mainstream media, all the opponent has to do is generate (fabricate?) a forty year old charge, and then, in the spirit of Anita Hill’s charges against Clarence Thomas, it’s the seriousness (and political incorrectness) of the charge that will force a decision by a candidate to withdraw.

    Is that the brave new rule now?
    What’s wrong with this picture?

  24. Griffin Says:

    M J R,

    And of course make sure that the charge isn’t too serious so you may actually need proof or a trial or something. It really is brilliant if it wasn’t so dangerous.

  25. Dave Says:

    Any possibilities that it was someone else impersonating Roy Moore?

  26. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “She said he picked her up in his car, but that’s not the important part. The important part is that he did NOT pick her up at the house; he picked het up (she said) about a block from her house. In other words, she had to sneak around and he knew that. At least, that’s what her story indicates.”

    That certainly indicates that Moore would have to be aware that there was a good chance that she was underage.

    BUT… she claims that he called her on her personal phone in her room to arrange to meet her. She implies this happened twice. BUT… her Mother just stated that she never had a personal phone in her room. That casts doubt on the veracity of the most critical part of her story.

    In addition, apparently she’s accused multiple pastors of sexually inappropriate behavior. What a coincidence that she keeps running into that situation…

  27. AesopFan Says:

    Griffin Says:
    November 13th, 2017 at 5:17 pm
    AesopFan,

    What do you suppose the reaction from the left would be if on say October 20, 2020 a woman comes out and says she was harassed by the Democrat VP candidate in 1986? Same type of ‘proof’ as the Moore accusers.
    * *
    I suppose that the reaction would be, first, make sure the story never makes the MSM; second, if it does, go full-clinton on attacking the woman; third, declare it doesn’t matter because the candidate is “our guy” — so, pretty much the same as now, except for the first point, of course.
    * * *
    Griffin Says:
    November 13th, 2017 at 5:21 pm
    For me this issue is way bigger than Roy Moore. Are we now going to live in a society where someone can effectively kill someone’s reputation and livelihood years and years after the fact with virtually zero proof. Everybody should be really alarmed at this because it could happen to anybody in public life.
    * *
    It already does happen, it always has happened, it always will happen. That’s the nature of public life, and private life as well.
    It is, supposedly, why we have laws, grand juries, indictments, and trials, especially when the claim involves criminal behavior.

    But that’s too slow to vindicate someone who is falsely accused, and also too slow to remove someone who is rightly accused — that’s what public opinion is for.

    When people are rightly accused, we call it frontier justice.
    When people are falsely accused, we call it lynching.

  28. Ann Says:

    About that telephone:

    “When Breitbart asked Wells if Corfman had her own phone in her bedroom, Wells said no, “but the phone in the house could get through to her easily.”

    It’s called an extension cord, and we had such a thing on the and only phone in our house when I was growing up.

  29. Francesca Says:

    And btw, wonder what’s going on with the Las Vegas shooting? Interesting how that has TOTALLY disappeared from the news. Just saying . . .

  30. J.J. Says:

    The threat of a suit is the Bannon way of fighting back. It’s not enough to make public denials, give interviews, and hold campaign events to tell Moore’s side of the story.. Go after the Fake Media – counterattack, it’s the way Bannon and Breitbart swing.

  31. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Ann,

    If so, why did the mother not mention that there was an extension cord? Wouldn’t that put a phone in her room? Instead, could the mother have meant that the sole phone was easily accessible?

    But the accuser said that Moore called her on her phone in her room on her number, which she had given him right after meeting him…

  32. Ann Says:

    In the Wash. Post article here’s the mention of the phone:

    After her mother went into the courtroom, Corfman says, Moore asked her where she went to school, what she liked to do and whether he could call her sometime. She remembers giving him her number and says he called not long after. She says she talked to Moore on her phone in her bedroom, and they made plans for him to pick her up at Alcott Road and Riley Street, around the corner from her house.

    Two of those uses of “her” are certainly unclear, so I think that passage can be read either way with regard to whether she meant it was her own private phone or whether it lived permanently in her bedroom. But when she said she gave him “her number” that could simply mean the family phone.

    I do think it’s very clear, though, that when her mother told Breitbart that the “the phone in the house could get through to her easily”, she doesn’t mean her daughter could go to the phone, but that the phone could come to her.

  33. Dave Says:

    Unless Roy Moore is an complete idiot blatantly lying about not knowing this woman or had ever set foot in the restaurant she worked in when she has shown a yearbook with his autograph would be insanely stupid. It could be a bannon 6d chess setup, this new accuser could be a moore operator setting the democrats up, the autograph was fake, and Moore would later provide evidence to that she was a liar (but a secret agent working for bannon all along) to take down gop establishment and msm once and for all…

  34. neo-neocon Says:

    Manju:

    You write: “Can Moore even demonstrate that WaPo printed false and defamatory statements about him?”

    How could a person do that?

    For example, I say that Manju raped me in (wherever Manju happened to have lived) in (choose a year in which Manju had a job in that town and was known to live in that town). It was in my apartment where I lived alone and had gone with him on a date (I had met him in the library, or the supermarket, or any random place people often go). I didn’t report it at the time because Manju threatened me. But now that Manju is running for office, I feel it’s necessary to tell my story.

    Okay, Manju. Prove it didn’t happen.

    Of course, I don’t know much about Manju (for all I know, Manju is a woman, for example, which would make my accusation a bit suspect). But if Manju was a public figure I’d know a lot about Manju, and would be able to look up a lot about Manju. And I would learn even more if there were people coaching me and feeding me information.

    False accusations are easy-peasy, if you do a moderate amount of homework. What’s not easy (or what’s less easy) is to make them hold up in a court of law. That’s why the law makes people prove the accusations with evidence. And we get to see and hear the witnesses. And defense lawyers get to cross-examine them. That way we can see if their stories hold up.

    We do NOT require the accused to demonstrate that the tales a witness tells are false when that accused has had no opportunity for discovery, or for cross-examination. We require the accuser (the state, in the case of a criminal trial) to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

    I am stunned at the number of people who don’t seem to understand how easy it is to falsely accuse. Have we learned nothing from history?

    I repeat: Moore may be guilty. He may be innocent. We have no idea, and there is not a shred of evidence to tell us, only a person’s story.

    And another woman comes forward with an even worse story, just a few days later. Isn’t that an amazing coincidence? Must be true, right? Prove it’s not, Manju, who’s running for office in a hotly contested and important election.

  35. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    neo,

    Off topic but sure to be of interest: Wine From Prehistoric Georgia With an 8,000-Year-Old Vintage
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/13/science/georgia-oldest-wine.html

  36. CV Says:

    I completely agree regarding the danger of false accusations, and in the age of social media it’s becoming worse and worse.

    However, in creepy Roy’s case it’s looking a lot like a “where there’s smoke there’s fire” situation. Here’s the latest on his apparent penchant for cruising shopping malls looking for teenage dates back in the 80s:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5079579/Roy-Moore-banned-mall-badgered-teens.html

    His goose is cooked.

  37. DNW Says:

    Well, people can always vote the party, and trust that the Senate will not seat him and some Republican more acceptable, or principled, will be appointed.

    That seems to me to be a better idea than pointing a gun to your head and pulling the trigger because your party’s candidate apparently has a decades old past which bears comparison with Ted Kennedy’s entire life.

    ‘Oh gee Roy Moore was a reprobate when he was in his thirties, Guess I better allow a splintered socialist Demonicrat 2″x4″ to be shoved up my economic and political arse in order to prove I am a nice person. After all … ‘solidarity’ and ‘we are ultimately all in this together’ … and crap like that.”

  38. Manju Says:

    Neo :

    Manju: You write: “Can Moore even demonstrate that WaPo printed false and defamatory statements about him?” How could a person do that?

    That’s the lowest standard for libel, afak. Presumably, the plaintiffs in the Rolling Stone case had a good chance of doing that and presumably that’s why the Magazine settled.

    We do NOT require the accused to demonstrate that the tales a witness tells are false when that accused has had no opportunity for discovery, or for cross-examination.

    In the scenario you are discussing in your post, the accused is WaPo.

  39. neo-neocon Says:

    Manju:

    After your suggestion that Moore prove the statements were false and defamatory, you wrote that he should:

    1. Demonstrate it to the court of public opinion

    2. Maybe even file a lawsuit.

    So obviously the context for your statement was not primarily a lawsuit, it was more general—the “court of public opinion” and then maybe a lawsuit. So my response to you was not just about a possible lawsuit by Moore.

    However, in a libel suit against the WaPo, Moore would have to prove a great deal more than that: actually malice.

    You also write “That’s the lowest standard for libel.” Moore, of course, would have to meet an even higher standard—that for public officials—if he sued for defamation (not just falsity but knowledge of the falsity).

    But let’s just imagine he’s not a public official and didn’t have to prove malice, but just falsity. Obviously, a 40-year-old allegation with few specifics (date and time, for starters) gives the person very little opportunity to prove falsity. That’s the problem we face here, even without a lawsuit. We just don’t have enough information, and neither would Moore.

    How can you prove you didn’t do it, from what we do know so far? One could offer evidence that the yearbook inscription was forged (but to do that he’d have to have access to it, and he doesn’t). Or the fact that Moore ordinarily never wrote “DA” when he signed things (he wasn’t the DA, he was a deputy DA). But that would require digging up a bunch of old signatures from 40 years ago where he signed yearbooks for random people (hard to do). Or he could locate people who worked at the restaurant at the same time as the accuser who have no recollection of his ever frequenting it. Or that he didn’t even own a car back then. Or that his car was a different type of car. Or he could find some other inconsistency or falsity in her description of the event that would indicate she’s lying. The problem right now is that we (and he) just don’t have enough information to prove or disprove anything.

    One of the problems with libel law is that in recent years (not originally, but in the last couple of decades) the plaintiff has been required to prove falsity, which can be very difficult with accusations that are vague but very very damaging (her statements, by the way, are considered damaging per se). Anyone who ever met someone forty years ago could accuse that person of raping them around that general time, and unless the accused could prove he was in the military overseas or something like that for the entire possible block of time, falsity could never be proved. This woman’s accusations are so vague that she doesn’t even describe the car except to say it’s “old,” and all she describes otherwise (except for the assault) are things that happened in public in the restaurant. Interesting, isn’t it, that there are so few specifics? It’s tailor-made to do the maximum damage to his reputation and his chances of winning an election, while at the same time perfect for protecting both her and the newspaper.

    The state of affairs regarding libel laws gives the press license to print just about any accusation it wants as long as it involves something where falsity would be hard to prove. They could even do this about a non-public figure, although obviously they’re less motivated to do that than with a public figure.

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