Skip to comments.Sheehan threatens to sue 'American Mourning' authors
Posted on 10/24/2006 11:18:02 AM PDT by Impeach98
'American Mourning' authors prepare to defend book
Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan issues threat to sue over claims in publication
Posted: October 24, 2006
1:20 p.m. Eastern
"American Mourning" co-author Melanie Morgan says she is prepared to defend the book against allegations of slander or libel, but she hopes it won't go to that because she wants to spare the family of fallen hero Casey Sheehan any further pain.
It was his mother, anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, who told a nationally syndicated radio show by Stephanie Miller that she was preparing for possible litigation over allegations in the book that she became addicted to "online chat rooms of a pornographic nature" after her son died in Iraq.
"I am totally confident in my level of documentation," Morgan told WND today. "It's locked in a bank vault, and we are prepared to use it should Ms. Sheehan proceed to litigation.
"We hope that doesn't happen for the sake of her family, the Sheehan family," she said, because the documentation is "very graphic in nature.
"We had hoped to spare the family any further uncomfortableness and embarrassment," she said.
The book, published by WND Books and released just a little over a week ago, already is climbing the ranks of Amazon.com and other book lists. It is the story of two families the Johnsons and Sheehans that lost sons in the war against terror. Their sons Casey Sheehan and Justin Johnson were best friends since they met at Fort Hood in Texas. They went to Iraq and died in the same area just six days apart.
But the book explains how little else the families have in common: with the Johnson family bonding closer than ever and Justin's father, in fact, volunteering to replace his son in the war on terror and going to fight in Iraq.
The book explains how the Sheehan family, however, experienced difficulties and disintegration as Cindy Sheehan chose to turn her anger over the loss of her son against her own country and president.
Morgan told WND that she and co-author Catherine Moy both have been in contact with "a very high-powered attorney in L.A. who is an expert on slander and libel law."
"We are prepared to hire him immediately should the need become apparent. That will depend on what Ms. Sheehan decides to do."
She said she found out about the threat when CNN censored an interview with her about the book. A call placed by WND to CNN to comment on the situation wasn't returned immediately, but the issue arose as Morgan was preparing for an interview on "American Mourning."
Morgan said she was en route to CNN headquarters in New York when she got a call from the producer of the "Glenn Beck" show, outlining what the short interview was scheduled to cover.
The producer specifically mentioned the online chat room issue, Morgan said. But a few minutes later, she got another call from the same producer explaining that the interview would deal with all other aspects of the book, but not that.
Morgan said she asked why, and was told because it "involved legal issues."
"Then we discovered Cindy Sheehan had appeared on the Miller show, saying she was going to sue," Morgan said.
Sheehan had used the radio interview to call the authors "hate-mongers" and accuse them of "using our tragedy for profit."
She dismissed the information in the book as hearsay.
"We wrote the book not to make life uncomfortable for Cindy Sheehan, far from it," Morgan said. "We wrote it as a tribute to her son Casey, an honorable and dutiful soldier, a man who was tremendously inspiring in what he did.
"He volunteered not once but twice, and actually went into Sadr City to rescue fellow soldiers," she said. "He was told he did not have to go. His story is an amazing story, as is Justin Johnson's."
"We felt and do feel we did a good job of trying to show how these men became such heroes to the American public. But we felt that it would be dishonest not to include contextual information about Cindy, her story, what she had been telling in the media, which was inaccurate in many respects," Morgan told WND.
The book, according to Ann Coulter, is "a beautiful, raw war story that breaks the hearts and strengthens the resolve to protect America from her enemies." David Limbaugh calls it "arguably the most poignant portrayal of love, loss, and grief that polarizes our nation today," adding, "It moved and astounded me." Sean Hannity says simply, "The truth in this book will set you free."
Moy is an award-winning journalist and columnist for the Vacaville Reporter, Cindy Sheehan's former hometown newspaper. Morgan, a weekly columnist for WND, is a talk radio show host in San Francisco and chairman of Move America Forward.
Kristen Schremp, a publicist for Morgan and Moy, has confirmed there are hundreds of telephone records, e-mails and other documents supporting the statements made in the book.
Fans of Sheehan have been responding to the book with vitriol, calling one of the authors "fat" and a "whore." And those have been the calmer reactions.
The political website Crooks and Liars attacked Morgan as a "a fringe talk-show host" who was leader of "the low-class MAF organization." However, despite the criticism, Morgan's talk-radio show is one of the highest-rated drive time programs in the San Francisco media market one of the largest markets in the nation.
The attack on Morgan's leadership of the pro-troop organization, Move America Forward, seems designed to diminish her credentials as a prominent supporter of the men and women of the United States military. Move America Forward is the nation's largest grass-roots pro-troop organization and has shipped over 16 tons of coffee, cookies, beef jerky and Gatorade to U.S. Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The attacks quickly deteriorated into vulgarity and insult-laden jeers.
"Michelle Malkin, Mary Matalin, Melanie Morgan... These right-wing b------s all have the same initials of MM."
"if i call those 2 women whores, then that's MY responsibility."
"Bibi -- but then that would be an insult to whores."
"That one on the left really needs to work on her eating disorder before she starts pointing that sausage finger."
Finally, the comments became so over the top that the website owner intervened and instructed participants to ease up on their attacks. The site owner deleted dozens of the most offensive and vulgar posts, but dozens of new attacks were posted and not removed by the website's administrator:
The anger by the participants seems to have confused them on some of the essential points of their protests. One individual criticized Morgan's employment at a Republican political consulting firm, however Morgan has never worked for any such firm. Another participant identified co-author Moy as being an employee of KSFO radio along with Morgan. However, Moy has never had any connection with the radio station she works at the Vacaville Reporter.
Be intereting to see what a "pool" would do with bets that she would actually pursue a lawsuit. But she could file one and sit on it a long time--that'd still give the writer the right of discovery and deposition.
You can be sure Morgan and Moy got good legal advice long before they sent this book to print, just to make sure their documentation was not only incontrovertible but fully admissible in defense against a libel action.
Since the 2004 election, any conservative who thinks a liberal public figure won't threaten to sue for exposing her mis-doings is living in a fantasy world.
Are you pimping your blog or trying to link to something? I clicked your link and saw a blog that has very few hits but many, many ads. I also see that you've been at FR for less than a week. Lots of stuff there but I didn't see anything about Sheehan. And I'm not going to sift through it. Can you quote whatever it is you were referring to?
Actually, I don't think it matters even if she could show malice. Truth is an absolute defense against an accusation of libel, so long as the facts exposed were obtained legally.
I'd love for her to sue, that way, we can see the hot steamy love notes between her and Lew Rockwell...EEEWWWWWW.....
That's the other side of her two-pronged burden of proof as I understand it: (a) that the claims are false and (b) that the authors acted with malice.
But you're right, if the authors can prove truth, it's over. My point is that the authors can win by knocking down either prong.
I welcome correction to my understanding of this.
If it's not HER version of the truth, she doesn't want it spoken or written, and certainly not on TV!
Cindy is hoping the courts will help her figure out a way to put toothpaste back in the tube.
As Rush says, the libs are sure fun to watch, when they realize they are truly out of power.
Cindy is standing in a glass house with a rock in her hand.
Hey - I must be a MM, too!!!!!
Yeah discovery should be fun....
And Michael Moore!
Mother Moonbat and Michael Moore - the next good book title!
How about some Cindy soft core? Look at Cindy smile.- Tom
Let her sue and let her be deposed. :-)
I have no MM in my name so I can't play.....:(
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