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Why We Donít Need Libel and Blackmail Laws
The Daily Signal ^ | January 24, 2018 | Walter E. Williams

Posted on 01/24/2018 6:41:47 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

President Donald Trump said, “We are going to take a strong look at our country’s libel laws so that when somebody says something that is false and defamatory about someone, that person will have meaningful recourse in our courts.”

The president was responding to statements made in Michael Wolff’s new book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”

Our nation does not need stronger laws against libel. To the contrary, libel and slander laws should be repealed.

Let’s say exactly what libel and slander are.

The legal profession defines libel as a published false statement that is damaging to a person’s reputation. Slander is making a false spoken statement that is damaging to a person’s reputation.

There’s a question about reputation that never crosses even the sharpest legal minds. Does one’s reputation belong to him? In other words, if one’s reputation is what others think about him, whose property are other people’s thoughts?

The thoughts I have in my mind about others, and hence their reputations, belong to me.

One major benefit from decriminalizing libel and slander would be that it would reduce the value of gossip. It would reduce the value of false statements made by others.

Here’s a Gallup poll survey question: “In general, how much trust and confidence do you have in the mass media—such as newspapers, TV, and radio—when it comes to reporting the news fully, accurately, and fairly—a great deal, a fair amount, not very much or none at all?”

In 1976, 72 percent of Americans trusted the media, and today the percentage has fallen to 32. The mainstream media are so biased and dishonest that more and more Americans are using alternative news sources, which have become increasingly available electronically.

(Excerpt) Read more at dailysignal.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: blackmail; libel; liberty; slander

1 posted on 01/24/2018 6:41:47 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
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To: All

Would be OK with me.
.
.
.
.
If they make Dueling legal.


2 posted on 01/24/2018 7:03:29 PM PST by LegendHasIt
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
I can't believe Walter Williams would write this slop.

Why don't we make it legal to tell "Fire!" in a crowded theater when there is no fire? Everyone is free to stay in their seats or flee for their lives, so if a bunch of people get trampled to death the it's really their fault. /sarcasm off/

3 posted on 01/24/2018 7:09:29 PM PST by Alberta's Child ("Go ahead, bite the Big Apple ... don't mind the maggots.")
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To: LegendHasIt

:-D


4 posted on 01/24/2018 7:09:31 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (DACAs: badly spoiled housepets who aren't housebroken)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

He’s got some interesting thoughts here, but it doesn’t really come together into a persuasive defense of the thesis.

“Phoning it in” is the phrase that comes to mind, but given Dr. Williams’s age and his lifetime of productive writing, I think he can have a pass on a weak concept and poorly-articulated defense.


5 posted on 01/24/2018 7:22:14 PM PST by Tax-chick ("It's the end of the world as we know it ... if the sky is falling, I don't want to be below it.")
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Strengthen these laws and then be able to go after women for false rape allegations.


6 posted on 01/24/2018 7:32:01 PM PST by Secret Agent Man ( Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Not buying it but let's try one on for size:

Let's get rid of racism, sexism and genderism speech laws; after all, anything I think or speak about other groups, no matter how hateful or hurtful, it belongs to me, not them.

Would that fly?

7 posted on 01/24/2018 8:15:02 PM PST by BitWielder1 (I'd rather have Unequal Wealth than Equal Poverty.)
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To: Tax-chick

When all you are is an economist, everything looks like money.

Please discover your boundaries before God has to show them to you the hard way.


8 posted on 01/24/2018 8:29:17 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (Tryin' hard to win the No-Bull Prize.)
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To: Tax-chick

[Please discover your boundaries before God has to show them to you the hard way.] Talking to Williams of course.

Like someone flouts him as the economist who doesn’t understand libel and slander ... And he slides in prominence due to it ....


9 posted on 01/24/2018 8:32:08 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (Tryin' hard to win the No-Bull Prize.)
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To: LegendHasIt

“If they make Dueling legal.”

My thoughts exactly. People would be a lot more circumspect if they had to back their words up with their lives.

L


10 posted on 01/24/2018 8:33:17 PM PST by Lurker (President Trump isn't our last chance. President Trump is THEIR last chance.)
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To: Lurker

Very clever, with the glaring fault that the better shooter is not necessarily the truth teller.


11 posted on 01/24/2018 8:34:51 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (Tryin' hard to win the No-Bull Prize.)
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To: BitWielder1

I had Sarcasm and Mockery for breakfast.

Will a diet of that make me fat?


12 posted on 01/25/2018 2:04:44 AM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: LegendHasIt
If they make Dueling legal.

I see yer point!!


13 posted on 01/25/2018 2:09:35 AM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: HiTech RedNeck

“Very clever, with the glaring fault that the better shooter is not necessarily the truth teller.”

But the liar wouldn’t necessarily know it, either.

L


15 posted on 01/25/2018 4:20:17 AM PST by Lurker (President Trump isn't our last chance. President Trump is THEIR last chance.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
I have to disagree with Walter Williams on this one. A reputation takes a lifetime to craft and mere moments to destroy. It can make or break you. To some degree, a security clearance and a spotless (good) reputation go together. Detect a flaw and there goes the clearance. It steals your ability to conduct business...a whole segment of the world is cut off. Libel or slander can falsely impugn a reputation. It represents real economic damage. It can also damage social standing. There must be a remedy when such occurs on a false basis.
16 posted on 10/10/2018 9:44:46 PM PDT by Myrddin
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

First time that I can remember disagreeing with Dr. Williams.

I don’t think blackmailers stop unless caught.


17 posted on 10/10/2018 9:49:33 PM PDT by eddie willers
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