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June 16, 2007

Right-Winger Sues Blogger And Wins

-- by Dave Johnson

Lee Kaplan writes at David Horowitz's far-right, anti-Muslim FrontPageMag.com. A college student set up the blog Lee Kaplan Watch to expose what the guy is writing. He was sued by Kaplan in small claims court for "business interference," and Kaplan won $7500. because it was small claims court the judge was not required to explain his decision.

The blogger writes,

I hope that sufficient attention is paid to the great danger that what has happened to me poses to all of us. It is by all means a serious issue. My first amendment rights have been subverted with support from the courts, which only shows that everybody is in danger of facing these abusive small claims court defamation suits. My speech has been punished by a ruling with no opinion explaining why or advising me what not to do in the future. My credibility has been tarnished by a trial with incredibly low standards for admissible evidence and a messy, inconsistent court procedure. And, for me, worst of all: I will never know what element of Kaplan's claim, if any, the judge agreed with, though Kaplan will certainly continue to claim that all of them were accepted, though he knows well that this is not the case.
This is a freedom of speech and right-to-blog issue. We must do something to reverse this because it will become a convenient way for right-wingers to harass all of us.

Posted by Dave Johnson at June 16, 2007 4:39 PM

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Comments

Dave Johnson has been duped! He has been taken in by Yaman Salahi who was recently convicted in small claims court for libel and intentionally interfering with a business. After 5 hearings in which Kaplan was awarded the maximum judgement three times before two different judges, Salahi is now claiming he is the victim of a gross miscarriage of justice and this now threatens the freedom of speech of all bloggers!

Nothing could be further from the truth. Even Salahi's freedom of speech has not been affected. At no point did the judge order Salahi to remove any post or to stop blogging about Lee Kaplan. In fact, the only changes made to Salahi's site since Kaplan filed a year ago have been made by Salahi himself on the advice of his own lawyers.

What the courts ruled is that a blogger does not have the right to libel someone. And they don't have the right to harass and threaten business associates with similar smear campaigns should they fail to disassociate with said journalist.

As a DAFKA member, and as a witness, I attended 2 of the 5 hearings. I heard Salahi say in court that he never had a link on his site to a photoshopped gay-porn image of Kaplan. Since I saw the link myself with my own eyes, I KNOW that Salahi is not only a liar, but a perjuror as well.

Yet useful idiots like Dave Johnson are all too willing to jump on Salahi's bandwagon since the opponent is a "right-winger."

Wise up. When you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas.

p.s. I'm a liberal/leftist.

Posted by: Becky Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 26, 2007 10:15 AM

Dave Johnson has been duped! He has been taken in by Yaman Salahi who was recently convicted in small claims court for libel and intentionally interfering with a business. After 5 hearings in which Kaplan was awarded the maximum judgement three times before two different judges, Salahi is now claiming he is the victim of a gross miscarriage of justice and this now threatens the freedom of speech of all bloggers!

Nothing could be further from the truth. Even Salahi's freedom of speech has not been affected. At no point did the judge order Salahi to remove any post or to stop blogging about Lee Kaplan. In fact, the only changes made to Salahi's site since Kaplan filed a year ago have been made by Salahi himself on the advice of his own lawyers.

What the courts ruled is that a blogger does not have the right to libel someone. And they don't have the right to harass and threaten business associates with similar smear campaigns should they fail to disassociate with said journalist.

As a DAFKA member, and as a witness, I attended 2 of the 5 hearings. I heard Salahi say in court that he never had a link on his site to a photoshopped gay-porn image of Kaplan. Since I saw the link myself with my own eyes, I KNOW that Salahi is not only a liar, but a perjuror as well.

Yet useful idiots like Dave Johnson are all too willing to jump on Salahi's bandwagon since the opponent is a "right-winger."

Wise up. When you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas.

p.s. I'm a liberal/leftist.

Posted by: Becky Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 26, 2007 10:17 AM

For the record, the "dafka" site the above "liberal" commenter links to is a funded, far-right site that is linked to the plaintiff in the suit.

Posted by: Dave Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 26, 2007 11:46 AM

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