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Sun News host Ezra Levant ordered to pay $80K in libel suit to Saskatchewan lawyer

NS
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NS
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Khurrum Awan, a Regina-based commercial litigation lawyer, launched the $100,000 suit in response to nine blogs in which Levant labeled him a liar, anti-Semitic and a jihadist during and after a 2008 B.C. Human Rights Tribunal hearing. He alleged the posts hindered his ability to find a job.


NS
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This is the second libel case he's lost in recent years.

 


bekayne
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Ken Burch
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Direct link  to the Beaverton story on the matter(I admit that I'm mainly adding this because it's probably the best headline EVER):

 

http://www.thebeaverton.com/national/item/1673-snot-nosed-idiot-with-sma...


bekayne
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http://ipolitics.ca/2017/01/05/levant-faces-libel-claim-for-comparing-ac...

A Montreal-based activist group filed a libel action against right wing activist Ezra Levant on Dec. 22, the same day that he lost his appeal against another libel judgment.

In the latest lawsuit, filed in Ontario Superior Court in Ottawa, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) allege that Levant defamed them by comparing them to Nazis and calling them “Jew-baiters.”

In a statement of claim, the group’s lawyer, Ottawa’s Yavar Hameed, writes that comparing the activist group to the Nazis is “false, inapposite and deliberately inflammatory.”

 


Mr. Magoo
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Wait.. what?  It's illegal to suggest someone's a Nazi?

Not something I ever expected to learn at babble.  :0


6079_Smith_W
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Well maybe it is actionable.

But it is only worth doing anything about it if you expect the slanderer has two nickels to rub together and you have any chance of collecting them.

 


oldgoat
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I've always wondered how Ezra supports himself.

 

 


Unionist
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Mr. Magoo wrote:

Wait.. what?  It's illegal to suggest someone's a Nazi?

Yes, under common law, and possibly under the Criminal Code as well. Depends on the context, the intent, etc.

For you to even question that makes you a Nazi.

Or a Schmazi.

Said Wernher von Braun.

 


Mr. Magoo
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Quote:
Or a Schmazi.
 

The plural of Schmazo.

But doesn't that belong in the foodie thread?  Schmazo-ball soup, and that sort of thing?  IIRC, Schmazo meal is made from only the whitest of white unleavened bread.


6079_Smith_W
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"Schmatzen" means to eat really loudly, or kiss, or otherwise smack your lips.

So seeing as we are sadly lacking a sex thread, I guess it winds up in food by default.

"Schmatzi" would be a great name for a Swiss restaurant, actually.

Geez, probably the most interesting and enjoyable thing ever to come from a conversation about him, even if it is a far left fielder. Or right field, or whatever.

 

 

 


Unionist
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Are you people seriously too young to have got my reference?? Do yourselves a favour, kick back, and listen to Tom Lehrer:


6079_Smith_W
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Not too young. I just never heard that particular song of his. Thanks, U!

I know there's nothing we want more than to get back to talking about Ezra, but that reminds me of this great documentary about the vastly superior Russian thrusters that were left in storage when they shelved the moon project.

http://www.movies-net.com/cosmodrome/24717

Great documentary on Netflix if anyone is interested in that techie stuff. Unfortunately the one thing they don't address in the film, but which is right there to see, is who got their claws on all the free technology.

 


voice of the damned
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Well, I've heard it stated, in fairly respectable media outlets, that Dalton McGuinty was engaged in anti-Muslim dog-whistling when he took a stand against the Tory plan to allow more religious schools, in the last Ontario election he fought. Could I be sued for saying "McGuintly's anti-Muslim pandering is the sort of thing I'd expect from Marine Le Pen?"

 

 

 


6079_Smith_W
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I think it comes down to what you can convince a judge to let in the door.

And the context of the comments - the defamation claim, which is that they are alegedly being portrayed as racists - is a factor in it, not just whether a statement in isolation is fair comment or not.

If every comment that wasn't fair was grounds for defamation we'd have a lot of fun in here, wouldn't we?

 


voice of the damned
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6079_Smith_W wrote:

 

And the context of the comments - the defamation claim, which is that they are alegedly being portrayed as racists - is a factor in it, not just whether a statement in isolation is fair comment or not.

 

 

So, if I try to portray Stephen Harper as a misogynist who hates women, and I make statements about his policies that try to prove that allegation, I can be sued for one of those statements, because of my overall agenda of proving that Stephen Harper is a misogynist?

I could maybe see it being a problem if I just took some obscure random person I met in a bar, and posted a bunch of stuff on the internet, based on some fairly debatable extrapolations, about how he must hate Jews, Muslims, women, whatever.  But when you're an active lobby group trying to sway government actions, or a ruling politician implementing policies, I think there should be a fairly wide  leeway for someone to speculate, even unflatteringly, about your motivations.  

 


6079_Smith_W
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I agree in principle, and there would be even more presumed leeway with Harper, as he is a public figure.

On the other hand, all this stuff is circumstantial. and sometimes depends on whether there are damages involved.

And of course some people file suits just to break someone with no expectation of winning, but just by getting them in the door.


montrealer58
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Our friend has an Internet broadcasting facility which is subscribed to by thousands of his sycophants. Because he wishes to be in the spotlight for whatever he says, it could be reasonably argued that he intends to be a public figure. He has also had several (if not many) columns printed in the Canadian press. 


voice of the damned
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montrealer58 wrote:

Our friend has an Internet broadcasting facility which is subscribed to by thousands of his sycophants. Because he wishes to be in the spotlight for whatever he says, it could be reasonably argued that he intends to be a public figure. He has also had several (if not many) columns printed in the Canadian press. 

By "our friend", you mean Levant? If so, I agree that he is a public-figure, and that if someone wants to call him(for example), "a racist, arab-hating nazi-style fuckhead", they are well within their rights to do so.

But the story under discussion isn't about Levant suing someone for insulting him. It's about Levant BEING sued for insulting people, ie. the pro-Palestinian activists in the CJPME. I'm arguing that they qualify as public-figures as well.  


montrealer58
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I think it is very possible said fuckhead would sue given any opportunity, so I don't want to mention his name aloud. This was the first time I had heard of CJPME, so I don't know if they are public figures or not.


kropotkin1951
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It would seem to me that a Jewish group that relies on donations from the community would have the right to claim that calling them Nazi's defames them and causes injury.  I have seen libel suits where the person suing wins the legal point and gets awarded $1 in damages. Even if costs go to the winner they seldom cover 100% of the legal bills.  


Mr. Magoo
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I think it would be a novel defense to claim -- not unrealistically -- that on the Internet, the word "Nazi" has essentially lost any real or specific meaning. 

It's true that the word is still used to describe actual white-supremacist followers of Adolph Hitler and the Third Reich, but in my experience, that constitutes about 5% of the times that a person in the modern day is called a Nazi.  The other 95% of the time it means someone voted for Donald Trump, or someone wants to ban skateboards in the park or someone who approves of a 3% increase in the police budget, or whatever.


oldgoat
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montrealer58 wrote:

I think it is very possible said fuckhead would sue given any opportunity, so I don't want to mention his name aloud. This was the first time I had heard of CJPME, so I don't know if they are public figures or not.

Part of my job, though it doesn't come up often, is to keep an eye out for posts which might get this place sued.  Actually came close once with a former chief of staff to Mike Harris and Harper, a rather litigeous gentleman who's name may suggest Italian heritage, but who will be, as Poe's Lenore, nameless here for evermore.

I think we're cool here so far, but for the sake of consistancy perhaps we could merely refer to "that smarmy oleaginous little patch".  Merely a suggestion.


bekayne
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oldgoat wrote:

Actually came close once with a former chief of staff to Mike Harris and Harper, a rather litigeous gentleman who's name may suggest Italian heritage, but who will be, as Poe's Lenore, nameless here for evermore.

That Guy..I mean guy?


oldgoat
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Wink


Rev Pesky
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Mr. Magoo wrote:

I think it would be a novel defense to claim -- not unrealistically -- that on the Internet, the word "Nazi" has essentially lost any real or specific meaning. 

It's true that the word is still used to describe actual white-supremacist followers of Adolph Hitler and the Third Reich, but in my experience, that constitutes about 5% of the times that a person in the modern day is called a Nazi.  The other 95% of the time it means someone voted for Donald Trump, or someone wants to ban skateboards in the park or someone who approves of a 3% increase in the police budget, or whatever.

You forgot that it is also used to refer to feminists and Muslims on a regular basis.

Courtesy Wikipedia:

Quote:
...In his 1992 book The Way Things Ought to Be, Limbaugh credited his friend Tom Hazlett, professor of economics at the University of California at Davis, with coining the term. In the book, Limbaugh also stated that the word refers to unspecified women whose goal is to allow as many abortions as possible, saying at one point that there were fewer than 25 "true feminazis" in the U.S. Limbaugh has used the term to refer to members of the National Center for Women and Policing, the Feminist Majority Foundation, the National Organization for Women, and other organizations at the March for Women's Lives, a large pro-choice demonstration.

In 2004, Limbaugh named feminist activists Gloria Steinem, Susan Sarandon, Christine Lahti, and Camryn Manheim as "famous feminazis". In 2005, Limbaugh said "I haven't used that term on this program in years. But it still gets to 'em, doesn't it? And you know why? Because it's right. Because it's accurate." As of October 2015 Limbaugh was still using the word regularly on his show.

Courtesy Wikipedia on 'Islamofascism':

Quote:
Accounts differ as to who popularized the term. President George W. Bush introduced the term officially during his presidency. According to Safire, author Christopher Hitchens was responsible for its diffusion, while Valerie Scatamburlo d'Annibale argues that its popularization is due to the work of Eliot Cohen, former counselor to Condoleezza Rice, reputed occasionally to be "the most influential neocon in academe". It circulated in neoconservative circles for some years after 2001 and came into wider currency after President George W. Bush, still grappling to find a phrase that might identify the nature of the "evil" which would define the nature of his enemy in the War on Terror, stated in 2005 that Islamofascism was an ideology synonymous with Islamic radicalism and militant jihadism, which, he then clarified, was decidedly distinct from the religion of Islam. It moved into the mainstream in August 2006.

I'll grant that 'fascism' is not strictly speaking 'Nazi-ism', but I suspect for the users of these terms, it was a distinction without a difference.

 

 

 


aka Mycroft
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oldgoat wrote:

montrealer58 wrote:

I think it is very possible said fuckhead would sue given any opportunity, so I don't want to mention his name aloud. This was the first time I had heard of CJPME, so I don't know if they are public figures or not.

Part of my job, though it doesn't come up often, is to keep an eye out for posts which might get this place sued.  Actually came close once with a former chief of staff to Mike Harris and Harper, a rather litigeous gentleman who's name may suggest Italian heritage, but who will be, as Poe's Lenore, nameless here for evermore.

Ah - he actually phoned and threatened to sue me over something I said about on babble about him and his Harrisite cohorts, Leslie Noble and Tom Long, something which actually was perfectly factual, as I recall. I was both surprised and amused and, without thinking about it, burst out laughing on the phone. He hung up and I never heard anything more about it. 


hobyirwin
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Good Day Unionist, you are dating yourself quoting Tom lehrer. My personal favorite, living in the land of great white hunters is, of course, the hunting song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A92_XFvez9U

The Whitehorse Star used to regulaly print is column but he has been very absent for many months, not missed.


Unionist
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hobyirwin wrote:

Good Day Unionist, you are dating yourself quoting Tom lehrer.

I've been dating myself since high school, but I'm still hoping someone will say "yes" one of these days.

Quote:
My personal favorite, living in the land of great white hunters is, of course, the hunting song.

It's brilliant, and I do believe it's the first one I ever heard. I think I was about 12 years old, visiting an older friend's place, when he put this 78 on the turntable. It was love at first hearing - a love that never dies. I have too many favourites to count.

Now back to Ezra Levant.

Actually, the less said about him, the better. Life is too short.

 


voice of the damned
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kropotkin1951 wrote:

It would seem to me that a Jewish group that relies on donations from the community would have the right to claim that calling them Nazi's defames them and causes injury.  I have seen libel suits where the person suing wins the legal point and gets awarded $1 in damages. Even if costs go to the winner they seldom cover 100% of the legal bills.  

So, what about "The Canadian Jewish Housewives Association supports the nazi-ish lebensrum policies of the state of Israel"? Could the CJHA(a fictional group as far as I can tell) sue the writer, on the grounds that they get donations from Jewish people, and calling them Nazis could lead to a decrease in donations?

I mean, really, if we're gonna say "A loss in revenue is an actionable injury", where is the end to it? In most cases, when you attack a political orgnization, your agenda is to get people to stop supporting it. Presumbaly, that includes financial donations.


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