Again Dan Casey pushes the envelope on his blog. Not only allowing borderline defamation by commentors but he posts the same himself.
That makes him and The Roanoke Times open to defamation law suites.
His most recent comment back to a right-wing conservative commentator went like this:
Seriously, [name redacted], you’re sounding more and more like some kind of lesbian pedophile. . .
Comment by Dan Casey — February 25, 2011 @ 11:01 pm
Then as he bashed the channel 10 anchor on his reporting of River Laker’s striptease. He instigated personal comments that were inappropriate that I won’t repeat here …. “WINKWINK.”
How readers perceive Casey’s blog is a direct reflection on The Roanoke Times. Repeat – a direct reflection on The Roanoke Times. A newspaper’s reputation online is no different then in print.
The fact that Casey moderates the comments puts him and the newspaper in legal peril.
Past comments ran amuck on a candidate questioning the candidate’s ethnicity, demanded a birth certificate and called him a Muslim. Casey never should have allowed such vicious comments.
12/20: 12. Has anyone seen this guy’s birth certificate? Habeeb sure isn’t what I would call a true American name. Has the NRA vetted this guy? Homeland Security OK with him? Is he a gasp, Muslim? I don’t recall any Southern Baptists with that name. Will Morgan Griffith be replaced with a TERRORIST? I’m going to stop now, with apologies to Mr. Habeeb, but with all of the flap over Obama’s birth certificate and loyalty to his country, can you imagine if Mr. Habeeb was a Democrat?
Comment — December 12, 2010 @ 6:05 pm
When I suggested to Casey that he not allow duplicate IP addresses with different handles he snarked:
I have my own policy. It’s transparent, and it’s been very effective into shaming commentors into quitting the games. I’m not going to change it.
Comment by Dan Casey — December 14, 2010 @ 12:25 am
He not only allowed it but also commented himself instigating more hateful vitriol. Casey should know better then to take part and further the nasty rhetoric.
Typically, the elements of a cause of action for defamation include:
- A false and defamatory statement concerning another;
- The unprivileged publication of the statement to a third party (that is, somebody other than the person defamed by the statement);
- If the defamatory matter is of public concern, fault amounting at least to negligence on the part of the publisher; and
- Damage to the plaintiff.
In the context of defamation law, a statement is “published” when it is made to the third party. That term does not mean that the statement has to be in print.
Damages are typically to the reputation of the plaintiff, but depending upon the laws of the jurisdiction it may be enough to establish mental anguish.
Most jurisdictions also recognize “per se” defamation, where the allegations are presumed to cause damage to the plaintiff. Typically, the following may consititute defamation per se:
- Attacks on a person’s professional character or standing;
- Allegations that an unmarried person is unchaste;
- Allegations that a person is infected with a sexually transmitted disease;
- Allegations that the person has committed a crime of moral turpitude;
The New York Times fundamental online standards:
What should be avoided in all of them is any hint of racist, sexist or religious bias,or any suggestion of nasty, snide, sarcastic, or condescending tone — “snark.” If something could easily fit in a satirical Web site for young adults, it probably shouldn’t go into the news pages of nytimes.com. Our ethics code promises that in all dealings with readers, “civility applies.”
Remember, blogs on the news side of NYTimes.com are not the personal, private blogs of the contributors, but blogs of Times employees, whose reputations depend on readers’ trust in their impartiality.
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Posted By Valerie Garner
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