February 23, 2008

The Shark owes me one

As in a commensurately prominent retraction, or a correction, or something, for this here. I didn't even write any of this stuff, it's a quote from another blog. I thought that was pretty clear. Yet the Shark has gone and attributed the whole shebang to your humble correspondent. Comes now the defendant to call shenanigans!

All's I said was that it was "interesting," which turns out to be even more true because the Shark wrote a whole blog post about it.

I reckon a heck of a lot more people read Prof. Esenberg's blog than read mine, many of whom probably wouldn't follow his link or check his comments. And even if they did, if Esenberg couldn't tell that I never wrote those three paragraphs, then they likely couldn't either, because Patrick McIlheran says Esenberg is the smartest man in Milwaukee County, and Patrick McIlheran is never wrong. Even when he's proved wrong he's still right. So I can't catch a break over here.

As long as Prof. Esenberg's post is hanging up there at the top of his index page, as it has for 14 hours now, my hard earned reputation is in tatters. And I'm not even a limited purpose public figure!


Rick Esenberg said...

Since you are making clear that you don't endorse McCabe's smear, I do owe you one and you've got it.

But you raise three (actually four) interesting questions.

Is association with the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign defamatory per se?

Seriously, can an anonymous blogger be defamed? As to the latter question, I'd assume the answer is "yes" but damages might be difficult to prove.

And even more seriously, under what circumstances can a blogger be a limited purpose public figure? Haven't we "thrust [ourselves]to the forefront of particular public controversies in order to influence the resolution of the issues involved?" Or does it depend on how many oeople read us?

And, related to the second point, if an anonymous blogger is a limited purpose public figure, would he or she also be if the allegedly defamatory material included an exposure of his or her identity?

illusory tenant said...

Thanks. No apology necessary; that's cool. But I do appreciate the clarifications.

Those are good questions, I'll have to think about them (I didn't even realize I'd raised them).

In the meantime, here's the tale of the attempted outing of an anonymous blogger by means of discovery, Manalapan v. Moskovitz, and the disposition: Subpoena quashed.