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Speaking of Flaming Pieces of Shit... | Main | Bush To Speak With Kazakh President, Over Diplomatic Row Created By "Borat" Character
September 13, 2006

Pallywood on Trial? [Sobek]

Michelle Malkin has a long post up about the impending civil case by France-2 television against critics of the so-called Muhammad Dura shooting. Michelle's links give more detail, but the short version is this:

In 2000, a Palestinian cameraman got footage of what appeared to be a Palestinian boy being deliberately targeted by Israeli soldiers, and shot dead. The 55-second video was broadcast around the world, did irreparable damage to Israel's reputation, and sparked a retaliatory Intifada which resulted in the deaths of 500 Israelis.

Problem is, the video was a fake.

Oh well, no harm done, right? I mean, other than all those dead Jews.

But France-2 television (which is owned by the government) has now filed a lawsuit against critics of the film who have shown it to be fake. Anyone with any integrity would admit the mistake and apologize for being an instrument in the deaths of so many innocent civilians, but we're talking about the French, here. So a lawsuit it is.

The reason I'm writing this post is not just to re-hash Michelle's work. As it turns out, I studied a bit of French law at school, including defamation law. It's a bit different from American defamation law:

Diffamation consists of the publication by the defendant of facts relating to the plaintiff, whether these facts are true or not; injure, on the other hand, consists of the use of 'outrageous expressions' which do not impute particular facts to the defendant (one leading text gives the calling of anothere a 'pedantic prig' as an example!). Both offences require that the defendant was malicious or in bad faith in making the statement in question, though such a 'culpable intention' is deemed to exist in the absence of proof of good faith, a proof which the courts have proved reluctant to admit. More surprisingly, truth is a defence only as regards those imputations which relate to a person's public life: a person's private life is protected even from truthful imputations. In accordance with the general rule, a defendant who commits either of these offenses will be liable in damages to anyone who suffers harm as a result...

From Bell et al., "Principles of French Law," at 368 (emphasis added).

In other words, even if what you say is true, you can be liable for damages is it's mean. I swear, if there is a more craven, feminized, cowardly group of people on the face of this Earth (the American Democratic party excepted), I have yet to hear of it. And in this case, the courts (which are part of the same government that owns the plaintiff television station) can vindicate France-2 (and by extension, the murders of 500 Israelis) simply on the basis that true statements were too "outrageous."

By contrast, the Nevada rule on defamation (which isn't wildly different from any other American jurisdiction) is: a) A false and defamatory statement of fact, of or concerning the defendant, b) an unprivileged publication to a third party, c) fault, amounting to at least negligence, and d) actual or implied damages. That's the American way: if what you're saying is true, our laws give you absolute protection, and the other person has to suck it up.

digg this
posted by Ace at 03:33 AM

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