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January 28, 2021

CPAC Organizers Allege That Politico Is Calling Their Sponsors to Scare Them Off of Sponsoring the Conservative Confab -- And Thereby, "Cancelling" Them

Indeed, this is now a major part of the partisan advocacy organizations that we used to call "news outlets." CNN, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal all have reporters on the social media beat, which consists almost exclusively of finding people that the leftwing corporate establishment doesn't like and pressuring businesses to boycott them out of existence.

Almost every corporate cancellation in the past five years has started with obese potato Brian Stelter and slippery-assed traitor Oliver Darcy starting a targeted smear campaign against businesses unless they did what CNN was demanding they do, and "cancel" a dissident voice.

This form of advocacy non-journalism gets good ratings, I imagine, because crazy partisans will check out every single pro-SJW crusade that appears on TV or the internet.

Politico has decided to get into the game.

The American Conservative Union on Tuesday accused Politico of attempting to "cancel" the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) by contacting potential sponsors in an act that "crosses the line from protected speech to political activism."

CPAC organizers sent a scathing letter, signed by American Conservative Union general counsel David Safavian, to Politico's CEO and top editor that promises legal action. It began by claiming Politico has ignored its "ethos" to provide accurate reporting and nonpartisan impactful information.

...

"Based on reporter inquiries relayed to us, the unsupported claims, insinuations, and falsehoods made by Politico appear intended to 'cancel' both CPAC and the American Conservative Union itself," Safavian wrote. "We fully intend to explore our legal rights to hold Politico accountable for what we see as tortious conduct."

After the letter was sent, Politico published a story headlined, "A top MAGA gathering finds life complicated after Trump," that mentions Safavian’s scornful letter. The Politico report indicates that it did contact CPAC sponsors.

I imagine what they're talking about is the tort of tortious interference with a business relationship (or contract). That tort specifies that if anyone not party to a contract (or business relationship) tries to induce a breach or cancellation of the contract (or relationship), they can be sued.

The trouble is, the non-journalistic political advocacy organization Politico will claim that, as a (fake) journalism operation, they are always a "party" to any business relationship they feel like interfering in.

And Hawaiian judges will naturally find in favor of Politico. So will non-Hawaiian judges. The problem is that no one wants to confront the Big Question of deciding when an alleged "journalism" operation loses the legal fiction that it is practicing "journalism" and is simply declared to be a partisan lobbying/PR ax-grinder or branch of a political party.

I know from my unhappy experience with defamation law that the general media immunity to lawsuit depends upon the showing that an article is written in a journalistic fashion-- that it presents both sides, has a neutral tone, does not stridently advocate for one thing or another.

That immunity does not attach if an article or purported "article" fails those tests. Then it can be regular old defamation, just published in a "news" outlet.

I realize that defamation law isn't the same as tortious interference law, but I do think we're going to have to change the law to demand that media companies behave like actual journalism outfits if they want to have the advantage of special protections in the law.

These partisan attack organizations only "hold accountable" one side -- the minute Joe Biden starts receiving huge stacks of "dark money," dark money ceases to be a problem of journalistic notice.

At some point, the law must realign itself with current realities rather than the fictions of yesteryear. Most media companies are simply shills for the Democrat Party. They should not have any additional legal protections not afforded to common, everyday citizens. Yes, they should continue to have the same First Amendment rights that every schlub citizen does, but only those rights. They must no longer have the special protections afforded to "the free press" if they are no longer in fact a free press.

Unrelated: This video about the oligarchs is like a William Wallace cry of "Freedom!"

And: David Portnoy: People need to go to jail for this billion dollar heist, taking money from retail investors who won their bets and giving it back to the oligarchs


digg this
posted by Ace at 01:53 PM

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