Sunday, January 26, 2014
"U.S. Appeal Court Ruling Offers Bloggers Press Protection For the First Time. In light of a growing choir of Julian Assanges and Edward Snowdens, the reality is that everyone has a right to be heard."
"Crystal Cox — in a blog post in 2011 — alleged that a bankruptcy trustee was guilty of tax fraud. In the libel lawsuit that followed, Kevin Padrick, a principal with Obsidian Finance Group that was appointed trustee to the bankrupt Summit Accommodators, argued that since Cox was not a journalist and was not, therefore, justified in reporting toward the public interest, that her blogs besmirching his character was libelous. U.S. District Judge Marco Hernandez agreed and awarded Padrick and Obsidian Finance $2.5 million.
But on Friday, a federal appeals court reversed Hernandez’s decision, ruling that a blogger has the same free speech protection as a traditional journalist. Ordering a new trial for Cox, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco asserted that institutional distinctions between members of the press and other reporters cannot be feasibly enforced. As such, all news presenters must be given equal protection under the law."
In considering how free “free speech” really is, one must accept the reality that while what is being said may not be convenient, comfortable or even palatable, it has a right to be said if it serves the public good. In light of a growing choir of Julian Assanges and Edward Snowdens, the reality is that everyone has a right to be heard.
Even Crystal Cox."
Posted by Crystal L. Cox at 3:57:00 PM