... IRREVERENCE, INSTITUTIONALIZED ...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

FITS Threatened With Legal Action (Twice)


Twice in one day, FaithInTheSound - your favorite source for political satire and the insider scoop on South Carolina politics - has been threatened with legal action.

Oddly enough, it wasn't because of anything we said (which is pretty damned surprising if you think about it), but rather as a result of comments that were posted anonymously on our website. Odder still, one of the two threats against us came from an individual whom FITS went to great lengths to publicly defend on this blog.

But what's oddest about all of this brewing litigiousness? How can Reps. Ted and Mike Pitts look so much alike and not be related? Why does former Sanford advisor Chris Drummond use scissors when opening a candy bar wrapper? If J.W. Ragley's and Lachlan McIntosh's combined political wisdom is a tree falling in the woods, is it safe to call that tree a Chokecherry sapling? Does Katon Dawson refer to himself in the third person when trying to get frisky with his wife? How many more intenstinal villi does Jakie Knotts have than the average State Senator? And finally, when he used to play legislative softball, which side of the plate did Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer hit from?

At any rate, our legal team (pictured above) reviewed the anonymous comments, found they were in no way libelous, and our editorial board voted unanimously to leave them in place - a decision in keeping with the right to free expression all Americans enjoy as participants in what legendary Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once called the "Marketplace of Ideas."

In fact, in the words of another legendary Supreme Court Justice, William O. Douglas, "Freedom of expression can be suppressed if, and to the extent that, it is so closely brigaded with illegal action as to be an inseperable part of it."

To which we here at FITS can only add, "Amen, brother."

Oh, and if somebody could pass us an Annette Young-sized tumbler to raise a toast to those freedoms, that'd be great, too.

What the individuals threatening FITS with legal action did not understand is that actionable libel against a private citizen includes five components - defamation, identification, publication, falsity and actual injury.

Known as the "Common Law Five," these elements come to our modern system of First Amendment Jurisprudence from the British legal tradition, a.k.a. the "Good Old Days." For public figures, these standards are broadened even further to include what is commonly referred to as "actual malice," meaning that the individual making the comments also must exhibit "knowing falsehood" or a "reckless disregard for the truth."

You see, free speech is so important to our system of government - not to mention making fun of Dan Cooper and Bobby Harrell - that the barriers associated with restricting it are practically insurmountable, and rightly so.

Most importantly, if what you have to say on this or any other website is in fact the truth - there is literally nothing under the law (or under the sun) to keep you from saying it.

At the end of the day, we here at FITS did take the extraordinary step of removing several comments from a previous post owing to another legal enjoinment, one which is scheduled to expire on March 28, 2006.

We look forward to telling you the full story of our ongoing fight to protect your First Amendment freedoms at that time.

Until then, FITS is proud to offer a $200 reward to any individual who can provide us with photographic evidence of Dan Cooper's "Egg-tooth" at work during an actual meal ($300 if the Egg-tooth is shown coming in contact with any kind of pork product).

13 Comments:

Blogger Earl Capps said...

Geez ... ya'll must really love Annette.

12:27 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see someone is putting his Masters in Mass Communication with an EMPHASIS in First Amendment jurisprudence to valuable use! Watch out Jay Bender!!

12:51 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So by your standards Will I can call you a man-whore and be absolutely free from legal troubles???

1:00 PM

 
Anonymous Master Yoda said...

so...how about Rick Quinn and Dan Tripp beating the crap out of each other at Uncle Louie's?

2:57 PM

 
Anonymous Reality Check said...

First of all, there is no legal team, no editorial board and no group of young women behind this site. It is merely Will Folks with a laptop and too much time on his hands. Second, if there were ever an individual who exibited a "reckless disregard for the truth," it is Will Folks. And third, there actually is something under the law and under the sun that can keep you from saying whatever you want on this website- it is called a Restraining Order.

3:11 PM

 
Blogger faithinsound said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:32 PM

 
Blogger faithinsound said...

Dear Reality Check,

Are you perhaps the one who just hacked into our website, forcing us to change all of our passwords and sign-in information?

Just wondering.

And next time you try posting as us, at least try and be original.

-FITS

3:35 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

all you crazy women feeding will folkses enormous ego need to just SHUT UP! can't any of you see THIS IS WHAT HE WANTS??????

will folk is a has been never was who sucked as a spookesman

4:45 PM

 
Anonymous reality check said...

No, Will, but there you go again. Rationalizing every bad thing that happens in your life as some crazy conspiracy against you. You were probably just drunk in the middle of the day and forgot what your password was, or maybe the bare ass of one of the many sluts you are currently screwing accidentally typed the wrong thing into your precious laptop. Who knows?

6:38 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello!

7:39 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will Folks is really the mouthpiece for the space-dictator Xenu. Sincerely, Chef from South Park. P.S. - The Super Adventure Club rules. Read Dianetics.

8:37 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FITS-

I want to know exactly what your problem is with Dan Cooper?! I am actually from the district he represents, and he is a GREAT representative, father, husband and community leader. AND why do you make fun of his teeth? WILL FOLKS is practically bald and under the age of 30. Why make fun of something they can't help? I think it is rude and disrespectful. You should stick to making fun of the representatives and senators in your own districts!!!

AAM

9:35 PM

 
Blogger faithinsound said...

Dear Anderson County Egg-Tooth Lover,

We are sure Rep. Cooper is a wonderful husband and father. We understand he is also an excellent sport about his new nickname, not to mention his peculiar dental irregularity.

All that's perfectly well and good, but he's still leading the charge to suck our state's economy dry while astronomically growing government, and until he stops, we're going to continue calling him out for it.

Rep. Cooper may be your representative, but he is OUR House Ways & Means Chairman and Budget and Control Board member, even if Bobby does have to constantly explain to him how the state budget works.

Additionally, FITS contributer Will Folks is actually 32 years old and still has enough hair to be dangerous ... er, we mean attractive to the opposite sex. We hear he may even be taking Propecia.

-FITS

12:55 PM

 

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