|Roy Moore wants to sue the Washington Post and Al.com|
for their reporting on Moore's sexual harassment. Both
organizations hope he does sue.
The embattled Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Alabama has been in the headlines for more than a week now.
As practically everyone knows, several woman have come forward to report sexual harassment and molestation by Moore decades ago. One of the victims was 14 years old at the time
This all started with a very well-sourced article in the Washington Post. Moore says it's all lies, and he would sue the Post. So far, no lawsuit. I thought somebody must have told him to shut up. A lawsuit would open Moore to a process called discovery, in which he'd have to spill a lot of beans under oath.
That would give the public possibly lots more horrible details about Moore's past.
But, nope. Moore is now threatening to sue Al.com, Alabama's largest news organization. Al.com has followed up on the Washington Post report with more well-researched reporting on Moore's past. Moore's lawyer sent a cease and desist letter to Al.com for its reporting and threatened a libel suit.
If you want to boil it down to the simplist terms, to win a libel suit, you need to show that someone said or published something about you that they knew was untrue and that they intended to harm you.
Both the Washington Post and Al.com were careful to source their stories, got people to talk on the record, and corroborated statements given to them by the women who said Moore assaulted or harassed them.
In other words, Moore's threats to sue are just bluster. Just like Donald Trump, who threatened to sue the women who said he harassed, it was just a weak attempt to scare them into shutting up.
Problem is, the women in the Trump and Moore cases know libel law, especially since they've been lawyered up. The Washington Post and Al.com, being journalism outfits, know libel law even more.
Right now, Al.com is begging, begging Moore to sue them. That way, Al.com could counter sue. We'd get discovery, and it would all be easy-peasy one stop shopping news reporting for them.
I wish I was the lawyer for Al.com, because it seems like such an easy job, defending the organization against dumb bunnies like Moore and his lawyers.
For now, Al.com has responded to Moore's cease and desist by saying it stands by its reporting, and that like every political candidate, Moore is subject to scrutiny and analysis by the media.
The ball is back in Moore's lawyer's court. And I join the chorus: Please, please try and sue the Washington Post and Al.com. Then we'll know for sure all the details.