Sex, envy, and libel
2 a : a defamatory statement or representation esp. in the form of written or printed words; specifically : a false published statement that injures an individual’s reputation (as in business) or otherwise exposes him or her to public contempt b : the publication of such a libel c : the crime or tort of publishing a libel —see also SINGLE PUBLICATION RULE New York Times Company v. Sullivan in the IMPORTANT CASES section —compare DEFAMATION, SLANDER
NOTE: Although libel is defined under state case law or statute, the U.S. Supreme Court has enumerated some First Amendment protections that apply to matters of public concern. In New York Times Company v. Sullivan, the Court held that in order to recover damages a public person (as a celebrity or politician) who alleges libel (as by a newspaper) has to prove that “the statement was made with ‘actual malice’ — that is, with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not” in order to recover damages.
This morning’s MoDo at the NYT: Sex, Envy, Proximity states that men “tend to be a bit lazy. They’ll grab the closest donught off the platter. Like Jude Law and the Nanny”, and goes on to spell it out (emphasis mine):
It was Monica Lewinsky’s proximity that caused Bill Clinton to forget the dignity of his office. It was Harriet Miers’s proximity – she has spent more time with W. than any aide except Andy Card – that caused George Bush to forget that flattery and catering to his every need are not qualifications for the Supreme Court
MoDo goes on to dismiss a statement Laura Bush maybe made (sorry, I don’t watch the Today Show):
Without his “Boy Genius”, Mr. Bush has turned to other shields. Laura gave the fidgeting and blinking president support on the “Today” show on Tuesday, telling Matt Lauer that cricism of Ms. [sic] Miers might be sexist.
Pardon my ignorance of “silly”, but to have the first female nominee in 12 years compared to a movie star’s mistress and a presidential bimbo (but it wasn’t Bill’s fault, because it was Monica’s proximity’s fault), and flat-out state she got the job by “catering to his every need”, is sexist.
And, from my non-lawyer point of view, Ms Miers has good cause for a libel suit.