Sunday, June 14, 2015

Women, lies, and defamation

The defamation lawsuit filed by currently unemployed football player Ray McDonald,  against a woman who claimed without proof that he had sexually assaulted her while she was passed out drunk, was recently thrown out by a judge. The attorney representing the defendant, uber-feminist and professional misandrist Gloria Allred, claimed that the ruling “sent a message” to players and celebrities that defamation suits against women who falsely accuse them is not a “winning strategy”—convincing Judge William Elfving that defamation suits against even proven false accusations would have a “chilling effect” on female accusers, keeping them from coming forward with accusations against a male. 

The judge further allowed that McDonald had no “case” because of the absurd notion that  he could not “prove” that his accuser had spoken to anyone about her accusation, other than the  police. Accusations made to police, said the judge, are “protected speech,” whatever that means. This is hypocrisy of a very high order; besides that accusations made to police are much more damaging than conversations with friends,  football players who are accused of gender-related crimes are in particular moving targets (or more likely, sitting ducks) for media “outrage” and the dispensing with due process.

McDonald admittedly has deserved some of his bad press, although the fact that the several accusations against him haven’t led to charges suggests that there is a “backstory” to each incident, in which the female involved was hardly “innocent.” But the interesting observation here is that men seem to be just as much “victims” as their accusers claim to be, insofar that defamation law is simply tossed out the window to benefit female accusers to shield them from their own perfidy. You don’t have to be an actual “victim” of anything—just be vindictive—and you can destroy your victim’s life and career with a false accusation, and this has proved to be case in the NFL’s spineless handling of them, allowing people with gender political agendas (like Allred) the power to overthrow due process.

In any case, the Find Law website provided me with some enlightenment on what constitutes defamation in this country:

The Statement: “A ‘statement’ needs to be spoken, written, or otherwise expressed in some manner. Because the spoken word often fades more quickly from memory, slander is often considered less harmful than libel.”

The fact that the accusation against McDonald’s  has been disseminated widely in the media suggest that someone said something to someone. Does it matter who said it to whom? The alleged victim surely knew that accusing an NFL player in this media environment was going to make headlines at least in the sports media (and if there was a video involved, in the national media as well). No wonder such “victims” and their protectors prefer anonymity; if caught in a lie, she isn’t any worse off—just the accused is.

Publication: “For a statement to be published, a third party must have seen, heard or read the defamatory statement. A third party is someone apart from the person making the statement and the subject of the statement. Unlike the traditional meaning of the word "published," a defamatory statement does not need to be printed in a book. Rather, if the statement is heard over the television or seen scrawled on someone's door, it is considered to be published.”

What part of this statement did the judge in the McDonald lawsuit not understand? Either he needs to hit the law books and retake his bar examine, or Allred should. Or is there a “waiver” if the accuser is female?

Injury: “To succeed in a defamation lawsuit, the statement must be shown to have caused injury to the subject of the statement. This means that the statement must have hurt the reputation of the subject of the statement. As an example, a statement has caused injury if the subject of the statement lost work as a result of the statement.”

Again, what part of this did the judge and Allred not “get”? Because of the accusation, McDonald was released by the San Francisco 49ers, because of “bad judgment.” Did the 49ers mean not getting into a situation where he could be falsely accused by a woman who admitted to having consensual sex in his hot tub just hours before? The alleged victim admits to have no memory of any sexual encounter after that, but merely “suspects” McDonald did the dirty deed while she was passed out. But it doesn’t matter; whether the accusation was proved or not, it is unlikely he will find a team wishing to employ a player with his “reputation” on their team, for fear of “outrage” from so-called victim advocates.

Falsity: “Defamation law will only consider statements defamatory if they are, in fact, false. A true statement, no matter how harmful, is not considered defamation. In addition, because of their nature, statements of opinion are not considered false because they are subjective to the speaker.”

Apparently what this is saying in part is that any statement that can be construed as “true” or merely an “opinion” cannot be construed as “defamatory.” But women are “special victims,” if often only in their own minds; they can make false accusations of rape and domestic violence against men and not suffer any legal consequences for it. We live in a “victim”-obsessed society, whether females or black males shot by police, and the “back story” has as much relevancy as what one had for breakfast the day before. 

Unprivileged: “Lastly, in order for a statement to be defamatory, it must be unprivileged. Lawmakers have decided that you cannot sue for defamation in certain instances when a statement is considered privileged. For example, when a witness testifies at trial and makes a statement that is both false and injurious, the witness will be immune to a lawsuit for defamation because the act of testifying at trial is privileged.”

False testimony given in a trial usually hurts the witness providing that testimony more than the person who is being defamed—unless, of course, it is not exposed as such during the trial, otherwise it can be used to wrongly convict a man. In the McDonald case, statements given to police were claimed to be “privileged,” yet is it “privileged” to disseminate accusations to the public and the media in the absence of any proof, especially if they are harmful to the accused—especially if they are NFL players who accusers know they now can ruin their careers simply by making an accusation, knowing that the media will expect harsh “punishment” by the NFL regardless of due process? The rights of the accused are the real victims here, under the guise of “privileged” testimony simply because we must “protect” the “right” of an accuser to make an allegation, even if it is a knowingly false one. 

And it isn’t just about accusations of a sexual or domestic nature; the laws and work environment rules tell us that women “tell the truth” nearly all of the time—or at least the “sexual harassment” section of employee guide that requires a whole chapter says so, which more often than not provides women who create a hostile work environment cover. The reality is that “truth” is subjective, and in more cases than not, the female version of “truth” far outweighs that of the male’s.

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