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Michael Weiner v. The People

I hadn’t realized that the lawsuit filed by Michael “Savage” Weiner included Take Back The Media – for some reason, I just thought he was going after parody sites like Savage Stupidity and Michael Savage Sucks. TBTM has some sharp words about why Savage/Weiner is suing who he’s suing:

There is a reason our sites have been targeted by this lawsuit. All three sites are tiny operations. TBTM, with a staff of four people, is the biggest of the three. SavageStupidity is run by a huband and wife, and MichaelSavageSucks is a one-man shop. By filing suit against 3 web sites where the principals barely have two dimes to rub together, the chances are better of a slam-dunk for the plaintiff.

There are many sites and organizations – the largest among them the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) – who have been much more aggressive in their actions against Weiner than any of the sites that were sued. GLAAD actually called for a boycott of Weiner’s advertisers, and they have a full archive of Weiner’s quotes and sound bites (one of the main contentions of the lawsuit) on their site. The difference between GLAAD and TBTM is this – GLAAD has the resources to mount a vigorous defense against a harassment suit such as this without bankrupting themselves, and Weiner is quite simply afraid to try and attack someone who might actually be able to fight back.

This frivolous lawsuit is only one rung on the food chain for Weiner, and if he silences us, he’ll have a precedent with which to go after bigger sites, more well-known commentators, bigger organizations – in short, anyone he feels like going after. In typical bully fashion, he avoids picking a fight with someone his own size, opting instead to pick on sites that would run their bank accounts dry in their own defense. Says a lot about the man and how he thinks.

While it’s hard to believe that a federal judge would overlook a precedent like Hustler v. Falwell, it’s not too hard to imagine a lower court judge giving Weiner what he wants and making it financially impossible for these three web sites to keep fighting. Bad rulings can happen, especially to people who push the envelope (just ask Tucker Max), which means the rest of us shouldn’t make any assumptions. I sincerely hope this lawsuit gets tossed forthwith, and that Weiner finds the peace and solitude he apparently craves by returning to the obscurity he so richly deserves.

UPDATE: Soundbitten has the most comprehensive overview of this lawsuit.

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