According to a post by Jeff Bercovici over at Forbes, a pair of birthers, Joseph Farah, CEO of WorldNetDaily.com (the progenitors of the Delta “No-Jew” fly list to Saudi Arabia story), and Jerome Corsi, author of Where’s the Birth Certificate? The Case That Barack Obama Is Not Eligible to Be President are so outraged by a biting, satirical blog post by Mark Warren, regarding their crazy delusions, they have decided to sue Esquire magazine.
Yes, two individuals who have made their living defaming President Barack Obama and recently defamed an airline with a completely bogus article that spread around the Internet like wildfire, are complaining about being maliciously attacked and defamed. They also claim that their ability to sell the book was somehow compromised by the satirical piece. Thus, like their frivolous, repeated assertions about the president’s birth certificate, here is a frivolous lawsuit to keep with the overall theme of frivolity.
However, the representations of the Defendants, each and every one of them, resulted in books being pulled from the shelves by booksellers, harmed sales and damaged the goodwill and reputation of Plaintiffs among the buying and consuming public, in the District of Columbia and elsewhere. Defendants’ stated malicious purpose in harming Plaintiff, through their actions, succeeded as planned
Ever since April 27, when Obama released an image of a “Certificate of Live Birth” from the state of Hawaii, critics have condemned the book as out of date and Esquire even published a fabricated story that reported it had been withdrawn.
That wasn’t true, and apparently the critics’ prognostications that it was doomed weren’t either.
In fact, the decision by Obama to dispatch an attorney to Hawaii to pick up a copy of the birth documentation was made just as Corsi’s investigative work was reaching the No. 1 spot on Amazon.com and even may have been prompted by the meteoric rise of the book.
So, how is that, and ridicule, worth over $285 million in compensatory damages? How are they NOT having problems selling books and having problems selling books at the same time?
Furthermore, while I’ll admit the words ‘satire’ or ‘parody’ don’t seem to be all over the original posting by Mark Warren, the story does feature some colorful language:
“He called up Corsi and really tore him a new one,” says the source. “I mean, we’ll do anything to hurt Obama, and erase his memory, but we don’t want to look like fucking idiots, you know? Look, at the end of the day, bullshit is bullshit.”
Language colorful enough to reveal that the blog post was not a serious article. Plus, its tagged under ‘humor’ in the blog, and really, just to clarify among those who seemed to be somewhat confused, an update was added later.
We committed satire this morning to point out the problems with selling and marketing a book that has had its core premise and reason to exist gutted by the news cycle, several weeks in advance of publication. Are its author and publisher chastened? Well, no. They double down, and accuse the President of the United States of perpetrating a fraud on the world by having released a forged birth certificate. Not because this claim is in any way based on reality, but to hold their terribly gullible audience captive to their lies, and to sell books. This is despicable, and deserves only ridicule. That’s why we committed satire in the matter of the Corsi book. Hell, even the president has a sense of humor about it all. Some more serious reporting from us on this whole “birther” phenomenon here, here, and here.
I think the Supreme Court in Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell said it best:
Respondent would have us find that a State’s interest in protecting public figures from emotional distress is sufficient to deny First Amendment protection to speech that is patently offensive and is intended to inflict emotional injury, even when that speech could not reasonably have been interpreted as stating actual facts about the public figure involved. This we decline to do.