"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"
Cicero Marcus Tullius
There is a story of a group of protestors that announced they were going to burn a flag after a demonstration at their state capitol building. A group of vets showed up and politely listended to their diatribe about how bad America was...and when it was all over and as they prepared to burn their flag, the group approached them and doused them with some form of ignitable fluid. They made a simple declaration...people fought...people died for the strengths of their convictions and the right of even idiots to act like idiots. So...based on their own convictions...they should by all means...light the match. There was no flag burning that day.
I wonder...consider those assholes are protesting at the funerals of soldiers who were fighting at the direction of the government of the United States...I wonder whot those protestors would be willing to fight for...and die for...and how we could maybe arrange that opportunity for them...
"A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." - Eleanor Roosevelt
Keep your religion out of other people's marriages.
Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. FalwellThis case presents us with a novel question involving First Amendment limitations upon a State's authority to protect its citizens from the intentional infliction of emotional distress. We must decide whether a public figure may recover damages for emotional harm caused by the publication of an ad parody offensive to him, and doubtless gross and repugnant in the eyes of most. 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.
Respondent argues, however, that a different standard should apply in this case because, here, the State seeks to prevent not reputational damage, but the severe emotional distress suffered by the person who is the subject of an offensive publication. In respondent's view, and in the view of the [p53] Court of Appeals, so long as the utterance was intended to inflict emotional distress, was outrageous, and did in fact inflict serious emotional distress, it is of no constitutional import whether the statement was a fact or an opinion, or whether it was true or false. It is the intent to cause injury that is the gravamen of the tort, and the State's interest in preventing emotional harm simply outweighs whatever interest a speaker may have in speech of this type.
Generally speaking, the law does not regard the intent to inflict emotional distress as one which should receive much solicitude, and it is quite understandable that most, if not all, jurisdictions have chosen to make it civilly culpable where the conduct in question is sufficiently "outrageous." But in the world of debate about public affairs, many things done with motives that are less than admirable are protected by the First Amendment. In Garrison v. Louisiana, 379 U.S. 64 (1964), we held that, even when a speaker or writer is motivated by hatred or ill-will, his expression was protected by the First Amendment:
Debate on public issues will not be uninhibited if the speaker must run the risk that it will be proved in court that he spoke out of hatred; even if he did speak out of hatred, utterances honestly believed contribute to the free interchange of ideas and the ascertainment of truth.
Id. at 73. Thus, while such a bad motive may be deemed controlling for purposes of tort liability in other areas of the law, we think the First Amendment prohibits such a result in the area of public debate about public figures.
We conclude that public figures and public officials may not recover for the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress by reason of publications such as the one here at issue without showing, in addition, that the publication contains a false statement of fact which was made with "actual malice," i.e., with knowledge that the statement was false or with reckless disregard as to whether or not it was true.
Because nothing in this case is a demonstrably false statement about the soldier in question, the issue before the court is primarily whether Hustler should apply in this context, where it's a private figure being discussed rather than a public one.
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.
You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo
Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville