Lying Liarpants Tennessee Sen. Stacey Campfield Wins Right To Keep Lying
Here at Wonket, we are inordinately proud of the fact that we have never been sued for libel or defamation or any other version of journalism fuck-upping. Yes, Bradleeeeeee Deanthreatened to sue us, but he does not count because he has a proven track record of being a weird loser overreacher who sues people for quoting him, which isn't really a typical defamation suit. ANYWAY, enough about us and how awesome we are. The point is just that if we can manage not to do this, it can't be all that hard to avoid. But maybe if we were Republican politicians, it would be harder, because the lying must just be inbred by now, and we would have to use this blog to just stone cold make shit up for political gain and it would all work out when we draw a judge who seemingly has no idea what defamation might be:
A judge in northeast Tennessee is dismissing a $750,000 libel lawsuit against state Republican Sen. Stacey Campfield for publishing false information online about a Democratic candidate for the state House in 2008.
Campfield, a Knoxville Republican, blogged before the election that year that he had heard candidate Roger Byrge had multiple drug arrests, and that the mug shots were "gold." It was later determined the arrest record belonged to Byrge's son.
Hrmmm...well, maybe that could be an honest mistake, and walking receding hairline Senator Campfield did not know the info was false and quickly made amends? Aw, hell no:
Campfield said he was contacted by Mark Goins, a former Republican state representative from Lafollete, to inform him that the candidate had been confused with somebody else...
Campfield said he was also advised not to publish a clarification or correction on his blog, just to take down the post.
Asked who had given him that advice, Campfield replied: "I believe it was Mark Goins, but I couldn't swear to that."
Yes, Senator Stacey Campfield, who is always always in the running to be Legislative Shitmuffin of the Year, cannot remember who told him to just fling shit around on the internet and then pretend that none of it will stick, but whoever it was, it was totally their fault that Stacey Campfield accused someone of criminal acts (libel per se) and then didn't even retract. We were under the sad, misguided impression that behavior like this was pretty much a textbook example of defamation, but apparently things are different in Tennessee, and by "different" we mean "stupider."
"It is a dog-eat-dog world out there, and this stuff happens," Circuit Judge John McAfee said, according to a transcript of Wednesday's court hearing in Jacksboro.
"Sometimes you just get beat, and that's just the plain simple truth of the matter," he said. He added: "Politics are politics, and it's a big boys and big girls game. That's just the way it is."
McAfee acknowledged that Campfield had gotten it wrong on his blog, but he agreed with defense attorneys that the lawmaker did not know the information provided by House Republican leadership was false when he posted it.
"The senator was conversing with the Republican apparatus. They apparently had criminal history on a gentleman, this guy's son, a very similar name, except the middle name," McAfee said. "I can see how you could mess that up. It is what it is."
Yup, you're reading that right. That is a judge explaining (1) too bad, so sad, you need big boy pants for politics, and you'll just have to sac up, weenie, and deal with the fact that people can lie about you and (2) that he - A FUCKING JUDGE - totally understands how easy it is to make mistakes with things like who criminal histories belong to.
Please put Tennessee on our ever-growing list of states we do not wish to move to, unless we really want to go all out and lie about people, in which case Tennessee sounds fucking awesome.