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Ted Rall decides not sue Ann Coulter

Ted Rall, who contemplated suing conservative columnist/author Ann Coulter for libel after she suggested (jokingly or otherwise) that Ted had entered the Iranian Holocaust cartooning contest, has decided against launching the suit on the grounds that it would be expensive and the verdict unclear.

From his blog:

One needs to have two things on one’s side to win a lawsuit: money and the law. Toward the first end I reached out to readers outraged by Coulter’s malicious smears against me and others whose only crime is criticizing the Bush Administration. Theyâ??youâ??didn’t let me down. I obtained serious pledge commitments (I asked readers not to send the actual money until and unless I filed a suit) sufficient to make fighting a suit against a moneyed defendant like Coulter feasible.

Because I am opposed to burdening the legal system with vanity litigation, I decided that I would only sue if I had an excellent chance to win. Therefore I asked my attorneys to exhaustively research case precedents relative to slander and libel in New York State and under federal law. Months of research have forced me to conclude that, though a lawsuit against Coulter would certainly withstand initial challenges and motions to dismiss and might ultimately prevail through verdicts and subsequent appeals, the road ahead is too uncertain to justify spending thousands of dollars of pledges, not to mention my own money.

Community Comments

#1 Rich
December/30/2006
@ 1:32 pm

Good decision Ted! It sounded pretty baseless to me anyway. A case of an editorial cartoonist being able to dish it out but not take it perhaps? I wouldn’t go so far as to defend her remarks, but no one I know would take her barbs seriously (as in factually accurate rather than political commentary – just like editorial cartoons), thus it would fall into the “bad Kerry joke” category.

A more entertaining and effective approach to rebutting her remarks would have been some witty editorial cartoons. Other up sides to this approach are lawyers don’t profit (they always win even when you lose), it’s less whiney, leaves left-wing wackos free to fund failed radio programs, and right-wing wackos free to complain about newspaper bias, and it’s like free PR.

My 2¢

#2 Rich
December/30/2006
@ 11:14 pm

Footnote to my comment above: In thinking about it a bit more, if Ted is Jewish, the Coulter comments fall into the category of extremely tasteless … but I still think that any kind of lawsuit is extremely unlikely to succeed. However, that’s seems to be the conclusion anyway … so this concludes my useless comments for one day!

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