From HuffPo, a story that reads to me like a perfect definition of defamation:
DENVER (AP) — A man who was quickly branded a “selfie stalker” after his picture turned up on a crime victim’s cellphone is suing television commentator Nancy Grace for defamation, saying she refused to stop airing his photo even after authorities had cleared him of any wrongdoing.
The lawsuit filed Monday in Denver says Grace, who hosts a show on Turner Broadcasting’s HLN network, incorrectly told millions of viewers that Ben Seibert invaded a woman’s home and snapped a photo of himself on her phone, which she described as a “textbook serial killer’s calling card.”
Seibert said Grace humiliated him with her commentary, which prompted people across the country to label him a weirdo, sicko, rapist and pervert on various social network sites. The suit says Grace didn’t check the facts and didn’t care.
I’m surprise that Ben Seibert is asking only for $100,000 in damages, but in an odd way, his low demand makes his complaint even more credible to an average person, i.e., me.
I met Nancy Grace once. I knew then, as I know now, that her political position was right wing, although of course she seemed perfectly pleasant at the time. (I remember looking down on her, literally − I’m 5′ 7″ and she is very much shorter.) But hell, she’s a lawyer, a public personality and should have known better than to publish an accusatory story without researching the facts.
Reminds me of the Shirley Sherrod lawsuit against (dead) Andrew Breitbart. (And when I wrote “dead,” I meant it literally. That is, it is not my [non-defamatory] opinion. And since he’s dead, I believe he couldn’t sue me in any case.)
Factual warning: the HuffPo link comes with a video of a TV news program about this case.