The Zionist Conspiracy
Monday, February 26, 2007
The Orthomom Controversy
I haven't commented about the lawsuit involving Orthomom, because many others have expressed most of my sentiments. But I will add two thoughts:
First, while I agree that Pamela Greenbaum's legal action is almost certainly meritless and is the wrong way to react to being insulted, I also believe that it is worthwhile to reflect on the nastiness that has infected the Jblogosphere. People routinely call each other names and ridicule and attack people with whom they disagree. There is an extraordinary amount of immaturity in how people deal with others on blogs and other Internet forums.
One of the best things about not being anonymous is that when I have crossed the line, I have been held accountable for what I have written. People have confronted me with what I wrote about them. In some instances, I believed what I wrote to have been fair criticism, and I explained my position to those who felt wronged. In other situations, I agreed that I was wrong, apologized, and revised the offending material.
Overall, this has caused me to think twice (and three times) before criticizing someone, and I think this is to my betterment, and to the betterment of this blog.
My second comment is about the pending litigation. Yes, I agree that it is probably without merit. That said, much of the legal opinion presented on Jblogs has been offbase and shows a lack of understanding of the legal system. For example, just because something is not defamation per se does not mean that it is definitely not defamatory. Just because a statement is almost certainly opinion does not mean that it will be immediately dismissed as a matter of law, and that a Judge might not authorize discovery to find out whether what was written was protected opinion or could have had malicious motivation. Just because five Judges would go one way does not mean a sixth Judge couldn't go the other way.
The bottom line is that litigation is unpredictable. I am not sure that those who have Orthomom's interests in mind have done her any favors in suggesting the opposite.