Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
I am not a lawyer, but the revelation that the Washington Post covered up the allegations against VA Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax has got me thinking that the upper echelons of the Washington Post must be, for the very first time, happy that Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court succeeded.
Because, given what we know now, I think an angry and vengeful Brett Kavanaugh whose nomination had failed could very well sue the Post and have a very strong chance of winning.
According to The New York Times Co. vs Sullivan‘s “actual malice” standard (from Wikipedia);
… a plaintiff alleging defamation who is a public official or public figure [must] prove that the publisher of the statement in question knew that the statement was false or acted in reckless disregard of its truth or falsity.
Now compare the two circumstances, and realize that Vanessa Tyson took the story of her alleged assault by Justin Fairfax in 2004 to the Washington Post before Christine Blasey Ford spoke to the same Washington Post about her alleged assault in 1982 by Brett Kavanaugh.
The fact is there was even less evidence – i.e. zero evidence – against Kavanaugh than there is against Fairfax.
In fact, unlike Blasey Ford, Vanessa Tyson provided the time, date and location of her alleged assault. This is not to mention the fact that Fairfax has admitted to having a sexual encounter with her. In contrast, Kavanaugh claims to have no memory of ever meeting Blasey Ford.
Even more damning is the fact that both women are similarly situated – both are college professors in California. In fact, Blasey Ford being a professor was considered a mark of credibility. Why was this same courtesy not extended to Tyson?
Another difference is that Tyson is an active Democrat who should have every reason to celebrate a very very Left-Wing African-American Democrat Lt. Governor of the Old Dominion. In other words, while Blasey Ford had a viable partisan/ideological motive to lie on Kavanaugh, especially given the issue of Roe v. Wade, the same doesn’t apply to Tyson with regard to Justin Fairfax.
Ultimately though, there was/is no way of independently verifying the allegations against either of these men.
Yet the Washington Post repeatedly and prominently published the allegations against Kavanaugh, after buried the allegations against Fairfax.
The fact that the Washington Post has provided its reason for not publishing the accusations against Fairfax as being a lack of verifiable evidence and the fear that it might unduly damage his reputation, actually condemns their coverage of the Kavanaugh allegations.
Isn’t this evidence of “actual malice” – two public individuals in similar situations, both facing potential ruination to their lives and reputations if the allegations against them, whether true or false, are published, and yet, only one of them had the allegations against him put in print?
Such a blatant demonstratable double standard surely meets the NYT vs Sullivan threshold, doesn’t it?