As many of you know, after prayerful consideration, I sued The Detroit News last year for publishing that I was a leader of the Ku Klux Klan. Alas, the journey came to an end yesterday morning when the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled against me and in favor of the defendants.This illustrates how it is nearly impossible to win a libel suit in the USA.
he panel of judges mention in the first sentence of their decision that the law was on my side, but that Aesop’s fables instructs them to judge a man by the company he keeps.The Restatement (Second) of Torts § 559 lists “membership in the Ku Klux Klan” as the quintessential illustration of a defamatory statement. In an opinion piece in The Detroit News, columnist Bankole Thompson asserted that radio show host James Edwards is a “leader” of the Ku Klux Klan. There is no record evidence to suggest that Edwards holds a formal leadership position in the Ku Klux Klan, nor is there any record evidence to suggest that he is even a member. Notwithstanding this lack of formal relationship, Edwards has espoused views consistent with those associated with the Klan and, equally as important, he has repeatedly and publicly embraced several individuals who are strongly associated with the Klan. Mindful of Aesop’s lesson, “A man is known by the company he keeps,” we hold that Edwards cannot make claims of defamation or invasion of privacy and affirm summary disposition in favor of defendants.Please click here and take the time to read this remarkable ruling in its entirety.
Remember this next time you read a newspaper associate someone with the Ku Klan Klan. The newspaper could have just made it up, like the Detroit News, for the purpose of smearing someone.