By now, we all know that Donald Trump is the master of the lawsuit, having been involved in over 4,000 of them in his 70+ years on earth. Just for kicks, let’s assume that he didn’t start suing and being sued until after his daddy bought him that degree from Wharton School of Business, around age 23. That still means that this ‘man’ has averaged 83 lawsuits per year!!! And to further carry it out, that is an average of one lawsuit every 4 days!!!
Curious, I went in search of whether Trump had the most lawsuits … surely nobody else would have more than one every 4 days for the entirety of their adult life??? Well, I do not have a conclusive answer to my question, but … there is a Guinness ‘Most Litigious Man’! That record, however, is not an apples-to-apples comparison, for it takes into account only those lawsuits filed by the person, not those filed against him. Still, it makes for some humour, considering that in 2009 when Guinness Book of World Records planned to name Jonathan Lee Riches for the title of Most Litigious Man … Jonathan Lee Riches … SUED!!!
The most famous frivolous lawsuit, at least in the U.S. in the past century, was of course the one filed by Stella Liebeck back in 1992 against a McDonald’s restaurant because she spilled hot coffee on herself. But there are others … In 2007, D.C. Administrative Judge Roy Pearson sued a local dry cleaner for $54 million because they lost his pants! A judge, nonetheless!!! Then there was Scott Anthony Gomez Jr. who was trying to escape from the Pueblo Country jail, and while using a ladder made of sheets tied together to scale the side of the building, he fell. He then sued the county sheriff, saying that authorities caused his injuries by making it too easy to fly the coop.
And so on and so on … I could do a whole series about frivolous lawsuits, but I started with a specific one in mind, a much more recent one, in fact this particular lawsuit was filed only this week in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. And who, you ask, filed this lawsuit? Why, none other than America’s #2 Bimbo, Ms. Sarah Palin! (I think she may have secretly attended Trump University in her spare time and learned from the master how to successfully file frivolous lawsuits.) Yes, yes, I know that just one year ago I named her America’s #1 Bimbo, but she has since ceded that title to Kellyanne Conway.
Anyway, Palin is suing the New York Times for ‘defamation’. Defamation … how do you ‘defame’ a person’s character when that person had a reputation for ignorance, dishonesty and a lack of integrity to begin with??? Here is what happened:
On June 14th, the day a gunman opened fire at a baseball field where Republican lawmakers were practicing for an annual charity game, the Times published an editorial … here is the portion on which Palin is suing:
“In 2011, Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot, grievously wounding Representative Gabby Giffords and killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl. At the time, we and others were sharply critical of the heated political rhetoric on the right. Before the shooting, Sarah Palin’s political action committee circulated a map that showed the targeted electoral districts of Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs. But in that case no connection to the shooting was ever established.” The Editorial Board, 14 June 2017 Link to complete editorial
The Times issued the following correction two days later:
“Correction: June 16, 2017
An editorial on Thursday about the shooting of Representative Steve Scalise incorrectly stated that a link existed between political rhetoric and the 2011 shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords. In fact, no such link was established. The editorial also incorrectly described a map distributed by a political action committee before that shooting. It depicted electoral districts, not individual Democratic lawmakers, beneath stylized cross hairs.”
The NYT Opinion Twitter account also sent out the correction about the lack of a link, apologizing and saying that it appreciated that readers had pointed out the mistake. The retraction was not enough, however, to salve Ms. Palin’s ego and “did not approach the degree of the retraction and apology necessary and warranted by The Times’s false assertion that Mrs. Palin incited murder.”
First of all, the brief mention of any possible connection between Palin’s PAC and the shooting of Ms. Giffords did not state nor suggest that Ms. Palin ‘incited murder’. Second, Palin has no character to defame … she did that to herself years ago. Third, the malice standard as determined by the Supreme Court ruling in the 1964 landmark case of New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, requires that the plaintiff in a defamation or libel case, if he/she is a public figure, 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. None of that applies in this case, thus the case is unlikely to go anywhere. The last time the New York Times lost a libel suit in the U.S. was in the early 1960s.
So, what is the purpose of the lawsuit? Only Ms. Palin knows for sure, but unless I miss my guess, I would say the purpose is to get attention. She has been out of the limelight for a while now, and while her ego may not be quite as big as Trump’s, she is definitely a narcissistic person who thrives on attention. Last November she had hoped to be awarded a position in Trump’s cabinet, but she blew it in December when she publicly criticized Trump and his ‘deal’ with Carrier, and suddenly she was under consideration no more.
Palin has been out of the limelight since last December and is starving for attention. The editorial in the New York Times likely seemed like a godsend to her, but she really needs to go back to her front porch and keep gazing over toward Russia … ♫ On a clear day … you can see … ♫