4
Police Defame George Rosenbloom

As Goldwater v. Ginzburg illustrates, the task of establishing fault for a public official in a libel case is demanding. Reckless disregard or knowing falsehood is much more difficult to prove than simple negligence. Thus, it is not surprising that in a series of cases that followed New York Times v. Sullivan the Supreme Court of the United States was encouraged to extend this higher standard of fault to people other than elected public officials. Beginning with Rosenblatt v. Baer in 1966 the Court responded favorably to these requests.

Frank Baer was the appointed director of the Belknap County, New Hampshire, recreation facility. A year after Baer had been discharged from his position Alfred Rosenblatt wrote in the Laconia Evening Citizen that the recreation area was now in much better financial shape. Baer sued, claiming that the article accused him of mismanagement, and was awarded $31,500. The Supreme Court of the United States reversed, holding that Baer

-60-

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Errors, Lies, and Libel
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Errors, Lies, and Libel *
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Preface xiii
  • 1: The Problem 1
  • 2: Commissioner Sullivan and the New York Times 9
  • 3: Barry Goldwater and Fact Magazine 33
  • 4: Police Defame George Rosenbloom 60
  • 5: The Definitive Definition of a Public Person 78
  • 6: The Rules of Libel—beyond Comprehension 100
  • 7: Defamation Suits as Political Tools 122
  • 8: What to Do About Defamation 139
  • Selected Annotated Bibliography *
  • Annotated Case List 155
  • Selected Annotated Bibliography 167
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