So Nu? So Sue Me

By Garbus, Martin | The Nation, June 7, 1993 | Go to article overview

So Nu? So Sue Me


Garbus, Martin, The Nation


Ten years ago a proliferation of multimillion-dollar libel judgments and highly publicized suits brought by political figures raised fears that the media would be intimidated into abandoning its adversarial posture toward government. This fear became more acute in the mid-1980s, when Reagan and Bush stacked the federal courts with conservative, statist judges unsympathetic to the press, and juries returned astronomical judgments against publishers.

Today the big libel cases that threatened to dismantle New York Times v. Sullivan, in which the Supreme Court held that libel law must conform to First Amendment standards, are largely behind us. The use of political libel suits to intimidate the press may be at an end, and the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Byron White, the Justice most hostile to the media, may well be the final nail in the coffin.

Less visible than publishers' victories and losses in such high-profile Supreme Court cases as Sharon v. Time, Janklow v. Viking, and Westmoreland v. CBS, but just as important, were a series of procedural rulings that have made it more difficult for plaintiffs to win. Despite this favorable trend, libel suits continue to threaten freedom of the press in four areas:

[sections] American publishers who distribute publications abroad are increasingly threatened by suits--and whopping damage awards--in countries with far stricter libel laws, particularly Britain. Although one New York trial judge, Shirley Fingerhood, has refused to enforce these damage awards, courts in other states will doubtless execute them.

[sections] U.S. courts have not put a cap on excessive punitive damages in the libel area, and seem unlikely to do so. In one New York case the jury awarded $10 million in punitive damages, on top of $4 million for pain and suffering. This judgment was recently upheld on appeal.

[sections] Many plaintiffs, faced with procedural obstacles in libel cases, have recast their suits as invasion of privacy or as "false light" actions. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

So Nu? So Sue Me
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.