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