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Shirley Sherrod Andrew Breitbart Lawsuit Odds Not Good Says G911

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Jul/29/2010
Andrew Breitbart

Gambling911.com has made Shirley Sherrod’s odds of winning a lawsuit against blogger Andrew Breitbart at 3/1, and ironically we have some experience in this area, which will be discussed below.  These odds are for informational purposes at this time (though we anticipate Shirley Sherrod Andrew Briebart lawsuit odds being available on the BetUS.com websitefor wagering soon since this one is likely to generate plenty of press).

Last week, Breitbart released on his website a 2-1/2 minute clip of a video showing Sherrod, an Agriculture Department employee,at an NAACP luncheon, talking about how she was reluctant to help a white farmer.  He did not post the full clip of the video, which showed the Ms. Sherrod was actually trying to make a point about how stereotyping based on race was wrong and that the greatest inequality in America today is class (elite vs. the poor).  Breitbart’s posting of the clip resulted in Ms. Sherrod being forced to resign from her position.  Other news agencies, including Fox News, portrayed Sherrod as a “racist” based on the snippet of video, quite obviously taken out of context.

Sherrod has yet to formally file suit but has indicated that she will.

Sherrod is not likely to win based on slander since there would have to be proof that Breitbart attempted to smear the Agriculture Department employee.  There must also be proof that Breitbart had in his possession the video in its entirety.  Even so, there is no law that prohibits the publication or broadcast of “excerpts” from an event such as Sherrod’s speech before the NAACP.  Again there needs to be some type of malicious intent, otherwise, whether you agree with Breitbart’s tactics or not, all of this should fall under the umbrella of “free speech”. 

Breitbart claims he was trying to show how those in the audience responded to specific remarks made by Sherrod.  Is this really any different than the mainstream media labeling the Tea Party movement as a whole “racists” by repeatedly showing a single supporter carrying around a stuffed monkey on her shoulder with a sign that reads “Obama Go Back to Kenya”?  Because of one woman out of a few thousand, an entire movement is now labeled as “racists”.

Slander cases tend to be more favorable towards those who are not in the public eye, and Sherrod would likely qualify as a “private” person prior to last week’s very public media circus. 

There is also the jurisdictional issues concerning the Internet, and it is a landmark case won by the founder of Gambling911.com that may give Breitbart the upper hand in any lawsuit filed against him.

In a Pennsylvania case, the court refused to exercise jurisdiction over the New York defendant (founder of the Gambling911.com website) who had posted defamatory comments about a defendant on an offshore betting website. The court held that since the comments were not specifically directed at Pennsylvania, the court could not exercise personal jurisdiction over the defendant. English Sports Betting, Inc. v. Tostigan, C.A. No. 01-2202 (E.D. Pa. 2002).

Brietbart, who helped launched the Huffington Post, resides in California.  Ms. Sherrod is from Georgia.

Gambling911.com incidentally is a leader in the arena of free speech and supports blogs like Breitbart’s.  Last year Gambling911 filed a suit against the New York US Attorney’s Office for withholding information about an ongoing investigation into the online poker industry. Southern District of New York, Judge Laura Swain sided with Gambling911.com parent company Costigan Mediaand ordered release of said information saying: “The Court is required to order disclosure absent compelling reasons to deny access and even then must employ the least restrictive means of doing so.”

Alejandro Botticelli, Gambling911.com

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