Earlier today I was carbon copied on a series of emails between Matthew Harris, a Contractor in West Virginia, and Matthew Close, the owner of National Fraud Alerts (NFA). The emails dealt with demands for a Mortgage Field Services Industry Firm to publicly release their Pricing Data. After requesting that I be removed from the series of emails and any future ones, I reached out to the owner of the Firm and had an impartial discussion. The nature of my Article is not so much about condemning what I consider to be shakedowns as that is easily addressed by litigation from the offended parties. What I want to discuss is the boundaries which are both legal and acceptable in the Digital Media Age.
Everyone has an opinion. In the United States, these opinions and the rights to them are enshrined in our Constitution. For example, Foreclosurepedia is a Blog based upon my personal opinions. Foreclosurepedia, though, walks a pretty thin line and when we state that, "So and so defrauded such and such Contractor," I make sure that I have either cited the publicly available material or that I have emails and often recorded conversations backing these allegations up. In this, we are dealing with fairly cut-and-dry issues. In tort law a plaintiff cannot bring a libel lawsuit against a defendant with a public reputation as a liar. The legal reasoning is that a known liar cannot damage the reputation of anybody, because nobody will believe the slanderous remarks of a known public liar! This is why folks like Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levine and Michael Savage are not in Court every twenty minutes. The below subquote quantifies where I am going and comes from Liberalbias.com,
“I wouldn’t want to go out on a limb and speculate, but I will tell you this: you certainly couldn’t be criticized for believing that Obama is a rapist!”
Suppose you want to convey this controversial idea: Obama is a rapist.
That’s juicy, isn’t it? Because you are a giddy, excited right-wing conservative, you are just tickled and delighted by the thought of spreading this notion around.
But you can’t just …. say it. Then, someone might be able to claim that you are wrong. And it’s important that you never be wrong.
Opinions are not absolute license to bully from the pulpit. So, Foreclosurepedia's material is couched in an arcane, legal manner which is presented as Media Entertainment. Ask anyone in the Management Sector, Heather Berghorst included, and they will state that, "Foreclosurepedia is bullshit and Paul Williams is a liar." So, consensus is that virtually anything I say or do is already preordained to be incorrect --- ah, the lawyers keyed to that. Don't get me wrong in that I do not maintain files on everything I put out to cover my own ass; what I am saying is that I am not an entity which issues Official Statements upon which the Industry acts upon --- generally.
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