August 19, 2009

NYS Supreme Court Justice Joan Madden is an elderly, mentally-ill skank (in my opinion)

liskandsmooth.jpg A few months ago, a NYC skank model named Liskula Cohen sued Google for protecting (via its offering of anonymous blogging services) the identity of a mean ol' blogger who had called her a skank and a ho. Now Justice Joan Madden has ruled that Google must unmask the blogger, rejecting the defense that "blogs serve as a modern day forum for conveying personal opinions, including invective and ranting, and that the statements in this action when considered in that context, cannot be reasonably understood as factual assertions."

Back when, law blogger Aaron Morris argued that by focusing on the humorous term "skank," the media was missing the genuinely defamatory remarks made by the blogger, and thus turning this into the Internet equivalent of the McDonald's coffee lawsuit (in which an entirely reasonable claim was caricatured as frivolous).

Look carefully at the comments. Defamation arises when someone falsely accuses someone else of, basically, illegal, immoral or unethical conduct. The comments don’t charge her merely with being a skank, but claim she is psychotic, a liar and a whore. The action would never have survived review if all that had been said is that she is a skank. That term is ill-defined and nebulous enough [despite some people's best efforts -- radosh] that arguably one could from the pictures form the opinion that word is an appropriate description. But what is the justification for the remainder of the remarks? What is the factual basis for calling her psychotic, or saying she is a lying whore? The comments go far beyond calling her a skank.

Contrarian that I am, I wanted to agree with him, but I did look carefully at the comments and I can safely say that Aaron Morris is a braindead moron.

Oh no, I can't. Because while "moron" might be ill-defined and nebulous, I have no factual basis for saying that Aaron Morris has been formally diagnosed with total necrosis of cerebral neurons following loss of blood flow and oxygenation. Seriously, that is the argument that Morris, and now Judge Madden, are making. According to the ruling, the following remarks were meant not as opinion, but as statements of fact.

“How old is this skank? 40 something?”

"She's a psychotic, lying, whoring, still going to clubs at her age, skank."

"She may have been hot 10 years ago, but is it really attractive to watch this old hag straddle dudes in a nightclub or lounge?"

Most of these comments apparently (the original blog is long defunct) came in connection with photos of Cohen like the one I've posted here, for the purely journalistic purpose of providing context for my Constitutionally-protected opinions (perhaps it would be safer to photoshop out her face and replace it with a picture of Mohammed). While Cohen would probably (in my opinion!) have been happy to have these pictures blown up and plastered all over SoHo as part of a Calvin Klein campaign, they were actually taken at a private party so she was outraged. Surely it won't clog the courts to allow lawsuits from anyone who poses for dumb pictures at a party and then regrets seeing them online.

Cohen got particularly lawsuit-y over one caption on a shot of her face near her pal's crotch that read "Nothing like opening wide to take that thing into my mouth AGAIN." Her lawyer argued that this constituted a factually verifiable statement (or, more precisely, not verifiable) inasmuch as that "when the anonymous blogger suggested that Cohen was eager to indulge in oral sex again, he or she implied facts about Cohen's sexual history, and such language was more than just an unflattering caption."

So with the big reveal, Cohen learned that, surprise, the anonyblogger was an acquaintance of hers. Probably another model -- you know what lying, psychotic whores they are.

Maybe this is a good time to quit blogging after all. Enjoy the new Internet, folks.


Posted by Daniel Radosh


It's never a good time to quit doing something you are very good at. (Have Bil Keane's lawyers been in your face?)

Please keep blogging Daniel!!

For those looking for the New Yorker Anti-Caption Contest, I posted it on my blog. I was thrilled to see many of the regulars have already weighed in. Some of the initial entries are really good (and highly controversial). See for yourself!

Daniel, you lying skank. You hacked the photo file in my celly -- AGAIN!

Isn't there a difference between a lying whore and a mere skanky whore? A skanky whore could charge a fair price for sex but a lying whore might steal your wallet. Thus, to call someone a liar is more serious that to call someone a shank.

SKANK NOT SHANK. but no matter.

What a freaken skank. I made a blog dedicated to her skankhood.

hope her and the judge rot in hell together for helping destroy freedom of speech in amerika!

You hear me Liskula "Skank" Cohen I said ROT IN HELL

This disgusts me, people need to get over themselves worse happen to less entitled people everyday aka private pics, vids, etc, and they never get satisfaction. Somone needs to cockslap this trick.

Checking in to learn the fate of the Anti-Caption Contest I decide finally to read the blogger-generated content. This is good! That Peter Landesman, what a character!

You all might want to think a little more carefully about who you're calling an "elderly, mentally-ill, skank" and who can "rot in hell", in your opinion. Very well stated arguments, definitely demonstrative of your obvious intelligence and class. At least the author of this article has taken the time to lay out a few semi-well thought out arguments and has done some research on the ruling itself. I acknowledge and applaude that. Nonetheless, I resent the author's calling my mother an "elderly, mentally-ill skank" and "skank hater" telling her to "rot in hell". If you disagree with her ruling, fine, you are definitely entitled to your opinion. However, you might want to consider wording your criticism in a less offensive and more constructive manner. As Maureen Dowd pointed out in her NY Times Op-ed article dated August 25, 2009 "But on the Internet, it's often less about being constructive and more about being cowardly." It's pretty easy to hide behind the computer and call people names, not as easy to call people "skanks" to their faces or to disagree with them in a more civil, well thought out manner. You might consider the idea that this decision lends an air of legitimacy to blogging that previously did not exist. Or perhaps you don't wish to be taken seriously, only to use the internet to call people names and gossip about people you don't have the courage to criticize in person. Again, your entitled to your opinion and entitled to disagree but I challenge any of you to come out from behind your computers to have a real conversation around this issue. If you're interested, you can write back and I'll tell you where to find me.
-Evan Madden-Peister, Son of The Honorable Justice Joan Madden

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