Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Federal Court Victory for Walter Block Against New York Times; Drudge Features

A federal appeals court on Tuesday said the New York Times Co must face a defamation lawsuit by the University of  Loyola at New Orleans economics professor and libertarian Dr. Walter Block who said it quoted him out of context by saying he described slavery as "not so bad."

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals revived claims by Block about a front page article about libertarianism and a potential presidential candidacy of Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican who later ran for the White House.

"We are disappointed in the court's ruling but remain convinced that our story was accurate," Danielle Rhoades Ha, a spokeswoman for the newspaper, said in an email. "We will proceed to prove our case before the district court."

Block alleges that while he used the words attributed to him, the reporters Sam Tanenhaus and Jim Rutenberg distorted their meaning by omitting necessary context.

A lower court judge dismissed the case, but the three-judge appeals court panel found a "genuine issue of material fact" as to whether the article was false and had a defamatory meaning.

"If, as Block has pleaded, he stated during the interview that slavery was 'not so bad' except for its involuntariness, a reasonable jury could determine that the NYT's decontextualized quotation falsely portrayed him as communicating that chattel slavery itself was not problematic - exactly the opposite of the point that he says he was making," the panel said.

The court also found it premature to dismiss Block's claim that the Times acted with actual malice.

Tanenhaus and Rutenberg are also defendants in the case, which the appeals court returned to U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle in New Orleans.

The case is Block v Tanenhaus et al, 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 16-30966.

The news of the appeals court decision was featured via a link on the Drudge Report.


(Source Yahoo News)

ht: Jay Stephenson


Walter Block Comments on Federal Court Ruling in His Favor


  1. You can download the opinion here:

  2. Block dances on landmines then plays dumb when they go off.

    1. Block was pointing out that coercion is evil, regardless of which party is coerced. If slaves had been forced to eat fine food, dance and sing at a party, it would still be force if the slaves didn't want to partake. He was showing how the principle of force is the one to be judged in all cases. So, when Woolworth was forced to wait on people of color, it was still an issue of force, and that was against the principle he was describing.

    2. @Unknown

      This is also an extremely important point in responding to people who claim that "sweatshops" are necessarily bad because their poor working conditions make them "like slavery." This claim totally ignores the reason why actual slavery was/is bad (that it's involuntary.)