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Thursday, May 19

From Another Point of View.

Suppose a reporter from your local newspaper calls you and tells you they are planning to do an article about you. The reporter says he will email you the contents of the article before they run it. You say, okay. When you get a copy of the article, you find it claims that at some point in the past you painted a swastika on your Jewish neighbor’s garage door. Of course you have never done such a thing. So are you going to tell the reporter that you see no problem with the article? I doubt it. Most likely you would tell him that you have never committed such an act and demand that he remove that part from the article before it goes into the paper.

If you ignored the charge, didn’t respond to the reporter, and he published the original article, who would be at fault if the Jewish Defamation League comes knocking on your door?

Perhaps if you had committed such an act and you believed everyone already knew you had, maybe you wouldn’t object to the article’s content. But when you discover that your past wasn’t as well known as you thought and the article causes the Jewish Defamation League to come calling, you just might try to deny that you committed the act. You might even try to say that the story was a lie and blame all your resulting problems on the reporter and the newspaper in an attempt to protect yourself from further harm.

Or perhaps you have never committed such an act but you ignore the charge and let the reporter run the article because you plan to sue the paper for defamation of character. By not objecting to the contents of the article you have neither avowed nor disavowed the story’s veracity. Could you then successfully sue the newspaper for any personal damages you might sustain as a result of the charge? I doubt it, because you had seen the article before its publication and had every opportunity to tell the paper the charges were false.

So, why is Newsweek on the hot seat?

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