- Alarm over administration seizure of personal emails of Fox News chief Washington correspondent James Rosen, described as “co-conspirator” for reporting classified material [WaPo, Yahoo, ABC News, Josh Gerstein/Politico, Julian Sanchez, Glenn Greenwald] Contra: Eugene Volokh, Charles Fried.
- “VP Joe Biden Believes There’s ‘No Legal Reason’ The Government Can’t Slap A Sin Tax On ‘Violent Media'” [Tim Cushing, TechDirt]
- “Vagueness in a defamation threat is the hallmark of meritless thuggery” [Popehat] India-based science publisher threatens Scholarly Open Access blogger that criticized its practices with $1 billion suit, three years in jail [Chronicle of Higher Education] Mockery is not libel: court tosses inmate’s suit against Tennessee governor [Volokh]
- Background of famous First Amendment case New York Times v. Sullivan: officials in South had exploited plaintiff-friendly jurisdictional rules [Wasserman]
- “6 Years + 300 Lashes in Saudi Arabia for Helping Woman Convert to Christianity” [Eugene Volokh]
- “A blueprint for speech codes?” [Alison Somin on feds’ Montana letter, Fed Soc EBR; Christian Science Monitor; earlier here, here, etc.]
- Rethinking SLAPP laws? [Recorder, Alex Kozinski opinion; ABA Journal]
- Tennessee governor vetoes “ag-gag” law on farm photography as First Amendment infringement [Linnekin; related, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Pa.)]
New SEC chairman Mary Jo White shows better sense about it than some newspaper editorialists that could be named [Louise Bennetts, Cato]
Ira Stoll catches the New York Times being tendentious again [SmarterTimes]:
…one reason that Texas is at or near the top of the nation in terms of workplace fatalities is that it is at or near the top of the nation in terms of the number of workers and how many hours they work. If you adjust for that, and take the rate of workplace fatalities — that is, the number of fatalities from workplace injuries per 100,000 full-time workers, Texas isn’t worst in the nation, but somewhere in the middle…
- “Crime to Create a ‘Hostile Environment’ That ‘Substantially Interferes’ with Person’s ‘Psychological Well-Being’ Based on Race, Religion, Sex, Etc.?” [Volokh] “Minnesota Bill to Ban K-12 Speech That Denies Fellow Students a ‘Supportive Environment'” [same]
- Blogger dropped as defendant in “pink slime” defamation litigation, but suit against ABC and others continues [Bettina Siegel/Lunch Tray] Suit against ABC based in part on state food-disparagement statute occasionally criticized in this space [Reuters] Dearborn residents: are you sure you want to patronize a restaurant that deploys lawyers to suppress criticism? [Paul Alan Levy, earlier]
- Libya arrests foreigners accused of distributing Christian literature, charge could carry death penalty [Guardian]
- Sometimes it seems NYT editors are First Amendment absolutists about everything except political speech First Amendment was meant to protect [SmarterTimes]
- Global Wildlife Center of Folsom, Louisiana sues a satirical website and then menaces Ken of Popehat;
- Long piece on Naffe/O’Keefe backstory of Kimberlin/Patterico legal/media war [Chris Faraone, Boston Phoenix, earlier]
- Update: following outcry, publishing company drops suit against Canadian librarian [CBC, earlier] Also from Canada: Nanaimo, British Columbia: “Mayor ensures ‘Koruption’ stickers never seen again” [Beschizza, BoingBoing] Voltaire wept: Bruce Bawer on the Canada Supreme Court’s “hate speech” decision [Front Page mag, earlier]
- “Donald Trump, paper tiger?” [Paul Alan Levy]
“That is quite a correction in today’s Times to Mark Bittman’s column the other day about sugar and diabetes,” notes Ira Stoll. Bittman’s column began with the striking opener “Sugar is indeed toxic” and went on to promote a far-reaching regulatory crackdown on sweetened foods. But it soon came under sustained attack from various commentators (more) for misstating recent findings about the health effects of sugar in the diet; it’s true that sugar intake tends to cause obesity and obesity itself causes diabetes, but it’s a separate, unresolved question whether sugar by itself instigates diabetes through some mechanism of action not common to other highly caloric foods.
Here is the correction:
Mark Bittman’s column on Thursday incorrectly described findings from a recent epidemiological study of the relationship of sugar consumption to diabetes. The study found that increased sugar in a population’s food supply was linked to higher rates of diabetes — independent of obesity rates — but stopped short of stating that sugar caused diabetes. It did not find that “obesity doesn’t cause diabetes: sugar does.” Obesity is, in fact, a major risk factor for Type 2 diabetes, as the study noted.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman believes you’re living in a right-wing “intellectual bubble” if you think rising disability claims in the Social Security program reflect anything other than “the real health problems of an aging work force.” Thing is, no less a personage than former Obama budget director Peter Orszag wrote in the New York Times that the “spike in disability insurance applications (and awards) does not reflect a less healthy population,” and Orszag’s view on this matter is commonplace among many other analysts whose views are hardly conservative. [Ira Stoll, who has just relaunched his wonderful SmarterTimes.com, one of the best media-criticism sites since they invented the Internet; everyone should start reading it]
A. “Buried in the middle of the penultimate paragraph.”
Q. “Where, amid a long rant against the D.C. Circuit’s decision striking down most recess appointments by the President (“A Court Upholds Republican Chicanery”), would you expect the Times to concede that the practice of holding pro forma sessions to stymie such appointments was pioneered under Democratic Senate rule as a way of restraining President George W. Bush?
No prizes, as distinct from amusement value, in demonstrating what the New York Times thought of the practice back then.
More on the Canning v. NLRB decision: Trevor Burrus/Cato, massive link roundup at How Appealing, John Elwood, Point of Law roundtable, Michael Fox/Employer’s Lawyer (implications for NLRB), @markcalabria (implications for Richard Cordray CFPB appointment), Michael Greve, Mike Rappaport.
My colleague John Samples argues for the venerable instrument of Senate obstruction [Philadelphia Inquirer] And some sort of prize should go to Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) who chided “one of the major newspapers in our country” — he probably meant the New York Times — for siding with anti-filibuster Democratic ultras this time around, though it had taken exactly the opposite position when Republicans controlled the Senate. “We’ve got to be consistent.” [Dave Weigel]
Jacob Sullum: “New York Times Accidentally Admits That Energy Drinks Are Safer Than Coffee.”
Floyd Abrams, famous for representing the New York Times in the landmark Pentagon Papers litigation, writes in to correct the paper’s faulty grasp of the Citizens United decision [NYT letter]