The Contrarian

“In the investment markets, what everyone knows is usually not worth knowing.”

Libel Laws Need Urgent Overhaul

On January 10, president Trump gave his view on the libel laws, which he called a ‘sham’ and a ‘disgrace. Trump has said similar things in the past and we agree with him. Lawyers today apparently don’t have a class in professional ethics, or perhaps there are no ethics.

They or their clients can call any person who has ever appeared in the media, a “public person” which apparently gives them or their clients the green light to publish any lie or fabrication without fear of a lawsuit. In California these unethical lawyers are protected by an additional law, the “Anti-slap” law.

Americans and members of Congress should ask, how they can allow the spreading of obvious lies and deception without the perpetrator even having to fear of any legal repercussions?

We agree fully with President Trump on this topic.

Bloomberg writes the following on this:

President Donald Trump called for a “strong look at our country’s libel laws” after the publication of a book that depicted him as an inept leader of a dysfunctional White House.

“You can’t say things that are false, knowingly false, and be able to smile as money pours into your bank account,” Trump said during a meeting of his Cabinet at the White House on Wednesday. The president said current libel laws were “a sham” and a “disgrace” and did not “represent American values.”

The president’s comments come as his legal team seeks to halt sales of “Fire and Fury,” a new book by journalist Michael Wolff. The book, which relies partially on interviews with former White House officials, depicts the president as struggling with the demands of the job and paints the early days of the administration as chaotic and disorganized.

Last week, Trump’s lawyers sent the book’s publisher, Henry Holt & Co., a cease-and-desist letter requesting the immediate end of publication. The publisher subsequently moved up the release date of the book.

Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, also sued BuzzFeed Inc. and Fusion GPS for defamation on Tuesday over allegations about him in the research firm’s dossier that was commissioned in 2016 by the president’s political opponents and published by the news organization.

Trump didn’t directly address the book on Wednesday, but over the weekend blasted it as “a Fake Book, written by a totally discredited author” in a post to Twitter.

Trump has previously advocated changes to libel laws, saying in October it was “disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write.” During the presidential campaign, Trump said he would open up libel laws “so when they write purposely negative and horrible, false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.”

My View: Do we believe we should have laws that will stop real fake news? Yes. The Internet has changed the way news circulates and has completely eliminated the guards against fake news. We need to crack down on it before it threatens (or does) destroy our great nation. Reporters and Americans should criticize Trump on policy, not on made up stories.

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