Obama Can Sleep Well Tonight

If I get him fired in 2012, he can sue me for hurting his feelings:

A jury’s $60,000 verdict against Minneapolis blogger John “Johnny Northside” Hoff for a posting that got a man fired will stand, a Hennepin County judge has ordered.

In a nine-page ruling, District Judge Denise Reilly wrote that ex-community leader Jerry Moore provided “direct and circumstantial evidence” to support the jury’s verdict that a blog post by Hoff led to his termination by the University of Minnesota.

Hoff “acknowledged that it was his goal to get [Moore] fired and that he was working ‘behind the scenes’ to do so,” Reilly wrote. “After the fact, [Hoff] took personal responsibility for [Moore's] termination and announced his ongoing, active involvement in the University’s actions.”

The case has drawn the attention of numerous free-speech advocates, including the Society of Professional Journalists, which filed a brief in support of Hoff.

Hoff, who learned of the order on Monday, called it “a dark day for the First Amendment.”

“I didn’t think it would go this way,” he said. “I’m shocked.”

The jury ruled last March that Hoff’s scathing blog post amounted to actively interfering with Moore’s job at the U, even though Hoff’s statements were true when he linked Moore to high-profile mortgage fraud.

The jury awarded Moore $35,000 for lost wages and $25,000 for emotional distress. Hoff sought to overturn the verdict or get a new trial. Reilly denied both efforts.

It was true.  All of it.  And he was found guilty.

I know nothing else about the story, so I should ‘prolly withhold righteous judgement, but this kinda stinks.

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  1. Hmmm, if a guy sets out to get someone fired and arouses public hostility, I can see that as being out of bounds. To me it depends on the position. It’s one thing if it’s a politician or an elected official. But if you’re working and someone digs around in your past and then launches a public campaign designed to get you fired and ruin your life and succeeds, then it’s not just free speech. It’s a malicious attack. I’m not saying for sure I agree — like you, I would need to know more — but people trying to get others fired is troubling. Where does one draw the line? (It’s actually not a free speech case, to be sure, but a civil suit alleging damages).

    • pino said:

      I’m not saying for sure I agree — like you, I would need to know more — but people trying to get others fired is troubling. Where does one draw the line?

      Yup. It just caught my eye. Minnesota blogger and all….

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