Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"This type of inquisitive approach falls short of the 'hatchet job' that Biro's counsel described at oral argument."

While I was away, the district court dismissed "most of" Peter Paul Biro's defamation claims against The New Yorker at the pleading stage.  The opinion is here.  The court noted that in the Second Circuit you can't bring a defamation suit based on the "overall impact" of an article, and threw in some helpful literary criticism as well:  "At the end of the [New Yorker] article, the reader is left genuinely uncertain what to believe. ... If anything, the Article seeks to draw a parallel between the idea that one can never be wholly certain whether a piece of art is truly 'authentic' ... with the idea that it is difficult to fully know the truth about who a person is."  Precisely.