Another court declares that bloggers are indeed media

While my own case winds slowly through the judicial process, being opposed now by two recently appointed barristers, we can now see that other jurisdictions are catching up with developments in the media world.

In a court in Florida, in a similar case to my own, the court has found that a blogger and their blog can be and are considered to be media, and as a result can be considered a legitimate media property.

A few years ago, we wrote about the bizarre and quixotic effort by Florida businessman Christopher Comins to find any possible way to sue University of Florida student and blogger Matthew Frederick VanVoorhis for his blog post concerning a widely publicized event in which Comins shot two dogs in a field (video link). The story made lots of news at the time, but Comins didn’t go after any of the major media — instead targeting VanVoorhis for a defamation suit. The original blog post is “novelistic” but it’s difficult to see how it’s defamatory. Either way, Comins’ case was shot down on fairly specific procedural grounds: namely that Florida defamation law requires specific notice be given to media properties at least 5 days before a lawsuit is launched. Specifically, the law says:

Before any civil action is brought for publication or broadcast, in a newspaper, periodical, or other medium, of a libel or slander, the plaintiff shall, at least 5 days before instituting such action, serve notice in writing on the defendant, specifying the article or broadcast and the statements therein which he or she alleges to be false and defamatory.

Comins’ lawsuit was dumped because he failed to give such notice. Comins argues that he did give such a notice (though the letter he sent did not meet the requirements of such notice under the law) and (more importantly for this discussion) that VanVoorhis’ blog did not count as a media publication, and thus the law did not apply. The original court ruling rejected that pretty quickly, and now on appeal, a state appeals court has not just rejected Comins’ anti-blog claim more thoroughly, but also highlighted the importance of blogs to our media landscape.   Read more »

Roy Morgan delivers a nice easter present for National

After yesterday’s Roy Morgan poll perhaps Labour might just start realising that no one cares about their silly pursuit of Judith Collins and voters simply believe that they are unfit to govern.

The poll delivers a shock for Labour, this is their favoured indicator, and proves the lie that Labour’s own internal polling is showing them at 34%.

Playing the nasty and not focussing on policies that matter to Kiwi voters is really starting to hurt them. But they are now past the point of no return for David Cunliffe and have to stick it out with a naff leader that no one likes or no one believes.

When you add on these results to the dramatic boundary changes you are going to see Labour MPs disappear back to their electorates in an attempt to shore up their own support. Watch as Ruth Dyson, Clayton Cosgrove and a number of other MPs spend considerably more time in their electorates than in Wellington.

Today’s New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows a large jump in support for National (48.5%, up 5.5%) now with its largest lead over a potential Labour/Greens alliance (40%, down 5%) since July 2013 as New Zealanders celebrated the visit of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge.

Support for Key’s Coalition partners is little changed with the Maori Party 1% (down 0.5%), ACT NZ (0.5%, unchanged) and United Future 0% (down 0.5%).  Read more »

Farmers don’t like the Dodgy Socialist Dam

Using public money to build a dodgy dam that needs farmer buy in was always going to be risky, and just because farmers are offered a lot of water doesn’t mean they were going to buy it, especially if it is not economically viable for them to buy it.

The socialists at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council are learning the hard way this important lesson.

Andrew Newman, chief executive of the council-run Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company, said on Tuesday a key consideration now is whether it has what is known as an operable consent – whether the conditions imposed by the Board of Inquiry still make the plan financially viable.

“We’ve got to work through a process essentially to see whether we think it’s workable or not.

[...]    Read more »

Does the City of Portland believe in homeopathy?

The City of Portland is dumping a gazillion litres of water because some oik whizzed in it.

The city of Portland, Oregon, has been forced to dump millions of gallons of drinking water. Why?

Because someone urinated into a water reservoir.

Surprising still, this isn’t the first time this has happened.

The latest incident took place about 1 a.m. Wednesday. Cameras captured three teens near the Mount Tabor Reservoir No. 5. One of them approached the iron fence and apparently got close enough to relieve himself directly into the reservoir.

The three teens were apprehended, and the 50-million-gallon reservoir was taken offline for testing.  Read more »

Friday General Debate

Good morning. The Whaleoil General Debate posts appear at 7 am and 6:30 pm. You don’t have to stay “on topic” in these posts like you do in all others. Feel free to share your own stories, links to other news or catch up with friends. If you haven’t tried it before, signing in to a Disqus account is free, quick, and it is easy.

Face of the day

It goes without saying, taking selfies next to an oncoming train is a really bad idea.

Actually, it probably does need saying, because this guy apparently thought it was the perfect setting for a short film, featuring himself.

The ‘hero’ of this story is so busy lining his face up with the camera he doesn’t notice a mysterious boot heading straight for his face.

One moment he’s shooting footage of himself looking mean and moody – the next he’s being kicked by a train conductor.

Clearly shocked by the assault, he exclaims: ‘Wow, that guy kicked me in the head.’

The drive-by kicking happens so fast it’s almost impossible to make out how the drama unfolds. – Metro

Fortunately, it was all caught on video. I don’t see the problem with stupidity colliding with a boot. What an idiot. I’d kick him in the head too, a gentle reminder that a train hits harder than a boot.


Daily Proverb

Proverbs 17

4Wrongdoers eagerly listen to gossip; liars pay close attention to slander.

Thursday nightCap

Originals and fakes


Daily Trivia


During the Spanish-American war, a warship sent to capture Guam fired 13 shots at the harbour fort; the Spanish sent an officer out to aplogise for not returning the ‘salute’ as they were out of gunpowder; they hadn’t been informed they were at war. (source)   Read more »