Face of the Day

Mr Colin Craig.  Who else?

Today marks the start for a High Court trial between Colin Craig and Whaleoil.  Mr Craig asserts he has been defamed by a number of statements published here.

So far Mr Craig hasn’t had much luck with his defamation cases.  They have either been abandoned, settled in ways where they were a Pyrrhic victory, or he’s been at the losing end.

Of all the cases brought by Mr Craig, this is one where he is least likely to succeed.  I won’t repeat the allegations of defamation here, lest it seem a cheap shot to repeat them.  But Whaleoil has an unassailable defence against all of them.

Mr Craig doesn’t believe so, because his test isn’t a legal one.  His test is an emotional one:  if he feels defamed, he has been defamed.  Luckily for us, the law places a slightly higher bar.

The second part of the trial will visit Mr Craig’s defamation of Cameron Slater.  Normally we don’t make much of a fuss about these things.  Our ideological foes pile on the rhetoric on a daily basis on little-read blogs and small Twitter circles – water off a duck’s back.

But Mr Craig did a press conference which was broadcasted nationally by TV and repeated by radio and newspapers.  Then he followed it up with a booklet which he arranged to send to every household in New Zealand by making the printing company understand that it was election material (that gets past any “No circulars” signs you see).

In the booklet, a number of quotes were attributed to Whaleoil or Cam that are incorrect.  It also goes on to paint a picture of Cam via Craig’s alter ego “Mr X” where he quite seriously goes to town with statements that we don’t believe he can back up in a court of law.

Mr Craig won’t see the irony.  But George Washington was right.  In the process of trying to keep the actual conduct from the public, his insistence to push this through the courts has uncovered so much more and forced it into the attention of the public.  In hindsight, it would have been better to let sleeping dogs lie….

Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself.

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