Team Kimberlin’s campaign attempting use lawfare in the form of defamation LOLsuits and bogus criminal charges as a means of silencing their critics blew up in their faces when almost all of the defendants vigorously stood up for our First Amendment free speech and free press rights. Eight years ago today, I wrote this post, Blog It Now, about why we bloggers were pushing back against being cancelled.
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In an earlier post today I alluded to Edward R. Murrow’s 1954 See It Now broadcast about Senator Joseph McCarthy. Whether or not one agrees with Murrow’s conclusions, that broadcast is an excellent example of using someone’s own words as criticism against him. Given the various lawfare tactics used by Team Kimberlin over the past couple of years, I’d like to offer this paraphrase of Murrow’s closing words from that broadcast:
We will not be driven by fear if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine and remember that we are not descended from fearful men—not men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend their causes. This is no time for men who oppose Team Kimberlin’s methods to keep silent. We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. There is no way for a free citizen to abdicate his responsibility. As bloggers we have come into our full inheritance at a tender age. We proclaim ourselves defenders of free speech wherever it exists, but we cannot defend freedom for ourselves by deserting it for others.
The actions of the Cabin Boy from Team Kimberlin have caused alarm and dismay to some amongst our ranks and have given considerable comfort to the enemies of free speech. And whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn’t create a situation of fear; he has merely been used to exploit it. If we allow him to succeed, then Cassius was right. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”
Good night and good luck. Stay tuned.
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I’m beginning to believe that Kimberlin’s lawfare was a dry run for a proposed larger use of defamation lawsuits by the Left for the purpose of shutting down effective voices on the Right. The initial proposal for the lawsuits came from a minor-league Democrat operative named Neal Rauhauser. Rauhuaser, who appears to have connections to Democrats such as Anthony Weiner, was working with Kimberlin during the period when the first cases were filed. He theorized that the targeted defendants would be intimidated by the suits and would settle out of court. However, it turned out that while we were deplorable, we weren’t a bunch of Neanderthals, and we weren’t frightened and confused by the modern legal system. We fought back and won.
Lawsuits have been a favorite tool for the Left, but I believe Kimberlin’s rather spectacular failures have caused the Left to look for different means of stifling the Right’s free speech, and I note, for example, Twitter began seriously purging accounts of folks on the Right within days of Kimberlin’s first RICO LOLsuit being dismissed.
We won the skirmish with Team Kimberlin because we had the facts and the law on our side and because we were in a venue where the facts and the law mattered.
The battle over cancellation is now in a venue where neither the facts nor the law will matter. If we can’t move the contest to a more favorable venue, we will need to master the rules of the new battleground.