Main Menu

“Update” on Farah v. Esquire Magazine

It’s not much of an update. I checked around yesterday to see if anything had happened in the defamation lawsuit filed by Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily against Esquire magazine, who had published a spoof article saying that Jerome Corsi’s book, Where’s the Birth Certificate?, was being recalled and pulped.

I speculated whether the District of Columbia’s anti-SLAPP legislation would apply in this suit in my article “The Empire SLAPPs Back.” WorldNetDaily reports that a decision in the DC District Court case of 3M Company v. Boulter concluded that the DC Anti-SLAPP Act of 2010 does not apply in federal cases. WND wrote (clarification added):

A federal court’s recent ruling that the District of Columbia’s anti-defamation statute does not apply in federal cases [sitting in diversity] could help move forward a federal lawsuit brought by WND against Esquire magazine….

Oh by the way, Farah’s lawyer is none other than Larry Klayman.


Klayman sent the DC Circuit Court notice of the 3M case on February 20. This is what he said:

This is to advise this Court that on February 2, 2012, this Court ruled in 3M Corporation v. Boulter, No. 11-cv-1527 (RLW) (D.D.C.) (Exhibit 1) that the D.C. Anti-SLAPP Act does not apply in this Court, and, as a result, denying the Special Motion to Dismiss under the Anti-SLAPP Act filed by the defendants in that case. It is now the law of this Court that the Anti-SLAPP Act is not applicable. Thus, the Court should respectfully summarily deny Defendant’s special motion to dismiss, which was filed on August 26, 2011, so that discovery may proceed.

Hearst Publishing on February 24 sent the court its own supplemental authority memorandum and commented:

This [Plaintiff’s] conclusion [that SLAPP is inapplicable] is deeply flawed for several reasons, not least that Judge Leon’s opinion [in DC] (and three federal circuits) reached precisely the opposite conclusion.

Judge Leon in Sherrod v. Breitbart had ruled that the DC Anti-SLAPP act was substantive which would lead to the conclusion that the Erie doctrine applies and therefore Anti-SLAPP motions are allowed even though Judge Leon didn’t allow SLAPP in Sherrod for other reasons.

On April 16, plaintiffs moved to have the order staying discovery vacated (removed).

, , , ,

10 Responses to “Update” on Farah v. Esquire Magazine

  1. avatar
    Loren April 25, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

    “[sitting in diversity]”

    What’s unfortunate for WND is that this isn’t a diversity case. They made a claim under the federal Lanham Act, so there’s federal jurisdiction based on that.

    Defendants have moved to dismiss that claim, however, and if they win then…it still isn’t a diversity case. Because WND is incorporated in Delaware and so is Hearst. If Hearst wanted to at that point, they could ask for the case to be transferred to the Delaware state courts.

    And Delaware, as it happens, has an anti-SLAPP statute all its own.

  2. avatar
    JPotter April 25, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    Nothing is happening because their case is aging like fine wine?

    Grandstanding, called it.

  3. avatar
    Rambo Ike April 25, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    You do understand that in the original Esquire article it was never stated it was a spoof or satire. It was a pack of lies about Farah & Corsi with the intention to destroy sales of the book.

    [The article was tagged as “humor.” Doc.]

  4. avatar
    RuhRoh April 25, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

    Kalyaman is also representing Bradlee Dean, the radio host suing Rachel Maddow for defamation. They filed first in DC and withdrew it, then re-filed in federal court in an effort to avoid anti-SLAPP.

    Doesn’t seem as though Klayman’s strategy is likely to work there either.

  5. avatar
    misha April 26, 2012 at 1:08 am #

    Rambo Ike: You do understand that in the original Esquire article it was never stated it was a spoof or satire.

    There are websites devoted to people who have believed Onion stories are real. None of what they publish is labeled spoof or satire. Al Franken’s plaintiffs literally were laughed out of court.

    Rambo Ike: It was a pack of lies about Farah & Corsi

    Everything published by Farah, Corsi and their coterie is scurrilous.

  6. avatar
    Northland10 April 26, 2012 at 7:17 am #

    Rambo Ike: It was a pack of lies about Farah & Corsi

    Unlike the normal jumbo pack of lies by Farah & Corsi.

  7. avatar
    Loren April 26, 2012 at 7:31 am #

    Rambo Ike:
    It was a pack of lies about Farah & Corsi with the intention to destroy sales of the book.

    If that actually were the plan, it would have been rather poorly thought out. In my experience, news that a book is going to be recalled and pulped *increases* interest in obtaining copies.

  8. avatar
    Bob April 26, 2012 at 8:19 am #

    Leave the smear merchants a-LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-ne!!!

  9. avatar
    JD Reed April 26, 2012 at 8:34 am #

    Still haven’t quite gotten down the concept of satire, eh, Rambo?

  10. avatar
    JPotter April 26, 2012 at 9:34 am #

    Ah, so there is recent action? Thatnks for the digging Doc. Still can’t believe they are pursuing this. I haven’t noticed any WND stories (not that I have been looking) which seems even weirder. Why wouldn’t WND pump this thing for publicity? Use every filing as an excuse to goose the readership and pump them for ‘defense fund contributions’?

    Unless … they are pursuing this as a serious case? Think they can win? Even then, their MO is to pump the readership.

    I always thought they should just tell the readers they filed the suit. The readers would believe it. No one would call them on it. They could avoid creating an actual farce that will only serve to further isolate them …. if that’s possible.