First Amendment attorney says Sentinel could have a viable case against State Senator

(Uh oh, Ray Scott… – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Ray Scott (R).

The publisher of the Grand Junction Sentinel is serious about suing State Sen. Ray Scott over his public claim that the Grand Junction Sentinel is “fake news.”

But, he told Denver writer Corey Hutchins, “we’re going to have some cooling-off period before I file anything.”

Hutchins, writing for the Columbia Journalism Review’s United States Project: This particular publisher, it should be noted, is no stranger to a courtroom. Before taking the helm of the Sentinel in 2009, Seaton was a commercial litigator. “This is what I used to do,” he told me. “I practiced law in Kansas City for 13 years, so I’m accustomed to resolving business damage in the judicial system. So I don’t view this really as any different.”

The publisher says he has already seen people on Facebook pledge to cancel newspaper subscriptions after the lawmaker’s comments.

“What I consider actionable is the attack on the Sentinel as fake news,” Seaton says. “I can take the criticism that we’re too far right, or we’re too far left, or our reporter was sloppy, or our editorial misunderstands the issue, that I can handle. What I can’t abide is an attack on the essence of what we do.”

Hutchins quotes Denver First Amendment attorney Steve Zansberg, as saying that “Scott could be liable under libel law if he made statements that are provably false and made “with the requisite knowledge of their falsity or reckless disregard for the truth.”

Does this mean Donald Trump is in line to be sued by CNN and others, who the President has attacked as fake news outlets? I hope so.

26 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Andrew Carnegie says:

    Jason "Fake News" Salzman:

    A lawyer who owns a newspaper "is serious about" suing someone.

    Another lawyer says someone could be liable if someone else could prove something.

    This is not "Fake News", it is not news.

    Does this mean Jason Salzman is still not able to land a job as a journalist because does not recognize what news is?

    I hope so.

    • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

      You pathetic piece of right wing shit. You are not worthy to lick the soles of Jasons' shoes. You are a seriously worthless troll and nothing more. You are the perfect expression of useless.

      Some day you may take a look in the mirror and come to the realization that the gift of life and freedom was wasted on you. Maybe you will realize how truly ugly are your heart and mind and ask for forgiveness for the evil you are spreading in the world. I hope so.

    • ajb says:

      Why so cranky, Andy? Is you Putin check late arriving?

  2. ZappateroZappatero says:

    "requisite knowledge" assumes the guy is not a complete moran and has an IQ somewhere above room temperature. As with AC, I highly doubt both conditions.

    And for AC to try to impugn Jason is the highest insult he's thrown around here. Why CPols continues to let him shit on their blog daily and hourly – and all the rest of us commenters here – is beyond me.  Use some discretion, Jason, and kick his worthless ass out of here.

    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

      Uhhn, Zappy, Jason has no power to kick people off, nor does he want it.  

      • ZappateroZappatero says:

        whoever does should. If the proprietors prefer a Trump-like discussion forum over a Progressive one, then they should state that clearly.  

        Though I will say the cowardice of having a “political” blog that mostly criticizes the politics of Republicans but leaves Democrats tetherless is a failure in itself and is one reason D’s get their asses kicked so often.

        • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

          Zappy, if you relish the notion of democrats being kicked around, go hang out with the Peakies for a while. Maybe you'll appreciate us more then.

          • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

            Trollies gonna troll, Zap. And it does bring on the clicks, so Pols tolerates it. If /when it gets to the point that the trollies are taking over, and/ or all discussion is centered around whatever new outrage the trollies post, then we have a problem, and Pols are certainly wise enough to intervene.

            Until then, they let us police our own posts.

            I find that I have very little patience for responding to the usual troller provocations; hence, I blank them out, mostly. I already have a full-time job, and responding to every piece of regurgitated Breitbart/Drudge/Fox pap would be another fulltime job.

            But good on Duke for defending Jason S against AC's nonsense. Jason is certainly one of the last real investigative journalists standing, and deserves mad respect for that.

      • ZappateroZappatero says:

        Voyageur and Bane defending the Establishment:

        When they say they aren't being defensive about it, they are being defensive about it. For me, if Bernie vets think they can do better, show us what you've got. About the time of Dean's 50 state strategy, we were the crazy, too-far-left, too "ain't from around here" insurgent Democrats the old boys thought were going to ruin just everything.

        Me, I want to see all that new blood: Indivisible, Revolution, whatever.

        What's troublesome is just how conservative established players become about embracing new energy. Boldness, being willing to take risks and fail fades. They are forever protecting whatever it is they think they have left to protect. We play "rope-a-dope," thinking we'll win by decision, not realizing we're just getting pummeled. To win over the crowd, Democrats have to come out of the corner punching.

        If it pays your bills and buys your kid new sneakers, that's fine. 

        If it's a front where you pretend to be for the Middle Class and for Progressive and Liberal solutions, and where you pretend to be an unforgiving Democrat,  then please cut the bullshit.

        If you sleep well at night knowing you’re doing everything you can for the cause, then God help us all……………

    • Colorado PolsColorado Pols says:

      As we've said before, we believe that everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves online. 

  3. Nate_ says:

    This is very sad, CORA needs serious reform and this is a total distraction from that. The whole thing seems a bit petty and childish on both sides. 

  4. Tom says:

    It seems like a bad idea. A newspaper would probably be considered a public figure, so there would have to be some evidence of actual malice. Not an impossible reach, but pretty hard to prove. 

    In the meantime in order to show damages they'd have to open up the paper's circulation figures and newspapers hate that. 

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