Suing the Press: Libel, the Media, and Power

Overview


From Carol Burnett vs. The National Enquirer to William Westmoreland vs. CBS, lawsuits against the media have captured many a headline in recent years. This spirited account offers a close look at these attacks on the press and what they reveal about American culture,the legal system and libel law, and the way the press operates.

Why, Rodney Smolla asks, have so many people--people as various as Ralph Nader, Clint Eastwood, Lillian Hellman, and Jerry Falwell--taken to suing the...

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New York 1986 Hard Cover First Edition Very Good 0195039017. 277 pages, cloth, dj, very good. 1st edition. From the dj: Libel litigation in America has exploded in recent years, ... as the press has found itself increasingly under attack from plaintiffs as varied as Carol Burnett, William Westmoreland, Jerry Falwell, and Ariel Sharon. This spirited account offers a close look at these attacks on the media and what they reveal about American culture, the legal system and libel law, and the way the press operates. Contents: The thinning American skin--The trials of Martin Luther King: the New York times case--From chasing Communists to fighting Lillian Hellman: the libel suit as guerilla warfare--Ariel Sharon v. Time magazine: the libel suit as political forum, international style--"I read it in the Enquirer--Carol Burnett and Henry Kissinger! ": the Carol Burnett case--Jackie Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor, Clint Eastwood, and Mohammed Ali--of public personality and private property--From "touching" to "missing": lib Read more Show Less

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Overview


From Carol Burnett vs. The National Enquirer to William Westmoreland vs. CBS, lawsuits against the media have captured many a headline in recent years. This spirited account offers a close look at these attacks on the press and what they reveal about American culture,the legal system and libel law, and the way the press operates.

Why, Rodney Smolla asks, have so many people--people as various as Ralph Nader, Clint Eastwood, Lillian Hellman, and Jerry Falwell--taken to suing the press? Are they mainly interested in money, vengeance, or the restoration of honor? Is the press under fire because it has grown too arrogant and oracular--attempting to set national agendas and monopolize the dispensation of truth? How important is the protection of reputation and privacy in American society, and how should those interests be reconciled with the competing social interests in robust freedom of speech? Are Americans becoming too thin--skinned, too devoted to self-image? Or are the problems of the media in court primarily of the media's own making?

To shed light on these and other crucial issues, Smolla examines both the individual lawsuits and broader themes involving the economics of media litigation, the cultural forces that affect libel judgements, and the special problems posed by particular types of expression, such as fictionial works. The media outlets discussed are as varied as the personalities initiating the suits--from The New York Times and The Washington Post to Penthouse and Hustler. Continually lively and provocative, this book reveals much about the media's shortcomings and virtues, not to mention the American character itself.

About the Author

Rodney A. Smolla is Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

Features:

What the recent spate of lawsuits against the media reveal about our society

· A lively glimpse into important aspects of the American character

· Filled with personalities ranging from Carol Burnett to Ralph Nader

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195039016
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/1/1986
  • Pages: 285
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 1.04 (d)

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