[Marxism] "The Militant" hails "Workers World" victory over bosses censorship assault

Lüko Willms lueko.willms at t-online.de
Sun Nov 12 03:41:40 MST 2006


  from the November 20, 2006 edition of the weekly "The Militant": 

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 Vol. 70/No. 44           November 20, 2006  
 
 
New York judge dismisses defamation lawsuit
against Workers World party, newspaper
 
BY OLYMPIA NEWTON  

NEW YORK-A state supreme court judge dismissed defamation charges on 
September 26 against the Workers World Party and its newspaper, Workers 
World. The multibillion-dollar holding company Renco Group filed the 
lawsuit in March against Workers World Party, WW Publishers, Inc., and 
Workers World reporter Brenda Ryan, alleging that two articles published 
in the paper on the underfunding of workers' pension funds from WCI 
Steel, at that time owned by Renco, were "malicious, false and 
defamatory."

Justice Edward H. Lehrner's decision stated that the articles "employed 
colorful rhetoric that is the hallmark of hyperbole" and "discuss in an 
impassioned manner an area of public concern." He ruled that a political 
party "that has a 'socialist' and 'revolutionary' perspective" published 
the articles for "advocacy purpose," and that "the statements therein 
alleged to be libelous are in fact nonactionable opinion."

The two articles, "WCI Steel bankruptcy robs workers' pensions" and "Is 
Renco robbing steelworker pensions?" were published by Workers World on 
February 14 and February 23. The first article, which outlined WCI 
Steel's efforts to shield itself from pension obligations through 
bankruptcy proceedings, stated, "After robbing the pension fund, Renco 
now claims it can cover the shortfall." On February 16 attorneys from 
the firm Arnold & Porter LLP sent a letter to Workers World editor 
Deirdre Griswold threatening legal action if the paper did not retract 
the article and issue an apology. "The paper is standing by the article 
unconditionally and refuses to accept Arnold & Porter's ultimatum," 
responded Griswold in the February 23 article.

Shortly thereafter Renco filed a defamation lawsuit in New York State 
Supreme Court. Attorneys for the company claimed that by using the word 
"rob," Workers World accused them of "forcible stealing." Lehrner's 
decision noted that "the implication to the reasonable reader... is not 
one of criminality by the stealing of pension funds."

"We've said all along that we have the right to call the robber barons 
by their true name," wrote Griswold in an October 19 article announcing 
the victory. "Now a court has affirmed it."  
 
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Source: http://www.themilitant.com/2006/7044/704452.html



Yours,  
Lüko Willms
Frankfurt, Germany
--------------------------------
visit http://www.mlwerke.de Marx, Engels, Luxemburg, Lenin, Trotzki in German




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