|Edits Changed The Meaning?|
"Without question, then, Plaintiff (Deters) is a public figure, and the New York Times actual malice standard applies to his clams. Plaintiff cannot meet this burden. First, and critically, he does not even accurately or completely quote the 'statements' he considered offensive. In Paragraph 14 of his Complaint, he avers that Schifrin posted, with malicious intent, a claim "that Plaintiff had given his former client and current employee, Nicole Howell, a 'promise ring' . . . That is belied by the very publication at issue, in which Schifrin writes:
Bluegrass Bureau Chief Ken Camboo says several people have emailed what they claimed were of NoKy's most infamous sex-ed teacher Nicole Howell's 'promise ring' given to her by Eric 'Call Me Crazy' Deters, whose impending divorce isn't even filed, much less final. But let's face it; pictures of just a ring on somebody's hand are nowhere near conclusive evidence."Complaint at Exhibit B (emphasis added). This is not a statement at all. At worst, this is merely conjecture, and is even specifically qualified by a disclaimer. Plaintiff has failed adequately to allege that this comment constitutes a statement reflecting actual malice.
"Plaintiff similarly misquotes the August 15 Whistleblower in an effort to contort it into a defamatory statement reflecting actual malice. In Paragraph 17 of his Complaint, he avers that Schifrin posted, with malicious intent, a claim "that Plaintiff gave 'Noky's most infamous sex ed teacher, Nicole Howell . . .' a ring and requested that readers submit pictures of the alleged ring on her finger. Defendant further posted and published that Eric 'Call Me Crazy' Deters, who's [sic] impending divorce isn't even filed, much less final . . .' purchased Howell 'a little promise ring.'" What the August 15 Whistleblower actually says is:
The Camboozler was also hoping one of his Independence snitches can snap a picture of NoKy's most infamous sex-ed teacher Nicole Howell's left ring finger and send it in to The Blower. Rumor has it that the [sic] Eric 'Call Me Crazy' Deters, whose impending divorce isn't even filed, much less final, may have purchased her a little 'promise ring.' If anyone has evidence that will confirm or deny this dirty little rumor, The Blower wants to hear from you."Complaint at Exhibit B. Not only is this not a statement, it is specifically qualified, and requests assistance from Schifrin's readership in determining whether there is any truth to the rumor. This is a defamation action. The actual words and their actual context are relevant. Plaintiff cannot misleadingly edit them into something they do not say and then claim that his revised version reflects malice on the part of Schifrin."