The Curious Libel Law Of Haley V. Folks
By FITSNews || First of all, this was never supposed to be a “Haley v. Folks” situation.
That’s certainly never what we wanted, particularly seeing how this website has been a vocal supporter of Rep. Nikki Haley and – more importantly – the ideas she has consistently advanced.
But apparently that’s where we now are with all of this, as Team Haley’s response to our founding editor’s preemptive admission of an “inappropriate physical relationship” was to relentlessly smear his credibility as well as the credibility of this website.
(Quite successfully, we might add).
What have they not done, however?
Sued our founding editor for libel.
Some have argued that Haley’s campaign would face an uphill fight if it wanted to sue Folks (or FITS) for libeling her, seeing as the standard is much higher given Haley’s status as a public figure. That’s certainly true. For an elected official to win a libel judgment, they must not only prove that a statement made against them was false and injurious, but that it was made with “actual malice,” or a “reckless disregard for the truth.”
What does that mean, exactly?
Basically, it means that the person who made the statement knew it was false at the time that he or she made it.
In most cases that would be pretty difficult to do, but not this one.
How come? Well, if Will Folks was lying when he was forced to acknowledge his affair with Haley, then he – by definition – is guilty of libeling her with actual malice.
Similarly, Haley’s categorical denial – and subsequent full-frontal assault on Folks’ credibility – could meet the same standard if, in fact, evidence exists to prove that she did have an “inappropriate physical relationship” with Folks.
Sounds like all we need is a court case …