Friday, October 06, 2006

Blogger sued over Alleged Defamation

The Star Tribune of Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN reported in January of a case where a Republican Blogger was sued for allegedly defaming a Democrat public consulting firm.  This could be a very crucial case for the blogosphere and those they affect.  As of January the case had not yet been heard.  The blogger, Michael Brodkorb, ran a site called (MDE).  The article states:

The suit alleges that Brodkorb, citing an unnamed source, defamed the St. Paul-based public relations firm New School Communications when he posted a claim that New School had become publicly critical of the congressional campaign of Coleen Rowley only after Rowley rejected a contract with the firm.
Despite being told that New School does not perform political campaign work, Brodkorb, the suit says, continues to make the claim, even though his source "may, in fact, be a fabrication." . . .
Brodkorb, a former research director for the Minnesota Republican Party, had been widely suspected of being the author of the often-acerbic website, which describes itself as a blog "dedicated to the truthful discussion on the activities, statements and tactics of Minnesota Democrats."  
In the past it has done such things as purchase domain names of [Democratic] candidates so that viewers who log on to an address expecting to see a candidate's website are instead directed to the MDE site.
In a posting called "I AM M.D.E.," Brodkorb, who said his blog work had no connection to the Republican Party, acknowledged he is the author of the blog. He said he wanted to remain anonymous in the past to keep the focus on the subject matter rather than himself.
"It is a testament to my hard work and the work of hundreds of people who have e-mailed me information on Minnesota Democrats that in the end, a lawsuit filed by a prominent Democrat consultant forced my identity to be revealed," he wrote.

Apparently blogging anonymously does not provide protection from law suits being filed.  Lawyers for the firm are claiming that bloggers should be treated as any other journalist.  This case should be interesting to watch as it unfolds.  We will bring you the latest as we find it.


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