« Radio's Academic Minute: 100 Seconds on Mortgage Disclosures | Main | Adam Zimmerman on the "Privatized Attorney General" as Replacement for the Class Action »

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Bruce van der Kooij

@Paul: Thanks for your response.

I've been skimming the amicus brief you filed and overall I commend you for your position, both from a legal perspective and a civil liberties one (though I reserve the right to take this compliment back). However, I am rather disappointed that in the brief you linked to a rather negative Techdirt article 'What Is Ron Paul Thinking? Sues To Unmask Anonymous Internet Users' by Mike Masnick in the context of showing the judges the video in its original context. I feel that was totally uncalled for (you could have stuck to simply linking to the video itself).

The fact that Mike can't even phantom why the Ron Paul campaign would do this (the reasons for which you alluded to in your post above) and in my opinion completely understates the negative impact[1] the video had on Ron Paul demonstrates he just doesn't get it (including saying that if anybody should be suing for defamation, it should be Huntsman).

Mark Eiglarsh (who, though irrelevant, is a criminal defense lawyer by trade) puts it quite elegantly in his appearance on Fox News's Kelly's Court: "I think everyone is missing the point here, the ad is so unbelievable outrageous that nobody then thinks Huntsman looks bad. The person who's making the ad looks bad, so whoever made it and gave Ron Paul the erroneous credit for it, they're doing Ron Paul the harm here." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0b5x5gZFyRw&feature=player_embedded


[1] Though I admit that evaluating the amount of negative impact would require quite some extra effort

Paul Levy

Bruce, thank you for this thoughtful comment. On Friday afternoon, Public Citizen joined several other civil liberties groups in an amicus brief (I was the principal author) discussing what standard the court ought to use to decide whether to allow early discovery; that brief further illuminates the folly of Paul's lawsuit. I am agnostic on the question whether the poster was a Paul supporter; the brief points out that the answer to the question is irrelevant to determining whether Paul has any right to sue and any right to invoke court process to compel the identification of the videographer.

I have not had the time to blog further in light of the thinking that it took to produce that brief, because I have spent the last 24 hours writing a brief in another case. But I hope to publish another discussion of the issue before the weekend is out.

Bruce van der Kooij

Correction: the event was not a press conference, but a town hall meeting broadcast on C-SPAN. Jon Huntman's comment was about the video was in response to a question from the audience.

Bruce van der Kooij

@Jackson: What frustrates me about this whole thing is that posting a video anonymously on the web under an account named "NHLiberty4Paul" and ending with the text "Vote Ron Paul" was apparently enough for a lot of folks ("journalists", pundits, columnists, bloggers and what not) to conclude that the video was produced by a group or individual supporting "Ron Paul". Mostly because Huntsman himself decided to make a big deal out of it by, among other things, denouncing the video during a press conference http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQk1xAPRJHU (referring to it as "the Ron Paul video"). Even Levy in his article above does nothing to counter this assumption (on the contrary, reading trough the lines it seems he's likely convinced that it was the work of a person supporting Ron Paul).

There's no concrete evidence what so ever that this video was produced by somebody who supports Ron Paul, on the other hand, there is however quite a bit of indirect evidence to believe otherwise. The author of the blog The End Run did a pretty good job writing about it http://www.theendrun.com/the-china-jon-huntsman-fraud-deconstructed.

I don't agree with the campaign taking this to court, but I do understand the motivations behind it. They really do want to find out who did it.

Regretfully, I doubt we'll ever find out who produced the video. But whoever it was, for me personally Jon Huntsman's behavior (and that of his daughters) with regards the situation was utterly disgusting. With their help Ron Paul was indirectly made to look bad. Even though Paul himself had earlier in the campaign complimented Huntsman on the Jay Leno show ("He's a nice person and he's a good diplomat. He knows what diplomacy is all about and he's a thoughtful person") https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=I6x5oz4HP5s#t=1055s.


Nicholas, let me guess... Ron Paul supporter? I keep hearing people say that the Jon Huntsman team were behind it but have seen no actual proof.

Before you refer to the "referral link..." I have a twitter account. If someone posted a video about me on YouTube, then tweeted about it using my #tag, I would get an email notifying me of their tweet. If I clicked on it, and used a webmail address that identified me, that would make the video my fault?

I hope Public Citizen DOES file an amicus brief. I'd love to hear Ron Paul's response to that.


hes ordered the identity request because Jon Huntsman team were the ones who created the hit piece

The comments to this entry are closed.