6.19.2007

First Amendment, blah blah

I don't know much of anything about Lee Kaplan-- okay, so I thought he was the guy who ran the Kaplan Test Prep agency, and for how little I've looked into it, he probably still could be-- but he has turned out to be a really stand-up guy after suing a UC Berkeley student for $7500 in California small claims court for defamation and "business interference." He claims damages of over $40,000, but because he would probably lose in a real trial, he went for the small claims maximum, and won.

The basic issues here are strangely familiar. Several years ago, Dooce (see "I want her job" on right) was fired for writing about her job on the Internet, which is partially why I do not write about my job on the Internet, and probably won't until after my contract is over. But it seems odd to me, especially after the entire Free Speech Movement, that writing about other people is still such a big deal. Aren't people entitled to their own opinions? I fail to see how a "new" medium-- the Internet-- is any different than an editorial column.

Granted, I have done absolutely no research on the facts of the case beyond reading Yaman Salahi's kaplanwatch.com, but at present I tend to sympathize with my classmate blogger shelling out a year's worth of tuition to a highly-paid investigative journalist, rather than the highly-paid investigative journalist.

7 comments:

Ramanujan said...

I think what should be questioned more is what would drive a student to report a journalist's every move? He needs to do more problem sets.

kfed said...

You're probably right, but everyone has some quirky thing they do that no one knows where they get the time for. Mine? Working.

Anonymous said...

The student who lost has consistently lied all over the Web.
He claims his free speech rights were violated yet then claims nobody told him he had to take his smear site down and that he will continue smearing a journalist whose political views he disagrees with.

The kid sent threatening emails to the journalists publishers claiming he committed criminal acts and was being sued for libel, and, jsut as he is doing now all over the Web, he developed his accusations from whole cloth. He doesnt even tell people this case was appealed to Superior Court de novo and he lost again. Three judges, two from Superior Court sided with Kaplan. Get the facts here:

http://www.leekaplandeconstructsleekaplanwatch.blogspot.com and

http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=28816

You will see what a liar this kid is and why he lost in court.

kfed said...

Do you happen to have any, um, more objective sources of information than Kaplan's side of the story, as told by Kaplan himself?

Anonymous said...

Go to the Alameda Courts website and review all the court documents.
Kaplans take on things is accurate. Your bias is showing....

kfed said...

As you may or may not have read in a more recent post, I have been reviewing all 150+ documents. I am not finished reviewing them, because I still have an internship consuming my life at present, but from what I have read so far, both seem to be pretty darn guilty.

kfed said...

Besides, can I help it if Yaman is just plain funnier? It's not like I'm supposed to be a beacon of objectivity or anything.