EXAMINER.COM NOT THE FIRST TO RESPOND
by Sharon Rondeau
(Feb. 23, 2011) — According to Wikipedia, “defamation of character” is defined as:
Defamation—also called calumny, vilification, slander (for transitory statements), and libel (for written, broadcast, or otherwise published words)—is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, or nation a negative image. It is usually a requirement that this claim be false and that the publication is communicated to someone other than the person defamed (the claimant).
How to prove Libel
There are several ways a person must go about proving that libel has taken place. For example, in the United States, the person first must prove that the statement was false. Second, that person must prove that the statement caused harm. And, third, they must prove that the statement was made without adequate research into the truthfulness of the statement. These steps are for an ordinary citizen. In the case of a celebrity or public official trying to prove libel, they must prove the first three steps, and must (in the United States) prove the statement was made with the intent to do harm, or with reckless disregard for the truth.
According to the Columbia Encyclopedia:
libel and slander, in law, types of defamation. In common law, written defamation was libel and spoken defamation was slander. Today, however, there are no such clear definitions. Permanent forms of defamation, such as the written or pictorial, are usually called libel, while the spoken or gestured forms are called slander.
The term libel is also often used if a wide audience for the defamation is possible. Courts have split over which category radio and television are in; today’s statutes generally categorize defamation occurring in those media as slander. The offenses are alike in several respects. The defamation-essentially exposure to hatred, contempt, ridicule, or pecuniary loss-must directly affect the reputation of a living person. It must be published, i.e., revealed to someone besides the subject of the attack. It is no defense that the defendant merely repeated but did not originate the defamation.
The following email exchange occurred earlier today in response to a complaint sent to Examiner.com on February 20, 2011:
To: Sharon Rondeau
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2011 15:52:47 -0600
Subject: RE: SLANDER COMPLAINT
Dear Ms. Rondeau,
If you believe content on our site includes defamatory statements, please send the following information so we may investigate the complaint:
- The URL of the specific article(s) in which you believe defamatory content exists
- The statement or statements you believe are defamatory
- An explanation of why such statements are defamatory
The Post & Email responded:
From: Sharon Rondeau
Sent: Wed 2/23/11 7:59 PM
Hello, Examiner Legal Staff:
The libel/defamation is being written by Bill Bowman against my company, The Post & Email, which is an electronic newspaper incorporated in the state of Wyoming. I filed a formal complaint with your organization last week which was handled by Ms. Jennifer Osler.
The situation was remedied temporarily, but Mr. Bowman returned to publishing lies, threats and libelous statements on February 18, just two days after his four previous posts were removed. Evidently Ms. Osler agreed with my claim that they were defamatory. I have listed two of the removed articles below, but they are still available through Google Cache.
Here is one link to a current defamatory article by Bowman: http://www.examiner.com/birther-movement-in-national/racism-at-the-post-email
My publication has never said one thing that is racist, so Bowman’s statement is completely false. You are welcome to read any article at The Post & Email, and you will find that it is a professional publication which allows no libel, disclosure of personal information, obscenities, adult content, or references to vulgarities, unlike the writing of Mr. Bowman on your website. Our articles are screened very carefully for content in this regard; therefore, Bowman’s libelous claim that my publication is racist is an outright lie and an attempt to defame both the reputation of The Post & Email and me.
Mr. Bowman states in this article: “Nice, huh? Tell me, Mrs. Rondeau, what part of the U.S. Constitution are you honoring by printing this filth? We all know that “jig” is a pejorative used against blacks, a ready substitute for what is euphemistically known as the “N” word.
And apparently, going by their own policy, this type of racist crap is just fine and dandy with Sharon Rondeau and her friends at the P&E. It’s OK by them to refer to the President of the United States as a “jig.”
Sharon Rondeau, you are disgusting. Only a racist pig would allow this kind of tripe to be publlished on a web site. And sister, that’s not defamation of character, that’s definition of character.”
This man is purposely provoking a legal showdown, and in one of his previous articles, to that end, he stated, “Bring it on.” That was one of the articles removed by Ms. Osler.
To bolster my claim, Mr. Bowman’s personal website, which I realize is unaffiliated with Examiner.com, contains a veiled threat to The Post & Email: http://bbowman.net/
Moreover, I wrote about the initial incident with Bowman here: http://www.thepostemail.com/2011/02/17/examiner-com-legal-staff-responds-to-the-post-emails-complaint/
In good faith, I removed the statement which said that Examiner.com did not have high standards. However, since this situation has recurred, I am wondering how high your standards really are. I would never permit any of my writers to even submit such material, let alone publish it.
Why is Bowman targeting “Post & Email” readers? Why does he warn them that their IP numbers have been logged? We do the same thing at The Post & Email, but we do not threaten people with this information. I have the IP numbers of everyone who has ever left a defamatory, threatening or obscene comment at the site, but I have never found a reason to threaten anyone with that capability.
What kind of vendetta has Bowman launched, and who is behind it?
Here is another post of his that was pulled: http://www.examiner.com/birther-movement-in-national/sharon-rondeau-at-the-post-and-email-haz-a-mad-about-me?cid=parsely#parsely
However, a pop-up containing the title of that article still appears on the lower right screen when looking at any of Bill Bowman’s current articles.
Here is another defamatory post: http://www.examiner.com/birther-movement-in-national/pot-meet-kettle
A taunting, insulting paragraph from that reads: “Do I need to point out to Sharon Rondeau, who has gleefully published and written screeds such as this, that the very foundation of the Birther Movement is to abrogate “the rights and desires of the voters” in the 2008 presidential election? Do I, really?”
Why is this man taking the time and effort to address me personally in his poorly-written, falsified articles? He has also attacked one of my contributing writers as well as other people with lies, malice, and taunts.
6. Prohibited Content and Activities
You agree that you will not post to the Site, or use the Site to transmit or make available any Content that:
- violates any laws or regulations, contains any threats, is abusive, tortious, harassing, vulgar, obscene, indecent, violates any person’s rights of privacy or publicity, is defamatory, libelous, hateful, contains any disparaging statements or opinions regarding racial, gender or ethnic background, or is otherwise objectionable;
- infringes any intellectual property rights of any party, including, but not limited to any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright or other proprietary rights;
- contains any private information about an identifiable person without that person’s permission, or any content soliciting any personal or private information from any individual;
- you know or have reason to know is false, misleading, or fraudulent;
- you do not have a right to make available under any law or under contractual or fiduciary relationships (such as inside information or proprietary and confidential information learned or disclosed as part of employment relationships or under nondisclosure agreements);
- contains any unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, or material which can be characterized as “junk mail,” “spam,” “chain letters,” “pyramid schemes,” “Ponzi schemes” or similar material, any request for or solicitation of money, goods, or services for private gain, or any information (other than advertisements approved by Examiner.com) posted primarily for advertising, promotional, or other commercial purposes;
- incorporates within it any software viruses or any other computer code, files or programs whose purpose or function is to interrupt, destroy or otherwise impair the operability of any software or hardware or telecommunications equipment;
- contains links to any websites containing content violating any of the foregoing requirements, or links to any websites for purposes of disrupting the operations of such website, harassing the owners of such website, or other objectionable or illegal purposes.
Bowman previously released personal information about me such as where I work, my profession outside of The Post & Email, and a desire to see that I am deprived of a means of making a living. He did not have my permission to do this, so that clearly violates bullet point #3. Bullet point #1 has been violated by everything he has written about my publication or me.
I trust that this answers your questions. I will be awaiting your prompt action on this matter which has also been reported to the FBI.
The Post & Email, Inc.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.