Tag Archives: Frolic and Detour

Case of the Day: Alharbi v. The Blaze, Inc.

Glenn Beck
Glenn Beck. Credit: Gage Skidmore

The Case of the Day is Alharbi v. The Blaze, Inc. (D. Mass. 2016). Foreign readers may not be familiar with Glenn Beck. He is one of the group that I like to call the carnival barkers: unserious, pseudo-intellectual commentators from whom many right-wing partisans get their news. (I’m sure there are carnival barkers of the left, too, but I’m not writing about them today). After the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, Beck identified an injured bystander, Abdulrahman Alharbi, “as an active participant in the bombing, even after the authorities had publicly exonerated him.” He also told listeners that Alharbi, a Saudi Arabian student living in Massachusetts, “was involved in recruiting the Tsarnaev brothers, gave the ‘go order’ for the bombing, and was the ‘money man’ who funded the attacks.” Alharbi brought a defamation action.
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This Is Not A Drill!

Great Seal
Don’t Panic!

First, to those of you abroad who are friends to America. Don’t worry! We are a strange country filled with strange characters. But our wise founding fathers bequeathed us political institutions that have proved surprisingly strong for more than two centuries. For now, thank goodness, it seems highly unlikely that Mr. Trump could win a majority in the electoral college, and if the worst happens, we have institutions designed to check a wayward executive, and with the strength, under the Constitution, to do it if necessary. True, Republicans in government and in public life will have to find the courage to stand up to the candidate who, apparently, is the choice of the majority of the members of their party. But I am hopeful that many will, in the end, be on the right side of this.
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