Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Blogging PA Politics

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court refused Monday to step into a lawsuit against a newspaper, leaving the media in Pennsylvania legally vulnerable when they report defamatory comments by public figures.

The case could chill news coverage of political campaigns where charges and countercharges are commonplace, First Amendment advocates say.
The justices' decision not to consider the case was a victory for the former mayor and current council president of Parkesburg, Pa., who sued when the Daily Local News in West Chester, Pa., reported that a council member claimed they were homosexuals. The newspaper reported the councilman also had issued a statement strongly implying that he considered the two officials to be 'queers and child molesters.'

The newspaper quoted the council president as saying that if the councilman had made comments 'as bizarre as that then I feel very sad for him and I hope he can get the help he needs.'


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