Vicki Iseman sues New York Times

by Walter Olson on January 2, 2009

There’s plenty that can be said in criticism of the NYT’s campaign-season piece insinuating that the lobbyist was personally too close to Republican candidate John McCain. But did it really do her reputation $27 million in damage? (Blodget, AlleyInsider). Update Feb. 19: parties settle.

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Vicki Iseman settles New York Times suit
02.19.09 at 10:50 pm


1 Paul 01.02.09 at 4:54 am

And they think their paper is worth almost 600 bucks a year for delivery! I do hope that they defend themselves by explaining how little influence or value their front page has.

2 VMS 01.02.09 at 8:06 am

This is yet another example of suing bygones back into the spotlight.

3 Melvin H. 01.02.09 at 11:19 am

VMS, while I think that the amount sued for is too much, if MY reputation was sullied like that, I would go after the New York Times (and their reporter, editor, etc.) for a front-page (and Web) apology and retraction–and maybe the jobs of the reporter, editor, etc.
What would it take for YOU to do the same, if the Times did a piece which dragged your name around like their piece did her’s (and was nowhere close to the truth!)?

4 VMS 01.02.09 at 6:29 pm

Sucessfully suing a newspaper has MAJOR hurdles. See Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co., 497 U.S. 1 (1990). Chapadeau v Utica Observer–Dispatch (38 NY2d 196) states the standard in New York. Chapadeau held that as long as an opinion relied on accurately stated and reported facts, it was not actionable as long as the content, tone and apparent purpose of the statement distinguished it as opinion.

These libel cases against newspapers, in New York, seem to fall by the waistside, with rare exceptions.

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