Wednesday, October 29, 2003

This is astoundingly goofy, if not outright evil.

This firm represents Donald L. Luskin, a Contributing Editor to National Review Online and author and host of, among other activities. You recently linked to Mr. Luskin’s October 7, 2003, posting on his website entitled “Face To Face With Evil,” in which he chronicles his attendance at a lecture and book signing presented by Paul Krugman. You chose the unfortunate caption “Diary of a Stalker” for your link. More importantly, your readers, in responding to your invitation to comment, have posted numerous libelous statements regarding Mr. Luskin. Picking up on the theme you introduced, several have made false assertions that Mr. Luskin has committed the crime of stalking. Such a statement constitutes libel per se, an actionable tort subjecting both the author and the publisher to liability for both actual and punitive damages. As a result of your control over and participation in the comment section of your site, as well as the fact that Mr. Luskin has personally brought these libelous comments to your attention already, you face personal liability for their distribution. Determining your identity for the purpose of making service of process can be easily accomplished through a subpoena to

Other posters have made similarly actionable statements, straying beyond mere expressions of opinion and making false and defamatory statements of alleged fact. One has even threatened physical violence. To permit these posts to remain on your web site would be utterly reckless.

Mr. Luskin demands that you remove the October 7th link and caption, and the comments section associated with that caption, as well as the comments posted in response to another link that you posted on October 10th, titled “Liberal Incivility Watch,” immediately. This is your opportunity to resolve this matter without legal expense and exposure to liability and damages. If the offending posts are not removed within 72 hours, further legal action will be taken.
Ok, first, this is a clear free speech issue, and astoundingly hypocritical: Luskin was more libelous towards Krugman than Atrios has ever been towards Luskin. I have called Luskin worse, and would do it again- he deserves every bit of it. He's not just a stalker (although he is indeed a stalker, Mr. Upton), he's if anything worse. He compared Krugman to Hitler, after all- that is as actionable as anything I've read online, and is still protected by free speech.

In any case, this is clearly about intimidation. Luskin knows he has no case, but he's hoping to get Atrios to relent because he's threatened to remove his pseudonymity. Now, I have no idea how he expects *BLOGSPOT* to reveal Atrios' identity, because everybody who has used Blogspot knows that Blogspot doesn't ask for your name or location in the first place, and tracking IPs would be difficult at best.

Still, the threat itself speaks volumes. and shows both Mr. Luskin and Mr. Upton to be beneath contempt as out-and-out opponents of the basic constitutional freedoms upon which America is built- freedoms that Luskin's conservative brethren at NRO are supposedly in favor of. Indeed, the founding of America was built about the very kind of pseudonymous speech that Atrios now employs, and that Luskin now threatens.

So, in case you hadn't guessed it yet, Donald, I'm calling you anti-American, and as long as NRO continues to employ you and support you, they're anti-American too. You pervert the principles upon which is built, and make a mockery of the sacrifices of America's forefathers.


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