freedom of blogging – there is no such thing as a false idea

“Libel readers (and report-writers) should keep in mind the limitation of the libel reading function. A reviewer should not try to substitute political judgment for the authors, either about whether the report is worthwhile or trivial or whether the policy positions taken in the report are desirable. A libel reviewer may at times point out typos or offer editorial suggestions, but her responsibility is not to proofread reports. A sloppily written report may be more amenable to libel challenge because it creates the appearance of carelessness; or it may so reduce the credibility of the report that readers are not likely to take its charges seriously. Nor should a libel reviewer ensure that sensible conclusions are being drawn, or sound legal analysis employed, except insofar as such judgments may bear on the amenability of the report to libel litigation. Nor, even, does a libel review assess the accuracy of the report, per se, except insofar as accuracy relates to libel exposure. The reviewer’s sole objective is to enable report authors to achieve their expressive or political objectives while protecting themselves, and any organization for which they may be writing, from exposure to libel liability or litigation.”

read the article here