A Case, of Identity Thieving
Of COURSE I thought it was the President, he was on TELEVISION. And he SAID he was President Obama. But it turns out it was NOT BARACK OBAMA AT ALL!! The old, person in the room started making excuses about, it being a “joke” and the FAKE BARACK OBAMA being an “actor” but, it did not cut ice with me. People, could have been fooled. In my America, the one the founding fathers like that one Paul Giamatta played in that miniseries (and hey, why hasn’t that guy SUED PAUL GIAMATTA? It is a good thing, I am around to protect the important people of this country from identity, theft) founded, these sorts of things are ILLEGAL, and I know Barack Obama has done the same, thing I have, namingly, to hire a lawyer and demand that this “actor” STOP ILLEGALLY AND FALSELY IMPERSONATING HIM ON TELEVISION or else go to jail.
To continuing my point, this “Meghan McCain” actually had, the nerve to have a lawyer send a letter to, the good people of Red State.org, demanding that I stop impersonating her! Hello! Is my name, Totally Meghan McCain, a part of “Meghan McCain”? No. Is “Meghan McCain” a part of my name, Totally Meghan McCain? I think, as the old people say, that is QDE. Or putting it, in such a manner that independent, young voters who decide the next election, will understand, FACE!
Well guess what, “Meghan McCain,” if allegedly that your name is being, I know lawyers, too, as they are the thing you have to protect your right to tattoo and piercings. And here is the letter he is sending to your “lawyer.” The messaging here is clear, STOP BEING ILLEGAL. Hope you enjoy it!
Editor's Note: Updated with most recent version of letter available for download as a PDF at the above link. (Don't worry, this one is just longer.)
Mr. Albin H. Gess, Esq.
Snell & Wilmer, LLP
600 Anton Boulevard, Suite 1400
Costa Mesa, California 92626-7689
RE: “Totally”, “Meghan McCain”
Your File: 55278.0003
My File: 1013.0001
Dear Mr. Gess:
The undersigned represents Leon Wolf, the author of the “Totally Meghan McCain” columns at RedState.com. Please direct all correspondence regarding this matter to me.
My client forwarded me your September 23, 2011 letter to Eric(sic) Ericson(sic) concerning the “Totally Meghan McCain” parodies at RedState.com. I confess that I first took the letter itself as a metatextual parody. To my surprise, on a re-reading, I discovered that you were apparently serious.
Initially, on the nominal merits of your letter: As I am sure you know, 47 U.S.C. § 230 completely immunizes any site that publishes my client’s material from Federal or State liability, insofar as such liability is based solely on the fact that such site publishes his material. This would be true even were Mr. Wolf a paid employee of that website, as explained in Blumenthal v. Drudge, 992 F.Supp. 44 (D.D.C. 1998), which is considered one of the great pathbreaking cases in this area of the law. Your threats against the websites that publish my client’s content are completely without legal merit; your only recourse for this content would be against Mr. Wolf personally, under the black letter of Federal law.
Of course, you also have no recourse against my client individually, as his actionswere clearly a parody of your client, a well-known public political figure. This activity is protected by the First Amendment from state law suits, including false light invasion of privacy. See generally, Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell, 485 U.S. 46 (1988), which is of course directly on point here. See also Horsley v. Rivera, 292 F.3d 695, 701 (11th Cir. 2002) (“the Supreme Court has clarified that the Constitution provides protection for ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ that ‘cannot reasonably be interpreted as stating actual facts about an individual.’ … This protection reflects ‘the reality that exaggeration and non-literal commentary have become an integral part of social discourse.’”) (Citations omitted.); cf., Dworkin v. Hustler Magazine Inc., 867 F.2d 1188, 1195 (9th Cir. 1989).
Of course, the subject matter of your letter is a fairly obvious parody to any person of even barely functional literacy. Thus – and your client probably didn’t tell you this – even she recognized that the posts were parodies (or “parody’s,” as she put it). At approximately 8:25 p.m. EDT on September 17th, your client posted to her Twitter feed, “I don’t care about parody’s(sic) or fake names – but falsely putting my name on someone else’s writing is illegal.” She then subsequently deleted this Tweet, presumably when someone told her that “parody’s” were constitutionally protected and it might look bad in a subsequent lawsuit if she were caught admitting in public that these posts were obvious parodies. Not to worry: My client has screenshots.
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