Liberals have tried to make David Hogg and his ilk sacrosanct and beyond any criticism, and recently lead a huge effort to get Laura Ingraham off the air when she mocked Hogg’s complaining that colleges didn’t want him.
Of course, liberals hold a different standard when talking about Parkland students who don’t agree with the liberal efforts to create a nationwide gun ban. Conservative Parkland student Kyle Kashuv does not agree with Hogg’s positions and has taken to the airwaves to try to refute him.
That led SJW journalist Kurt Eichenwald to make claims on Twitter that Kashuv was “mentally ill.”
Here’s a few excerpts from Colin Kalmbacher’s analysis at Law and Crime, which suggests Kashuv has a libel case against Eichenwald:
As a result of this email, Kashuv likely has a valid defamation case against Eichenwald if he decides to take legal action. Specifically, he could sue for defamation by libel. At issue would be various statements Eichenwald made about Kashuv’s alleged mental deficiencies.
1. Eichenwald Likely Published A False Statement
Here, Kashuv could plausibly argue Eichenwald has more or less accused Kashuv of being mentally ill. Kashuv has suggested that he doesn’t have a mental illness diagnosis and this is likely true. The following statement isn’t an explicit affirmation of Kashuv’s purported mental illness but it’s likely enough to qualify as false and defamatory: “Kyle is in desperate need of psychiatric help or support.”
Eichenwald then digs himself into a deeper hole by suggesting that Kashuv might have “an underlying pathology,” which is deeply irresponsible and not likely to be viewed favorably by either a judge or a jury. Eichenwald additionally piles on to his own potential legal problems by referring to Kashuv’s alleged obsession with Shapiro and asserting that this so-called obsession led to “a diatribe that the psychiatrist found deeply disturbing.”
4. The Falsity Of Eichenwald’s Statement Is Presumed to Have Caused Kashuv Injury
Under Florida law, in a traditional defamation case, a plaintiff would have to allege actual damages. This is where many defamation scenarios run off the rails because actual damages can be difficult to quantify under such circumstances. (Whether Kashuv could prove–or would plead–actual damages is an open question but is not being addressed here because it’s simply too fact-specific and those facts are not available as of now.) Luckily for Kashuv, Florida is a defamation per se jurisdiction.
Defamation per se is a legal doctrine which holds that certain statements are so inherently damaging they create an assumption that damages exist simply because the statement was communicated in the first place. The longstanding concept of per se defamatory statements includes comments that suggest or assert a person has a “loathsome disease.” This is a fairly ancient–and therefore socially problematic–legal term of art. Without endorsing the ableist idea that mental illness is “loathsome,” suffice it to say that courts have interpreted statements accusing plaintiffs of suffering from mental illness to fall into this category.
Click through and read the whole thing. I certainly hope Kashuv follows through and actually does sue.