Wednesday, May 31, 2006

"But This Is Different"

The bloggers of Pajamaline (f'rinstance; f'rinstance) seem to be giddy over the fact that a Gulf War vet and his wife have sued Michael Moore over a clip from NBC News that was used in Fahrenheit 911:
Damon is asking for up to $75 million because of "loss of reputation, emotional distress, embarrassment, and personal humiliation."

In addition, his wife is suing for another $10 million because of the "mental distress and anguish suffered by her spouse."
Back in the days before he was going to sue anyone, Damon's objections were detailed in the Army Times.
In [the clip], Damon is seen sitting on a gurney just before going into surgery. The remains of his arms are swathed in heavy bandages, and he is describing phantom-limb sensation and the phantom crushing pain that doctors have relieved with a steady flow of anesthesia into each limb.

The original Oct. 31 interview with NBC Nightly News was about the anesthesia and the work being done at the hospital with other amputee soldiers. Damon and his anesthesiologists considered it a positive piece that showcased the hard work being done for wounded soldiers.

But, Damon notes, the 10-second clip in "Fahrenheit 9/11" is sandwiched into a segment of the movie that describes the supposed plight of hapless soldiers sent to Iraq, many of whom, Moore asserts, have joined the Army to escape poverty.

"For this guy to put me in a movie and say, 'Look at all these poor fellows,' it makes us look like we all came from the same background as the people in Flint, Michigan," Damon said.
Damon has appeared in two films denouncing Moore and Fahrenheit 9/11, but I guess people still think he's from Flint.

There seems to be no end of right-wing applause for the lawsuit, but I have yet to find even a single critical peep from the "tort reformers"... presumably because it's Michael Moore, which means "it's different". And as it's not a lawsuit against their corporate masters, so why would they care if he faces a lawsuit of dubious validity with an absurd demand for damages. But then, we haven't yet heard from Volokh's Dave Kopel. After all, he would be the first to tell us that just because you don't like the defendant, it doesn't mean that the plaintiff should be awarded millions of dollars. Right?

Update: Another Pajamaliner chimes in: "I have no idea if the case has any merit, but I do like the idea of Michael Moore being sued." How, um, conservative.

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