Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Immeasurable Hurt DeHurted

According to Daily Telegraph associate editor, Tim Blair, the "Graceless & Weird" defamation suit he lodged against Crikey publisher Eric Beecher is now "Case Closed."

Here's the April 2, 2009, apology on the Pure Poison blog at Crikey that was deemed not satisfactory enough :
In a post last night titled “Sockpuppet Worn” it was suggested that enthusiastic Pure Poison critic “WB"....had been making comments from Tim Blair’s private IP adress. The post, now removed from the Crikey site, included speculation on the identity of WB, concluding that it was Blair. Tim denies this flatly, and notes that people in the same house would share an IP. Commenters to the original deleted post had also made that point. We don’t know any more than that WB comments from the same private IP. Our criticisms are reserved for whoever “WB” turns out to be. We unreservedly withdraw any allegation that Tim has been using the “WB” identity, that he had personally used this identity to artificially boost his “hits”, and apologise for any offence caused by the above.
That apology, for an incorrect story that was online for all of a couple of hours, did not soothe the immeasurable hurt caused, apparently, so twelve months later Crikey publishes another apology, this time written (or at least guided) by Blair's lawyers.

The April 12, 2010, apology on the Pure Poison blog at Crikey :

On 1 March 2009, an article entitled “Sockpuppet Worn” was published on this blog about Mr Tim Blair that was incorrect. The article wrongly suggested that Mr Blair publishes comments under a pseudonym on his blog and various other blogs to make them appear as if they were independent reader comments.

It also falsely suggested that Mr Blair is dishonest in that, by publishing comments under a pseudonym on his own blog, he artificially boosts his blog readership and visit numbers, and that Mr Blair is unprofessional in his conduct as a journalist.

Crikey and the authors of this blog acknowledge that each of these suggestions are false and that there is no basis for any of them. We withdraw them unreservedly and acknowledge that Mr Blair has acted properly at all times. We apologise to Mr Blair for the hurt and distress caused.

The assumption is that a cash settlement was part of the ap0logy. But it's hard to know for sure, because tabloid journalists, despite often writing articles that blow up to headlines the most insignificant details of peoples' private lives, don't like to talk or give quotes when they become part of a story. They don't even want others to comment or discuss such stories :

Blair's lawyer friend WB - Wogblogger - cracks the champagne :

(click to enlarge)

And gloats about the settlement on any number of blogs :
....he’s sued a superrich publisher. Epic fail on the hypocrisy argument and no points for trying.

And the ‘glass jaw’ argument......is just historical revisionism at its finest. Blair has taken more abuse than most over the years. I think you’ll find Tim Blair’s reputation is as the guy who cracked Crikey’s deep pockets (that’s Private Media = worth >$6m), which in journalistic circles makes him some sort of a God.

Some sort of a God....