Starting at approximately 5:20 in the clip, one of YouTube’s better known and respected atheists, Mr. Deity, takes a shot at PZ Myers and the FTB clown-circus regarding the anonymous, third-hand rape charges leveled against Michael Shermer by PZ Myers. All while never naming names and being quite general in its applicability.
I concur with Mr. Deity on this issue and I think he did a great job of pointing out the obvious.
As far as the controversy, like many atheists, I’m hoping PZ Myers decides to fight. If only (win, lose or draw) because it will serve to burden him with substantial legal fees and that it will turn into his ‘McCarthy moment’ that serves to both marginalize his polemic blogging career and act as a deterrent to the tribal-sycophants that follow him that certain behaviors are so revolting that they’re not acceptable even on the Internet.
And for FTB bullies (or others) who seem to think you can skate-free from the consequences of per se defamation by hiding behind an anti-SLAPP suit, let me disabuse you:
“As you know, Board Members, like any elected representatives, owe allegiance and loyalty to the people who elect them. They may not self-serve or ‘feather their own nest[.]’ [The candidate] was on the Board and . . . cut secret deals to purchase nine parking spaces . . .” The other candidate brought suit for defamation and libel per se. The trial court denied a special motion to strike under CCP § 425.16, and the appellate court affirmed, stating the letter accused the plaintiff of a serious breach of fiduciary duty and “that is libelous per se.” Silk v. Feldman (Cal. App. Second Dist., Div. 6; August 14, 2012) 208 Cal.App.4th 547.
Anti-SLAPP doesn’t protect against per se defamation claims. Anti-SLAPP is about protecting legitimate PUBLIC PARTICIPATION from lawsuits. So, whining about GMOs or Frankenfish or Obama or Obama-care or CalTrans is perfectly protected under the anti-SLAPP provisions. Accusing someone of rape, a heinous crime, is not.
My prediction, fwiw, is that Myers will cave. And that when Myers caves, he’ll say it’s about ‘sparing the victim.’ I also predict that, eventually, this little circus will repeat itself (if not with Myers, with one of his frothing-at-the-mouth SKW allies like Rebecca Watson or Amanda Marcotte) because the polemicist, like the pusher, has to keep increasing the dose of vitriol as his/her audience habituates to the former dose and it loses its impact.