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Thread: American Thinker Statement Retracting False Claims about Dominion

  1. #1

    American Thinker Statement Retracting False Claims about Dominion

    I just now came across this. Thought it was interesting.

    We received a lengthy letter from Dominion's defamation lawyers explaining why they believe that their client has been the victim of defamatory statements. Having considered the full import of the letter, we have agreed to their request that we publish the following statement:

    American Thinker and contributors Andrea Widburg, R.D. Wedge, Brian Tomlinson, and Peggy Ryan have published pieces on www.AmericanThinker.com that falsely accuse US Dominion Inc., Dominion Voting Systems, Inc., and Dominion Voting Systems Corporation (collectively “Dominion”) of conspiring to steal the November 2020 election from Donald Trump. These pieces rely on discredited sources who have peddled debunked theories about Dominion’s supposed ties to Venezuela, fraud on Dominion’s machines that resulted in massive vote switching or weighted votes, and other claims falsely stating that there is credible evidence that Dominion acted fraudulently.

    These statements are completely false and have no basis in fact. Industry experts and public officials alike have confirmed that Dominion conducted itself appropriately and that there is simply no evidence to support these claims.

    It was wrong for us to publish these false statements. We apologize to Dominion for all of the harm this caused them and their employees. We also apologize to our readers for abandoning 9 journalistic principles and misrepresenting Dominion’s track record and its limited role in tabulating votes for the November 2020 election. We regret this grave error.
    https://www.americanthinker.com/blog...statement.html



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  3. #2
    Isn't this political speech they're hastily retracting for fear of being sued?

    Behold the epitaph for the First Amendment.
    Quote Originally Posted by DamianTV View Post
    Define Terrorist please.

    According to, well, pretty much both political parties, the other party is now guilty of Terrorism.
    Listening to the mainstream media is like standing under a power line when the birds are migrating.

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by acptulsa View Post
    Isn't this political speech they're hastily retracting for fear of being sued?

    Behold the epitaph for the First Amendment.
    Making false claims about someone that damage them doesn't become less of a crime just because you can relate those claims to something political.

    That said, they weren't sued, and we are left to guess what the result would have been if they had been sued. It may be that it would have been found that their speech was not criminal. But that's just a hypothetical. What actually happened is that they simply admitted that they published false and debunked claims that had no basis in fact. If they believed that they had actually done nothing wrong, it would have been good of them to say that. But my take is that they knew full well that they really did deliberately publish lies and that it would be proven in court if it came to that, hence this admission.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by acptulsa View Post
    Isn't this political speech they're hastily retracting for fear of being sued?

    Behold the epitaph for the First Amendment.


    In this case, if you're going to go after a company, you had better be sure that you have incontrovertible proof. Any yahoo can see that their software allowed opportunity for fraud, but as long as there is plausible deniability, you're just asking for the repercussions. It's like pulling the pin on a grenade and then not throwing it.
    "And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works." - Bastiat

    "It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." - Voltaire

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptUSA View Post
    In this case, if you're going to go after a company, you had better be sure that you have incontrovertible proof. Any yahoo can see that their software allowed opportunity for fraud, but as long as there is plausible deniability, you're just asking for the repercussions. It's like pulling the pin on a grenade and then not throwing it.
    It's still political speech. There was a time private entities contracting to government found these suits getting thrown out of court.

    Quote Originally Posted by Invisible Man View Post
    Making false claims about someone that damage them doesn't become less of a crime just because you can relate those claims to something political.
    Libel is a crime now? That's a chilling development. For all of American history, it was a civil matter of liability.
    Last edited by acptulsa; 01-26-2021 at 08:34 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by DamianTV View Post
    Define Terrorist please.

    According to, well, pretty much both political parties, the other party is now guilty of Terrorism.
    Listening to the mainstream media is like standing under a power line when the birds are migrating.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by acptulsa View Post
    It's still political speech. There was a time private entities contracting to government found these suits getting thrown out of court.
    Got any specific examples?

    It's possible that if this suit had gotten that far, it too would have been thrown out of court. It was American Thinker's choice not to take that route though. Their choice was to admit that they made false and debunked claims that had no basis in fact, regardless of whether or not it was reasonable to predict that any threatened suit would have been thrown out of court. To me, the news here is not the hypothetical of what might have happened if they didn't make this statement, but the fact that they actually, and not just hypothetically, did admit to making false and debunked statements that had no basis in fact.

  8. #7
    This is how criminals get ahead unfortunately. Sue the people telling the truth to stifle their truth.
    Hosea 4:6
    "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children."

    There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love. ~ Washington Irving (1783-1859)

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by acptulsa View Post
    Libel is a crime now? That's a chilling development. For all of American history, it was a civil matter of liability.
    I was using the word "crime" colloquially. It is an act done against a person, which causes damages for which the guilty party is justly held liable.



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  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by donnay View Post
    This is how criminals get ahead unfortunately. Sue the people telling the truth to stifle their truth.
    Or, in this case, sue people who tell lies. Right?

    American Thinker openly admits it published statements that were proven lies.

  12. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Invisible Man View Post
    Or, in this case, sue people who tell lies. Right?

    American Thinker openly admits it published statements that were proven lies.
    They are proven lies because they cannot afford to be dragged through the mud with lawsuits from the powers-that-be. I get it.
    Hosea 4:6
    "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children."

    There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love. ~ Washington Irving (1783-1859)

  13. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Invisible Man View Post
    Got any specific examples?
    https://www.rcfp.org/humane-society-...ant-sue-libel/

    Quote Originally Posted by Invisible Man View Post
    Or, in this case, sue people who tell lies. Right?

    American Thinker openly admits it published statements that were proven lies.
    https://fee.org/articles/libel-law-i...l-free-speech/

    And if it was "proven" in a crooked investigation? In a nation with no First Amendment, a kangaroo "investigation" silences all discussion. Worse, it leads to lawyers telling clients to declare lies to be truth, to get cases dropped. Do you really think that's how America has always worked?

    By the way, accusing people of "colloquial crimes" can get you sued.
    Last edited by acptulsa; 01-26-2021 at 08:54 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by DamianTV View Post
    Define Terrorist please.

    According to, well, pretty much both political parties, the other party is now guilty of Terrorism.
    Listening to the mainstream media is like standing under a power line when the birds are migrating.

  14. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by donnay View Post
    They are proven lies because they cannot afford to be dragged through the mud with lawsuits from the powers-that-be. I get it.
    So you don't believe they really did publish false and debunked claims with no basis in fact?

  15. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Invisible Man View Post
    So you don't believe they really did publish false and debunked claims with no basis in fact?
    So you really do believe "debunked" and false are guaranteed synonyms?
    Quote Originally Posted by DamianTV View Post
    Define Terrorist please.

    According to, well, pretty much both political parties, the other party is now guilty of Terrorism.
    Listening to the mainstream media is like standing under a power line when the birds are migrating.

  16. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by acptulsa View Post
    https://www.rcfp.org/humane-society-...ant-sue-libel/



    https://fee.org/articles/libel-law-i...l-free-speech/

    And if it was "proven" in a crooked investigation? In a nation with no First Amendment, a kangaroo "investigation" silences all discussion. Worse, it leads to lawyers telling clients to declare lies to be truth, to get cases dropped. Do you really think that's how America has always worked?

    By the way, accusing people of "colloquial crimes" can get you sued.
    I'm not sure that those articles support the conclusion that Dominion would be in the same boat as the Human Society. And I saw nothing in the Tucker article that indicated the suit against American Thinker would be thrown out. It merely would need to meet the high bar of "fully intending to inflict real harm by deliberately making up false information." It may be that it would not have met that bar. We'll never know, given that American Thinker chose to admit that they lied without going to court over it.

    But what those articles also show is that the high bar set for proving someone guilty of libel is still as high as what it used to be. Unless you're saying that something has changed since when those articles were written.

  17. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Invisible Man View Post
    But what those articles also show is that the high bar set for proving someone guilty of libel is still as high as what it used to be. Unless you're saying that something has changed since when those articles were written.
    That's nice. Is it supposed to address the question of how tyrannical the nation will become when the First Amendment no longer protects political speech?
    Quote Originally Posted by DamianTV View Post
    Define Terrorist please.

    According to, well, pretty much both political parties, the other party is now guilty of Terrorism.
    Listening to the mainstream media is like standing under a power line when the birds are migrating.

  18. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by acptulsa View Post
    So you really do believe "debunked" and false are guaranteed synonyms?
    No. They're not synonyms. American Thinker admitted to having made claims that were both false and debunked (i.e. they didn't just innocently pass on something that happened to be false but that was believable given the evidence available to them, but something that was false and that they had already seen proven false).



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  20. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by acptulsa View Post
    That's nice. Is it supposed to address the question of how tyrannical the nation will become when the First Amendment no longer protects political speech?
    That would indeed be tyrannical. But I don't see the relevance here. Unless you're trying to say that you should be able to make claims that you know to be false about someone, with intent to cause damage to them, and succeed in causing that damage, and that merely being able to relate your false claims to something political should free you from liability for the damage you caused to that person.

  21. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Invisible Man View Post
    No. They're not synonyms. American Thinker admitted to having made claims that were both false and debunked (i.e. they didn't just innocently pass on something that happened to be false but that was believable given the evidence available to them, but something that was false and that they had already seen proven false).
    And you think someone facing a gazillion dollar lawsuit wouldn't even be tempted to lie about whether something was a lie, to get out from under?

    This point seems to be going over your head. We can afford to ensure people are careful what charges they make except in regard to politics, because the government conducts the overwhelming majority of investigations, and sets itself up as arbiter. Otherwise...



    ...becomes...



    Why do you think the First Amendment was ratified, if not that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Invisible Man View Post
    That would indeed be tyrannical. But I don't see the relevance here. Unless you're trying to say that you should be able to make claims that you know to be false about someone, with intent to cause damage to them, and succeed in causing that damage, and that merely being able to relate your false claims to something political should free you from liability for the damage you caused to that person.
    Why shouldn't I say that? Americans have been saying that since the First Amendment was ratified. Am I not American?
    Last edited by acptulsa; 01-26-2021 at 09:20 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by DamianTV View Post
    Define Terrorist please.

    According to, well, pretty much both political parties, the other party is now guilty of Terrorism.
    Listening to the mainstream media is like standing under a power line when the birds are migrating.

  22. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Invisible Man View Post
    So you don't believe they really did publish false and debunked claims with no basis in fact?
    Not at all.

    Many of us have memories.


    https://en-volve.com/2020/11/16/anti...ltrated-group/
    https://gellerreport.com/2020/11/loo...dge-fund.html/
    Hosea 4:6
    "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children."

    There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love. ~ Washington Irving (1783-1859)

  23. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by acptulsa View Post
    And you think someone facing a gazillion dollar lawsuit wouldn't even be tempted to lie about whether something was a lie, to get out from under?
    It's possible.

    I'm not sure what you're getting at though.

    Is your position that not only should the bar for libel be set high (as high as Jeffrey Tucker describes in the article you posted), but that it should be so impossible that American Thinker shouldn't even have to face the mere threat of such a lawsuit at all, so as to find themselves in such a position, no matter what they publish?

    Should it be illegal for Dominion to even send letters like the one they sent to American Thinker? If you are saying that it should be, then I think it's you who want to stifle free speech.


    Quote Originally Posted by acptulsa View Post
    Why shouldn't I say that? Americans have been saying that since the First Amendment was ratified.
    I doubt that. In fact, when the First Amendment was ratified, the bar was set lower than it is now for being able to sue people for libel committed against public officials. That Jeffery Tucker article you posted describes how the bar was raised up to where it is today in 1964, but that even in this context, it still doesn't rule out the possibility of being held liable in court for libel committed against public officials.

    I haven't seen anything from anyone other than you to the effect that a person should be able to make claims that you know to be false about someone, with intent to cause damage to them, and succeed in causing that damage, and that merely being able to relate your false claims to something political should free you from liability for the damage you caused to that person.
    Last edited by Invisible Man; 01-26-2021 at 09:41 AM.

  24. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Invisible Man View Post
    It's possible.
    Thank you. Now. Does that possibility not answer most of the rest of your questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Invisible Man View Post
    I'm not sure what you're getting at though.
    Of course you are. You've just got my pants leg in your teeth, and you want to haggle with me over the question of degree all day. Sorry. Not playing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Invisible Man View Post
    Should it be illegal for Dominion to even send letters like the one they sent to American Thinker? If you are saying that it should be, then I think it's you who want to stifle free speech.
    What straw man said something that stupid? This one?

    Quote Originally Posted by DamianTV View Post
    Define Terrorist please.

    According to, well, pretty much both political parties, the other party is now guilty of Terrorism.
    Listening to the mainstream media is like standing under a power line when the birds are migrating.

  25. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by acptulsa View Post
    What straw man said something that stupid? This one?
    Good, then we agree on that.

    In this case, I can't see anything left here that you disagree with me about.

  26. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Invisible Man View Post

    American Thinker openly admits it published statements that were proven lies.
    But are they lying now?

    and they were never "Proven Lies"..
    Liberty is lost through complacency and a subservient mindset. When we accept or even welcome automobile checkpoints, random searches, mandatory identification cards, and paramilitary police in our streets, we have lost a vital part of our American heritage. America was born of protest, revolution, and mistrust of government. Subservient societies neither maintain nor deserve freedom for long.
    Ron Paul 2004

    Registered Ron Paul supporter # 2202
    It's all about Freedom

  27. #24
    Anybody have a detailed report on how private equity owns Dominion?



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  29. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by pcosmar View Post
    But are they lying now?

    and they were never "Proven Lies"..
    I assume that the articles in question have been removed. It would be a nice exercise to go through them and see how easy or difficult it would be to find proven lies.

    Based on how often I saw Trumpers post utter hoaxes that supposedly showed how the election was stolen and that were easy to prove as lies, I don't share your confidence that nothing in the American Thinker articles in question were. The fact that American Thinker itself admits that they were is another strong point on this side.
    Last edited by Invisible Man; 01-26-2021 at 11:16 AM.

  30. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Invisible Man View Post
    The fact that American Thinker itself admits that they were is another strong point on this side.
    $$$ are the considerations on their side..
    Liberty is lost through complacency and a subservient mindset. When we accept or even welcome automobile checkpoints, random searches, mandatory identification cards, and paramilitary police in our streets, we have lost a vital part of our American heritage. America was born of protest, revolution, and mistrust of government. Subservient societies neither maintain nor deserve freedom for long.
    Ron Paul 2004

    Registered Ron Paul supporter # 2202
    It's all about Freedom

  31. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Invisible Man View Post
    But my take is that they knew full well that they really did deliberately publish lies and that it would be proven in court if it came to that, hence this admission.
    Are you a mind reader? It is much more likely they published statements that they believed to be true (or are true, or mostly true).
    "He's talkin' to his gut like it's a person!!" -me
    "dumpster diving isn't professional." - angelatc
    "You don't need a medical degree to spot obvious bullshit, that's actually a separate skill." -Scott Adams
    "When you are divided, and angry, and controlled, you target those 'different' from you, not those responsible [controllers]" -Q

    "Each of us must choose which course of action we should take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary changes. But let it not be said that we did nothing." - Ron Paul

    "Paul said "the wave of the future" is a coalition of anti-authoritarian progressive Democrats and libertarian Republicans in Congress opposed to domestic surveillance, opposed to starting new wars and in favor of ending the so-called War on Drugs."

  32. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by pcosmar View Post
    $$$ are the considerations on their side..
    Clearly. But he's right. Seems like the whole point of this exercise was to make sure nothing gets proven.

    Which is why we need the First Amendment.
    Quote Originally Posted by DamianTV View Post
    Define Terrorist please.

    According to, well, pretty much both political parties, the other party is now guilty of Terrorism.
    Listening to the mainstream media is like standing under a power line when the birds are migrating.

  33. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by donnay View Post
    This is how criminals get ahead unfortunately. Sue the people telling the truth to stifle their truth.
    Ron Paul: Truth is Treason in the Empire of Lies...
    1776 > 1984

    The FAILURE of the United States Government to operate and maintain an
    Honest Money System , which frees the ordinary man from the clutches of the money manipulators, is the single largest contributing factor to the World's current Economic Crisis.

    The Elimination of Privacy is the Architecture of Genocide

    Belief, Money, and Violence are the three ways all people are controlled

    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Our central bank is not privately owned.

  34. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by dannno View Post
    Are you a mind reader? It is much more likely they published statements that they believed to be true (or are true, or mostly true).
    It's possible that they believed them at the time that they first published them, but then realized that they were false and debunked after that when Dominion provided them with additional information (or sooner), which was why they published the retraction.

    What I think is safe to say is that, at least as of the time they published the above statement, they knew by then that the previous statements were false. Had they not published the retraction, then it would have been the case that they were publishing statements they knew to be false.

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