Exactly, NONE. Zilch! Nada! You can only collect for slander and libel if you can prove damages.
Don Imus Sued by Rutgers Basketball Player
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This was the undeniable truth: No matter what spleen-venting occurred following Don Imus' pernicious remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team last April, the Rutgers players remained beacons of dignity, better than all the rest who passed the time with antagonistic indignation. Too bad Rutgers junior Kia Vaughn didn't pay closer attention.
Here are the opening paragraphs from a story in Tuesday's USA Today:
Hours after dethroned radio shock jock Don Imus settled his $120 million breach-of-contract lawsuit with CBS Tuesday, he and CBS were sued by a Rutgers women's basketball team member who says his disparaging on-air comments ruined her reputation. Neither Imus nor CBS would comment on the lawsuit filed in New York by junior Kia Vaughn, who says his sexist and racist statements about the team defamed her.
Imus defamed Kia Vaughn specifically?
Without mentioning her name?
Sorry, but isn't this lawsuit a bigger stretch than if a rubber band tried to fit around Peter from Family Guy?
Kia Vaughn's decision to rehash this incident with a lawsuit just dragged her teammates' good names into the abyss. Whether Matee Ajavon, Essence Carson and even coach C. Vivian Stringer agree with this lawsuit, support it or hate it, they're going to be linked to it.
The school is, too.
And that's sad.
Rutgers, because of the actions of its women's basketball players, never looked better or prouder than it did in the days after Imus inserted his cowboy boots into his kisser.
From the lawsuit, as published through the Associated Press:
The ... false, defamatory, sexually denigrating and slanderous statements and comments against the women athletes of said basketball team were heard, believed and understood by millions of listeners ... as factual pronouncements concerning the character, chastity and reputation of the plaintiff.
Hope the author used a little salt and pepper to season the thesaurus he or she swallowed.
Now to the point: Is Ms. Vaughn insinuating that Imus' remarks stung her worse than her teammates? That her brand of suffering is greater than everyone else's? To the entire thinking world, Imus' comments were out of bounds. To the entire thinking world, the reputations of the players were actually enhanced as the incident progressed.
Why? Because a group of young women showed the world how to act with grace and dignity in the face of bigotry, even if it's masked in alleged humor.
Seriously: Is there any member of the thinking world who thought less of Kia Vaughn because of what Imus said?
Is there any member of the thinking world who actually remembers Kia Vaughn's name, now that this incident is four months old?
Ms. Vaughn's actions smack of greed, too, on top of all the irresponsibility. The lawsuit was filed, according to published reports, hours after Imus and CBS announced a settlement over Imus' threatened lawsuit.
Richard Ancowitz, Ms. Vaughn's lawyer, told USA Today that it was a complete coincidence that he filed the 49-page lawsuit on behalf of Ms. Vaughn the same day.
Shall we pause 10 seconds for station identification so you have time to laugh your ascot off before proceeding, or do you just want to go ahead anyway?
If Mr. Ancowitz ever wondered why the world thinks attorneys are the biggest clowns going this side of the media, he should refer to the words, complete coincidence.
You can disagree, or not, with the idea that Imus may be returning to the radio soon. It's not a surprise, given that he'll generate revenue that many others in his industry cannot. His contract was extended at CBS in the weeks before he was fired because he's a cash cow. He was fired because the same sponsors threatened to leave. So while the nation debated black and white, the issue here was mostly green.
And that's why Imus will return.
Ms. Vaughn and the Rutgers women would have entered the upcoming season as heroines and beacons. Instead, her decision to cheapen this with a lawsuit sullies the good name she mistakenly believes has been ruined.
Meanwhile, stay tuned for Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to chime in with support for Ms. Vaughn, saying this lawsuit is the best idea since remote control.
Obviously this editoral columnist does not agree with the lawsuit either. lol
We'll see... I see a settlement in the horizon, lol. Don Imus does not want to gamble with these odds. The momentum was on his side with the CBS lawsuit, but this time he is the one on the defensive.
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