Wednesday, October 29, 2003



Donald Luskin is threatening to file a libel suit against Atrios for comments made on his boards and for calling Luskin a "stalker."

Funny thing about that. Luskin himself says he "stalked" Krugman.

What's especially bizarre about this case is the spectacle of a guy who makes his living making personal attacks on a respected economist -- many of which, frankly, border on the libelous -- turning around and suing someone for being critical of his behavior. Then again, we've always known that conservatives can dish it out, but can't take it.

Luskin has just proven definitively that he has no business being a blogger himself. He has earned a complete freezeout from the rest of the blogosphere -- because, of course, we now all run the risk of being sued by the guy for even mentioning his name or opining on his work, not to mention allowing others to comment on it. Anyone who links to this cretin henceforth should be shunned as well.

For what it's worth, I have extensive experience with nuisance lawsuits like this; as Atrios himself notes, these kinds of things are a common way for right-wingers to harass and intimidate their critics. I've been subjected to similar threats multiple times over the course of my career, all of them on equally specious grounds.

It does mean that Atrios is going to have to go out and hire a reasonably good libel lawyer to file a response, which will cost money in itself. I trust he'll set up a defense fund, and all of Blogville ought to chip in to fight this one. Moreover, if Luskin does manage to learn his identity, and then reveals it, Atrios himself will have ample grounds for a countersuit.

I'm fairly confident Atrios will find that he will only need for his lawyer to file a reasonable response (which won't be difficult) concluding with the note: "We look forward to discovery."

I don't think I've ever heard back from my would-be harassers (the list includes a former U.S. senator) after those letters.

[Edited to correct status of threatened suit.]

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