Has anyone survived the media trial? Especially when it is related to an entity who has served the media for more than half of his life?
The judge of the US District Court for the District of New York, Naomi Reice Buchwald issued a summon and order concerning the case of Barstool Sports v. Michael Rapaport for summary judgments, which provided the defendant’s motion to levitate all the defamation and fraud counts from Rapaport.
The 64-page memorandum was somewhere between the most enjoyable document and the most difficult to comprehend order that the federal court judge ever had issued. The statement is made after acknowledging that the document is laced with rich profanity progressions and vulgar images.
This had to be done by the federal judge as it was important to recall the salient realities from the past.
Apparently, the analysis of interesting defamation begins with the cause of actions that were taken to defame the defendant on page 29 of the issued memorandum. Rapaport’s actions were based on almost 80 statements in which Buchwald and the defendants mentioned that not a single statement is actionable at all.
The statements contain the accusation in which Michael Rapaport was mentioned as racist, a hack, a fraud, a wannabe, an abuser to his ex-girlfriend, and a herpes patient.
A basic option to elude from the liability for a defendant against a defamatory statement is to demonstrate that the statement has no virtue and has been made based on personal opinion.
According to the New York law, the criminal court would decide whether the statements that show defamatory opinions are understood as an assertion of facts and also refer to accuracy. On the other hand, the court has to focus on the context overall in which the assertions have been made to identify if the statements are conveying the facts or opposing the opinions of the plaintiff.
The decision from the judge came as a summary judgment and the 64-page decision reflected the complexity of the case more than the complexity of a legal issue.
It all started in 2014 when Michael Rapaport managed to outspread his brand to a podcast – namely, I AM Rapaport, that was aired by CBS radio. Three years after that, Barstool Sports company hired Michael Rapaport for the video ‘rants,’ which was posted online. In return, Rapaport shared revenue with the Barstool and made hundreds of thousands of dollars along with the talent agreement that Barstool would make efforts to launch Rapaport’s show on SiriusXM.
The business relationship didn’t last more than 8 months. Barstool employees and Rapaport got into the cold war over social media. Plenty of bragging and defaming memes started to overflew on the internet. Eventually, a tweet shared by Rapaport to insult the fan base of Barstool became the last nail in the coffin, and Rapaport was thrown out of the talent agreement by the board of directors.
The judge stated that the evidence of the tweet demonstrated the disrepute of Barstool in the public and made Barstool terminate the agreement, where a form of agreement (contract) is a fact that must be heard by the jury through a trial. Judge Buchwald, also directed the jury to see whether Barstool made the efforts to offer Rapaport a show on SiriusXM.
This highlighted Buchwald’s decision with the concerns of defamation claims. That included a racist, a hack, an abuser, and a liar.
The next statement (often in humorous meme forms) showed Rapaport with herpes, committing abuse to his ex, and being a stalker. In simpler words, the statements were more than opinions. Where every statement was based on opinions that can be of Barstool sports and could be proved right or wrong.
But because of the evidence that Rapaport had introduced – a negative test report of herpes proved that he never was into stalking and abusive relationships and just stalking doesn’t equate to defamation.
Continuing with the judgment, the judge stated that the statements were loaded with vulgarities, epithets, hyperbole, and non-literal imagery languages that were delivered in front of the public. It is obvious to a casual reader that everything is an acrimonious rivalry between the Barstool defendant and Rapaport, which was publicized on an array of platforms, including radio, blogs, social media sites, etc.
Barstool is covered by the attorneys Ricardo Cestero, Steve Stein, and Aaron Moss whereas, the Rapaport side is being held by Richard Busch.
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