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As part of an ongoing effort to blur the truth, The Washington Times just published a "hit piece" against Amazon Watch, which has long supported the Ecuadorian communities that were devastated by decades of Chevron's reckless actions for which it has been found guilty in a landmark environmental lawsuit.
Despite the settlement, at least two legal lessons can be taken away from the case: 1) Sensational tabloid covers, replete with screaming headlines juxtaposed next to photographs, can indeed be defamatory; and 2) tiny cover-page disclaimers won't always get tabloids like the New York Post off the hook.
This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in New York Times v. Sullivan, perhaps the most important First Amendment case in American history. In the words of the great First Amendment scholar Alexander Meiklejohn, the decision was "an occasion for dancing in the streets." Why was Sullivan so important?