We get mail.
Cease and Desist Letter for Defamation of Character and Libeling
Diamond & Silk
7711 S. Raeford Rd. Suite 102-171
Fayetteville, NC 28304
Date: August 27, 2019
Attn: Frances Langum, Crooks and Liars blogger
Reference: Slanderous Article Referencing Diamond and Silk: "Diamond And Silk Wonder Why
Only Trumpers Get Backlash For Racism Fox and Friends has their two black friends, Diamond
and Silk, on the couch to talk about race and fairness."—August 22, 2019
Dear Frances Langum/Crooks and Liars Administrator:
It has come to our attention that Crooks and Liars blogger Frances Langum have
made Untruthful & Deceptive statements about Diamond and Silk and/or the Diamond &
Silk brand that are both false and misleading. The besmirch statement (s) constitute
slander (or libel if in writing) since they defame the name and reputation of the
Diamond & Silk brand.
We demand that you immediately cease and desist from deliberately and maliciously
making these false and slanderous (or libelous) statements which include, but are not
limited to, the following:
"Silk ignored every single detail of the "controversy" in calling for fairness
toward Trump supporters. Apparently, being a racist is just one more
"opinion" that people should tolerate. "Silk" actually said this: "Why is it that
Trump supporters have to get backlash? What happened to equal rights for
all?" Why can't people just let other people be racist? says the black friend of
Fox and Friends." (Said article deliberately and maliciously slandered and
defamed Diamond and Silk and the Diamond and Silk brand by associating
their name with racist rhetoric with malicious intent)
You (Crooks and Liars blogger Frances Langum/Crooks and Liars Administrator) have
24 hours to remove and delete this article and any related videos or pictures via Twitter,
FB Post, URL, Social Media Sites, Emails and any other sources used to circulate and
spread misleading, unverified and falsified information as it pertains to Diamond and
Silk and the Diamond and Silk brand etc.
If you (Crooks and Liars blogger Frances Langum/Crooks and Liars Administrator)
continue to deliberately and maliciously create, fabricate and display slanderous
statements and videos, our Team will have no choice but to take the appropriate legal
steps to protect the reputation of the Diamond and Silk and the Diamond & Silk brand,
including seeking relief in a court of law for monetary damages.
This notice is not to be made public via online sources or any other sources in any
manner. This notice serves as your final notice to cease and desist!
Diamond and Silk Legal Team
I'm so sorry that it took us a month to "make public via online sources or any other sources in any
manner" this delightful exercise in pretend lawyering. It took us almost a month to stop laughing.
Once I caught my breath, I immediately added "crafter of besmirch statements" to my curriculum vitae. Winning!
The post in question (which has -- spoiler -- not been taken down) shows the above video of Diamond and Silk on Fox and Friends and comments on the content of their speech. Diamond and Silk, sadly, are public figures appearing on a cable news show for the purpose of promoting their "brand."
New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964), was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that the freedom of speech protections in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution restrict the ability of American public officials to sue for defamation. Specifically, it held that if a plaintiff in a defamation lawsuit is a public official or person running for public office, not only must he or she prove the normal elements of defamation—publication of a false defamatory statement to a third party—he or she must also prove that the statement was made with "actual malice", meaning that the defendant either knew the statement was false or recklessly disregarded whether or not it was true.
Since the decision's issuance in 1964, the Supreme Court has extended its higher legal standard for defamation to all "public figures", beginning with the 1967 case Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts. Because of the high burden of proof on the plaintiff these decisions require and the difficulty of proving the defendant's real knowledge, it is now extremely difficult for a public figure to win a defamation lawsuit in the United States.
The fact that Diamond and Silk themselves admit in their cease and desist letter that they are a "brand" will make it very very difficult for them to claim that they are not "public figures" under the law. Also being regulars on Fox and Friends *might* hurt their case a little.
I have already given Diamond and Silk more and better legal advice than the so-called "legal team" that allegedly typed the PDF document emailed to the wrong address. My gift to you, Diamond and Silk!
Then there's the little fact that Crooks and Liars posts videos of people saying things and then commenting on that video. The post which Diamond and Silk's "legal team" wants us to take down is exactly that format. A video. Diamond and Silk saying stuff on that video. My comment and opinion about what they said. (To reiterate, I think they enable Trump's racism by defending him on Fox.)
One important note about our coverage of Diamond and Silk: I'm a white woman. I don't have the right as a white person to decide or declare that Diamond and Silk are in any way "traitors to their race." I always try to include tweets from people of color concerning the behavior of Diamond and Silk. There is a very good on-topic article, recommended, on the subject from Clifford Thompson: Dear white people: Stop using the term ‘Uncle Tom’ I have never, myself, referred to Diamond and Silk in that manner. I have, in the past, included tweets from people of color leveling criticisms along those lines.
Finally, the letter demands that we not make their letter public via online sources. Oops.
Hey, maybe they can ask a judge to keep his dismissal of their case private, as well. Ask your "legal team," Diamond and Silk!
UPDATE: An alert reader googled the address of their "legal team" -- it's a Qwik Pack and Ship mailbox place in a strip mall. Saul Goodman eat your heart out!