For the past 10 years, [Lynn] Vincent has been working for the Christian-based World magazine, from which she took time off to work on Palin's book. She is a creationist and strongly anti-abortion, the subject of many of her World columns.Et cetera, et cetera, the repetition of the Ransom Note Method, based upon . . . well, what, really? What is your authority for this assertion that I am either "well-known" or a "white supremacist," let alone a "well-known white supremacist"? Do you believe everything you read on the Internet, Mr. Horne?
She is also staunchly anti-gay, backing the controversial vote to re-criminalise gay marriage in California, and - this is where Palin and her publishers might have drawn the line, but didn't - she is closely associated with a well-known white supremacist.
So far as I am aware, sir, you never contacted me in an attempt to verify the content of your article. Nor am I aware that you have spoken to any of my family, friends, neighbors or colleagues.
While I am not litigious by nature -- my views being rather Jacksonian in that regard -- perhaps Governor Palin, Mrs. Vincent and their publishers have different views. It is my understanding that British libel law is far more inclined toward the plaintiffs than is true here in the United States, especially for "public figures" as covered under the U.S. Sullivan precedent.
Should Mrs. Vincent retain the services of a British attorney, I suspect that your publisher would be advised to settle the suit at any sum asked, as it would be quite impossible to prove that Mrs. Vincent is "closely associated with a well-known white supremacist," which I most assuredly am not, no matter what any particular idiot has published to that effect or how often it has been repeated.
Think of the cost to your publisher, Felix Dennis, of flying Charles Johnson, Michelangelo Signorile, Rachel Maddow, et al., to London for a libel trial, sir. Ask yourself how such witnesses might stand up under cross-examination, or what witnesses might be called to attest to the plaintiffs' good character and goodwill vis-a-vis harmonious, free and peaceful race relations.
Here in the United States, we have enshrined in the Fifth Amendment of our Constitution an ancient principle of English common law, whereby the fact that I have not chosen publicly to address any specific defamatory accusation against me cannot be taken as evidence that the undenied accusation is true.
Were it otherwise, every citizen would be compelled constantly to disprove any malicious thing said or written about them, lest it be considered to be fact that, for example, Nigel Horne is a notorious syphilitic poofter.
What accusation of secret vice might the executive editor of The First Post be compelled to deny or repudiate? Nigel Horne is a pedophile, who buggers boy prostitutes while on holiday in Phuket? Nigel Horne is a pornography freak, whose hard-drive is crammed full of the most vile photos and videos imaginable? Nigel Horne is a heroin addict, who supports his habit by embezzling from his employers?
You see there is no end to the mischief that might ensue if journalists were to adopt a habit of recklessly repeating accusations that the accused would then be required to disprove.
Having worked since 1986 as a professional journalist, my acquaintance with the principles of the craft -- including the avoidance of malicious libel -- is such that I am frankly horrified at the heinous malpractice by which you disgrace your employer and yourself.
Allow me to suggest that it is high time you sought treatment for that syphilis infection, Mr. Horne.
Robert Stacy McCain