Step Right Up For The Thursday Censorious Asshat Roundup

Politics & Current Events

Step right up, ladies and gentlemen! Three for the price of one! Tales of censorious douchebags that will thrill and amaze you!

First up, we have Dr. Randeep Dhillon! Dr. Dhillon is suing Jay Leno. Is he suing Jay Leno for being a trite, phone-it-in placeholder? NO! There's no California cause of action for that! SAG would never allow it! No, Randeep Dhillon is suing Jay Leno for a lame joke about Mitt Romney suggesting that his vacation home was the Golden Temple of Amritsar, a holy site for Sikhs! Dr. Dhillon says that by making this joke, Leno "exposes plaintiff, other sikhs and their religion to hatred, contempt, ridicule and obloquy because it falsely portrays the holiest place in the Sikh religion as a vacation resort owned by a non-Sikh." He's backed up by an Indian foreign affairs minister who says "freedom does not mean hurting the sentiments of others."

Congrats, Dr. Dhillon! You win a date with California's robust anti-SLAPP statute! You're going to pay Jay Leno's attorney fees in this case, which I will estimate to be $50,000! And because some people will generalize about Sikhs based on the act of one asshole — you — you've just done more to expose Sikhs to hatred, contempt, ridicule, and obloquy than that threadbare hack Leno ever could! Way to go!

Next, ladies and gentlemen, we travel North, to Canada, and the Fredericton, New Brunswick Police Department! The Fredericton Police just staged a eight-officer raid of the apartment of Charles LeBlanc! Is Charles LeBlanc breaking bad with a meth lab? Does he have children in cages? Is he a gun-runner? No! He's a blogger, and he's being raided for criminal libel for criticizing the Fredericton Police! That's right! The Fredericton Police Department not only thinks it is appropriate to serve search warrants on bloggers who say mean things to them, they think that they should execute the search warrants themselves, even though they are the alleged victims of the criminal libel! That's the New Professionalism in action, ladies and gents! Stand and be amazed!

And finally, across the pond, to England! Sally Morgan, purported psychic, is suing the Daily Mail for saying her psychic abilities are bunk! Her suit faults the Daily Mail for running columns exposing the ways that purported psychics con their audiences! Hey Sally — surely you don't need to conduct discovery in this case — you know all the answers to your questions already!

It's not faked, ladies and gentlemen! Freakish, yes! Difficult to believe, yes! Astounding, yes! But all of it real! Step right up and see!

Last 5 posts by Ken White

26 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Scott Jacobs  •  Jan 26, 2012 @1:34 pm

    Oh god, Mandy and I needed to hear this and we waste away in Pensylvania traffic…

  2. Lex  •  Jan 26, 2012 @1:45 pm

    Have I mentioned lately how much, in a vaguely horrible way, I enjoy the Censorious Asshat Roundup?

  3. Dustin  •  Jan 26, 2012 @2:36 pm

    "freedom does not mean hurting the sentiments of others."

    Except you don't really need legally protected freedom to say things no one gets upset about.

    "columns exposing the ways that purported psychics con their audiences!"

    It seems the class of person who would abuse the legal system to shut people up is the class of person who would con others out of their money. The Venn Diagram there is just a circle. I guess it's because of the sociopathy of compromising basic human rights.

  4. Goober  •  Jan 26, 2012 @2:39 pm

    Dr. Dhillon – allow me to introduce you to Barbara Streisand. She has an "effect" named after her that you are going to become acquainted with very shortly. Unfortunately, you might drag your brethren down with you.

    I love the idea of arresting a man for speech, and having the target of his speech be the one who is arresting him. Presumably, these are criminal charges being filed against this man? Holy hell on a stick, there is just so much wrong with that.

    And finally, the psychic. Young lady, has it occured to you that an article in a more or less unknown paper, printed ont he back page of section C that brings shame and ridicule to your trade is maybe something that you don't want to bring more attention to by filing a lawsuit? How many people read it, really? Now how many people know about it? Notice the big difference in the numbers you've just estimated? Ms. Psychic, Ms. Streisand. Ms. Streisand, Psychic. YOu two get to know each other now.

  5. SPQR  •  Jan 26, 2012 @6:48 pm

    "freedom does not mean hurting the sentiments of others."

    Yes. Yes, it does.

  6. Brian  •  Jan 26, 2012 @7:41 pm

    "It's not faked, ladies and gentlemen! Freakish, yes! Difficult to believe, yes! Astounding, yes! But all of it real! Step right up and see!"

    Yep. It's a cow fetus.

  7. VPJ  •  Jan 26, 2012 @8:52 pm

    As the students at Sam Houston might say (if the powers-that-be weren't also censorious asshats):

    FUCK DR. RANDEEP DHILLON

    FUCK THE FREDERICTON POLICE DEPARTMENT

    AND FUCK SALLY MORGAN (but I suspect she already knew that)

  8. Bruce  •  Jan 26, 2012 @8:59 pm
  9. Shylock Holmes  •  Jan 27, 2012 @12:41 am

    I'm fascinated by the psychic who is suing for defamation. Does this mean that she actually believes she is psychic, or merely that she has the chutzpah to file a lawsuit even though she knows she's a fraud?

    Frankly, it's hard to know which one is more disturbing.

  10. Turk  •  Jan 27, 2012 @5:36 am

    He's backed up by an Indian foreign affairs minister who says "freedom does not mean hurting the sentiments of others."

    The magic question: Is this a pro se suit or is he repped by counsel? Let's face it, if repped by counsel it is far worse, and the lawyer deserves more of the scorn than the actual litigant who may simply not know better. It's up to the lawyer to say no.

    I checked several other news sites looking for the actual pleadings, but didn't see it.

  11. Dustin  •  Jan 27, 2012 @6:31 am

    "merely that she has the chutzpah to file a lawsuit even though she knows she's a fraud?"

    That's what it is. It's so common for frauds to sue people in hopes they give up exposing truth.

    If you had magic powers, and someone said you didn't, wouldn't you just prove you had the powers? She can just win the powerball a few times and that would settle the matter.

  12. marco73  •  Jan 27, 2012 @6:46 am

    So this Dr Dhillon is going after Jay Leno? A comedian who is on network 5 nights a week?
    I'll bet Leno hopes that he loses. Forget Streisand. Can you imagine the comedy gold you can get out of having to apologize to this Dr?
    Bring out a bunch of lawyers, the dear Dr, and honored guests, and just let her rip. It could be a prime time special.

    Reminds me of an old story about Bob Hope. Years ago, when he was in vaudeville, he made a joke about how his hotel room was so small that the rats had to walk stooped over. The hotel management was furious and demanded an apology. The next night, with hotel management in attendance, Hope apologized:
    "Yesterday, I made a comment that my hotel room was so small that the rats had to walk stopped over. Well, they do not."

  13. VPJ  •  Jan 27, 2012 @3:21 pm

    And some new volunteers have added themselves to the fray:

    FUCK LABOUR PARTY MP'S VIRENDA SHARMA AND JOHN MCDONNELL

  14. Rich Rostrom  •  Jan 27, 2012 @5:23 pm

    Marco73: Rep. Thad Stevens (R-PA, 1849-1853,1859-1868) had a low opinion of fellow Keystone State Republican Simon Cameron. Lincoln appointed Cameron his first Secretary of War (because his managers had promised Cameron a Cabinet post for Pennsylvania's votes at the convention).

    Stevens expressed disgust, and someone asked him whether he thought Cameron was dishonest.

    Stevens answered "Well, he wouldn't steal a red-hot stove."

    Cameron heard about it and demanded Stevens withdraw the insult.

    "Very well," said Stevens. "I withdraw that statement."

  15. markm  •  Jan 28, 2012 @9:48 am

    "Does this mean that she actually believes she is psychic, or merely that she has the chutzpah to file a lawsuit even though she knows she's a fraud?"

    It's hardly unprecedented to sue for libel when the plaintiff knows the story is true and the general public sees it as something that does not require proof. Liberace at least twice sued for articles implying he was gay – he won in the UK and settled in the US, which was sufficient to keep other publications from going further than innuendos, which would only be understood by those who already thought he was gay.

    His rationale for suing was that his performances, including the choice of music, his exquisite manners, and his more-than-exquisite clothing, all worked together to draw in an audience of little old ladies. By his marketing analysis, little old ladies liked his ruffles, etc., and do not see a man dressed in ruffles as gay, but many of them would feel duty-bound to stay away from someone they *knew* was gay. So such articles could hurt Liberace professionally, even if they merely said what most Americans or Brits thought the first time they saw him all decked out for a performance.

    So he could prove damages, but libel also requires demonstrating disregard for the truth (even in the UK) – and I guess the publishers had no actual evidence that Liberace was gay, just pictures of him in "gay apparel". According to Wikipedia, he really was gay, but covered it up well for most of his life. Among other tactics, he dated sympathetic actresses from Mae West to Betty White as "beards". So all he needed to win was to perjure himself in the depositions and trial, and a jury of 12 little old ladies…

  16. markm  •  Jan 28, 2012 @10:02 am

    Goober: "I love the idea of arresting a man for speech, and having the target of his speech be the one who is arresting him."

    It happens all the time. Search Radley Balko's website for "contempt of cop". What makes this case stand out is that it's not a decision made by an individual cop in the heat of the moment, but a decision made in the office by higher officials (and a DA, I assume). So the decision makers are much more culpable and should be punished much more severely – but I expect they'll get 10 times the usual penalty for cops abusing their power – 10 x 0 = 0.

  17. C. S. P. Schofield  •  Jan 28, 2012 @10:11 pm

    I must say that I hope that twit Doctor IS represented by council. Preferably an expensive one smart enough to have told him; "I will bring this suit for you because I am your lawyer, but I want you to understand that we will not win. You are wasting my time and, therefore, your money."

    That way the idiot gets to pay TWO lawyers' bills.

  18. mojo  •  Jan 30, 2012 @11:48 am

    Eight cops, for a "criminal libel" raid? What no SWAT-style forcible entry? The guy didn't get his ass accidentally filled with lead?

    You're not TRYING, guys…

  19. Hasdrubal  •  Jan 31, 2012 @12:33 pm

    I'm curious if the psychic would qualify for tortious interference with her business? Isn't it possible to run afoul of that one even if what you say is true, so long as you intended to interfere with the other person's income?

  20. Ophelia Benson  •  Jan 31, 2012 @4:34 pm

    Hah. I'm very late finding out about this Golden Temple nonsense, so I made sure to come here to see if you'd said anything about it. Should have known without looking! But honestly, have you ever seen anything so stupid…

  21. IGotBupkis, Three Time Winner of the Silver Sow Award  •  Feb 2, 2012 @9:03 pm

    You missed
    ACTA, dude.

    They couldn't get SOPA/PIPA passed, so now they're going to try the treaty route, which will make us all subject to upholding "international agreements" that they couldn't get passed through WIPO, the organization which is SUPPOSED to handle this kind of issue.

  22. IGotBupkis, Three Time Winner of the Silver Sow Award  •  Feb 2, 2012 @11:33 pm

    "freedom does not mean hurting the sentiments of others."

    Yes. Yes, it does.

    Indeed:

    "[A] function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve its high purpose when it indices a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with things as they are, or even stirs people to anger. Speech is often provocative and challenging.
    It may strike at prejudices and preconceptions and have profound unsettling effects as it presses for understanding."

    SCotUS Justice Potter Stewart
    Source:Free Speech and Political Protest [Marvin Summers], 1967

    If you don't understand Mr. Stewart's point, you need to do some real thinking and asking for others to try and help you understand it.

    Whether you believe in AGW or not, do you really want to allow someone else to tell you you cannot press for your belief in its truth value to others? That may be fine and dandy if the suppression is in favor of your views… but you cannot control that part, only enable the suppression:

    “The only social order in which freedom of speech is secure is the one in which it is secure for everyone… and, as those who call for censorship in the name of the oppressed ought to recognize, it is never the oppressed who determine the bounds of the censorship. Their power is limited to legitimizing the idea of censorship.”

    – Aryeh Neier -

    "PC" is an evil, pernicious meme –

    The populist authoritarianism that is the downside of political correctness means that anyone, sometimes it seems like everyone, can proclaim their grief and have it acknowledged. The victim culture, every sufferer grasping for their own Holocaust, ensures that anyone who feels offended can call for moderation, for dilution, and in the end, as is all too often the case, for censorship. And censorship, that by-product of fear – stemming as it does not from some positive agenda, but from the desire to escape our own terrors and superstitions by imposing them on others – must surely be resisted.

    ~Jonathon Green, "Did You Say 'Offensive?',"

  23. Alan  •  Feb 17, 2012 @8:39 am

    And a contributor for next week's roundup- Idaho billionaire and anti-gay activist fundraiser for Romney sues everyone who has ever written about him.

    http://www.salon.com/2012/02/17/billionaire_romney_donor_uses_threats_to_silence_critics/

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