Lose A Primary, File A Lawsuit

Unsuccessful Florida senate candidate Jeff Greene is threatening to sue The St. Petersburg Times and the Miami Herald for libel based on stories they ran during his failed campaign. One Times article ties Greene to some shady California real estate deals. Another describes some wild times on Green’s yacht, courtesy of Green’s best man Mike Tyson (not making that up). Apparently the story originally reported that Tyson used drugs on Green’s yacht, but that apparently was inaccurate. This video makes Green look pretty serious, and he has apparently retained the lawyer who represented Richard Jewell in his battles following the allegedly shoddy reporting following the Atlanta Olympic bombings in 1996. But Green may find this litigation even tougher than his Senate campaign. He’s a public figure, which means he not only has to prove the things said about him were false, he needs to show that the reporter knew they were false or recklessly avoided the truth. It’s a standard that makes it hard for guys like Greene to win, but it’s absolutely necessary to protect the free flow of information. A lesser standard would almost certainly lead to important stories never seeing the light of day. And one word of free advice to Mr. Greene. While Mike Tyson may have been a great best man, you might want to think about using just about anybody else as a character witness.