Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Anna Nicole's Companion Files Suit Over Her Mother's Lawyer's Remarks

Howard K. Stern, Anna Nicole Smith's companion and attorney, has filed a defamation suit over statements made by Virgie Arthur's attorney. Mr. Stern alleges that those remarks amount to claims that he was the cause of Ms. Smith's death. Read more in an story here. Meanwhile, Ms. Arthur continues to fight for either custody or visitation (it's not entirely clear which) in the matter of Dannielynn Marshall Smith, Ms. Smith's child by Larry Birkhead, and baby Dannielynn may still be a contender for the share of the fortune that Ms. Smith claimed in the estate of J. Howard Marshall at the time of her death in February.

April 14, 2007 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Is Civility Gone For Good?

Just as we consider the question of civility on radio (and television) in the wake of the Don Imus case, the Kathy Sierra situation raises some of the same kinds of issues. Kathy Sierra writes a technology blog, which she has abandoned, at least temporarily, because of some extremely uncivil attacks, including some death threats. Here's a link to an article from's Technology Chronicles discussing the case. Now being debated is a proposed code of conduct for bloggers. Should anonymous comments be banned all together? Only in certain circumstances? The code being discussed would make site owners take responsibility for the level of discourse on their sites. See an article in yesterday's Globe and Mail.

April 13, 2007 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Rutgers Coach: Team Has Accepted Apology

Vivian Stringer, the coach for the Rutgers women's basketball team insulted by former radio DJ Don Imus, has announced that the team has accepted Mr. Imus' apology, tendered last night at the New Jersey Governor's mansion. Meanwhile, Mr. Imus' wife took over for him on the radio show and briefed listeners on his reaction and feelings to the pain he has caused, saying,"He feels awful". She also indicated that members of the team had been receiving "hate emails" and told listeners that such behavior must stop. Read an AP story and get a video link here from the MSNBC website.

April 13, 2007 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

CBS Fires Radio Host

CBS has fired Don Imus, the radio show host who used a racial slur in referring to the Rutgers' women's basketball team last week. The firing comes on the heels of MSNBC's decision to drop simulcasts of Mr. Imus' show, and on widespread defections by advertisers from the show. Read more here and here.

April 12, 2007 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Pennsylvania Station Fires DJ For Urging Listeners To Repeat Imus Comments

Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, radio station WSBG-FM has fired morning show DJ Gary Smith for asking listeners to call in and repeat Don Imus' objectionable comments about the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Mr. Smith's bosses reviewed his behavior and then decided to terminate his employment because the behavior was intentional. Read more here.

April 12, 2007 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

MSNBC Announces It Will No Longer Broadcast Imus Show

MSNBC announced late today that it has cancelled simultaneous broadcast of "Imus in the Morning." In addition, several advertisers have cancelled sponsorship of the show. Read more here (CNN story)and here (link to MSNBC video).

April 11, 2007 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Don Imus, Rutgers Team, To Meet

MSNBC is announcing that the women's Rutgers basketball team has agreed to meet suspended radio host Don Imus, presumably to hear an apology from him in person. Here's a link to an MSNBC story; video also provided.

April 10, 2007 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 9, 2007

British Ministry of Defense Reverses Course

After outraged reaction over its earlier decision, the Ministry of Defense has reversed its earlier decision and forbidden those recently released sailors and Marines from selling their stories in the press. At least two of the former captives, Faye Tunney, the only woman held hostage, and Arthur Batchelor, reportedly have received payment for interviews. Read more here.

April 9, 2007 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

MSNBC Drops Imus Show For Two Weeks

NBC News President Steve Capus announced that MSNBC would suspend simultaneous broadcast of the Don Imus radio show for two weeks in response to Mr. Imus' objectionable remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team made a few days ago. Read more here.

April 9, 2007 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Real Estate Tycoon Buys Tribune Company

Chicagoan Sam Zell, Chair of the Board of Equity International, has prevailed over other suitors in a bid to purchase the troubled Tribune Company. Mr. Zell, who made his fortune in real estate, is a University of Michigan Law School graduate. The deal is reported to have cost him something like $8.2 billion. Read more here in a New York Times article and here on Equity International's website.

April 9, 2007 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Australian AG: David Hicks Can't Sell Story

The AP reports that the Australian Attorney General has determined that Guantanamo detainee and now convicted felon David Hicks will not be able to sell his story once he returns home. Mr. Hicks is subject to a 2002 law called the Proceeds of Crime Act.

April 9, 2007 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Former Hostages Can Sell Stories

The British Ministry of Defense has cleared the way for the 15 Royal Marines and Navy members to sell the stories of their captivity to interested media. Read more in a BBC story here. One apparently has already done so. Read more in a Globe and Mail story here (registration may be required--free).

April 9, 2007 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Update on Conrad Black Trial

Here's an update on the Conrad Black trial from the Globe and Mail (registration may be required--free).

April 9, 2007 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)