Taylor Swift’s Attorney Rebuked Over Letter Demanding Article’s Retraction : The Two-Way : NPR

Taylor Swift performing in February in Houston.

John Shearer/Getty Images for DIRECTV


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John Shearer/Getty Images for DIRECTV

Taylor Swift performing in February in Houston.

John Shearer/Getty Images for DIRECTV

Just 4 days earlier than the discharge of her latest album, a letter from Taylor Swift’s lawyer demanding web site retract and delete an article essential of Swift has drawn a pointy (but additionally winking) rebuke from the American Civil Liberties Union.

A letter dated October 25 and addressed to Meghan Herning, the manager editor of a small California weblog named PopFront, claimed that the positioning’s article titled “Swiftly to the alt-right: Taylor subtly gets the lower case kkk in formation” was defamatory and that if it was not retracted and eliminated, “Ms. Swift is prepared to proceed with litigation,” in accordance with a duplicate of it made public by the ACLU.

(The letter’s creator, lawyer William J. Briggs II, didn’t reply to a request confirming its authenticity, nor did a Swift consultant reply to a request confirming that Briggs represents Swift.)

The article in query — which veers between Kanye West’s interruption of Swift at an awards present, the appropriation of Swift by white nationalists, the eugenics motion of the early 20th century, World War II and American silence towards the Nazi Party and the lyrics of Swift’s latest single “Look What You Made Me Do” — finally argues that Swift’s perceived silence on political points “is not innocent, it is calculated.” The article argues that by not tacitly embracing progressive politics, Swift “could well be construed as her lending support to the voices rising against embracing diversity and inclusion emblematic of Trump supporters.”

The article’s rhetorical veracity will not be the purpose for the ACLU, nevertheless — solely that PopFront was stating an opinion about Swift, not baderting any details.

In its response, the ACLU of Northern California writes that “Ms. Herning and PopFront will not in any way accede” to the calls for. Swift is a public determine — because the ACLU explains — a designation which provides critics and journalists broad protections in what they’ll legally write about these figures. Anyone suing for defamation on behalf of a public determine should show each that the author they’re suing printed false info and was conscious beforehand it was false and printed it anyway. As effectively, opinion is, by definition, not defamation.

The ACLU writes that Briggs’ letter, a “threat” in accordance with PopFront, doesn’t convincingly argue that the weblog purposefully defamed Swift. “Criticism is never pleasant, but a celebrity has to shake it off, even if the critique may damage her reputation,” reads the ACLU’s letter — shoehorning in two references, to Swift’s upcoming album Reputation and her 2014 hit “Shake It Off,” in a single sentence.

In his letter, Briggs factors to 2 cases which appear to undercut any connection between Swift and far-right political actions. He refers to a Washington Post story with none Swift remark that claims there isn’t any motive to badume she is a neo-Nazi; he additionally quotes one in every of Swift’s attorneys as saying it was protected to say “the singer is not amused” by the allegations. Briggs’ cease-and-desist itself may presumably be taken as a 3rd denial.

In a PopFront publish on Monday, each Broadly, a Vice vertical “devoted to representing the multiplicity of women’s experiences,” and Complex Media have been cited as publishing comparable articles addressing the alt-right’s appropriation of Swift. Requests to each asking whether or not they had obtained comparable letters from Swift’s attorneys weren’t instantly returned.

Reputation, Swift’s sixth studio album, is out on Nov. 10.


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