Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Sugar, Feb 11, 2013.
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Posted yesterday in the Plushenko fan thread in the Trash Can:
Why would all those people really do this whole scenario of back surgery that's fake? Lol.
Of course what Plushy has really accomplished is bringing more attention to the commentator.
Does this constitute libel in the legal sense? Paging our in-house lawyer. I don't expect a comment on the Russian law, US law would be fine.
I'm not a lawyer, and as pointed out, libel is defined very differently in many places. I asked my in-house media law resource (Mr. Overedge, who asks me to point out that he too is not a lawyer and knows nothing about Russian libel/slander law), and here's what he says:
- Whether it's libel might depend on whether the commentator actually phoned all the hospitals himself and verified first-hand that Plushenko was or wasn't registered as a patient, i.e. did due diligence to back up his claims. If he relied on reports from other media without verifying those reports, that usually isn't a sufficient defense.
- It also might depend on whether the commentator contacted Plushenko's reps and asked them for their side of the story, before saying what he said.
- It could also depend on how the comments were phrased. Saying "Plushenko is a liar" could be libellous. Saying something like "Plushenko is not registered in any hospitals and this causes me to question what Plushenko is saying" could be interpreted as fair comment, not libel.
- And in most libel cases, the person suing has to show that there was some damage to their reputation in the eyes of the public, and usually that the damage resulted in some measurable harm to them (e.g. losing their job). Plushenko might have to show that the commentator's remarks e.g. caused him not to be booked for ice shows or not be chosen to go to competitions.
ETA: The headline of this thread is a little misleading. It may be different in Russia, but libel is not usually a criminal act where the police or the state lay charges. If Plushenko wants someone to be "charged" with libel, he will probably have to sue the person himself.
If he can create enough hassle for the reporter and the paper, he might be able to put a little libel chill on some of the nastier sports reporters for the future, which would not necessarily be a bad thing. Some of them go so far as to rival theatre critics. I doubt if he could cause some posters on fan sites to think before they post, but wouldn't it be nice if he could?
In the US, for a public figure to recover for defamation (libel or slander), there also has to be a showing of malice ... which in these cases is defined that either the reporter knew that the report was false, or, had absolutely no reasonable basis for thinking it true. That reporter relied on Israeli media reports that no one with Plushy's name was registered in any hospital may be enough to show that there was no malice.
If I am not mistaken, the criminalization of libel was first abolished under Medvedev to be reintroduced last year under Putin, although I am not sure of the specifics of the new law
I've just watched 4CC Ladies FS on Russian Eurosport 2 and whilst LI Zijun was landing difficult combinations incredibly well, Zhurankov was talking and talking and talking saying that he's gonna get sued and explaining himself. I don't speak Russian so I have no clue what he actually said. Any Russian posters heard this and could help?
I really hope this lawsuit gets thrown out by the courts. What Zhurankov said was incredibly stupid but I don't think that stupidity should be a crime.
Is there a clip to Zijun's program on Russian Eurosport? I volunteer to translate tonight after work. I am surprised they didn't force feed you Russian in Poland, Ziggy.
Thanks for the post. I think this would be key in a US court.
There you go: LI Zijun - 4CC FS (Russian Eurosport 2)
That ended in 1989.
Well some schools still had Russian because you had all those Russian teachers that you had to give some work to not mine.
I'm not sure you can get that sort of information by calling up Israeli hospitals - "excuse me, is so and so a patient at your hospital getting treatment for this or that"? It's not the sort of information you'd find online, either. I'm pretty sure patients would be entitled to privacy, and their information would not be shared without their consent. So even if there were such reports in the local media (and if there were, it was only in Russian-language sources, not the Hebrew-language ones) it means nothing.
If the facts reported are true, I hope Plushenko wins. Accusing someone of faking their very real medical issues as a publicity stunt seems pretty libelous to me. It would have been different if he's wondered (but not outright stated) if maybe Plushenko and his camp were overstating the extent of the injury, but to accuse him of lying, faking it and malingering, based on no real evidence and an attempt at violation of privacy (medical confidentiality, no less) is out of line.
ETA - here is the relevant information regarding the Israeli Patient's Rights Law:
Somehow I don't think Plushenko sent that waiver to the people investigating his hospitalization.
Wasn't it Mishin who told journalists that Todd Eldredge faked dislocating his shoulder during the warmup at one of the Worlds to get out of competing? I guess what goes around comes around.
I don't see the point of the article anyway. Does anyone doubt that Plushenko has back problems after all of his years of competing? Why would he need to fake anything?
How is that even relevant?
1) Two wrongs don't make a right, unless you're 5 year old.
2) Mishin and Plushenko are two different people.
According to Plushenko "...Zhurankov slandered and insulted not only me, than also my entire team, including a genius coach Alexei Mishin,...." Plushenko is suing on behalf of his team not just himself. My point is that his team has employed the same tactics, so why is he so shocked and insulted?
I agree with Aliceanne that if you dish it out, you should be prepared to take it because it's inevitably coming back your way - that applies to Mishin.
That said, if Plushenko went through all that pain and surgery, I can see why he's furious at the comments - I'd be furious too. Let's hope he is telling the absolute truth (I have no reason to doubt him) and that he gets an apology as that was a low blow, as was Mishin's to Eldredge.
Because two wrongs don't make a right and because Plushenko is not responsible for what Mishin says.
Does this really matter in the country in question?
And journalists should be able to investigate, past the privacy that would stop a common person, shouldn't they?
I'm surprised no one thought Russia is a very peculiar country. Not exactly waving the human right flag. And the two most sore points would exactly be press freedom and courts.
I don't really care if Plushenko's right. The interest of the country and the rest of the world would very much be to let go.
On one side there's important stuff, that affects everyone's everyday life, including the economy. On the other side there's a man who's already blessed on his own and whose life would barely register a court victory.
When it comes to patient confidentiality - no, what would you have him do? I don't think that it should be expected that a journalist trick hospital staff to get information.
Not to get ahead of anyone but on the clip during Chinese girl's long Zhurankov said that altough he have always supported Plushenko and was one of his fans he is not taking his words back. He thinks there is too much PR around him not related to sport and that's all he meant.. Hope that helps..
I assume Plushenko would totally embarrass the Eurosport commentator and would dispel all suspicions if he publicly produced some papers proving that he was indeed admitted in that Israeli hospital and that he did undergo surgery there. Public apologies from the commentator would be enough for me and I would try to forget the whole story. It's not worth a lawsuit IMO.
Because pictures of him with a catheter that Yana tweeted just aren't enough for you?
misskarne, those pictures were definitely enough for me but it seems they were not enough for the Eurosport commentator. Or some of the Israeli media who said no patient named Plushenko had been registered with any Israeli hospital.
Interesting! So he's not apologising and retracting!
No. Did I say it did?
Here's a translation of Ziggy's link:
At this point Li does a 3 lutz and he calls it.
What a steaming pile of BS.
Basically, "I said he faked it and now I'm in trouble so I'm gonna throw it all on his camp and say they misinterpreted it when really it was plain as day what I said."