Daily Mail’s Martosko Cleared of Libel Claim

In mid-March, Mother Jones jabbed then-Daily Caller‘s Executive Editor and current Daily Mail U.S. Political Editor David Martosko with news of a libel lawsuit. Well, today the good folks over at MJ can read the following ruling and weep as the case has been dismissed by a unanimous 5-0 ruling in New York.

As reported by Mother Jones, Martosko admitted to using a fake Facebook profile to pose as a “dope-smoking commie” to gather info on animal rights activists. The defamation suit involved Human League of Philadelphia, Inc. Vs. Martosko, Rick Berman, his former employer, the anti-progressive PR shop, Berman & Company and the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF).  The suit centered on an ad* he helped create for CCF that was published in the NYT in 2008. The ad in question claimed that the Humane Society of the United States sent one of its vice presidents to speak at a fundraiser for an animal rights group linked to federal terrorism convictions. The suit claimed Berman and Company libeled that group.

” … given defendants’ detailed and far more specific documentary evidence and testimony, plaintiff’s claims are too vague and speculative to defeat defendants’ motion [for dismissal].”

” … defendant David Martosko wrote the ad and stated his belief in the veracity of the statements therein, and submitted documentation corroborating his beliefs.”

” … the court and plaintiff cite no facts suggesting that defendants had serious doubts about the truth of any of the statements, in 2008 or any other year.”

“Martosko’s good faith reliance on newspaper articles precludes a finding of actual malice.”

*See the ad after the jump…

Martosko told FishbowlDC…“Some activists in the animal rights industry are more vicious, and more litigious, than anyone else in Washington,” said Martosko in reaction to the ruling. “But we knew we were right, and my research was solid. I wouldn’t be where I am if I was into cutting corners.”