San Diego Union-Tribune Threatens San Diego Reader With A Lawsuit

The San Diego Reader, as any good alt-weekly should, casts a critical eye on the large daily paper with which they share a city. When that large daily paper has been purchased by billionaires with no publishing experience, the alt-weekly has that much more reason to pay attention. And when sexual harassment lawsuits filed against the paper’s owners come to light, the little alt-weekly has an obligation to report.

The daily in question, San Diego Union-Tribune, doesn’t agree. They hired attorney Martin Singer, aka “mad dog”, to dissuade the Reader from publishing a story that references sexual harassment cases filed against the company that owns the Union-Tribune. The Reader published the story today anyway, along with the strongly worded letter they received from Singer, which threatened the paper with “immense monetary damages.”

From the Reader’s intro to the lawyer’s letter:

“I have never heard of one newspaper threatening another regarding the publication of any material, whether it was allegedly privileged or not,” says Wayne B. Giampietro, a First Amendment lawyer for Stitt, Klein, Daday, Aretos & Giampietro of Rolling Meadows, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. “I know of no basis on which an attorney can write a threatening letter to some party he does not represent and then [contend] that the recipient cannot quote from the letter. All of this sounds like a very clumsy attempt at intimidation.”

found via Romenesko