BOOK NOTE: THE LIBEL GAME: SUING THE PRESS. By Rodney A. Smolla. 1 Skip over navigation
LexisNexis® Browse Law Reviews and Treatises
Skip over navigation
Sign in with your® ID to access the full text of this article.
Order the full text of this article if you do not have a® ID.
US $22.00 (+ tax)

Copyright 1987 The Harvard Law Review Association.

Harvard Law Review



New York: Oxford University Press. 1986. Pp. 277. $ 18.95. Paperback $ 8.95.


101 Harv. L. Rev. 555


In recent years, Carol Burnett has sued the National Enquirer for $ 10 million for implying that she was drunk in a Washington restaurant, 2 General William Westmoreland has sued CBS for $ 120 million for accusing him of underreporting enemy strength during the Vietnam War, 3 and former Senator Paul Laxalt has sued the Sacramento Bee for $ 250 million for linking him to a grand jury investigation of casino operators in Nevada. 4 Public figures are quick to file suit in response to media portrayals that range from the horrible to the ridiculous -- from former Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon's suit against Time for its "blood libel" in implying that he approved the 1982 Christian Phalangist massacre of civilians at two Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut 5 to Miss Wyoming's suit against Penthouse for a "humor" story about a fictional Miss Wyoming who caused men to levitate by performing fellatio on them. 6 As Rodney Smolla assesses the situation, "[t]he million dollar libel suit has become the newest American status symbol. It seems at times that everybody who's anybody has a libel suit going on the side" (p. 6).

The American law of defamation, under which these megasuits are brought, has come under sustained attack. The press warns that the spectre of million-dollar lawsuits will scuttle its vital mission of probing our institutions and exposing abuses of power. Meanwhile, public figures complain that the legal rules are so stacked against them that the media can ...
If you are interested in obtaining a® ID and Password, please contact us at 1-(800)-227-4908 or visit us at
Search Documents
eg., Environmental Insurance Coverage Under the Comprehensive General Liability Policy

Lexis® Web - The only search engine that delivers free web content specifically from legal sites validated by LexisNexis® attorney editors and includes tools for faster research and more relevant results.

LexisNexis Store
Research Now - Go to
Connect the Dots - Free 1 hour webcast
Share. Network. Discover. - Go to LexisNexis Communities