Judge Orders Satirical Site To Remove Joke Story About Fictional Giraffe Attack

from the there-goes-the-onion dept

There are tons of “satirical” news websites out there (pretty much all of them are following — not nearly as well — in the trail blazed by The Onion) and every so often it is true that someone gets “fooled” by one of those sites. But it usually doesn’t take long for the fooled party to set things straight. But apparently the Global Wildlife Center in Louisiana thinks that a satire about itself is illegal… and somehow has convinced a judge of that as well. Romenesko points us to the news that a judge has issued an injunction forcing a blog to pull down its satirical story about a supposed “giraffe attack” at the Center. The story was a play on the usual stories of tiger or bear attacks. Who knows if it was actually funny or not, but the Center’s director is upset that “it’s malicious and untrue.” It’s satire. It wasn’t malicious, but the whole point is that it’s untrue. It’s pretty sad that the judge agreed to shut it down, and the Center’s argument that it can’t be satire because “the site isn’t labeled as satire” is pretty ridiculous as well. Should everyone writing satire be forced to label it as such?

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Comments on “Judge Orders Satirical Site To Remove Joke Story About Fictional Giraffe Attack”

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53 Comments
Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Um.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The first five words leave absolutely ZERO leeway for your so-called exceptions. Individual states, however can add clauses such as defamatory material.

10th Ammendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

btr1701says:

Re: Um.

Can someone clarify how this doesn’t violate
a right to freedom of speech?

It clearly does. Based on the 200+ years of jurisdprudence illuminating the 1st Amendment, this judge’s order was illegal.

Shouldn’t be too hard to have it overturned on appeal, if the site owner has the desire and funding to continue to defend the case.

Fred McTakersays:

Re: Stephen Colbert and his provider are fucking retarded

I wonder sometimes if Fox News is really meant to be a satirical channel 24/7 and I’m just missing the jokes. I mean, having your head that far up your butt just can’t be real, can it? Can any living conscious person really be as consistently hypocritical as that lot? I read that article about how Republicans think Stephen Colbert is really a conservative, and I laugh at those idiots just like everybody. But could it be that Fox itself is just even more subtle in its satire, so extremely subtle that even educated people don’t find it funny?

Then I watch Republicans on CSPAN, realize that they aren’t doing it for ratings, and I’m relieved. It’s all a joke, just not intentionally.

I popped on over to the site and found stories like this:

—–

Local officials have been preparing a list of area-specific questions to include in the national census which will be arriving in mail boxes this month.

The extra information will enable the Tangipahoa government to better serve locals by tailoring resources and services to our particular needs.

HAN was able to get a preview of the new ?Tangi Census? that residents can expect to receive.

UNITED STATES CENSUS – Tangipahoa Parish (SAMPLE)

Residents are under no legal obligation to complete the amended forms.

1. Where do you and your family prefer to worship?
A. Catholic church
B. Galvalume church
C. Wal-Mart

2. What most concerns your family?
A. Afghan troops in Independence
B. Suicide golf cart attacks in Hammond
C. The legal confiscation of body parts

3. What is your vote worth to you?
A. As a passionate believer in our democracy, my vote is vitally important.
B. $20
If you answered B, please enter your name and address below.

4. Do you miss Arden Wells? election commercials?
A. Yes, very much
B. Oh yes
C. Absolutely

5. How far will you drive for a bottle of wine on Sundays?
A. 20 miles or less
B. More than 20 miles
C. The Piggly Wiggly in Springfield

—–

http://www.hammondactionnews.com/post/421121088/2010census

If you don’t recognize that as satire, then you’re a moron in a hurry.

vivaelamorsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: change the name?

“They have much stricter libel laws, to the point where even truth is not a defense.

I hate our idiotic laws as much as anyone but as someone who is expected to abide by them I have to point out that this statement is false. Truth might not be an absolute defence but it is certainly still a valid defence.

melissasays:

Re: Re: change the name?

It is certainly a horrible miscalculation to use the real name of Global Wildlife Center. While true, this kid’s site is clearly meant to be satirical, the media in louisiana is clearly NOT educated enough to realize that fact. Several news crews were publishing the story as if it were true, which is a catastrophic blow to a non-profit organization whose foundation is “learning through touch”. I have been taking my kids to Global Wildlife for years and absolutely love and truly respect their organization. It is a real shame to see them in such poor light of the media.

melissasays:

Re: Re: change the name?

It is certainly a horrible miscalculation to use the real name of Global Wildlife Center. While true, this kid’s site is clearly meant to be satirical, the media in louisiana is clearly NOT educated enough to realize that fact. Several news crews were publishing the story as if it were true, which is a catastrophic blow to a non-profit organization whose foundation is “learning through touch”. I have been taking my kids to Global Wildlife for years and absolutely love and truly respect their organization. It is a real shame to see them in such poor light of the media.

giraffe attack

Scary, very scary. Not the Giraffe, the Judge. Not the story, the judgement. I’ve long said that the US is an irony free zone. Looks as if it’s moving into negative terrain, ie, not only irony free or irony neutral, but irony negative—so that even if irony were permitted the US would need vast unimaginably vaST quantities of it just to reach irony neutral or irony zero if you prefer.

masterymistery at cosmic rapture

TW Burgersays:

Re: giraffe attack

The judge should be commended. Someone had to stop the unending, invasive Giraffe coverage. Someone has to stand up to the needless damage that the gossip, innuendo, satire, irony, and even (gasp) sarcasm contained in the media’s endless daily coverage has inflicted on poor Giraffe.

Oh, I meant Tiger.

The American culture that allows a human to be tortured by mainstream media but rules against satire of institutions and animals by a fringe comedy writers consists of very warped values.

Giraffobicsays:

Fiction based on fact

I have been terrified of giraffes and okapi since I was a wee child when one of the reticulated variety licked me face at the zoo. I believe this qualifies as a “attack”. Giraffe attacks are real and seeing stories like this cause me great emotional distress, nightmares and PTSD. I believe that since I experienced a true giraffe attack that the story in question could be real and therefore is not satire but fiction based on a real event. By the way … I’m suing because I think the story must be based on me.

indeciSEANsays:

Anyone been following the Amanda Palmer/Evelyn Evelyn drama?

Before I even read this piece, I was wondering how closely it’d parallell to what recently happened to songwriter Amanda Palmer, and the Evelyn Evelyn album that she’s been working on.

To quickly summarize:
* An album produced by Amanda
* By “conjoined twins” (with a full backstory that’s later going to be put into comic book form via Dark Horse)
* Without hearing the record/getting most of the contest, people freak out
* There becomes a war of “This is offensive” vs “you fucking thought this was REAL? You’re DUMB!” type comments

Amanda’s response is available at:
http://blog.amandapalmer.net/post/396762227/evelyn-evelyn-drama-drama
(One of my other favorite/most interesting responses to the whole thing was at http://amuchmoreexotic.livejournal.com/408855.html)

While I can see both sides of the argument (a lot more than in the case of the giraffe), it’s definitely very bizarre to see stuff like this go down at all……..

BearGriz72says:

ROFL

“Guidry’s camcorder evidence from the attack can be seen in an upcoming FPTV Channel 17 special. WHEN GOOD GIRAFFES GO BAD will premier March 12 at 10pm after re-runs of the 2001 spectacular BILL HOOD CATCHES MORE FISH.”

Tune In?

(May the gods of Irony, Sarcasm, & Satire defecate upon the Judge and Plaintiffs in this ridiculous farce of supreme stupidity.)

Please join the casue to prevent these horrible events from ever happening again!

I was saddedned to hear about the horrible giraffe massacre, and hope that my contribution will provide additional giraffe security and pay your legal bills for those bastards that dared make fun of your precious bestiality sanctuary. I will be cancelling my birthdy party immediately for fear of future bestly incidents. Enclosed please find my utter disgust, a large amoutn of condecension, and fourteen ROFLs to send to the families of those that sacrificed their lives to this horrible, mean event. I truly hope your business does not suffer due to the fact that you take free publicity and spend my hard earned money on lawyers instead of giraffe training classes.

Dumbasses.

wilson2981says:

Re: Re: Please join the casue to prevent these horrible events from ever happening again!

anonymous coward,

“Global Wildlife Center is a non-profit organization, any funding for cases such as these come straight out of pocket of a third party.

get your facts straight kid.”

i believe nonprofit organizations have an amount of funding for representation in court, after all it is in the interest of the organization to pay to represent themselves, as is the premise of a non-profit. it is a question of whether or not their decision actually was beneficial. the wildlife organization obviously saw this as a large enough threat to their well being to take action. the site is certainly satirical, though.

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