from the awesome lawyering dept
Meghan McCain is angry. Apparently, Leon Wolf at Red State, who previously wrote a hilariously scathing review of her book, also wrote two obvious parody posts under the name “Totally Meghan McCain”, which didn’t sit well with Meghan. Of course, she then did what any rational person would do when confronted with someone making fun of them on the internet: she sent in the lawyers.
Specifically, she had her lawyers send a cease and desist (pdf) letter to RedState, claiming that “these fake front page posts place Meghan McCain before the public in a false light which is highly offensive to a reasonable person,” and that the RedState community “acted in reckless disregard as to their falsity and the false light in which Meghan McCain was being placed.” Unfortunately, RedState announced that although they believed they were legally in the clear, they would take down the posts anyway.
[T]he subject matter of your letter is a fairly obvious parody to any person of even barely functional literacy. Thus ? and your client probably didn?t tell you this ? even she recognized that the posts were parodies (or ?parody?s,? as she put it). At approximately 8:25 p.m. EDT on September 17th, your client posted to her Twitter feed, ?I don?t care about parody?s(sic) or fake names ? but falsely putting my name on someone else?s writing is illegal.? She then subsequently deleted this Tweet, presumably when someone told her that ?parody?s? were constitutionally protected and it might look bad in a subsequent lawsuit if she were caught admitting in public that these posts were obvious parodies. Not to worry: My client has screenshots.
(I treat as obvious humor the assertions in your letter that the parodies in question were appropriations of your client?s likeness for advertising purposes, and that persons with no minimum contacts at all with California would in any way be susceptible to jurisdiction there. It is my sincere suggestion that your client do so as well.)
My client will not be bullied out of exercising his First Amendment right to make clear his belief that your client is a spoiled, brainless twit who is cheapening the political discourse in this country. Therefore, henceforth, the ?Totally Meghan McCain? series may be found at http://pajamasmedia.com for your client?s reading pleasure.
Normally, after such a slap down, I would assume that Meghan’s lawyers would wisely decide not pursue the matter further, but these days, who can say? If it does go further, at least the rest of us can cross our fingers for more letters like the above.