View Full Version : Legal issues of exposing psychics.

Azrael 5
10th October 2004, 09:16 AM
Ian Rowland in his review of a John Edward show states (paraphrase)"I dont spend time in courts,so I cant state wether he is psychic or not...."
Just wondered what the implications would be-as we on here can freely state such things-if a TV show or newspaper stated such a thing.Obviously such a joyous thing probably wont happen,but just wondered.
Second thought,how can we as skeptics say there are no real mediums when we havent seen or know about every one in the world? Just a question believers throw up on forums-shortly before Im banned,lol!;)

Lisa Simpson
10th October 2004, 09:23 AM
I read the title of your thread as "Legal issues of exploding psychics." :D

Azrael 5
10th October 2004, 09:34 AM
That would be one way of stopping them ,Lisa!!

Lisa Simpson
10th October 2004, 09:35 AM
Yes, but I imagine the legal issues would be pretty severe after that.

10th October 2004, 09:42 AM
Originally posted by Lisa Simpson
I read the title of your thread as "Legal issues of exploding psychics." :D

And, they would never see it coming!

Anyway...no serious legal issues involved in a private citizen expressing their opinion that a public figure like Edwards is not talking to dead people, etc.

He would have to meet a minimum standard of proving that not only was *your* statement false, but that you knew, or should have known that...what's he going to offer into evidence that a court is bound to accept under current rules of evidence?

There is a line that can be crossed of course, in terms of adding other derogatory statements to a skeptical comment about a psychic, but the burden of proof is on them in the courtroom.

Achán hiNidráne
10th October 2004, 11:48 AM
I take it you're concerned about libel?

According to The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual," an indiviudal has 3 defenses agaisnt libel:

1. You can show that the statements you made are PROVABLY TRUE. You would actually have to go and satisfy a jury that your "libelous" statement is indeed true by showing that a subjefct is doing exactly what you state.

2. Privilege. There are two types of privilege: Absoulte and qualifed. Absolute privilege means that certain people in some circumstances can state without fear of being sued, material that maybe false, malious or damaging. For instance, a congressman can claim on the floor of the Senate "my opponent wants to take away your social security" without fear of libel, even if it wasn't true.

The courts have ruled that press dosn't have an absolute priviage, but a qualifed privaged. That means that it can be lost or diluted by how the journalist handles the material.

3. Fair comment. You can publish defamatory or harmful material that consists of comment or opinion, as distinguised from fact, with reference to matters of public interest or importance. Of course, whatever facts are stated must be provably true.