Monday News: Update on EC v DA, NY Comic Con’s anti-harassment policy, Sheila Weller on The News Sorority, and a 20-pound Death Star Gown
Update on Ellora’s Cave v. Dear Author – First, if you haven’t yet heard, Ellora’s Cave has filed suit against Dear Author and Jane for a recent blog post on the publisher. If you have not yet heard this news, click on the title above and it will take you to Jane’s brief announcement on the suit. Jane also wanted to announce that she has retained the services of Marc Randazza, and he and an Ohio colleague will provide the defense in this case. You can find out more about Randazza at his firm’s website, and in this piece at Popehat, Marc Randazza: First Amendment Badass. As Ken White notes:
But in a culture cluttered with people who are famous for no good reason whatsoever, Marc Randazza is an outlier: someone who is becoming famous as a First Amendment badass whose First Amendment badassery actually exceeds his rep. If I ever get sued for defamation, he’s my first call.— Popehat
New York Comic Con Gets a “Super” Week, New Antiharassment Policy – A number of changes are coming to this year’s New York Comic Con, including a so-called “Super Week,” featuring some 130 events, which range from “astronomer Neil Degrasse Tyson interviewing author Malcolm Gladwell about Star Trek” to “a hot sauce–eating contest.” Organizer ReedPop also worked with The Mary Sue to revise the anti-harassment policy. Some information is below, and you can also read The Mary Sue’s post on the process. Hopefully this will start to change the conference culture at Comic Con and elsewhere.
Fensterman says that ReedPop collaborated with The Mary Sue, the widely respected feminist geek culture website, on the language of the policy. He says it’s now comprehensive, describing various types of harassment (e.g., “unwelcome physical attention”) and bolding the statement that “cosplay is not consent.” Fensterman also notes that NYCC’s mobile apps will have a built-in button for reporting incidents of harassment. (The button won’t go live until the week of NYCC to prevent misuse.) “If someone is feeling unsafe or harassed, they should report it to anybody in a security shirt,” he says.
“We’re trying to give people multiple options with which they can help us create a safe environment for everybody.” –Publishers Weekly
When It All Comes Down to Blurbs – You have may read some of the early press coverage on Sheila Weller’s new book, The News Sorority, which details the careers of Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, and Christiane Amanpour. The press picked up on some of the most catty aspects of the book, making it sound like a gossip column on three of the most powerful women in U.S. news journalism. Weller discusses the ways in which her books has been misrepresented, which in turn is a commentary on the way powerful women are portrayed so differently from powerful men, even in the same industry.
“It’s easy to say that that’s the kind of stuff that gets picked up,” she said, “but there are a lot of things in the book about men acting pretty competitively.” (Like: Dan Rather’s canceling family vacations at the last minute to block Ms. Sawyer from subbing for him on the nightly news; Ted Koppel and Peter Jennings’s being sworn frenemies; Bob Schieffer’s trashing Mr. Rather during the scandal that cost Mr. Rather his job; and one boss who tried to block Ms. Couric being described by his own boss — a man — as “a bad hire, a drunk.”)
Ms. Weller, a longtime freelance writer and the author of “Girls Like Us,” a well-received book on three successful women in music (Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon), intended this book to show how the newswomen used ambition, intelligence, an iron work ethic and, yes, looks and charm to break through walls in the male-dominated world of broadcast news. –New York Times
This Woman Made A Death Star Dress. All Other Dresses Are Inferior. – Behold the Death Star Gown (with accompanying Star Destroyer handbag). –i09
Glad to hear Jane found a good lawyer. Please keep us posted if there will be a defense fund to contribute to.
And that Death Star dress is cool.
Also, happy to hear a good lawyer was found. Quick question for someone who knows more than me. The links mention that Randazza is licensed to practice in four states (I think), but I don’t think Ohio is one of them. Does that mean he is the guiding force, so to speak, but works through local attorneys? Just curious.
@Cassandra B.: It says this on the website in the section that lists his licenses: U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
@Nonnon: Thanks, obviously I didn’t look closely!
I still think its all kinds of awful that DA and Jane have to have legal representation but its good that she does and I hope the matter is over quickly.
Where is the “I support the DA/Jane legal fund and am boycotting EC” web button?
I hope Mr. Randazza kicks asses and takes names. I’m beyond disgusted by this entire situation.
@library addict: I love the Death Star dress!
Awesome news about retaining Mr Randazza. I do hope Jane does allow all of us to help her with the costs–no lawsuit is cheap, and Mr Randazze is certainly top shelf.
I’m all for putting in some money for the DA/Jane defense. EC will never see another dime of my money.
Go get ’em, DA and Mr. Randazza!
I have no idea how steep the legal fees are but someone on twitter threw out the number of $5k to file this sort of suit. I hope it’s not that much to defend it. I feel terrible for the EC authors and I just can’t imagine any situation where Jane would give up the names of anon commenters. She is a reader advocate first but she’s also an author advocate and I appreciate that.
About the author who celebrated EC’s suit. I wonder how she would feel if Jane/DA got sued for exposing her plagiarist, and some of her colleagues cheered *for the plagiarist*? It would look pretty cold.
@Jill Sorenson: Yes, it would, and that’s one of the questions I’d like answered myself.
Marc Randazza sounds perfect for DA. Now we just need that big, red “Donate Here” button.
Re: The News Sorority – I like Christiane Amanpour a lot and would be interested in reading a book about her, but not the least in the other two. Why not Margaret Warner of The PBS NewsHour, whose on-the-ground reports are the most insightful and cogent of anything being broadcast. That’s the person I want reporting on what she sees and hears, not … yeah, I’ll just stop there.
I’m hoping this case sets future precedents for other bloggers with respect to shield laws and whether or not a blogger is considered a journalist…I’m hoping for a favorable ruling for bloggers, because in many ways all bloggers are part of this. It could happen to anyone. Many of us live in fear that it WILL happen.
Why not set up a crowdfunding page somewhere for the legal defense? And if there is anything leftover donate it to charity…or to a public legal defense organization.
I just shouted out loud in the library! Marc Randazza…..excellent news!
The LA Times has picked up the story
Please, please, please set up a crowd-sourcing fund, Jane. Let us donate to this cause. Bloggers, authors and readers are all impacted because if we aren’t careful silence will fall. (Yes, I’m Dr. Who geek). This could drag on for years and the out-of-pocket expenses until you win could be large. If there’s money leftover or the fund proves unnecessary, then a scholarship or grant fund could be setup, or perhaps the money could be donated to an organization which support First Amendment freedoms for bloggers and journalists.
I absolutely love the idea of any excess monies being donated to a free speech organization. I nominate the EFF for it.
@amousie: I’m pleased that the LA Times re-reported some of the information about EC from the so-called “defamatory” post as facts, not as simply something from Jane’s post. (Now they need to correct the spelling of her name….)
I saw that “Little” reference somewhere else on the web but can’t recall where I first saw it. Maybe it was an auto-correct function. If you read the name Jane Tiny anywhere in summary that’s a malicious weblink don’t click on it.
I bet someone on Twitter could reach out to Carolyn Kellogg @paperhaus and ask her to correct Jane’s name. Maybe even throw in Courtney Milan’s #notchilled hashtag.
I’d like to see a single site for the lawsuit, that allows comments, that has links to all of the blogs about this issue and that has a DONATE button on it. I’m sorry for all of the authors involved with EC but I will not be buying anymore EC books – I have a strict personal policy about not rewarding assholes.
Glad to see Comic Con is getting a strong anti-harrassment policy.
Oh the irony!
So is EC gonna sue the LA times for basically reporting the same thing?
@Jill Sorenson: Based on my limited knowledge of attorney fees in La (which is a cheapish state), my guesstimate is that for a “good” attorney you could get roughly 13 hours of attorney time for $5,000.
@wikkidsexycool: If they don’t go after the LA Times–and maybe PW also–does it weaken their case against DA? I hope?
@amousie: I’m betting autocorrect is the culprit. It often is….
Why do i get the feeling that the principals of Ellora’s Cave are about to become well acquainted by the Law of Unexpected Consequences?
Can anyone in commercial credit tell me exactly what pre-screen score of High Risk means in a D&B mini report? Does a full report list it differently?
Is this only commercial to commerical vendor terms and payments or would independent contractors also report to D&B? Is it possible that the pre-screen score is no longer accurate and that EC should be listed instead as say Excellent? I ask because Christina M Brashear is still listed as COO. Jasmine Jade is also listed with a pre-screen score of High Risk.
Let us know how we can help with legal expenses. You’ve got a lot of supporters who will contribute!