A Tennessee lawmaker’s lawyer is claiming that his client is immune from a libel suit after he falsely wrote on his blog that a candidate had been arrested on drug charges because the blog is “absolutely privileged.”
I’m no lawyer, but I know that is not going to fly. Rep. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, better say mea aculpa or get a new lawyer. Roger Byrge, a Democrat who lost his bid for the state House to Republican Chad Faulkner, filed a $750,000 libel suit against Campfield for writing that Byrge had had multiple drug arrests.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press wrote:
In the Oct. 12 blog post, Campfield said more attention needed to be paid to the race for the open seat in House District 36.
“Word is a … mail piece has gone out exposing Byrge’s multiple separate drug arrests,” Campfield wrote on the blog. “Including arrests for possession and drug dealing. (I hear the mug shots are gold).”
The parts of the post mentioning Byrge are no longer on Campfield’s blog, but a printout of the original text is filed as an exhibit in the lawsuit.