The defamation lawsuit brought by Sir Bob Jones against filmmaker Renae Maihi, the instigator of a petition seeking to revoke his knighthood over a satirical column written in the NBR has resulted in a social media backlash involving claims that the outspoken knight is a racist- the basis for the Maihi lawsuit.
Waikato professor Dr Leonie Pihama made the claim on Twitter and received a letter from Sir Bob’s lawyer, Wellington lawyer John Langford, which she had heavily edited and posted on her Twitter account –
Dr Pihama wrote a blog post about the letter, once she had established that well known, long-practising lawyer John Langford ‘actually existed’.
John Langford has in fact been lawyer on the record on some of the largest defamation lawsuits launched in New Zealand.
Almost inevitably, this brought social media legal commentator Andrew Geddis out of the digi-underbrush to comment that ‘we have a cause’, without quite identifying what that might be –
And other academics and sundry commentators like “newbie academic” ‘Dr Bex’ claiming the right to defend from being labelled a racist was simply a rich man bullying and oddly enough to “silence opposition” –
and still others . .
And so it goes . . as tweet after lawsuit sets the social media wheels turning until the court doors open. That’s when the givealittle mentality and racist rants give way to determining whether free speech exists or not.
All of which may be very timely for an article that is an unabashed pisstake that has created a firestorm among the liberal luvvies who appear not to be able to distinguish between humour and hate.