A few weeks ago I hired a company to create an iPhone application for my congressional campaign. My designers told me when we started that Apple would take about two weeks to approve the app after they finished the design and coding. They submitted the app and then we waited and waited and waited. Recently the designers contacted Apple to find out what was taking so long. A couple days ago Apple responded and told us that they were rejecting the submission and told us that they were doing so on the grounds that content in the app is defamatory of my opponent, incumbent Henry Waxman.
Here are the statements Apple found defamatory.
SUPPORTED Cap & Trade legislation that would have brought us $7 a gallon gas and as President Obama has stated would make electricity rates “necessarily sky rocket.”
This one is well known considering that Waxman sponsored the bill in the House and President Obama is famous for making the statement about the need under his plan for “skyrocketing” electricity rates.
VOTED TO CUT Medicare spending by a half a trillion dollars which would severely hurt seniors. Time to go Henry!
This one is also well known since the Health Care Reform bill just passed a few weeks ago.
VOTED AGAINST missile defence funding, which jeopardized the US and Israel.
Waxman is famous for voting against missile defence program funding going all the way back to 1983 when Reagan first proposed the SDI system.
TRIED to make over-the-counter vitamins and supplements prescription only.
On this one, Waxman’s original bill was defeated a few years ago but last week, lo and behold, Waxman inserted this language into the House version of the Financial Reform Bill AFTER IT HAD ALREADY PASSED! TRIED TO STRANGLE family farms with insane Soviet-Style regulation.
Many people have not yet heard about this one so here is the documentation on it. My only problem with calling it “Soviet Style” is that even the Soviet’s would have been challenged to come up with something so stupid to do to our farming industry.
Here is an excerpt below:
As proposed by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, H. R. 2749 will grant the Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate all farms and farm produce in an attempt to purge America’s farmland of E. coli O157:H7, a lethal, food-borne bacteria.
Here is a small portion of how the bill would attempt to purge our country of E. Coli
- Under the terms of the bill, crops must be grown in sterile areas, surrounded by 450 foot buffers, so that they are not exposed to other vegetation, runoff water, birds, beasts, or wildlife of any kind.
- To create such sterile farms, ponds will be poisoned; wetlands drained; and streams re-routed to safeguard the crops from untreated water.
- Trees will be bulldozed from agricultural corridors to protect the fields from bird droppings.
- Fields will be lined with poison-filled tubes to kill rodents.
- All children under five will be prohibited from stepping foot on farmland or tilled soil for fear of leaking diapers.
- A crow landing in a cornfield will mandate the destruction of the entire corn crop.
Sounds crazy but it’s true. Such protocols are already in place throughout California. They were implemented by leading corporate agribusiness to offset the possibility of lawsuits erupting from a new breakout of E coli in supermarkets and food chains.
As you can see not only are none of the statements defamatory, they are all factual. By denying me this application Apple is now making an in kind contribution to Henry Waxman by denying his competitor of a modern tool for political communication. They are stifling my right to free political speech and they are carrying water for the Obama administration perhaps out of fear because Obama criticised Apple last week in his speech at the graduation ceremony.
It is also relevant to note that Apple pulled all of their advertising from the Fox News channel.
Clearly people who work at Apple are likely to be the kind of creative people that may tend to vote Democrat and hold liberal views but this goes far beyond that. This experience with Apple clearly shows that there is a political agenda going on within the culture of the company and business decisions are subject to Apple’s political views.
If as Apple claims, my statements about Henry Waxman are defamatory, it would be interesting to see what I Phone Apps Apple has approved for Democrats in which negative statements about Republicans are made and what standard Apple has held those statements to before approval. In the name of full disclosure, here is the legal definition of Defamation.
An act of communication that causes someone to be shamed, ridiculed, held in contempt, lowered in the estimation of the community, or to lose employment status or earnings or otherwise suffer a damaged reputation. Such defamation is couched in ‘defamatory language’. Libel and slander are defamation.
Although defamation is primarily governed by state law, the First Amendment safeguards for freedom of speech and press limit state law. New York Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 264 (1964); Masson, 501 U.S. at 510. The scope of constitutional protection extends to statements of opinion on matters of public concern that do not contain or imply a provable factual assertion. Milkovich, 497 U.S. at 20 (rejecting categorical exemption of all statements in form of opinion; statement that may imply verifiable assertion of fact is actionable).
To determine whether a statement implies a factual assertion, courts examine the totality of the circumstances in which it was made. First, they look at the statement in its broad context, which includes the general tenor of the entire work, the subject of the statements, the setting, and the format of the work. Next they turn to the specific context and content of the statements, analysing the extent of figurative or hyperbolic language used and the reasonable expectations of the audience in that particular situation. Finally, they inquire whether the statement itself is sufficiently factual to be susceptible of being proved true or false. See Partington v. Bugliosi, 56 F.3d 1147, 1153 (9th Cir.’94) (applying three-factor test as the starting point for analysis); Unelko Corp. v. Rooney, 912 F.2d 1049, 1053 (9th Cir.’90), cert. denied, 499 U.S. 961 (1991).
‘[T]he First Amendment requires that the courts allow latitude for interpretation.’ Partington, 56 F.3d at 1154 (quoting Moldea v. New York Times Co., 22 F.3d 310, 315 (D.C.Cir.), cert. denied, 115 S.Ct. 202 (1994)).
The speaking slanderous words of a person so as to hurt his good fame.
In the United States, the remedy for defamation is by an action on the case, where the words are slanderous.
In England, besides the remedy by action, proceedings may be instituted in the ecclesiastical court for redress of the injury. The punishment for defamation, in this court, is payment of costs and penance enjoined at the discretion of the judge. When the slander has been privately uttered, the penance may be ordered to be performed in a private place; when publicly uttered, the sentence must be public, as in the church of the parish of the defamed party in time of divine service, and the defamer may be required publicly to pronounce that by such words, naming them as set forth in the sentence, he had defamed the plaintiff, and therefore, that he begs pardon, first of God, and then of the party defamed, for uttering such words.
Considering that I AM trying to cause Henry Waxman to lose his employment and salary as a US Congressman, maybe my statements about him are defamatory but if this is the case, does that not mean that all political discourse is? Does this mean that Apple thinks our political system is just too divisive and all would be right with the world if Republicans would just give up and stop running for office? Ari David is a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. This post was originally published on his campaign website.