The Girl in Short Shorts blog, by a self-described "recovering attorney, post-modern neo-feminist, enthusiastic regenerated dyke, unlikely punk, nice Catholic girl, passionate freedom-loving libertarian, thinking conservative, sappy romantic, spiritual redneck, softball enthusiast, shopaholic and unrepentant flirt," does much to advance the story of Liskula Cohen, the 36-year-old (or as one of my commenters described her, "90 in people years") New York model who has sued over a blog that dared call her a "skank." Girl in Short Shorts provides what appears to be extensive photographic evidence that could convince a reasonable juror that the label about which Ms. Cohen complains is, in fact, quite fitting. This is legally significant. For even if New York courts disagree with their California brethren who have determined that an accusation of skankiness cannot be defamatory, the Supreme Court of the whole US has said that truth is always a defense.
Incidentally, the Daily News story on the skank suit says that Cohen sued Google, which merely owns the Blogger service that hosts Skanks in NYC (but which, adhering to its promise not be be "evil," presumably did not itself call Ms. Cohen a "skank"). Assuming that the Daily News' description of the suit is accurate (i.e., that it actually names Google as a defendant), then I predict the likelihood of Google winning a motion to dismiss is approximately 100%. Under section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the host of a blog enjoys virtually absolute immunity for material posted by others. Whether Ms. Cohen can persuade a court to force Google to cough up the IP address(es) of whoever posted the accusations of skankiness is a different, and interesting, question. Having those IP addresses would, of course, would help Ms. Cohen locate the more appropriate defendant(s).
Now I'm off to research whether I can sue Ms. Girl in Short Shorts for referring to me as "somber."