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Oct 03 2011

EXCLUSIVE: Defendant in Most Ironic Lawsuit Ever (David Barton v. Some People Who Said Stuff About Him) Responds

As I wrote in my previous post, “I Want David Barton To Sue ME!,” David Barton has filed a defamation lawsuit against Judy Jennings and Rebecca Bell-Metereau, two former candidates for the Texas State Board of Education back in 2010, and a writer named W.S. Smith, who wrote an article on examiner.com titled “Exposing David Barton,” also back in 2010.

Barton is going after Jennings and Bell-Metereau over a YouTube campaign ad that said he has spoken to white supremacist groups (which is true), and Smith for calling him an admitted liar, referring to that list of “Unconfirmed Quotations” he put out after being called on his use of spurious quotes. What nobody can figure out is why Barton is suing these particular people, who haven’t said anything that hasn’t been said many times before over the years by other, much more well known Barton critics.

In his lawsuit, Barton attempts to raise suspicions that there’s something fishy about this Smith guy, including his identity, saying: “Smith, likely hiding behind a pseudonym ‘W.S. Smith’ publishes his ideas and version of events through a third-party website owner and/or internet service provider.” But Barton is going to get to the bottom of this suspicious use of the name Smith by the defendant, assuring the court that, “His identity is reasonably expected to become known shortly after filing this petition and an appropriate amended petition, if required, shall be filed.”

Last week, Mr. Smith, who is just as baffled as everyone else as to why Barton is coming after him, contacted me to discuss the lawsuit, and sent me the following statement to publish. If Barton intended to scare this guy, he definitely picked the wrong guy!

 

My name is W.S. Smith (yes, that’s my real name; not a pseudonym) and I am being sued for libel by David Barton. Mr. Barton’s lawsuit against me (and the other defendants) is as factually baseless as his historical statements.

When I was a kid, my father used to tell me what he thought were the rules that guided what made a good man stand apart from a bad man. His rules for being a good man were simple:

1) Be honest.

2) Treat others with courtesy and, if earned, respect.

3) Don’t take crap from anyone.

4) Avoid a fight, if possible, but defend yourself if need be.

I’ve never in my life cowtowed to bullies and I’m not about to start now. Just because someone is bigger (more prominent), stronger (wealthier) or better trained (lots of political connections and power-lawyers at their disposal) doesn’t make them right.  In fact, the one or two times bullies tried to pick on me as a kid, they walked away with bruised testicles and bloody noses. I intend to do the same with this bully (Mr. Barton) only, rather than using my hands and feet, I plan to use the law.

I will not back down from what I know (and can prove in court) is the truth and I will not be threatened to do so by a self-appointed mouthpiece for a deity. If Mr. Barton insists on taking this case all the way to court, I’ll be happy to meet him there. Why? Because the truth in on my side.

I find the whole affair quite amusing and am reveling in the irony of it all. How is it ironic? The only reason Mr. Barton hasn’t been sued for libel or slander himself is because the people he has libeled and slandered have been dead for a couple of hundred years. It’s easy to be brave when putting words in the mouths of dead men. It’s also easy to be brave when confronted with a frivolous lawsuit, regardless of how big the bully threatening you is.

If this is what you want, Mr. Barton, then let’s do it. Bring it on. Bring it on. Bring it on. The path you’ve chosen will lead only to your embarrassment and ruin.

18 comments

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  1. 1
    Assassin Actual

    Go Mr. Smith! I salute you.

  2. 2
    Jason Thibeault

    Hey Chris, is there any chance you can file as a “friend of the court” some corroborating evidence? I’m sure Barton would pee himself when he saw that filing.

  3. 3
    Chris Rodda

    Hey Jason … I intend to do whatever the defendants and their lawyers (if this thing even goes that far) want me to do. It’s to early to get into exactly what that might be just yet, but I have a few ideas ;-)

  4. 4
    Stephanie Zvan

    I like this guy better all the time.

  5. 5
    ericeddy

    Yes, that is my friend Scott. That is INDEED his real name (William Scott Smith). Give him your support. Barton doesn’t stand a chance.

  6. 6
    justawriter

    One word should make Barton reconsider …
    “Discovery”
    How much you want to bet there is a smoking “cdesign proponentist” sitting somewhere on one of his hard drives?

  7. 7
    BobApril

    Chris, I’m sure you would anyway – but if Mr. Smith or the others need help financing their defense, be sure to give us a link to their defense fund, ‘kay?

  8. 8
    386sx

    I hate that stupid youtube campaign ad video. I don’t know which is worse, that one or Demski’s dumb flash video. They’re both in the same category as far as I’m concerned.

  9. 9
    otrame

    @8

    Well, I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m relieved to know your opinion.

  10. 10
    Ellie

    Oh, I really want to see Barton go to court. Perhaps he will finally realize that the truth is the best defense. Maybe he’ll have an epiphany….probably not though. When he loses, he’ll just become another martyr for The Liars For Jesus.

  11. 11
    Worldtraveller

    I got a paypal account waiting to make a donation to the defense fund if needed.

  12. 12
    davidct

    I am glad that Mr. Smith is willing to fight. I was glad to see the recognition that there will be costs to the defendant.

    When someone sues you there is no such thing as winning. It is all about how much you lose. Truth is not really an issue. “Truth and the Law have about as much to do with one another as a Hot Dog and a Warm Puppy.” (NYPD Blue quote) That is why Mr. Barton will use these attacks. The defendant will be punished even if he can successfully defend himself and his reputation. “Justice” will ultimately be what he can afford.
    Uri Geller used this technique against James Randi. Geller is still rich and performing while limited JREF funds were required for legal fees.

    Unless the case generates significant negative publicity, Mr. Smith’s courage will cost him for doing the right thing. Let us know if there is a defense fund.

  13. 13
    richardelguru

    Well remember the McLibel Case! And that was in Britain where we have absolutely vile libel laws.
    (Gad! I hope no one sues me for writing that.)

  14. 14
    Bronze Dog

    Another saluter, here. It’s certainly going to be interesting to watch. I’ve been rolling my eyes at Barton for a while now, and I’d love to see him defeated in court. It’s not libel to tell the truth, and that is what fundies fear most.

  15. 15
    sinned34

    This has about as much chance of going to court as getting William Dembski to testify in a court challenge against the teaching of intelligent design.

  16. 16
    D. C. Sessions

    IANAL, but …

    For far too many reasons, Mr. Smith’s counsel will be fools to not go for dismissal on the usual First Amendment grounds including that Barton is a public figure and Mr. Smith is commenting on Barton’s expressed positions in that role.

    However, I will confess to a guilty hope that the case proceeds far enough for the absolute defence of truth to come into the courtroom. Especially at the summary judgment stage.

  17. 17
    raven

    SLAPP suit.

    In a SLAPP suit, loser pays court costs AND your attorney.

    Barton will lose.

    In the meantime, if there is a defense fund, I’m in for a few bucks. Barton isn’t well thought of by the reality based and normal people communities.

  18. 18
    wmsmith

    Thanks to Chris and everyone else for their support.

    Thanks to my buddy Eric for signing on to FTB just to leave some positivity for me.

    The thing about Barton isn’t that he’s wrong. There are many people in the world who are wrong. What gets me so angry is that here is a person in a real position of power attempting to use his position to rewrite history into something that isn’t factual, but how he would have preferred it to be.

    In my eyes, one historical revisionist is just as bad as another and Barton is no better than the most ardent Holocaust denier.

    Again, thanks to everyone for their support and words of encouragement. I’m sure Chris will be keeping everyone up to date on the lawsuit.

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