A MESSAGE FROM THE ROYAL HALF…

Monday morning, we published Week 19 of HrudeyCantFail’s weekly series entitled “Freeway Farce.” As anyone who has read this weekly column (or even read our website before) understands that Freeway Farce (as implied by the title) is a satirical look at the past week of the LA Kings and Anaheim Ducks culture. And part of that culture is reporting (satirically) on the actions of our fellow bloggers.

Well, early this morning, I received an email threatening legal action against me for “intentional defamation” (FYI, intentional defamation involves lying) as well as having a lawsuit filed against me, my site and “the unnamed authors you endorse” unless I took down the blog.

So, I made the decision to take down this post. It wasn’t an easy one… but at the end of the day I run The Royal Half for fun and no profit. I barely make enough to cover my hosting costs. None of our writers get paid yet we turn out tons of content daily solely for LA Kings fans to decide if they want to read it or not.

In past Freeway Farce articles, we’ve satirized bigger personalities amongst the LA Kings and Anaheim Ducks world. And they have reacted by laughing and sharing the articles with their followers and friends. Unfortunately, not all people react that way and I’m not about to put myself in any sort of legal situation, because of a sour attitude.

Don’t worry… we won’t stop being the funniest and smartest and most humble LA Kings blog around. And most importantly, I’m following the lead of the NHL when it comes to dealing with so-called “bullies.” Effective immediately, HrudeyCan’tFail is suspended from writing about any NHL-related content for exactly 14 days… until February 24th, 2014. I hope he learns his lesson.

Fondly,
The Royal Half

 

UPDATE: 2/12/14, 3:20pm
Some people have been speculating that the person who made legal threats was KingsFanDaily. It was not.

The Royal Half has been a Los Angeles Kings fan since 1988 and a Half-Season Ticket Holder since 2002. He has seen the following goaltenders play in person for the Los Angeles Kings… Kelly Hrudey, Grant Fuhr, Byron Dafoe, Jamie Storr, Stephane Fiset, Felix Potvin, Cristobal Huet, Roman Cechmanek, Mathieu Garon, Adam Hauser, Jason LaBarbera, Barry Brust, Sean Burke, Dan Cloutier, Yutaka Fukufuji, Jean-Sebastien Aubin, Erik Ersberg, Jonathan Bernier, Jonathan Quick, Ben Scrivens and Martin Jones.You can follow The Royal Half on Twitter @TheRoyalHalf.
  • Matthew

    Soo I didn’t get to read the article, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say the person who threatened legal action was either Gann or that KingsFanDaily guy, whatever his name is…

    • http://kingsfandaily.com/ Paul @KingsFanDaily

      Matthew, my name is Paul and I did not threaten legal action against the author of this post. The fact that he has purposely allowed many people to believe it was me as well as promote multiple attacks on me, should tell you volumes about his character and what he is trying to achieve.

      • PabstBlueSwayze

        I’ll guess we’ll just all plead ignorance on ever seeing your diatribes against Mr. Anonymous Royal Half. I must’ve been super drunk there for a few days or just hallucinating because I’m pretty sure you launched a few attacks or acts of retaliation on your own.

        • http://kingsfandaily.com/ Paul @KingsFanDaily

          Of course, you probably also believe I was responsible for today’s events. I was not. And he had full knowledge of this while allowing his followers to attack and threaten me. What does that tell you about his person? Not everything is what it seems but people are falling for it. The comment you are referring to was made against the author of the farce article, who admitted he was purposely harassing me. I responded to a cowardly bully who hides behind a twitter handle. Nothing more.

          • PabstBlueSwayze

            Its fine if you’re not responsible for the alleged lawsuit filed against the writers of The Royal Half as outlined in the article above, nevertheless, that does not clear you of making your own rather crass and aggressive comments against the writing staff of this particular website. I would venture to suppose that some of the comments or remarks you made in reply to some of the writers of this website could just as easily be classified as harassment as well.

            The internet sure is a silly place.

            • http://kingsfandaily.com/ Paul @KingsFanDaily

              Absolutely not. I did not and do not want this fight. It was brought upon me by targeted attacks. I am only trying to protect myself. My name has been maligned and I have been threatened. I am a KNOWN person. These people are ANONYMOUS. There can be no harassment on an anonymous person according to every law I’ve seen. On the other hand, admitted harassment of a known individual is a crime.

              • PabstBlueSwayze

                “Put your name on it you cheap shot jackass. Better yet, come on down to TSC and let’s have a nice chat you fucking punk.”

                “And for the 3 people reading this, let me help you understand the stupidity this jackass tried desperately to layout above and perhaps alos let Chris, aka “the royal half” know how you feel about it since it is he who allows this crap to be posted on his website.”

                “Go fuck yourself troll and print your real name on the next hit piece so I can see who my enemy is.”

                Seems to me you may possibly know the author behind The Royal Half sooo…wouldn’t that imply that you are attacking a “KNOWN” person since…well…you seemingly know the author?

                I don’t know man, your past comments certainly don’t paint yourself in a favorable light. Your past comments certainly don’t help your present approach of trying to present yourself as some completely hapless, innocent victim. Its one thing to try and protect yourself, its another thing to throw out insults and challenges in response to a known satirical website. Sticks and stones and all that allegorical nonsense.

                This whole quixotic escapade to claim your complete and total innocence (despite your own defamatory remarks and insults) just underscores how truly silly the internet is.

                I love it. Its all endlessly entertaining.

                • http://kingsfandaily.com/ Paul @KingsFanDaily

                  I do not know the identity of either of these people, period. If you or someone you love ever becomes the target of such malicious and vicious attacks that spread lies and falsehoods, please let me know how much you love it then because I guarantee you won’t.

                  I will not cower when attacked and I will not shrink in the midst of a misinformed and mislead mob hellbent on currying favor with a person who uses his ties to the Kings as a weapon. They should all be ashamed of themselves for what they did today and should ask the author of this post why he didn’t make clear that it WAS NOT ME who levied the allegations brought forth today.

                  I suspect most of those who have attacked me would do some version of the same if they were my shoes, regardless of whether or not they agree with how I have chosen to do so.

                  • PabstBlueSwayze

                    So I guess “Chris”, “aka the royal half”, was just a guess then? Thats alright then Hans, I know “Paul” is just a cover.

                    Nevertheless, should I reply to this with a defamatory or insulting comment to defend my online identity? I can’t tell. But your last sentence does feel like you’re threatening me, though I’m not quite sure (/sarcasm).

                    From what I can see of the entire situation, your inflammatory replies only stoked the publicity and the reach of this whole pointless “internet feud”. Instead of handling the matter in private, you embraced public forms of communication to decry the article your public posts were featured in. So, forgive me if I say this, but I’m not entirely sympathetic. Does an individual deserve to be treated with respect and not be harassed? Of course. However, your decision to reply back publicly (with your own equally defamatory and harassing comments) was your own doing and is the cause for all the unwanted attention that is now placed upon you.

                    I’m sorry to admit this, but I have little sympathy. You lash out publicly against a website known for its satirical and even comical content and then cry out that you’re the innocent victim. Surely you could have reached out privately if you felt wronged, no?

                    I suppose not though unforunately. Because here we are with you endlessly trying to defend some misguided notion that you were a completely innocent victim involved in this whole endeavor (despite your own incendiary comments proving that notion false) and me entertaining myself.

                    Such is the way of the internet I suppose.

                    • http://kingsfandaily.com/ Paul @KingsFanDaily

                      The ONLY REASON this was escalated beyond my comment to an admitted bully was because it was promoted by the publisher on twitter. If it was NOT purposely promoted it would have NEVER gotten traction. That was a CHOICE made by the author of this article to further malign me. I don’t want your sympathy but I do want justice. Fortunately, you are not the decider of my fate on this matter. But hey, you are entertained and that’s all that seems to matter to you.

                    • PabstBlueSwayze

                      “The ONLY REASON this was escalated beyond my comment to an admitted bully was because it was promoted by the publisher on twitter. If it was NOT purposely promoted it would have NEVER gotten traction.”

                      Just saying…discussing this whole matter with the offending parties in PRIVATE AND NOT VIA PUBLIC FORUMS OF SOCIAL MEDIA might have been a better idea. No?

                      Also, avoiding additional incendiary and inflammatory retorts may have also aided your cause rather than hurt it.

                    • http://kingsfandaily.com/ Paul @KingsFanDaily

                      Quite frankly I do not know the answer to that question. I have tried to communicate with him privately before only to be ignored. As I said, you do not know what else has gone on. You only see my comment and think it came out of the blue. It did not. The fact remains, I have a right to defend myself publicly and I did. You (and many others) don’t agree with that. I can understand that, even respect it. But the absolute overwhelming condemnation of me based on malicious and targeted tweets and retweets is the real story here, which won’t be seen or heard by fans who only want to see another human being destroyed for sport. It’s truly barbaric. The fact that no one seems to recognize the complete absurdity of the “farce” author being suspended BECAUSE of the actions of the person who published the article shows just how little people seem care about any kind of truth here. They seem to ONLY want to show support for a person who was willing to go to such lengths to protect his brand. Scapegoating is as old as any pathetic, immoral tactic and people buy it hook line and sinker.

                    • PabstBlueSwayze

                      “The fact remains, I have a right to defend myself publicly and I did.”

                      I do completely agree that you have the right to defend yourself. I do not agree that the way to go about doing that is through the use of such incendiary remarks as those I quoted earlier (i.e. “Put your name on it you cheap shot jackass. Better yet, come on down to TSC and let’s have a nice chat you fucking punk.”).

                      Posts like those, when held in juxtaposition against the seemingly light-hearted replies retweeted by members of The Royal Half, do not help your case. Thats the problem. That problem was only exacerbated because you made those incendiary posts within public forums where everyone can see them. Posts like that do not build good will or sympathy.

                      I obviously can’t say with certainty whether or not you reached out to the The Royal Half staff in private, and because of that I can only judge based on what public posts I did see and those, as mentioned, do not paint you in a favorable light.

                    • http://kingsfandaily.com/ Paul @KingsFanDaily

                      Fair enough. For the people who actually know me, they know I’m fair, kind and thoughtful and I have thousands of public comments to prove it. I was provoked and reacted. I’m an honest person who isn’t afraid to stand up and be counted publicly, unlike some people.

                      I do, however, vehemently disagree with the assertion that the tweets and retweets were lighthearted. They absolutely were not. They stoked the flames of this entire situation ruthlessly and with malice. Fortunately, I have every single tweet to prove it.

                    • NotDarrenEliot

                      What Pabst said. You can complain all you want, but when you reply with vulgarities and physical threats (implied or otherwise) you don’t leave yourself open for much sympathy whatsoever.

                    • http://holdthepoint.com/ Player X @HoldThePoint.com

                      Your position would make sense if it was indeed a satirical tone used in now 3 separate attack articles directed at Paul KFD. The reality is that the articles used untruths to paint a picture of a non-existent conflict between Paul and Jon Rosen, mostly in the 2nd Freeway Farce article.
                      Essentially Paul was made to look like he is not respected and deserves to be a point of ridicule, based on fictions created and perpetuated by HrudeyCan’tWrite or whatever his name is, and was given further standing by The Royal Half by the articles being published on this site. Paul is a member of the Kings blogging community, and has been for years, so to falsely publish descriptions of conflict between Paul and others, especially Jon Rosen, is damaging to Paul in the real world.
                      You can’t call a guy an asshole to his friends, and then “prove” it to them with lies, but then when he objects say it was all in fun. It is clear that the attention given to Paul in articles on this site is not just poking fun, and in fact various tweets exhibit the self-admission that Paul was intentionally baited and antagonized.
                      I would agree that the angry outburst was tactically unwise, but in no way was it unwarranted, or not understandable. Villification, in a public forum where a person has a high-profile identity built from years of respectful interaction, should not be attacked at all, but should certainly never be attacked intentionally just to cause grief and spread lies. A member of a community values his standing in that community and has EVERY right to respond when treated unfairly. The fact that the unfair treatment has been public, false, and admittedly intended to be hurtful makes Paul’s angry response almost unavoidable.
                      By the way, Disqus sucks. Here and on the LAKI.

                    • Guest

                      Condescension is really tacky.

                      If KFD couldn’t handle it, he shouldn’t have responded. Plain and simple. He added fuel to the fire and looked like a child in the process.

                      I haven’t seen a justified/unavoidable response that had his tone and content in my entire life, but that’s probably because I don’t live in a world where the amount of Twitter followers I have and the size of my online balls are of utmost importance.

                    • http://holdthepoint.com/ Player X @HoldThePoint.com

                      “I don’t live in a world where the amount of Twitter followers I have and the size of my online balls are of utmost importance.” Apparently you struggle with the recognition of “condescension.”

                      “If KFD couldn’t handle it, he shouldn’t have responded.”
                      You hear that Paul? Next time somebody abuses your reputation in public, by telling lies and half-truths, you are not allowed to respond angrily. Cuz that’s the world this fool thinks we live in.

    • YeahWhatever

      For those of you still harassing @KingsFanDaily, just stop now please.

      I am the one who threatened legal action because I’m a lawyer and my reputation was threatened by the lies said against me in yesterday’s blog. Yesterday’s blog was posted in retaliation against me for questioning the first Freeway Farce about Paul. TRH, Paul and I have been connected through Kings fandom for 5 years. The “retraction” is misleading, and you have taken the bait. TRH is not the victim. He started a war. It is over now.

      You people have no facts. You have stories that were told to you way after the mob against Paul began. He started a blog for fun. He didn’t ask permission. He was accused of doing it wrong, but nobody would speak with him to tell him how or why. Paul was my first hockey buddy and I met him at TSC. In my excitement about all these things, I shared a lot of my enthusiasm with TRH.

      Paul is my hockey buddy and he is a man. TRH was my twitter hockey buddy, also a man. I’ve never met him in real life, but he saw me a lot because my season seats were behind the Kings bench. He seemed friendly and always funny. Until he did all this to Paul and then turned on me.

      It was always personal. And you all being invited in has made it dangerous and scary.

      Whether you believe me or not, please know two things: 1. I can prove everything I said; and 2. At a minimum, acknowledge you don’t know first hand what you are talking about, so you are repeating other people’s words and still just helping an attack neither you nor Paul nor I started. Please end this. That is all.

  • shiny

    It’s disappointing that you took it down, but I understand. Some people just don’t have a sense of humor when it comes to their own words and I totally understand that, too.

    I particularly enjoy Freeway Farce and whatever shit Ducks fans come up with, I just roll my eyes and forget about it like 10 seconds later. Anyway, I hope people can learn to laugh at your stuff in the future.

    • http://kingsfandaily.com/ Paul @KingsFanDaily

      shiny, Paul here. There is an admitted and ongoing attack on me perpetrated by the author of the “farce” series intentionally promoted by the author of this post. It is not ‘satire’ as he claims above. It is personal and vindictive because he does not like me. I believe he does not tell his followers this because he wants to look like a victim to gain sympathy. He uses his connections with the Kings to lend legitimacy to his attacks and his followers follow suit by continuing them. He has purposely stoked these attacks. I have reason to believe the Kings are now aware of this blatant and admitted witch hunt.

      The actions taken by the parties involved have not only been malicious and cruel, but I believe criminal. People who have taken sides do not know the facts but they will be revealed in time. The irony of today’s events is that I am now, after having nothing to do with any of the threats of legal action today, put in a position to protect myself from further harassment which has severely harmed me. I am now concerned for my safety as a result and will do whatever necessary to protect my rights.

      • shiny

        I’m sorry that you’re being harassed however, your previous outrage to the Freeway Farce led many to believe that you were the one who threatened legal action.

        I’m not taking any sides in this matter, but it is a pity that it’s supposed to be satirical that some people take it too seriously.

        In any case, I’m sure things will work out for you in the end

        • http://kingsfandaily.com/ Paul @KingsFanDaily

          “previous outrage to the Freeway Farce led many to believe that you were the one who threatened legal action.”

          Which is precisely why it should have been made clear up front it was not me and if not that, at least make a statement after the witch hunt began. He did neither, then sat back and watched. These are not the actions of an honorable person. And I’m not looking for anyone to take sides. I want the harassment to end.

          As for the alleged satire, the author of the article admitted that he purposely mocked and baited me. Then the both of them, along with others, continued the attacks in a tag-team fashion. It was not humor. It was purposeful smearing and harassment. If it was you, you would take it seriously too.

          • Westgarth

            Man, the Internet is a mean place. I’m gonna go tell my mom all about what those mean TRH folks did and that’ll show them!

            #TRHGate

  • Eric Cooney

    COMMENT RESCINDED.

  • YeahWhatever

    ..

    • Westgarth

      Yeah – well that’s just, like, your opinion, man.

      • YeahWhatever

        Not taking the bait. It’s over. If you don’t know, please leave just leave it alone.

        • Westgarth

          Ah, you’re right. This is probably the most important lawyer thing you’ve got going on. I’ll let you continue without my horrifically harassing quotes from The Big Lebowski.

  • http://holdthepoint.com/ Player X @HoldThePoint.com

    Yawn.

  • Spikey

    The decision written in Walko v Kean College of New Jersey, 1988 states, “A parody or spoof that no reasonable person would read as a factual statement, or as anything other than a joke -albeit a bad joke- cannot be actionable as defamation.” Hustler Magazine v Falwell (1988) also clearly states that parody and satire is protected by the First Amendment. This was upheld in 2011 in Farah v Esquire Magazine, where the judge noted that “It is the nature of satire that not everyone gets it,” yet it’s still protected speech if a reasonable person (not necessarily everyone) would identify it as satire.

    Also, publishing a tweet on Twitter implies consent according to Twitter’s terms of service. Retweeting things someone else has already published on his/her Twitter account cannot meet the legal definition of harassment nor is it defamation to do so, even if a person does it in a way that is intended to mock or demean the person who originally wrote the tweet. An original tweet that was retweeted or copied without giving the original author credit for authorship is plagiarism, but retweeting things and giving proper credit, and/or making fun of someone else’s tweets in a manner that is clearly satire or parody would not be considered defamation.

    In addition, a statement of pure opinion (legally defined as something that cannot be proven true or false) cannot be libel (Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co, 1990).

    Defamation is defined as a false statement that causes actual provable harm. Satire, on the other hand, is the use of humor (exaggeration, irony, etc) to ridicule and expose people’s vices or instances where intelligent decision-making is perceived as lacking, particularly in the context of topical issues.

    Someone claiming defamation has to prove that the statements caused harm. Confusing or inaccurate statements that cause mild embarrassment are not generally harmful enough to win a defamation case. Usually, if the author claims the person has a vile disease, alleges the person is a racial bigot, implies the person is involved in adultery or sex before marriage, or says the person is engaged in illegal behavior, then harm may be proven. If someone gets fired -and it can be proven that the termination is a direct result of the published piece- then yes, it caused harm. Otherwise, it’s really difficult to show that an article caused someone harm, especially if the person threatening legal action is a fellow blogger. In that case, the person has assumed the role of a “public figure,” and has to prove a higher level of fault on the part of the defendant that caused more harm to the plaintiff than a private person would.

    Whomever threatening legal action is trying to scare you, but there isn’t really a case here, unless I’m missing something. Granted, as a casual reader I admit I do not have all the facts, but it looks like there is no defamation that anyone can hang his/her hat on. I don’t know either party involved (nor the third party who claims defamation though also claims not to be involved in the threat of legal action), and I won’t take sides, nor do I want to get involved. I’m just commenting on what the law actually states.

    With that said, I would probably have pulled the article as well, simply in the interest of keeping the peace on a relatively unimportant article. I would go to bat for an article I cared deeply about, but it’s simply not worth the expense nor the heartache to legally defend an article like this. As far as the person who threatened legal action, sometimes the best and most prudent possible action is inaction. Action simply draws unwanted attention to things the alleged victim only wishes would go away, especially in a case where the article made you angry or embarrassed, but didn’t really do any harm initially and was only seen by a small number of people before you brought undue attention to it.

    • boingbam

      Hahahahaha. Wow. Silence seems the best option unless you know the facts. You seem to be guessing about a lot. And your law is a liitle … Dated? TRH said it wasnt KFD. You could be giving people the wrong law. iDK. Imho, i wouldnt want people to believe what i say unless i witnessed it or did it or know it. Seems like more rumors.

      I hear social media law has changed expressly on Twitter defamation.

      And man, does it ever get costly when you count the twitter audience as one publication per follower, each time, each retweet. And retweeters cant say they didnt know it wasnt the truth – just repeating the lie without knowing for sure if its true seems to mean each retweeter can be sued. Im not sure, but it’s been in the news the last 2 weeks a lot.
      . I think it’s called twibel? Seems like same rules on public vs. private people, except it specifically considers how quickly social media works to destroy reputations. Particularly looking at the person being hurt vs. the amount of people getting false information.

      Precedential decision in LA County Superior Court. At least in California, it looks like something to worry about.

      • Guest

        “I wasn’t sure what that long comment was really about, but some of the dates you mentioned seem like a long time ago. I also heard some stuff on the news recently that might be related. I don’t know.”

      • Spikey

        If the LA Superior Court case you are referring to is Gordon and Holmes v. Love, Love was found not liable and cleared of charges on January 24, 2014. That case did not even involve satire or parody, a more-protected form of speech, yet Love was cleared of charges. So, it seems like the person guessing is you. I simply don’t see how citing 2 cases from 1988 and a case from 2011 that upholds the decisions from 1988 is too old for you. Those cases are relevant. It would be pretty comical to tell a judge that he/she cannot use decisions from 1988 because they are too old. Hahahaha. I’d love to be a fly on the wall for that one.

        • boingbam

          Are you even a lawyer? Courtney love was found not liable on damages = issue of fact. (That means the facts her case depended on her specific intent. Her intent does not matter beyond her case.)

          HOWEVER, the precedent set by her case is this: LIES On TWITER CAN CREATE A DEFAMATION CASE AS A MATTER OF LAW – specifically that a publication in a tweet is no different than writing in a newspaper or shouting the lie in a crowded room.

          The law you use to build up to the assertion you cant sue for a defamatory statement on twitter? Um. Yes. You. Can. Plus a blog isn’t the issue. It is linking people to the falsehood via twitter and the additional potential damage with more tweets of the lies. Satire or not, nobody can trash an individual’s name or reputation by making statements of fact which are false and damaging.

          But then I’m only guessing. The parties would have lawyers to advise them.
          Like you?

          • boingbam

            It was the explicit finding of the court recognizing this kind of defamation deserves its day in court.

            That’s why it’s in the news.

            Nobody gives a fuck about Courtney Love. It’s that the plaintiffs sued for twibel & instead of it being dismissed, it went to a jury. For the first time in this country. It’s a pretty big deal.

          • Spikey

            Where did I ever claim to be a lawyer? Similarly, where did I ever assert one cannot sue for defamatory statements on Twitter? I claimed that you cannot call someone else’s retweeting of your own tweets defamatory against you. You published your tweets yourself under your own volition with the knowledge that they can be retweeted or screencaptured, and as long as the other party isn’t plagiarizing, you really don’t have a case. (Unless, of course, it is a case of hacking, but that’s totally different and I assume that that is not the case here.)

            • Spikey

              I think the dead giveaway is that no lawyer would give out bad legal advice for free in the comment section of a blog…smh.

              • boingbam

                At least we can both agree that your advise was bad…smh.

                I would worry if someone accidentally thought you knew what you were talking about. I don’t.