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Posted at 2:36 PM ET, 02/ 4/2011

Lawyer in lawsuit against Pres. Carter responds

By Stephen Lowman


David Schoen, one of the lawyers who filed a class action lawsuit Tuesday against former president Jimmy Carter and the publisher Simon & Schuster, responded to an item about the complaint posted on Political Bookworm. The suit alleges that Carter’s 2006 book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” was marketed as a work of non-fiction but is, in fact, “filled with demonstrable falsehoods, omissions, and knowing misrepresentations intended to promote Carter’s agenda of anti-Israel propaganda.”

Simon & Schuster, the book’s publisher, called the lawsuit “frivolous,” “without merit” and “a chilling attack on free speech.”

Political Bookworm wrote about the lawsuit on Wednesday. In an email, Schoen said:

It is not a matter of these 5 plaintiffs seeking $5 million based on their purchase of a $27 book. They are merely class representatives. There is no way to know how much in damages the class members will be entitled to if they prevail until we can know how big the class is. We will only know that after discovery from the defendants; but it was a best-seller I believe. Plaintiffs also seek punitive damages based on the knowing and intentional nature of their conduct. Remember, [Simon & Schuster] was contacted directly well in advance of this and they were presented with lists of the factual inaccuracies and misrepresentations ... The response was nothing other than Carter's re-invigorated campaign expressly telling the audience that everything in the book is absolutely true as written.
Mr. Carter is entitled to write or say anything in the world that he wants, no matter how false, about Israel or any other subject. But you can be sure [Simon & Schuster] had a purpose in marketing it as a work of non-fiction that purports to depict these events as they actually happened and then encouraged people to buy the book on that basis. That was not a true representation of what the book is, but they profited on that, knowing that it was not what they said. If they wanted to market a Carter novel, recounting things the way he would like them to be, that would have appealed to a different audience. No one suggests any speech should be suppressed. But if they tricked people into buying the book based on false marketing, they should repay the purchase price…
It is odd for [Simon & Schuster] to take a self-righteous position or try to make it a free speech issue. I am an absolutist on free speech and have a record of 25 years as a civil rights lawyer in the South and I would welcome you to read what the [American Bar Association] has written about my work. This has nothing to do with free speech or chilling anything — other than perhaps phony/false advertising and I am not sure who has an interest in allowing that. I even voted or Carter, by the way.

(Photo by Erik S. Lesser/AP)

By Stephen Lowman  | February 4, 2011; 2:36 PM ET
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and they wonder why the world hates them?

Posted by: dogsbestfriend | February 4, 2011 6:20 PM | Report abuse

"Don't Take Two Trips to Auschwitz I'm Still Suing you in the Morning''

Apparently the old ''cure '' for the disease of anti-Semitism was to send the offending sufferers to Auschwitz in much the same way that people with incurable diseases are sent to Lourdes. Now it is to sue for millions of dollars, even when the criticism of Jewish behavior is constructive! And for the insistent request for an apology from Jimmy Carter for writing the truth, is anyone keeping track of all the public people who have ''apologized'' to the Jews in recent years? Let's see, there was Brando, Billy Graham, Dolly Parton, Rep. Moran, Andrew Young, General Brown etc. ad nauseum. And while we are at it, can any one come up with the name of a single Jew who, as a Jew, has ever apologized to anyone for anything? --Michael Santomauro

Posted by: ReporterNotebook | February 5, 2011 8:03 AM | Report abuse

To dogsbestfriend

The case against Carter as explained in the Complaint filed in Court states:

“Plaintiffs wish to be clear about what this lawsuit is not about. It is not in any way an attempt to challenge Defendant JIMMY CARTER’S right to write a book, or Defendant SIMON & SCHUSTER’S right to publish a book which serves as a forum for Carter to put forward his virulently ant-Israeli bias or any other agenda he or his financial backers wish to put forward. Nor do Plaintiffs challenge his right to use falsehood, misrepresentations and omissions, misleading statements, or outright lies, all of which characterize this book, to further his agenda. Indeed, Plaintiffs fully recognize that, such an agenda from Defendant JIMMY CARTER should come as no surprise, given his well known bias against Israel and the interests of Israel’s sworn enemies who have given millions of dollars to support the Carter Center and Defendant JIMMY CARTER’S work.

Rather, Plaintiffs bring this action to challenge Defendants’ actions in deceiving the public by promoting and selling this Book as a factually accurate account in all regards of the events its purports to depict, rather than truthfully and accurately promoting and selling it as the anti-Israel screed that it is, intentionally presenting untrue and inaccurate accounts of historically recorded events, as witnesses to and participants in such events pointedly have come forward to declare. This lawsuit challenges the Defendants actions in attempting to capitalize on Carter’s status as a former President of the United States to mislead unsuspecting members of the reading public who thought they could trust their former President to tell the truth”

Representing fiction as fact is what this case is about.

Posted by: dsinger2000 | February 6, 2011 3:29 AM | Report abuse

To ReporterNotebook

Criticism of Jewish behavior - as with anyone's behavior - is justified when it is based on fact and not fiction.

This is what the case against Mr Carter is all about.

You state that Jimmy Carter was writing the truth. The current five complainants think otherwise and are entitled to a legal determination of whether they are right or wrong.

Posted by: dsinger2000 | February 6, 2011 3:56 AM | Report abuse

I found Jimmy Carter's books quite sympathetic to Israel. If the Israel lobby is looking for an apologist who doesn't wear their ideological clothes, it's Carter.

Posted by: mensoelrey | February 8, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

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