A senior judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said that liberal media bias — “nearly all television — network and cable — is a Democratic Party trumpet,” for example — has resulted in such abuse of the landmark Times v. Sullivan requirement that speech relating to public officials has to show actual malice to be actionably defamatory that the longstanding precedent should be overturned.
When New York Times v. Sullivan was decided by the Supreme Court 50 years ago Sunday, newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations were the primary means of publishing. Today, the case applies equally to new media such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs. Because of the ease of publishing online, more people may claim the protections granted by the decision and others that followed.