Tag: "limited-purpose public figures"

Beck Loses First Round in Libel Case

| December 4, 2014

By Steven J.J. Weisman
TALKERS 
Legal Editor

 

weismanwriterBOSTON — In a significant ruling, Judge Patti B. Saris denied Glenn Beck’s Motion to Dismiss a libel lawsuit brought against him by a 20-year-old Saudi Arabian student, Abdulrahman Alharbi.  Alharbi was a spectator near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013 when bombs planted by the late TamerlanTsarnaev and his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is presently awaiting trial on numerous charges related to the bombing, were detonated.  Alharbi was not just a witness to the bombing, he also was injured in the bombing.  However, in the days and weeks following the bombing, Beck identified Alharbi on the air as an Al Qaeda “control agent,” “money man,” and co-conspirator involved with the attack.

Shortly after the bombings, Alharbi was indeed questioned by federal authorities and, with his permission, they searched his home.  Shortly thereafter, these same federal authorities concluded that he had absolutely no involvement with the attack and news reports about a possible connection with Alharbi and the Marathon bombing ceased with the major exception of Glenn Beck, who continued for weeks to describe him as an active participant in the bombing.

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