Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Criticism of criticism

We'll bet many an author would like to be in Ann Rule's position right now;
A true crime author is suing a paper over a damning review of her book about a woman who killed her husband - after it emerged the man who wrote it was engaged to the killer.
Ann Rule launched legal proceedings against the Seattle Weekly after it ran an article accusing her of 'sloppy storytelling' in her book Heart Full of Lies, which is based on the story of Liysa Northon, who was jailed for the manslaughter of her husband.
Ms Rule maintained the newspaper printed the review 'unedited', and failed to disclose that its author, Rick Swart, had entered into a relationship with Northon.
Should be interesting assessing damages--given all the publicity from the lawsuit--if Rule gets a judgment against the paper.


  1. Ms. Rule is essentially suing the Seattle Weekly for Rick Swart's lack of journalistic ethics. Is there such a thing? What would happen to newspapers if they had to maintain that standard?

    'Sloppy storytelling' is a criticism of style. That might sting, but it is not a statment that Rule lied. If Rule wins, then just what could a book review legally criticize?

  2. Of course the truth is an absolute defense, so that's always an option for critics.