CNN sued one dollar... for each person in China

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 24th 2008 1:03PM
Jack CaffertyJack Cafferty, aka CNN's Grumpy Old Man, has been known to spout off from time to time and go on rants, but they were nothing more harmful than the news equivalent of "damn kids and their rock music these days." But it looks like one of his ramblings ticked off a couple of people enough that they found some creative lawyers and sued the heck out of Cafferty and his bosses.

According to Reuters, a beautician and a Beijing-based primary schoolteacher are suing Cafferty and CNN $1.3 billion for, the article says, "violating the dignity and reputation of the Chinese people." The lawsuit is being filed in New York. According to one of the suit's lawyers,"The $1.3 billion averages out to $1 per Chinese person, so it isn't much." He apparently said that with a completely straight face.

Cafferty is being sued for saying that the Chinese make "junk with the lead paint on them and the poisoned pet food." But this little tag is what probably got him in trouble: "They're basically the same bunch of goons and thugs they've been for the last 50 years." Yikes. I'd put a "get off my lawn" joke here, but it seems completely unnecessary.

[via Yahoo!]

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Michael

Generalizing about a whole group of people (1.3 billion or so) as though they are all responsible for each other's actions does seem a bit racist in that it implies they're all the same. The vast majority of the Chinese population is in no way to blame for the lead toys issue, or the government's policies. The problem is that people keep saying the Chinese when they mean the Chinese government, and other similar equivocations.

April 25 2008 at 3:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Michael's comment
Franklin

I believe you've hit at the heart of the matter. Cafferty was obviously referring to the Chinese government when he made his comments, but he only said, "the Chinese". Even though he should've picked his words better and included "government" in his comments, had he done so I firmly believe he still would've been sued.

The biggest problem on this planet is not evil governments, it's lawyers.

April 25 2008 at 2:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tb

Come on...we all know that it's totally cool to call the Chinese whatever Americans want to. You know, 'cause they're not black and as long as they're not black it's totally okay to knock on them. ...Douchebags.

And about Tibet, shut up. America has nothing to do with them. Let Tibet stand up for themselves. If they lose, that's on them. We're not their keepers.

April 24 2008 at 11:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to tb's comment
Paul

it's not the truth that's the problem, it's the second part of the statement that's the problem. "They're basically the same bunch of goons and thugs they've been for the last 50 years." I do find that a little racist. I mean if someone said that about say another group of people, they'd be a little upset.

But I wonder if the Chinese government wins, will each person in China get to keep the $1 they made from the lawsuit.

And no, I find that whole thing about Americans calling for free tibet completely hypocritical, and I'm an American. Would you free all the indian reservations if they called for that? Cause we are occupying their land. They were here first. I do think though the Chinese government should work out something similar with Tibet as we did with the Native Americans. Don't ask another government to do what our government isn't willing to do.

April 24 2008 at 5:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Paul's comment
bsgfan2003

The Chinese government sends work squads to monasteries and nunneries for "patriotic re-education". The Chinese government also bans certain prayer ceremonies.

I hope I'm not alone in saying that I find that sick.

Freedom is a beautiful thing.

April 24 2008 at 7:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Franklin

The words "goons" and "thugs" mean someone, usually of questionable intelligence, hired to intimidate or injure someone. How is that racist?

Calling the Chinese "goons and thugs" isn't making a racist comment, it's a comment on the actions of a government that stifles freedom and treats human life as if it holds no value. Cafferty is spot-on with his comments and is only being sued because he hit a nerve with his blunt truths.

April 24 2008 at 11:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cincinnati Mike

The commies will sell us the rope with which to hang ourselves. But it will probably be defective.

April 24 2008 at 4:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Cincinnati Mike's comment
Eugene

haha, so true. Reminds me of after 9/11 when everyone ran out and bought a little car flag, or a bumper sticker or a lapel pin of the american flag... all made in china.

I didn't buy one as a sign of my patriotism.

April 24 2008 at 4:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chgosaint

Um, yeah... and in other news, China does sell toys with lead paint and has put poison in dog food. How many recalls have their been on Chinese products? I want tariffs of $1 for every good that China sends to America that has been recalled. That makes $1.3 billion look like chump change. I hope the Chinese have to answer about whether or not they have defective products in a court of law. Does an oath mean anything to people who do not believe in a god?

April 24 2008 at 4:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Franklin

He tells the truth and gets sued. What a wonderful world.

April 24 2008 at 3:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Carissa

First of all, get over the name calling. How in the hell does what he says constitute a violation of the dignity of the Chinese people? Does every Chinese person hold themselves personally accountable for making the second rate products they send over here? I doubt it.

I'm so sick of this shite.

April 24 2008 at 2:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Eugene

god, this is even more absurd than the guy who got sued by a seller on Ebay for leaving neutral feedback.

I'd boycott "made in china" but thanks to our political leaders brilliant strategy of choking nearly all manufacturing jobs out of this country, i'll just have to be sure I buy "made in taiwan" whenever possible.. just so I feel like I'm doing my part to stick it to the chinese.

April 24 2008 at 1:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Eugene's comment
tv junkie

totally agreed. also wear that "free tibet" t-shirt too.
It's amazing how people started to overlook their awful record of human rights record just because everyone think they can make money there. it's also alarming when China is saving the U.S. economic crisis...
How about the U.S., and the rest of the world, sue China for selling people poorly made crap and counterfeiting other countries' brand?

April 24 2008 at 2:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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