Tag Archives: stiviano

Sterlings should sue the LA Times, and further questions

Normally I’m one who defends established newspapers as an oasis of reason in an internet rumor mill.

But I cancelled my LA Times subscription promptly after reading their headline “Contrite, defiant Sterling only fuels further outrage” the day after Sterling tried to explain himself to Anderson Cooper.

I talked to a few of my law school friends, and outside the press frenzy about this, the consensus is pretty clear – Sterling had not given into a blackmail attempt.  The field day everyone is having with this, gleeful at the thought of publicly humiliating the Jew and taking his property, reveals really deep anti-Semitic roots in this town.

So, if we still do live in a nation of laws and courts, and not “the court of public opinion” (i.e. lynch mobs), we think the Sterlings have a real case against the Los Angeles times for False Image.  If not Defamation of Character.  I’d like to dissect this a bit, and probe some deeper questions about exactly what’s been going on in this city.

We can call out False Light on the LA Times for a number of reasons, and we can start with their characterization of the Anderson Cooper interview.  Anderson Cooper was more than fair with a man who came forward to represent himself.  The highlights were that he was set up by this woman, she goaded him to say things he wouldn’t ordinarily say, and she broke his trust.  This is the consensus of people who actually listened to that phone conversation.

What are the first three things the LA Times puts up?  “Donald Sterling attacked Lakers great Magic Johnson, suggested that African Americans have not done enough to help their community and blamed the media for creating the turmoil.”  An hour long interview, and these three questions were almost ancillary.

People could say that Sterling did not come off well.  But given the town press’s prejudice towards him, he could have just masturbated for an hour and it wouldn’t have made a lick of difference.  They have their attitude towards him and they cherry-picked the facts that fit.

A lie is defined as a “misrepresentation of fact.”  So in pure terms, we have a demonstrated fraud here, and it could be easily argued as False Light.  Of course I’m just posting this one article, but I think this article is quite representative of all the articles they’ve posted about him.  Other articles have painted him as suffering from dementia, actually wanting to lose his team, old man bigot product of a bygone era, I’d go on but it makes me sick just to think about how they’re painting him.

And the worst part is, in a nation of laws, not one opinion piece suggesting that maybe the accused has rights, and society should respect that.  No.  It’s just “you’re either with us or you’re a bigot.”

With this in mind, Is it any wonder that Mark Cuban came out and proudly declared himself a bigot?

On a tangent, good on you, Mr. Cuban.  I have a feeling the rest of the owners will close ranks behind Sterling, on the grounds of refusing to let an owner lose a team over blackmail.  If they are the sole voice of reason in this lynch mob, it makes a damning statement about capitalist democracy, that the only people who can run it responsibly are the capitalists.

But let’s take this further.

The charges can deepen into Defamation of Character, if there was no sexual relationship between Sterling and Stiviano.  For this I go by Sterling’s remarks in the Anderson Cooper interview, that he just thought some young woman cared about him and it’s hard to say no to that.  The theory is equally plausible that she came into his life with malicious intent and blackmailed the family with misleading recordings, and they had given her the house and cars to shut her up.

This is something for the Sterlings to ask themselves.  If there was no sexual relationship between the two, it’s Defamation of both Donald and Shelly to say their marriage is falling apart because he’s cheating on her with a younger woman.

And what a damning statement it would be, if they reaffirmed their marriage by denying an actual affair.  How much of a given was it, in this entire town, that he was paying for sex, if the reality is she was just a malicious gold-digger who took advantage of an old man’s trust?  How many entities could be held liable for fanning that slander?

And here’s where I’d like to add some more probing questions.

What’s going on in the editorial boards of the newspapers?  Why this lapse of basic rights of the accused?  I understand Los Angeles has deep anti-semitic roots – it’s why Jews settled in Beverly Hills, because they weren’t allowed to buy homes in Pasadena.  Does the editorial board of the LA Times have roots in this demon?  Do we need to bug their hallways to find out what’s going on?

What do the columnists say?  As I posted in a previous link, Michael Hiltzik actually defended Frank McCourt, saying his crimes aren’t the worst in baseball.  And that’s one of the first lessons I learned in politics – whenever someone gets busted for sex or drugs, it’s always about a deeper.  Was there some conspiracy to run him out of town so some older (whiter) money (Guggenheim Group) could take over?

And what is the deal with Magic Johnson, anyway?  He stands to be the main beneficiary of the Clippers scandal, being first in line to buy them in a city that worships him.  He was also the figurehead buyer of the Dodgers after the city kicked out Frank McCourt (for the record, the city made it worth his while to leave, they didn’t threaten sabotage and forced sale if he didn’t surrender the team.  But let’s ignore that key fact for now).

Does he have sinister motives here?  What’s his relationship with Stiviano?  Did he put her up to it?  What does Frank McCourt think about his sale of the the Dodgers?  It sounds like he’s happy with what he got, he still gets to go to baseball games and he gets his parking lot profits for eternity.  So he’s probably signed a non-disclosure agreement a mile long.  But it would still be nice to bug both of their phone conversations and see what THEY say in private.

Does Johnson have any ties to the Player’s Association?  What is the deal with them anyway?  When Silver and others are talking about the urge to expropriate the team, and where it’s coming from, he says the players are demanding it.  Really?  This whole thing is because a few players are so upset over some fucked-up phone conversation, that they will uproot the whole league unless they expropriate the owner?  I think people who speak for themselves would be a bit more rational.  I suspect this “association” is in somebody’s back pocket.

And what about Adam Silver and Richard Parsons?  As figureheads for the reaction, their stances are predictable.  But Adam Silver, for all his stated “confidence”, sounded quite nervous at his last press conference.  I imagine he’s nervous that he really doesn’t have the votes.

And what is Richard Parson’s history?  The history of CEOs is generally that of incompetent self-serving figureheads.  What’s his history in “preserving value”?

I have no idea about any of these people.  That’s why I’m asking these questions here.  On my own little corner of the internet.  Because the media have prodded Sterling enough to be guilty of molestation.

Donald Sterling and Anti-Semitism

So unless you’ve been living under a rock, I don’t need to explain too much to you.  His lady friend released footage of a phone conversation where she got him to question her Instagramming photos of herself with a black man, and now the world is clamoring for him to sell his team.

What’s most striking to me about all this, is the strong whiff of Anti-Semitism in all this … the utter jubilation at the thought of stripping Sterling of his team, on such shaky charges, has the ring of Merchant of Venice.

Is what he said cringe-worthy?  Of course.  Does he have a history of questionable behavior?  Of course.  He’s a capitalist.  And capitalists don’t get rich writing checks.  His behavior is quite typical of his class.

Fortunately, in LA we have a nice case study of a slimy owner who we needled to sell his team: Frank McCourt.  And regarding his situation, LA Times Business columnist Michael Hiltzik said “The history of baseball ownership is a brimming cauldron of con men, hacks, racists, cheapskates and bankrupts.”  I promise you the bell curve doesn’t shift significantly to basketball or football team owners.

Of course, McCourt was embezzling money from the Dodgers, running the team into the ground.  And yet, nobody clamored to force McCourt to sell, we had to patiently convince him to sell and pony up enough money collectively to make it worth his while.

Compared to him, Sterling looks like a pretty decent guy.  Taking a nothing team from a nothing market to a championship team that rivals the Lakers over 30 years?  I’d say that’s decent management.

But the tune is far different with Sterling.  We take a questionable phone conversation, one that would never be admissible in court for a number of reasons, and wave it around as the crowning jewel in a case to strip a Jew of his prize possession and achievement.  And we celebrate that our consciences have been cleansed, with a nice new prize to boot!  Everybody wins!

And that’s the core of Anti-Semitism.

It’s putting all our guilt and shame of the injustices of Capitalism and the innate bondage of wage labor, and transferring it into an impossible moral standard on the Jews who actually manage to claw their way into a piece of the pie.  It’s taking this opportunity to have all the players complain that they’re being bought and sold on the market, like it’s STERLING’S fault, and not the entire institution.  It’s accusing Sterling of doing all the things every other rich person does to get rich, while the rest stay conveniently out of the hot seat.   As Chris Rock says, “It’s all right, because it’s all white!”

It’s the core of Anti-Semitism throughout history.  And if I may claim an exemption to Godwin’s rule, it’s what the Nazis did.  It’s going from “bankers run the world” to “Jewish bankers run the world”.  And rather than expropriating the expropriators, as that Communist Jew Karl Marx said, they expropriate only the Jews to cleanse their guilt and live another generation.

So, if we are to make some good sense ouf of this morass, there is one question to ask both players and the other owners.  And that is, what is it about Sterling that really gets them and makes them want to get rid of him?  The fact that he’s a racist, or the fact that he’s a JEEEWWW???

But this is not a question for us to ask them in public.  It’s for their mistresses to ask them (remember, the oppressed players have mistresses too, I’m looking at you Kobe Bryant), privately, needling the answer they want out of them, while recording the conversation and releasing it without their consent.

Frankly, you could probably buy this out of any number of mistresses for a couple million.  For Donald Sterling, this would be a trifling sum well worth the vindication.

POST-SCRIPT: as if the universe were nodding in agreement, the New York Times just posted an article about the one guy who went to jail for the 2008 financial crisis.  And guess what?  He’s a Semite.  (of course there’s also Bernie Madoff…)