White House Down

We recently reported that James Woods was taking legal action against an internet troll. Specifically, Woods is seeking $10 million in damages over multiple tweets asserting that the Academy Award-nominated actor is addicted to cocaine. Now that the case is moving forward, The Wrap reports that the defendant is requesting that the suit be dismissed, alleging that Woods himself regularly engages in ad hominem attacks on Twitter, making him a hypocrite and a bully.

“Regrettably Mr. Woods’ commitment to the First Amendment stops at his own keyboard,” reads the defendant’s filing. “When [the defendant] responded to one of Mr. Woods’ provocative tweets with an insult, rather than respond with more words Mr. Woods brought this thoroughly frivolous and censorious lawsuit.”

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The defense is seeking protection under California’s anti-SLAPP statute, which is intended to guard free speech against lawsuits without merit. The filing claims any assertions about James Woods’ addiction to cocaine, or his vitriolic tweets being the product of a cocaine high, are nothing more than hyperbolic rhetoric. And we do know that Woods has previously been able to separate reality from hyperbole. (Unless we are meant to believe that this actually happened.)

From the plaintiff’s perspective, engaging in a Twitter beef means that “hundreds of thousands of Mr. Woods’ followers” were notified (falsely) that James Woods is “cocaine addict.” But considering how search engines and the Streisand effect works, if the suit drags on long enough, the actor eventually risks a scenario where an internet search beginning with “James” would autocomplete with “Woods’ cocaine habit.” And that would be a shame, considering how many thousands of hours Woods has spent on Twitter, cementing his reputation as the internet’s foremost angry old man, proudly shaking his fist at the crooked liberal agenda.