David Barton Settles Defamation Claims Out of Court

Update: Maybe Barton didn’t get a million after all. This from The Blaze:

The historian declined to give the exact sum of money received, as settlements are sometimes less than the sum presented in a judgement.

In conversation with attorneys, I have heard the same thing. I think this is a way to say he didn’t get a million.

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Late last night,WorldNetDaily posted an article claiming that David Barton won a million-dollar defamation suit. More accurately, he settled out of court, but he did get the apology he wanted. To my knowledge, this was first reported by Donna Garner in October.

Garner posted the entire apology:

During our respective campaigns in 2010 for separate positions on the Texas State Board of Education, we published a video entitled: ”A True Tale From Texas,” that created a false impression about David Barton. The purpose of that video was to discredit our Republican Party political opponents on the State Board of Education, and those on whom they relied, by depicting their position as politically extreme and detrimental to education. Thus, the video stated that David Barton, who advised the State Board of Education, is known for speaking at white supremacist rallies. We believed that statement had been fact-checked by our political consultant, Scott Garrison, who relied for confirmation solely on information provided him from The Texas Freedom Network. As professionals in education and the proper use of language, we understand that this statement suggested that David Barton is a white supremacist, and that the two organizations he is affiliated with, WallBuilder Presentations, Inc. and WallBuilders L.L.C., were associated with or supportive of white supremacists. After learning more about Mr. Barton, we realize this statement was false. We separately and jointly apologize to Mr. Barton for damage to him individually and to his two organizations as a result of that statement.”

I have known about this for a couple of days and asked the Texas Freedom Network their view of the settlement. They provided the following statement:

Nothing we have seen in the part of the settlement that has been made public even remotely suggests that TFN provided false information about David Barton to anyone. We may provide additional information about this after we have discussed this with our counsel.

It is a shame that the Texas candidates focused on those obscure speeches when there were so many other issues on which to focus.

More curious is that Barton has used the judgment to go after others. I certainly understand why he went after Bob Barr and I defended Barton against Barr’s claims of antiSemitism.

Barton critics Rob Boston and Chris Rodda are mentioned. However, his evangelical critics (e.g., John Fea, John Wilsey, me) are not mentioned. The WND article falters by not clearly spelling out that the criticism of Barton’s historical writing has been found flawed by evangelicals as well as those outside the church. If Barton is going to sue all of his critics, then he will be in court more than out of court.

It might be telling who he sues and who he doesn’t.

At risk of a suit, I stand by my book, Getting Jefferson Right, and am glad to defend my work and assessment of Barton’s historical problems. If anything, I might consider an action in his direction, after years of misrepresentations of me and my motives by Barton.

 

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