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Michael Gaffney’s 10 month lawsuit agains Turtleboy Sports, which likely cost him upwards of $100,000, never mind the hours he spent building a libel suit that went nowhere, was one of our greatest victories. It upset him so much that he is now writing affidavits for other people suing us, and last week resorted to sending out fliers about me and my family, filled with pornographic lies and my address, to every single house in Holden, MA.
He hoped to silence Turtleboy with his juvenile and illegal prank, but once again failed miserably, because all Milky Mike does is fail.
Here’s the thing though. Worcester Magazine, the Turtlegram and Gazette, and MassLive all wrote about this lawsuit a million times when it was filed last year. It was juicy because the biggest media outlet in town was being sued by the biggest douchebag to ever serve in public office, because we didn’t endorse him in an election he had dropped out of. But the only one up until this point to publish a story about Gaffney losing was, to their credit, the Turtlegram. That changed today when MassLive went and did this.
It took them long enough, but at least they did it. Milky Mike is crying himself to sleep reading this tonight.
A judge has dismissed libel and fraud claims filed against the controversial Turtleboy Sports blog by former City Councilor Michael Gaffney, ruling that the blog’s harsh criticisms of Gaffney were protected by the First Amendment. Gaffney sued Turtleboy and its founder Aidan Kearney, his former political ally, just over a year ago. But in September, Uxbridge District Court Judge Gerald Lemire ruled in Kearney’s favor, allowing his motion for summary judgment in the case.
“In this case, the court finds that alleged defamatory statements were constitutionally protected expressions of opinion, based upon the medium in which they were made and to the audience to which they were published,” Lemire wrote in his ruling. “The communications implied no defamatory facts, as the Defendants provided their reasons supporting their opinions in the communications, which would permit a third party, upon review of the communications, to accept or reject the opinions based on review of the disclosed nondefamatory facts.”
Lemire ruled that Gaffney would have to meet a high bar to prove libel because he was a public figure, and because Turtleboy’s blog posts were primarily opinion pieces, not statements of fact. According to U.S. Supreme Court precedent, public figures cannot win a libel suit simply because a claim about them is false. Rather, they must prove that the claim was published with “actual malice.” Gaffney filed a motion for Lemire to reconsider the dismissal in October, but the judge denied that motion on Nov. 5.
Gaffney’s suit lodged claims against Turtleboy Enterprises LLC, the blog’s publisher, Turtle Digital Marketing LLC and Aidan Kearney, who is the owner of both companies, according to state corporate records. Gaffney had long denied operating the blog, but admitted in a deposition for the suit that he was its creator, according to court filings. The former councilor alleged that the blog had libeled him and committed fraud by lying about its pageview numbers when selling him advertising for his law firm. He was seeking $1,800 for the alleged fraud and unspecified damages for the claims of libel and emotional distress. In a response to the lawsuit last year, an attorney for Kearney and Turtleboy rejected the lawsuit’s claims.
“The articles and words printed and published were fair comments and a true and faithful report of the utterances of a public official and of a candidate for the public office of City Council of the City of Worcester concerning matters of public interest and general concern, and were so printed and published in good faith and without malice, and as such were privileged,” the response said.
The blog revoked its endorsement of Gaffney, accusing him of abandoning his supporters and writing that “everything Mike Gaffney touched turned to s—.” In the posts Gaffney claimed were libelous, Turtleboy claimed that Gaffney had “completely lost it,” “has no friends,” is the “most sensitive person on earth” and had made “insane rantings.”
In recent days, flyers blasting Turtleboy and Kearney have been mailed to residents of Holden, where Kearney and his wife live. The fliers have again put Gaffney in Turtleboy’s crosshairs. The mailers had no return address, and MassLive has not been able to confirm who sent them. But on Turtleboy Sports, Kearney wrote that he suspected Gaffney was behind the campaign and that he has reported the mailers to law enforcement. MassLive has reached out to Gaffney for comment.
His tears taste so delicious. It never, ever gets old beating Mike Gaffney.
That leaves Worcester Magazine as the only “media” outlet in town that hasn’t finished their “reporting.” That’s because Worcester Magazine’s editor (Walter Bird) is an alleged sexual deviant who we exposed as having been credibly accused of sexually harassing a number of women who he had professional relationships with. His minimum wage employee, Billy “Buttmunch” Shaner, wrote about us a bunch of times. He got moist when he first found out about the lawsuit and wrote about it on January 5.
He got a little chub when Gaffney added emotional distress to his lawsuits, because our blogs allegedly were making him fat, and Billy Buttmunch wrote another article about it on January 16. Then he showed up to court in early February as he always does – looking like a homeless vagrant.
This man fancies himself a reporter and is almost as obsessed with yours truly as Milky Mike is. He’s written about me at least 100 times in his little Worcesteria column that Steve Quist and a couple other people read at the deli every week. Normally I don’t respond because Worcester Magazine is pretty irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, but sadly for Billy this is as good as it gets. He’ll never be able to get a job anywhere else because he’s just not very talented, and he lets his obvious bias show way too much in his writing.
For instance, if he were a real reporter he would’ve written about how I defeated Gaffney in court. After all, if it was news when he filed the lawsuit, and it was news when he added emotional distress onto his complaint, then how come it’s not news when I beat him? Feel free to ask him yourself on Twitter. @bill_shaner
Real reporters report the news. Bill Shaner only reports things that reflect negatively on Turtleboy, because he hates that we are more successful than he is.
He hates that even his biggest cheerleader, Steve Quist, is a huge Turtleboy fan.
So that’s why he did what he does every week in his column today – tried to take shots at the turtle over the flier incident.
HOW DARE YOU, SIR: When you think of iconic reality TV duos, who comes to mind? Snooki and Pauly D?Flava Flav and New York? Stassi and Jax? Well, I think us Worcester folk should consider adding a new, more local team to the pantheon. Former City Councilor Mike Gaffney and Turtleboy Sports owner/head writer Aidan Kearney have had a public falling out on par with any season of reality TV, and it just keeps getting better. Earlier this week, residents of Holden received a postcard mailer in the style of a political campaign, but with a big picture of Kearney’s mug and some heavy criticism, along with a strange attempt to doxx his wife. The postcard campaign (which cost at least $3,000 per an estimate by a friend who knows these things) was, of course, anonymous. But that didn’t stop Kearney from immediately accusing Gaffney. Regardless who did it, let’s stop for a second and remember: this borderline slanderous mailer campaign couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. I mean, I can’t think of anyone less deserving than Aidan Kearney of an anonymous smear attack using misleading to inaccurate information as a weapon. No, he’s never done that. It’s not like he’s reaping what he sows or anything.
Actually Billy, I have never done that. None of our bloggers (I know it’s hard to for you to understand that I employ people) have ever printed inaccurate information as a weapon. You just made that up because you are devoid of facts. Our bloggers “smear” people who are breaking the law and acting a fool publicly. We use facts in order to document everything we publish. It’s not even remotely the same thing to what Gaffney is, but you tried, right?
Look Billy, let’s handle this like men. I hereby challenge you to a televised debate at the location of your choosing. We will debate the merits of Turtleboy Sports, and you can lodge all your complaints that you have with the blog. We can do it on a livestream, and it can be your people who run it all so no funny stuff on my part. We can do it in Shelburn Falls
The Westford-Chelmsford town line
I’ll even meet you in Colrain.
I’m not afraid to put my face out there, and I’m not afraid to destroy you with facts. Just please shower before hand. Please.
The challenge has officially been extended. Ball is in his court, will he take accept?