Judgment in defamation case against the Pilot

Virginian PilotWith the recent articles in The Virginian-Pilot regarding anti-Semitic vandalism of local synagogues (1, 2), one would expect that the paper would have at least mentioned the recent decision to grant summary judgment on most of the issues of a suit against it. If the Pilot has said something, I haven’t seen it.

Back in 2007, the Pilot printed an article about Lt. Cmdr. John Sharpe, who was relieved of his duty as the public affairs officer on the aircraft carrier, the USS Carl Vinson. Sharpe was being investigated for heading two anti-Semitic groups, the Legion of St. Louis and IHS Press. The Southern Poverty Law Center identified these groups as “two of the most nakedly anti-Semitic organizations in the entire radical traditionalist Catholic pantheon.” (This article was the result of an earlier article printed in Portfolio Weekly which is no longer available online.)

The article prompted this editorial, written by then editorial writer  David Mastio. In it, Mastio takes the Navy to task for not having noticed that Sharpe’s writings had been available on the internet for five years. In the process, Mastio – as only Mastio can – uses some inflammatory language to describe Sharpe, like the following:

His views veer from insanely pacifist conspiracy theories to chest-thumping jingoism with barely a speed bump in between.


The lunacy goes on and on.

(I have to admit that reading editorials haven’t been nearly as fun since Mastio left.)

Nearly a year later, Sharpe filed suit against Landmark Communications, which publishes the Pilot, and Mastio, claiming defamation. The suit sought $5 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages. A couple of weeks ago, Norfolk Circuit Court judge Norman A. Thomas issued his opinion (pdf). In it, Thomas grants a summary judgment to the defendants on the major issues of the case, conclusing that Sharpe’s writings “do espouse anti-Semitic and racist views.”

No reasonable person can read Sharpe’s individual writings and conclude that he espouses anything other than a deep, abiding and pervasive suspicion of and hostility toward Jews, whether considered as a collective people, religion, nation or ethnic group. From his perspective as an advocate of the Catholic Social Doctrine, he considers Jews to be in direct competition with western Christendom, in fact, seeking to bring about its end, and also responsible in whole or in part for nefarious and self-centered domination of the United States Government, one or more of its former Presidents, the media, the world financial markets, and, bearing responsibility for such events as the terrorist attacks on United States soil occurring on September 11, 2001.

The remaining issues of the case, which revolve around the use of certain quotes attributed to Sharpe in the editorial, will be allowed to proceed to trial.

One would think, given what our synagogues experienced last week, that the Pilot would have used this court decision as a shield to say something to the cowards who, under the cover of darkness, defaced them. Unfortunately, they did not.

Too bad Dave isn’t still writing editorials over there. I’ll bet he would have had a thing or two to say.

16 thoughts on “Judgment in defamation case against the Pilot

  1. I’m Jewish, born and raised. Jews do control the media;

    News Corp. President Peter Chernin (Jewish), Paramount Pictures Chairman Brad Grey (Jewish), Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger (Jewish), Sony Pictures Chairman Michael Lynton (surprise, Dutch Jew), Warner Bros. Chairman Barry Meyer (Jewish), CBS Corp. Chief Executive Leslie Moonves (so Jewish his great uncle was the first prime minister of Israel), MGM Chairman Harry Sloan (Jewish) and NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker (mega-Jewish).

    Jews do control the banks, well most of the larger ones, and the Federal Reserve System.

    AIPAC dominates our foreign policy.

    People brag about this stuff in Temple, when I was at Passover dinner everyone was ecstatic about how much control Jews have in the Obama administration. We take pride in it (I don’t, but that’s beyond the point). Why is it that saying things that are true and could be considered negative about Jews gets you labeled as anti-semetic? There is a serious double standard here.

    1. Max,

      I don’t see that naming off a bunch of Jewish people proves anything, but lets leave that aside.

      Mr. Sharpe went so far beyond anything like what you have said, his views aren’t in the same league.

      From the summary judgment against Sharpe: “In the editorial’s paragraph 7, the defendants state that, ‘Sharpe used his groups to raise money for holocaust revisionist Jim Condit, an Ohio crackpot who claims that Zionist Jews engineered Adolph Hitler’s rise to power.’ Sharpe contends that he did not raise funds for Condit, nor has he ever used group to raise money for any holocaust
      revisionist agenda, and that the editorial defamed him in those regards. … The Court finds that the editorial accurately characterized Sharpe’s association with and fundraising effort for the individual referenced as ‘Jim Condit’, and thus the Court grants summary judgment …”

      Max, do you support raising money for Jim Condit? Do you believe that Jews hatched a conspiracy to help Hitler and cause the holocaust so they could settle in Israel?

    2. Here’s a single standard for you: Anyone who writes something like this, whether they are Jewish or not, male or female, American or not, is a bigot and an idiot.

  2. The fact that all the major studio heads are Jewish means it is quite fair to say Hollywood is controlled by Jews. Unless you want to argue studio heads do not control their companies…

    I don’t believe the Jewish people all got together and decided to sell themselves down the river, but when I was in Hebrew school at Temple Beth Israel in Ghent we learned about the Zionist movement. We were taught that a small group of Jews had tried to go to extreme measures to secure the Jews a homeland. Theodore Hertzel was one of the more prominent ones and he actually wanted the Jews to settle in Uganda.

    If you read the Historical Record of the time you will see that people who happened to be Jewish were involved in financial transactions with both sides during WWII. The Rothschilds (Jewish) made their fortunes financing both sides of the Napoleonic Wars.

    Clearly Mr. Sharpe went too far, but to say that Jews were not involved in selling their people out at some point in the last hundred years is to say that no Africans helped the slave traders.

    Besides all that, something like 98% of Jews are not semetic. Look up the kingdom of the Khazars, who around 786AD converted to Judiaism. This is where most Jews come from. They would not be semetic.

    I disagree with many of the policies of the Israeli government, especially the recent invasion of Gaza and the incredibly racist tone of many Jewish newspapers. Am I anti-semetic? The ADL throws that label around far too loosely. They would consider me on par with Nazi’s for daring to think that Jews have a disproportionate influence in the world.

    1. Max,

      Where you go off the deep end is that you appear to think that Jewish “control” of the media means something important. Even if it were true, it doesn’t. It sure hasn’t stopped Hollywood stars from denouncing Israel or a whole spate or boxoffice loser anti-Iraq war movies.

      You also seem to think it means something that Jews had financial transactions with both sides in WWII. So did Catholics, Protestants, blacks, whites, gays, straights and just about every other group. The only thing it tells you is that all those groups, just like Jews, are made up of people and people do stupid stuff.

      People who go down this dangerous road are arguing that the actions of Jewish individuals mean something about the group and that’s just not so.

      And the whole criticizing Israel thing is a red herring. Of course you can criticize Israel without being anti-Semitic. Israel, its leaders and its voters do lots of destructive boneheaded things, but that also doesn’t tell you anything about Jews. See the history of every democratically run country on the planet.

  3. I am not Jewish, but have many Jewish friends. I do not know whether Jews control the media, the banks, etc., and I don’t really care. Frankly, if some group is going to control those things, I’d rather it be the Jews than any other group I can think of.

  4. Mastio,

    All I’m saying is that I could write a book saying Jew’s have a hugely disproportionate amount of control in the word and back it up with piles of scholarly research (sitting on my desk next to me organized into folders). Lots of other people make the same claims, they may not have the facts to back it up, but the are called anti-semetic. When a poll was done asking how many people thought Jew’s controlled Hollywood and it was in the low 40%s the ADL went nuts and said it was horrible. Seriously, the Jews go way to far attacking anti-semtism. I can’t stand it, that’s why I posted here. Thank you all for listening.

    For the record, Hollywood is destroying the moral fiber of this nation, I don’t think many can argue with that. The media is beyond corrupt and full of blatant lies. Anyone care to argue that?

    1. Disproportionate relative to WHAT? Their education? Their work ethic?

      My Jewish friends are all highly educated and have worked hard for that education and everything else they have. If you don’t like the results, start fostering those ethics in your own community.

  5. Mastio,

    “People who go down this dangerous road are arguing that the actions of Jewish individuals mean something about the group and that’s just not so.”

    Ever read the Kabbalah? Or the whole Talmud? Or some of the more ancient Jewish books?

    2 sets of laws, 2 sets of justice, more racist than you could imagine.

    I’m not saying all Jew’s are like that, but just because people make a generalization does not mean its completely unfounded in facts.

  6. This is just my opinion and I have no scholarly research to back it up, but if you have a pile of neatly organized files on your desk, you ought to go see a psychiatrist. If those neatly organized files are about how Jews control the world, you ought to run to the psychiatrist, because something is very, very wrong with you.

    And, sure Hollywood is a morally destructive force (except for House, which is great). But while you don’t come out and just say it, you imply that’s because it is “controlled” by Jews. Is that really what you think?

    1. Why are you engaging this cretin in any kind of serious debate? To the extnet that you trat this drivel as worthy of serious rebuttal lends it a credibility it does not deserve.

  7. Congratulations to Mr. Mastio for having the courage to fight back and expose John Sharpe for what he is. Our country is indebted to you. Perhaps the military will do what must be done and remove him from his position with our Navy. (Didn’t they just roll over and settle out of court with Sharpe?). I’d like to ask Mr. Mastio if Mr. Sharpe was ordered to pay damages as a result of losing this defamation suit.

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