Newspaper Stands By Its Story on Connecticut Senator's GTA IV Rape Comments

June 30, 2008 -

Last week, GamePolitics was the first game-oriented site to report on a New Haven Advocate story detailing Connecticut State Senator Gayle Slossberg's controversial remarks about Grand Theft Auto IV.

The newspaper reported that Sen. Slossberg, a Democrat, was concerned about a possible rape scene in the game and was considering introducing game-oriented legislation in the upcoming session.

The following day, however, Slossberg issued a statement to the effect that her comments were "misrepresented" by the Advocate

Despite the Senator's protestations, the paper is standing by its story. Following an inquiry by GamePolitics, we received the Advocate's statement a short time ago:

The Advocate defends its reporting on this story. Sen. Slossberg was clearly speaking about stricter video game labeling in her capacity as a lawmaker, rather than as a mother or a private citizen. Also, our story said nothing about the senator wanting to restrict video game content, only video game labeling.

 

While we are sympathetic to the senator's concerns, there is no privacy protection for public speech. It is misguided to assume a conversation between an influential state senator and a reporter, or reporters, occurring in a public place, is off-the-record. The Advocate is happy to talk on background, if it's requested. In this case, it was not.

 

Comments

Re: Newspaper Stands By Its Story on Connecticut Senator's GTA

I'm all for freedom of ttnet vitamin speech and allowing rent a car game makers to put whatever they want in games, but there's one thing about this app that has me scratching my head.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but from araç kiralama the previous article araba kiralama on this I gathered that players can use Google maps in-game to find the other (real-life?) dealers in their area.  If this is the case, has travesti anyone considered what's stopping someone from using this app to actually move drugs between hands for reals?

But majority araba kiralama of their outrage araç kiralama stems from what it could DO TO children, not the content itself.  Talk to one of these people and you'll find they don't think any books kiralık araba should be banned from children.  Mention American Psycho and they talk about kiralık araç the redeeming value of using imagination to construct a story.  Reading, no matter what the content, is largely viewed as a consequenceless activity for people of any age.  The reason why I mention American Psycho is because of the content itself.  Gaming never has and likely never will have any scenes where someone has sex with a severed head.  Not gonna happen.  Yet despite this, they'll fight tooth and nail to protect their children from two boys kissing in Bully but whatever they read is harmless... yeah.

The entire arguement is kiralık oto based upon a social normality inflicted by luddites who can't figure out the controls for Halo so it's frightening and terrifying and obviously the cause of youth violence on the rise even though, in reality, it's in decline (which is actually a HUGE suprise given minibüs kiralama the economies status).  In  a perfect world, we would have parents that actually parent.  The idea of sales restrictions on media on oto kiralama any form to accomidate parental unwillingness to get involved with their child's life is the real problem to me.  Here I am, 32 years old, and being held up at a self-scan rent a car needing to show ID before I can buy a $10 M rated game all because Soccer Momthra can't be bothered to look at the crap Billy Genericallystupidson does in his free time.  It's too hard for her, so I have to suffer?

Re: Newspaper Stands By Its Story on Connecticut Senator's GTA

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Re: Newspaper Stands By Its Story on Connecticut Senator's GTA

The senator is  a n00b.

"[T]here is no privacy protection for public speech. It is misguided to assume a conversation between an influential state senator and a reporter, or reporters, occurring in a public place, is off-the-record. The Advocate is happy to talk on background, if it's requested. In this case, it was not."

Owned, owned and more owned. Don't try and play that kind of game with the press, senator. You will lose.

Re: Newspaper Stands By Its Story on Connecticut Senator's GTA

Nor should they have to apologize.

She claimed her comments were made "off the record", hence in a less formal, social type setting about Parenting.

Tell us senator, how do you explain advocating the practice of lies, deceit, and rumor/fear mongering as an effective tool of Parenting?  If that is truly how you view Parenting should be, then neither YOU, nor your state government, should EVER get into the business of Parenting other people's children.

Clearly, you are too incompetent when it comes to Parenting skills.

Nightwng2000

NW2K Software

Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: Newspaper Stands By Its Story on Connecticut Senator's GTA

She claimed her comments were made "off the record", hence in a less formal, social type setting about Parenting.

Of course as the paper pointed out, if you don't say "this is off the record", then the assumption is that it's "on the record".

The media usually honours "off the record" requests, fuzzing the details and replacing names with "un-named official".

She's just mad she got caught with a shovel-ful of steaming 100% organic bovine goodness...

-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

Re: Newspaper Stands By Its Story on Connecticut Senator's GTA

This, again, is the reason why I wish game companies would sue for slander when people make comments like she did.  Think about it...how many people do you think would falsely make comments about video games in public forum if they were risking being sued for defamation and slander/libel.  Remember back to Mass Effect...if they would have sued over the "digital sodomy and rape" statements, made, it would force people to think twice before saying these off the wall comments.  Plus, it would probably make the news if a politician or watchdog group got sued, and lost, due to the comments they made.  It's time for game creators to fight back.

Re: Newspaper Stands By Its Story on Connecticut Senator's GTA

The problem is that slander and lible are very hard to prove nowadays. And since the people making these comments are usually simply ignorant there's no way to charge them with it as there's no 'actual malice' in what they said. More than likely all it would do for the video game companies is waste a lot of money.

Though the attention it would get may be enough to shine light on the idiotic things people make up to make a story sensational.

-"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." -Sir Winston Churchill

Re: Newspaper Stands By Its Story on Connecticut Senator's GTA

"there's no 'actual malice' in what they said"

most of those stories were pieces arguing for the games to have restrictions placed on them or be censored/banned.

Re: Newspaper Stands By Its Story on Connecticut Senator's GTA

I don't know, this would be pretty easy to prove to be slander.  She is claiming fact to a rape sequence in a game.  It's recorded, so they have proof of her statement.  They take her to court, state there is no such thing in the game, and that her proclaiming it exists defames them falsely, and is slander.  In fact, they could argue that it hurt sales if they wanted to.  They go to court over it, prove she made that statement, and ask her to prove that such a thing exists.  If she cannot, she pays damages and releases a statement informing the public that she was false in her statements.  Everyone wins.

 

Or, even moreso.  Take Mass Effect...I think this one is a better idea.  Cooper Lawrence, who never played the game, made some very untrue and outlandish comments against the game on a widely viewed medium.  The creators slap her with a lawsuit for defamation and slander.  Again, her comments are VERY well documented and recorded.  She is brought to trial and it is found that her statements were false.  She pays damages, and releases a public statement ON THE SAME MEDIUM (not this bullshit blurb article that she did) stating how she knowingly made false statements against the game.

 

I bet even Wacko Jacko would be wary to jump infront of a camera then.

Re: Newspaper Stands By Its Story on Connecticut Senator's GTA

There's also an issue of "speech and debate" protection.

At least as the Federal level (and I presume many state levels) the statements made by politicians are protected under "speech and debate" clauses in the State's or Federal Constitution.

That protection usually only applies to statements made on the Chamber floor, so it might not work in THIS case.  But you can't sue for slander/libel a statement made by say a U.S. Senator on the floor of the Senate.

It is REALLY difficult to prove slander/libel though, it varies but usually you have to prove:

1) Intent to defame

2) Falsehood of the statement

3) KNOWLEDGE of the falsehood

Is she REASONABLY believed (and given the Hot Coffee scandal it isn't that hard to decide she was reasonable) there was a rape scene in GTAIV she's off the hook.

Re: Newspaper Stands By Its Story on Connecticut Senator's GTA

I do understand that there are a few cases that this just can't apply, like someone saying an M rated game may cause a child to go insane and shoot up his school.  It's speculation, not fact.  Speech and debate ends up being mostly speculation, and the facts portion are things that are normally proven facts.  There is a difference between debating over video games and how they affect people and stating outright falsehoods about the game.  In my mind, sensationalization could be seen as an intent to defame.  The statement is obviously false in many cases, and "I didn't know" is very rarely excused in the courts.  So even if she BELIEVES it is in the game, she can't say that it does.  If her statement was "I wouldn't be surprised if there was a rape scene", she'd be fine.  Claiming that there was, as if it was fact...that's slander.

 

I have a friend that's in law school...I'm going to talk to him about this, see what he says on it, from both the side of the video games as well as a theoretical defendant against a case if it was brought up.  I'll let you know what I find out.

Re: Newspaper Stands By Its Story on Connecticut Senator's GTA

I thought slander/liable also meant that the the person being slandered would have to prove that there was some financial loss or loss of business because of it.  GTAIV has proven that the game isn't all that affected by this pitchfork waving mob.  Besides, I wasn't sure if a product/company could file for liable or slander.

Re: Newspaper Stands By Its Story on Connecticut Senator's GTA

She opened her mouth, it got reported on, she looked bad and tried to backpedal.

 

End of story.

 

If yoru an elected official, there is no "off the record."

Re: Newspaper Stands By Its Story on Connecticut Senator's GTA

Don't they have orientation for politicians?  Your last sentence nailed it.

Re: Newspaper Stands By Its Story on Connecticut Senator's GTA

Aparantly their orientation is akin to "here's a bunch of money that isn't yours, go spend it."

maybe if they trained them for a few weeks Clinton wouldn't have gotten into so much trouble for his playing on the job. :P

 
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