The next step in Brett Favre’s lawsuit against Pat McAfee has seen McAfee and his lawyers file a motion to dismiss, as you’d expect. But the way McAfee tweeted about that, and the particular language he used, is interesting. It’s also an indication of some of the problems with the recent expansion of Twitter’s character limit, as McAfee tweeted almost 500 words here:
Hello beautiful people..
As of a few moments ago, I have filed for the dismissal of Brett Favre’s defamation lawsuit against me in a Federal Court in the fine state of Mississippi.
I very much understand that next to nobody on earth wants to hear more about this type of… pic.twitter.com/3z0NlvWqwC
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) March 31, 2023
Some highlights from that tweet:
From the very beginning I thought the lawsuit against me was a joke. A fugaze. A rib.. today makes it all feel like there has been a true glitch in the simulation.
When you read the publicly available filings in the lawsuit against Favre, all of the articles (FROM EVERY NEWS SOURCE THAT HAS BASICALLY EVER EXISTED), evidence, and damning facts of the very sad Welfare Fraud Scandal of Mississippi (new things are still being presented and revealed weekly), a “defamation” lawsuit from a public figure in sports who is in the middle of it all against a comedic sports show seems a bit bananas… that’s because it is.. B-a-na-na-s.
As I’ve had to learn more about all of this.. and experience it from this angle. I’ve come to realize that historically, this will go down as a rather notable attack on the first amendment AND on comedic relief as a whole in our society. I have faith that the Federal Judge assigned to this case will see this for what it was, an attempt by a Public Figure to silence folks from talking about their alleged horrendous transgressions. That’s not how America works.. or supposed to work, at least.
McAfee then goes on to extend a charity donation challenge to Favre, interesting considering the recent public criticisms he had of the way someone askede him for a charity donation to help a sick fan:
Brett, match me with a donation to a Big Brothers Big Sisters foundation in Mississippi. Let’s help out the next generation of Mississippians together. Let’s give some support to the citizens of your state who might need it a little bit, and let’s make something positive out of this sad clown show of a defamation suit with no merit.
The motion to dismiss here is more comprehensive than you’d see in many cases, but employment and litigation attorney Zachary Busey noted that it’s not uncommon for the Southern District of Mississippi, where this case is being heard (after McAfee got it removed to that federal court, partly thanks to claims from Favre’s lawyer about bankrupting him):
This practice varies jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but it is the typical approach in the Southern District of Miss. Plus Judge Starrett can always convert it if he'd like. I also respect the grabs and images embedded in the briefing that @WALLACHLEGAL might be posting next https://t.co/zrqOSDrTTu
— Zachary Busey (@ZBusey) March 31, 2023
It does appear that McAfee is treating this as more than “a prank” now, as one probably should do for a defamation suit. Whether it rises to the level of “a rather notable attack on the first amendment” remains to be seen. But hey, we now have (in the first page of that filing) a definition from Pat McAfee and his team of “actual malice,” so that’s a fun development. We’ll have to wait and see if Favre v. McAfee gets the citation status of NYT v. Sullivan.