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Petitioning Melinda Tankard Reist

By johnboy - 19 January 2012 23

No Place For Sheep blogger Jennifer Wilson has directed our attention to an online petition asking Canberra social activist Melinda Tankard Reist to stop suing her.

We call on Melinda Tankard Reist to stop her current legal action against No Place for Sheep blogger, Dr Jennifer Wilson. As a public figure, we feel it is important for Melinda Tankard Reist to be completely upfront about her religious background and connections, so that people can fully understand how she has come to her publicly stated conclusions.

We feel that Melinda Tankard Reist, in having her lawyers threaten defamation proceedings against Jennifer Wilson, demanding an apology and withdrawing material, as well as having Jennifer pay for Melinda’s legal expenses, is trying to stifle open and frank debate on the internet, as well as Jennifer Wilson’s right to free speech.

If Melinda Tankard Reist truly has the courage of her convictions and her faith, she would engage in meaningful debate with Jennifer Wilson, rather than attempting to silence her through legal actions, which are completely disproportionate to any offence Jennifer Wilson may have caused.

You can read Jennifer’s original blog here:
Read the Sydney Morning Herald’s coverage:
Read an opinion piece from the Herald Sun supporting Jennifer Wilson:

Just letting you know.

What’s Your opinion?

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23 Responses to
Petitioning Melinda Tankard Reist
Bussie 9:33 pm 22 Jan 12

Diggety said :

Jennifer Wilson supported the defamation case against Andrew Bolt, but when she copy cats Bolt’s actions, has a cry when someone asks her to back up her facts or face legal action.

Bolt wasn’t done for defamation. Wilson didn’t accuse MTR of falsely claiming to be indigenous but otherwise the two cases are exactly comparable.

Diggety 6:24 pm 22 Jan 12

Jennifer Wilson supported the defamation case against Andrew Bolt, but when she copy cats Bolt’s actions, has a cry when someone asks her to back up her facts or face legal action.

A ‘hypocrite’ is what we call such an individual.

I hope MTR sues the t!ts off her. Either that or get them both in a ring and femi-fight it out; in the nude.

I-filed 2:06 pm 22 Jan 12

News columns by Miranda Devine and Anne Summers over the weekend shed some light.

Devine: “Tankard Reist has not sued – yet. She has asked for some factual clarifications. She is not a Baptist or a fundamentalist Christian.”
Trashing a citizen because of their religious belief makes me very uncomfortable. The blogger who raised Tankard-Reist’s ire, one Jennifer Wilson, apparently thinks there is something wrong with being a Christian.
I am an atheist, but I would stridently defend Tankard-Reists’s right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression.

Summers runs a stern line against Tankard-Reist: “It is impossible to be pro-life and a feminist.”

Pro-lifers don’t necessarily argue that abortion should be banned. If “pro-life” encompasses my attitude: “Abortion is unpleasant, is in fact killing a foetus, and should be a last resort, but women who feel they have to do it should not be stopped” – then by all means call me a pro-lifer. I don’t see how that approach should prevent me from identifying as a feminist.

HenryBG 6:46 pm 19 Jan 12

Just found this comment elsewhere:

Melinda Tankard Reist is treating her own beliefs like some kind of itchy genital rash that she does not wish the public to know about.

It’s a shame, really, as MTR has done great work against the stupidity of children’s beauty pageants and she’s not a bad foil for the rather unappealing pro-prostitution Patten/Swan mob.

HenryBG 6:02 pm 19 Jan 12

phil m said :

Since when was a threat of defamation proceedigns considered to be “current legal action”?

The write up on the pertition seems to contradict itself.

I noticed that. I think it’s part of an effort to build up as much Streisand effect as possible. Serves her right.

It started as one obscure blog pointing out that she’s involved in some way with a fundamentalist christian sect, and now national newspapers and umpteen other more widely-read blogs have made far more people aware of it than would ever otherwise have been the case. Wotta looser.

The funny thing about being accused of being a fundamentalist christian is that it sounds plenty defamatory to me. Unless you were proud to be a fundamentalist, which MTR plainly isn’t.

Who remembers Jason Donovan suing (successfully) the NME for calling him “gay”?

phil m 5:38 pm 19 Jan 12

Since when was a threat of defamation proceedigns considered to be “current legal action”?

The write up on the pertition seems to contradict itself.

Mysteryman 4:01 pm 19 Jan 12

Ok… so I read the offending blog entry. I don’t really think there is anything there worth getting upset about. It’s a blog by a left-wing atheist with strong feminist leanings. If she wasn’t being sued, I doubt many people would really care what she had to say.

Deref 3:53 pm 19 Jan 12

I call on Melinda Tankard Reist to stick her head in a bucket three times and pull it out twice.

bearlikesbeer 3:39 pm 19 Jan 12

What is this “right to free speech” you speak of?

Mysteryman 3:18 pm 19 Jan 12

Who is this Melinda person, and why should anyone care what she thinks/does?

johnboy 3:02 pm 19 Jan 12

petition link fixed!

EvanJames 3:01 pm 19 Jan 12

The petition itself is here:

And HenryBG, you’d be surprised to learn just how often bullying people into silence works. One of the terms of the deal is that you don’t talk about it, so it is indeed silent.

Reading the blog article in question, there are no grounds for defamation as what teh blogger has written is true, and since the subject is a public figure, it’s fair comment and in the public interest.

EvanJames 2:52 pm 19 Jan 12

The link to the petition leads to the previous RA article about this business. I want to sign the petition, this is a blatant example of the defo laws being used to stifle unwanted comment. Even if the person has a good case (like the blogger certainly seems to), their lawyer will deter them with scary information about how much it’ll all cost, and recommend they limit the pain by paying a few grand for the plaintiff’s lawyer, and a few grand to their lawyer to draft up an apology that won’t get them into more trouble.

Yes, even apologising when it’s demanded can see you in more defamation hot water, unless it’s worded correctly. By a lawyer.

I’m glad the blogger is standing up and having a go. This kind of thing happens all the time, and the scary costs see it all quickly hushed up. And the original media should have looked into Tankard’s activities to give background to who she was and what she was about.

HenryBG 2:50 pm 19 Jan 12

It’s funny how no matter how many people learn this lesson, there’s always somebody else who jumps into the “let’s try to bully them into silence” trap.

Dilandach 2:35 pm 19 Jan 12

When someone like this resorts to suing. They’re already lost the argument. The action seems childish and petty, I’d expect nothing less really.

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