A video, supposedly about Jon Huntsman, has been making the rounds. Posted on YouTube by someone with the user name “NHLiberty4Paul” on January 4, 2012, the amateurish compilation of footage aims to paint Jon Huntsman as pro-Chinese, and thus untrustworthy to be President.
The user comments:
Ron Paul is the only authentic conservative in this race, and the only one capable of bringing authentic change to Washington. He is the only sole alternative to flip-floppers responsible for the costly mistakes of the past.
Despite the plural of “floppers”, Jon Huntsman is the only other candidate mentioned in the video. And, this is the only video that “NHLiberty4Paul” has posted.
Ron Paul has denounced the video. In fact, he has filed a trademark and defamation lawsuit in San Francisco federal court against the user who posted it. Since the user is anonymous, the suit is a “John Doe” suit, whereby an action is initiated, with room to fill in the name of the defendant once it becomes known (possibly by subpoena).
The complaint states:
“This is a classic case of dirty politics resulting from the unlawful use in commerce of an underhanded and deceptive advertisement designed to tarnish plaintiff’s reputation.”
A couple of things stick out about these actions. First of all, the wording seems to indicate that Ron Paul does not believe this poster to be a legitimate supporter of his. Rather he thinks he has a “troll”. From Urban Dictionary, a troll is:
“One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.”
In other words, Paul may believe that this person is not a supporter, but wishes to damage Paul’s reputation by association with the kinds of provocative statements in the video.
Paul may also want to distance himself from the poster in the eyes of the public. Since Ron Paul is a public figure, it is unlikely that a defamation lawsuit of this kind will be successful. But, to the voting public, this move may demonstrate Paul’s seriousness about not being associated with these statements.