EduShyster here recounts the sad tale of billionaire John Arnold, who apparently did not like my apology to him for a factual inaccuracy in an earlier post.
I made a factual error in a post on October 10. I said that he left Enron with $3 billion. That was an honest error on my part. I wrongly assumed that is where he became a billionaire. But he made his billions after he left Enron.
Imagine the scenario. I am in the hospital, concerned about blood clots and leaky heart valves, when my literary agent emails to say she just received an email from John Arnold’s lawyer, saying that I had defamed him. My literary agent is also a lawyer, and she advised me that since John Arnold is a public figure and since I did not act maliciously, he was unlikely to prevail in a court of law.
My immediate reaction was that I did not wish to engage in litigation with a billionaire, so–from my hospital bed–I wrote and posted an apology.
Arnold decided to give $100,000 to some organization dedicated to fact checking.
I have decided to give $100 to the American Civil Liberties Union to protect free speech in the United States.