Accuracy in Academia Inc. Settles Suit With Retraction
NEW YORK (AP) _ A group formed to fight ″misinformation on college campuses″ has settled a libel suit by admitting it falsely claimed that a Marxist organization urges the killing of police officers.
Accuracy in Academia Inc. agreed to publish a retraction in its monthly publication, Campus Report, admitting that its statement about the Spartacist League was untrue, officials of both groups said Wednesday.
″Like anyone else, if we make a mistake we correct it,″ AIA founder Reed Irvine said by telephone. ″And we’ve never said we won’t make a mistake.″
The Spartacist League sued Irvine, the group and its director, Laszlo Csorba, over an AIA pamphlet published in fall 1986 that said league publications ″urge ... the killing of police officers.″
The statement was based on an unpublished article that AIA later could not substantiate, Irvine said. He declined to identify the article’s author.
″Defendants AIA, Reed Irvine and Laszlo Csorba admit that the statement ... is false and hereby retract said statement,″ said the settlement, filed at U.S. District Court in Manhattan. It said Campus Report, which had advertised the pamphlet, would print a retraction saying, in part: ″This statement about the Spartacist League is false.″
″This was a total victory,″ said Jonathan W. Lubell, lawyer for the league, which he described as a Marxist-Leninist political organization. ″They had been defamed and AIA agreed to correct it.″
Lubell said AIA proposed a settlement and agreed to print the retraction as drafted by the Spartacist League. He said the league was more interested in a prompt, unambiguous retraction than in seeking money damages in court.
The settlement said each side ″wishes to avoid the uncertainties and expenses attendant upon further litigation of this matter.″ Irvine said he would have published the retraction ″without it going through the process of the lawyers″ had the Spartacist League contacted him directly.
AIA was formed ″to deal with misinformation on college campuses,″ Irvine said. He also founded a media watchdog organization, Accuracy in Media Inc.