Activist Says Radio Host Defamed Him

     OAKLAND, Calif. (CN) – A fund raiser for the 6 high school students expelled from a Louisiana school sued the ABC Radio Thursday saying s a radio host defamed him and by saying the money he raised “has not been going where it needs to go” and calling him “shady.”




     James Rucker and ColorOfChange.org sued radio personality Michael Baisden, ABC Radio Network and Citadel Broadcasting in Alameda County Court.
     Rucker says he and his group raised and distributed $210,000 for bail and legal defense for the Jena 6, black high school students in Louisiana who were arrested after a racially charged fight. Rucker says he distributed the money by October 2007, and that Baisden’s staff knew about it before the Nov. 5, 2007 show on which the defamation allegedly occurred.
     On that day, Rucker says, Baisden said, “The money has not been going where it needs to go.” He says Baisden added that “We contacted them [the plaintiffs] ourselves. … I’m going to be frank. … The perception of my staff is that he is a little shady.”
     Baisden defamed him again on Nov. 6, Rucker says, by saying: “He (James Rucker) sound shady to me. Sounds like a shady brother … Slim Shady.” (Parentheses in complaint.)
     And on Nov. 9, Rucker says, Baisden read on the air and posted on his Web site a statement “that ColorOfChange.org was not authorized by the Jena 6 families to collect money on behalf of four of the six families.”
     Rucker is represented by M.J. Bogatin.

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