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Related to libels: slander, defaming

libel chill

The silencing effect that the threat of a libel lawsuit can have on those who would be sued if they continue such speech. The whistleblower's silence after being threatened with a lawsuit by her former company is a classic case of libel chill.
See also: chill, libel

the greater the truth, the greater the libel

The more damaging or incendiary a fact is, the greater legal ramifications its publisher will face. Based on seditious libel laws of England in the 18th century. The Crown aimed to stamp out any and all seditious or rebellious publications that would aim to undermine or discredit the empire, truth being considered no defense whatsoever. In their eyes, the greater the truth, the greater the libel.
See also: greater, libel
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

The greater the truth, the greater the libel.

Prov. It is more offensive to say something damaging and true about someone than it is to tell a damaging lie. Jill: Fred's really upset. Someone's started a rumor that he's unfaithful to his wife. Jane: But it's true. Jill: Yeah, but the greater the truth, the greater the libel.
See also: greater, libel
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
"There are two kinds of blood libel, and both are relevant to the world we live in," says Ken Jacobson, deputy director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
But then again, opposition leader Isaac Herzog declared that UNESCO's World Heritage Committee engaged in a "blood libel" in October by adopting language that ignored the existence of a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount.
A blood libel, according to the ADL, is "a false, incendiary claim against Jews." But no matter how conveniendy emphatic it sounds, not every false, incendiary claim against Jews--or against anybody--is necessarily a blood libel.
Throughout, O'Brien's emphasis is on the taxonomy and repeated patterns of the blood libel, while he shows how the blood libel is endlessly replayed in Western culture (and, as an unexplored aside, apparently in "radical Islamic versions," 268).
The only reason the blood libel accusation has persisted against Jews is because Jews continue to exist.
"Ballads, Libels and Popular Ridicule in Jacobean England." Past and Present 145: 47-83.
Implicit in this understanding of Jacobean innuendo and libel is a more general assertion about the social function of the kinds of sexual slander that monarchs (and other political figures, then and now) tend to attract: from the sometimes lurid speculations surrounding Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, to the rumors of lovers and secret pregnancies that dogged Elizabeth I, to the hum of gossip surrounding James I and his favorites.
Web sites have emerged re-printing the original libel, but Demon is determined that they, or the URLs where they can be found, will not be publicly available on Demon's servers.
Unsatisfied with this response, Blumenthal filed a libel lawsuit against Drudge and America Online, seeking an improbable $30 million in damages.
While the latter may need only to prove negligence (under some states' libel laws) in order to recover damages, a public figure must prove that the publisher of the defamation either knew the statement was false or that he didn't care whether it was true or not.
The libel action arose out of events surrounding the acquisition of Leeds Utd by a consortium headed by Mr Bates in 2005, the court heard.
"We thought the award was extremely disproportionate to the actual libel."
The award had been the second highest ever in a libel case in Irish legal history.
(2) It is a question of fact whether or not any matter that is published is a blasphemous libel.
There is no guidance in the Criminal Code or in any judicial interpretations as to what "publishes," "decent language" or "a religious subject" mean, or generally, what constitutes blasphemous libel. This may explain why no one has been charged with this crime since 1935.