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Business Ethics Case

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Business Ethics Case

The National Enquirer, Incorporated is based in Boca Raton, Florida; this type of publication is also known as a tabloid. The type of media reported predominantly is about celebrities, there have been instances in which certain stories are untrue. Many of the stories hurt people's reputations and cause personal discomfort. Therefore, the National Enquirer can have a lawsuit in their hands. American Media Operations Incorporated owns the National Enquirer, Inc. The National Enquirer distributes five million copies weekly nationwide. Approximately, 600,000 copies are sold in California weekly (Cheeseman, 2010). The National Enquirer published an article about Shirley Jones who is an entertainer. Shirley Jones a resident of California filed a lawsuit against the National Enquirer for libelous material. Shirley Jones works and lives in California where an article about Shirley describes her as an alcoholic.

The National Enquirer published and edited this controversial story in Florida. Shirley Jones's reputation was tainted with the allegations published by the National Enquirer. The lawsuit was files in California because the accusations were made in California where Shirley Jones makes living. The material reported in the National Enquirer is eye catching because of its controversy details to many individuals.

The National Enquirer focuses mainly on controversial stories, gossip, exaggerate on sensational crime stories, and innuendos about celebrity's personal lives. In this case, Shirley Jones filed a lawsuit in the California state Supreme Court, sought damages for alleged defamation, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Shirley Jones sued the National Enquirer, the writer on the article, the distributors, and the editor-in chief of the magazine. Furthermore, the allegations in the California State Supreme court was known as "Calder v. Jones", 465 U.S. 783 (1984) (Cheeseman, 2010). The National Enquirer and the distributor did not object to jurisdiction in California. The court dismissed the lawsuit of Shirley Jones because the court felt the plaintiff's personal jurisdictions were not violated. The defendants based themselves on the First Amendment for protection. The case did not stop there; Shirley Jones challenged the outcome through the California Court of Appeals to proceed with the lawsuit. The Supreme Court of California up held the decision in favor of Shirley Jones.

According to Calder v. Jones (1984), "The Court, in a unanimous opinion written by Justice Rehnquist, held that the California courts did have jurisdiction over the defendant. Rehnquist wrote that the analogy to a welder "does not wash," noting that the editor was aware that the magazine had a significant circulation in California, that the plaintiff resided in California, and that the allegations made in the article would harm her career image. The Court also rejected any First Amendment considerations, noting that the defendants could assert a First Amendment defense against the claim itself, but not against the jurisdiction of the state court to hear the claim" (1, para. 4). The National Enquirer was not ethical in the decisions



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