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Chris Sheridan Is Suing Peter Vecsey for Libel

Remember last winter's Carmelo Watch, when each day brought a new round of reports citing a new batch of unnamed sources? Remember how much fun it was? Oh, you don't, because it was a pretty miserable ordeal, up until the moment the trade actually went through? Fair enough. Well, in any case, the author of one Carmelo report is suing the author of another Carmelo column for libel. In question is Peter Vecsey's December 14 column in the Post, which made reference to Chris Sheridan's article from two days earlier in which Sheridan wrote that, according to a source, Carmelo Anthony would only sign a contract extension if he was traded to the Knicks.

From the Vecsey column in question:

No doubt the same fountains of misinformation that frequently play make-believe with ESPN's Chris Sheridan, whose latest fairy tale had Carmelo Anthony notifying the Nuggets he won't accept a trade to any team but the Knicks.

While I thoroughly accept the presupposition 'Melo will want to play in New York until the moment he understands that's an impossibility unless he opts to become a free agent this summer, Sheridan's account is such a fake he needs to be called out.

In the suit, filed against Vecsey and NYP Holdings, Sheridan claims that they "published a maliciously false article" that impugned Sheridan's "veracity and competence as a journalist." Sheridan also claims he demanded a retraction in April, but that neither Vecsey nor the paper responded.

Oh, and the suit also makes reference to a reader comment from the web version of Vecsey's article. If you've ever read through the comments section on either of the city's tabloids, you probably have an idea of what's coming next.

From the Forbes report on the suit:

The complaint reveals Sheridan to be pretty thin-skinned given that he complains that the ordinary reader would believe that Sheridan had fabricated news "in derogation of all known journalistic principles." The lawsuit cites a reader who "commented 'Wow just read the Vecsey piece in full he literally just took a hot steaming you know what on top of Chris Sheridan's head.'"

Perhaps this lawsuit really is the joke that Ball Don't Lie argues that it is, or maybe it's not. But we'll say this: If Vecsey actually did literally take a hot steaming you-know-what on Chris Sheridan's head, as that commenter claims — now that would be grounds for legal action.

ESPN Basketball Reporter Sues New York Post Columnist For Libel [Forbes]