(Roughly) Daily

From the writer’s bag of tricks…


from Wikipedia

The “small penis rule” is an informal strategy used by authors to evade libel lawsuits. It was described in a New York Times article in 1998:

“…For a fictional portrait to be actionable, it must be so accurate that a reader of the book would have no problem linking the two,” said Mr. Friedman. Thus, he continued, libel lawyers have what is known as “the small penis rule.” One way authors can protect themselves from libel suits is to say that a character has a small penis, Mr. Friedman said. “Now no male is going to come forward and say, ‘That character with a very small penis, that’s me!’ “

The small penis rule was referenced in a 2006 dispute between Michael Crowley and Michael Crichton. Crowley alleged that after he wrote an unflattering review of Crichton’s novel State of Fear, Crichton libeled him by including a character named “Mick Crowley” in the novel Next. In the novel, Mick Crowley is a child rapist, described as being a Washington-based journalist and Yale graduate with a small penis.

As we settle old scores, we might recall that it was on this date in 1996 that radio titan Howard Stern announced that he would be making the autobiographical comedy film Private Parts.  Produced by Ivan Reitman and directed by Betty Thomas, the picture was released in 1997, and topped the box office chart on its opening weekend.


Written by (Roughly) Daily

February 13, 2012 at 1:03 am

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