There is one, you know.
It was quite interesting in the 1990s going from being a common private person to someone who ran a corporation. You become a public person immediately, and then if you start appearing in the media in any way (and most such people do, eventually) then the rules shift even further.
See, those who are deigned a “public figure” have an entirely different set of rules that apply when others talk about them. As an ordinary private person if someone calls you a “slut” in print that’s probably actionable. You might not be able to get any money in a lawsuit (most likely because the person who did it doesn’t have any) but — it’s actionable.
On the other hand once you cross the rubicon into being a public figure all that changes. Virtually anything is in-bounds, with a very few exceptions. One of the few remaining exceptions is a direct allegation of a specific and serious crime. For instance you can’t call someone a child molester unless they actually are, public figure or no.
This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-07-03.