No, not that Bill Cosby.
JOHN PETER ZENGER ( 1697–1746 ) was apprenticed to New York’s first and only printer, William Bradford, before branching out to form his own printing business.
In 1733 he was approached by opponents of the corrupt royal governor WILLIAM COSBY to publish a newspaper in which they could air their views on Cosby, and so Zenger began printing the New-York Weekly Journal, in which articles critical of the governor appeared.
It wasn’t long before Zenger was arrested for publishing seditious libel and thrown into jail, where he languished for ten months. When he was finally brought to trial, Zenger was cleared of the charges, despite Cosby attempting to rig the proceedings.
Zenger’s defense lawyer was ANDREW HAMILTON from Philadelphia, the most famous lawyer in America, who argued that, while Zenger did not deny publishing the seditious articles, he could not be found guilty of libel if the facts in the articles were true.
This landmark judgment for the first time established THE TRUTH AS A DEFENSE AGAINST LIBEL , a cornerstone of the freedom of the press in America. It was often quoted in the debates that culminated in the American Bill of Rights in 1789.
Fast forward to Philadelphia in 2015…
…where a gentleman by the name of WILLIAM HENRY “BILL” COSBY files a defamation suit against the dozens of women who accused him of sexual assault.
Yes, I realise the difference between Defamation and Libel, however I suspect this suit will be as successful as the other William Cosby’s suit in 1733 …
“I Never Knew That About New York” by Christopher Winn