Law: Pummeled Post

Mobil chief wins libel award

"The press—wittingly or not—is coming ever closer to achieving the unrestricted right to defame any member of society with virtually complete immunity." So wrote Mobil Corp. President William P. Tavoulareas in April 1979 in an angry article for Saturday Review magazine. Seven months later, the Washington Post published a story implying that Tavoulareas had improperly "set up his son" in a shipping company and then helped his son's firm to get millions of dollars in Mobil business. To the Mobil boss, the article was an enragingly personal example of exactly what he had been complaining about....

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