First, The Rhinoceros Times sued the Ku Klux Klan, contending the group inserted leaflets in the newspaper without permission and then delivered copies to residences.
Now, the Klan is suing the conservative weekly newspaper for defamation.
The latest suit, filed last week in Boone County, Ark., where the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan is based, takes issue with a story written by Times’ Publisher William Hammer about the paper’s legal action.
“(T)he plaintiff does not have a long history of intimidation, as it is a lawful not-for-profit organization in the state of Arkansas, in good standing with the Secretary of State of Arkansas,” states the Klan’s lawsuit, which seeks more than $50,000 in damages.
The Rhinoceros Times filed its lawsuit in September, contending the Klan used “unfair and deceptive” trade practices that give the public the impression the Times agrees with the racist outlook of the Klan.
The News & Record of Greensboro, a daily newspaper, also had received complaints about Klan literature inserted in its newspapers.
Thomas Robb, who leads the Klan group, has called the Times’ suit “pathetic,” and argued that anyone can do what they want with a copy of a newspaper, as long as they don’t steal it from a newspaper box.
Hammer on Tuesday denounced the Klan suit.
“Of all groups to claim that you could defame them,” Hammer said. “It seems like the only way you could defame them is saying they are nice people.”