White’s concurrence

a.  White renewed his criticism not only of the Gertz rule, but he attacked the balance struck in Sullivan itself.  He writes that false statements of fact about public officials do not serve First Am. interests in the flow of intelligence concerning government.  The Sullivan requirement that actual malice be shown disposes of libel actions (because Ps do not sue due to their “almost impossible” burden of proof) and thus prevents the issue of truth or falsity from ever being decided.  White’s suggests limiting damages (i.e., providing only for actual dams, not punitive or presumed dams) in libel cases, instead of escalating P’s burden of proof to an almost impossible level, as NY Times did.  This would provide ample protection to the press while allowing public officials to go to court and vindicate their reputation.