Tag Archives: defamation

Will Fox change its tune?

What does the settlement between the Fox Propaganda Channel and Dominion Voting Systems mean for the network that once called itself “fair and balanced”?

Only this, as far as I can see: The network will cease pushing the Big Lie about alleged voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election; the rest of its agenda appears to be intact and it will continue to appeal to the right-wingers who adhere to the narrative the network pushes out there.

Dominion sued Fox for $1.6 billion, contending the network defamed the company over unproved allegations that it manipulated ballots to deliver the 2020 election to President Biden. Fox knew the allegations were phony, yet its on-air talking heads kept spewing the lie. Dominion said “enough is enough” and sued Fox. The settlement means Fox will pay Dominion $787.5 million. It hasn’t issued an apology.

Frankly, though, I don’t care about the apology. I do care about Fox being held accountable for the lie it fomented. The judgment issued by the court holds the network accountable in the clearest terms possible.

Fox’s agenda remains fully assembled. The network does lay claim to a loyal base of viewers who listen only to their on-air personalities for the “news” they consume. Fox will continue to spew its propaganda, which I suppose is their right.

Lying to the point of defaming others, though, is off limits … to which I offer a hearty “amen.”


Fox settles; now … tell the truth

The Fox Propaganda Network is going to pay a lot of money to Dominion Voting Systems, thanks to a settlement announced today just as Dominion’s defamation trial was set to begin.

Dominion sued Fox for $1.6 billion. The network agreed to pony up $787.5 million, roughly half the amount Dominion had sought.

Then we’ll have a statement from Fox. Maybe soon. Fox will have to make some sort of apology to Dominion, acknowledging that it lied when it continued to broadcast phony allegations that Dominion rigged the 2020 presidential election results to elect Joe Biden.

Dominion did nothing of the sort. Fox’s on-air talking heads knew they were spreading The Big Lie. Yet they did it anyway. Therein rests the primary reason I will forever refuse to put the word “news” in Fox’s title; it does nothing but spread propaganda designed to promote a certain point of view and denigrate others who adhere to different views.



Defamation, anyone?

Defaming a fellow public official’s good name is difficult to fight in a court of law, I suppose, which might explain why we haven’t seen many defamation lawsuits filed in this age of extreme political anger and vilification.

I mention this because of the hideous lie that U.S. Rep. Ronny Jackson, a Republican, said regarding fellow Rep. Katie Porter, a Democrat.

Jackson put a tweet out there that accused Porter of saying that pedophilia isn’t a crime. She didn’t say that. She said nothing of the sort. Porter said gays have been treated unfairly as pedophiles and “groomers.”

Has Jackson, the GOP rep who lives in Amarillo — the city I once called home — apologized to Porter? Hah! Nope.

That brings to mind the hideous statements that have flown from the pie holes of the QAnon/MAGA cabal of public officials. They have accused high-ranking Democrats of peddling children for sex. Yes, there have been lawsuits and the victims of that hideous epithet have won judgments.

Jackson needs to be slapped with a lawsuit for the constant barrage of moronic messages he has fired off via Twitter on any number of Democrats.Β The guy is a disgrace to the office he occupies and to the governing body where he serves.

What’s more, the overwhelming majority of Twitter messages that come from Jackson seek to denigrate those on the other side of the great divide. Any constructive notion, any positive comments about legislation he either authors or supports are not to be found.

All of this is my way of suggesting that those he denigrates — such as Rep. Porter — ought to ponder whether it’s wise to take this clown to court. To put words in someone’s mouth for the purpose of embarrassing her, as he did with Katie Porter, surely can be grounds for defamation.


What kind of lowlife would do this?

I just cannot stop shaking my head in utter disgust.

Donald Trump continues to exhibit the traits of a disgraceful, despicable lowlife capable of defaming the characters of those with whom he has mere political disagreements.

His latest target happens to be an MSNBC talk show host, Joe Scarborough, a former Republican member of Congress who has since become a Trump critic.

The president of the United States of America has suggested several times openly that Scarborough had a hand in the death of a former congressional aide. Donald Trump has said Scarborough was responsible for the death of Lori Kaye Klausutis. Authorities have debunked anything of the sort.

Trump, though, keeps pitching that scurrilous lie. Not only is he seeking to harm the reputation of Joe Scarborough, Trump is brining untold suffering and pain to Klausutis’ family. Her widower has called on Trump to cease and desist. So has Utah GOP Sen. Mitt Romney, who has said “enough already” with the defamatory rhetoric.

When reporters ask Trump about the lie he keeps fomenting, he falls back on that lame “many people have said” defense.

To think, therefore, that this piece of sh** politician managed to get elected to the highest office in the land and that the individual masquerading as our head of state is continuing to conduct himself in such a reprehensible manner … while he should be focused exclusively on putting down a global pandemic that has killed 100,000 Americans.

Lori Kaye’s husband, T.J. Klausutis, has asked Twitter to take Trump’s tweets down. β€œI’m asking you to intervene in this instance because the President of the United States has taken something that does not belong to him β€” the memory of my dead wife β€” and perverted it for perceived political gain,” he wrote in a letter to Twitter. To date, the social medium has not done so, but it has put warnings out about the lies that Trump keeps fomenting.

Donald Trump is sickening in the extreme.

No one is above the law, including the POTUS

It has been said time and time again, that “no one is above the law, and that includes the president of the United States.”

It’s an article of truth to be sure. Our laws apply to all Americans.

Which brings me to this point: How does the president of the United States, Donald Trump, get away with smearing, defaming and slandering individuals?

The latest example? Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

The former envoy was removed from her embassy post earlier this year by Donald Trump, who has the authority to change ambassadors. That is his call. We all get that.

However, he smeared Yovanovitch while recalling her from her post in Ukraine. The envoy is noted for her diligence and diplomatic skill. She has been honored and decorated over her 33-year career in the foreign service. Then the president calls her “bad news” and blamed her — and this is rich — for what went wrong in Somalia, where she was posted prior to her Ukraine assignment. He made the Somalia reference while Yovanovitch was testifying — in real time — during the congressional impeachment inquiry that is under way on Capitol Hill.

The president offered no evidence of any “bad news” element. Nor has he explained in anything approaching detail why he thinks badly of Yovanovitch.

Is he above the law? Or must he adhere to the same laws as the rest of us? I’ve long believed that presidents of the United States are not deities, nor are they dictators. They are our elected heads of state and government, but they are citizens … just like the rest of us.

I just am baffled by how this individual — the president — gets away with saying the things that fly out of his mouth. He has defamed Marie Yovanovitch’s exemplary reputation.

Don’t such laws that protect citizens against such abuse exist when they regard the president?

Rolling Stone gets sued … good!

I spent my professional life in journalism. I’m a fierce advocate for publications’ rights to print the truth and more often than not I have looked skeptically at individuals or institutions that have sued publications for libel or defamation.

Not this time.

A University of Virginia administrator has sued Rolling Stone magazine for $7.5 million, contending the magazine defamed her in a bogus story about a gang rape on the campus.


I hope Nicole Eramo wins.

She is UVa’s top administrator who deals with sexual assaults. The magazine portrayed her as someone more interested in protecting the school’s reputation than in protecting a woman named “Jackie,” who alleged she was raped by students at a frat house party. Well, the party never occurred, “Jackie” wasn’t raped, Rolling Stone retracted the story — and the reporter and her editors responsible for publishing the false account still have their jobs!

“I am filing this defamation lawsuit to set the record straight β€” and to hold the magazine and the author of the article accountable for their actions in a way they have refused to do themselves,” Eramo said in a statement.

The retraction gives this lawsuit some traction. Publications rarely retract a story, taking back what they published and in effect admitting that it was wrong. Rolling Stone admitted the story was phony, but still haven’t disciplined the principals involved in publishing it.

Nicole Eramo’s lawsuit needs to make a statement that the magazine did something grievously wrong in its so-called “reporting” of a crime that didn’t occur.