Defamation lawsuits involving mainstream media outlets are all the rage these days, especially during the news coverage under former President Donald Trump’s administration when many networks seemingly ran whatever angle they wanted on a story, whether it was based in fact or not.
California Republican Devin Nunes filed a defamation lawsuit against CNN in 2019, claiming that the left-leaning network published a “demonstrably false hit piece” about him during their reporting on former Trump associate Lev Parnas. The network claimed that a Parnas’ lawyer said that his client would testify that Nunes met with former Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin in Austria in 2018 with the intention of scoring political “dirt” against Joe Biden.
Nunes contended that he never once met with Shokin and in his lawsuit, he provided proof to back the claim, including pictures of where he actually was during that time, which was in Malta and Libya.
“At no time during his visits to Libya or Malta did [Nunes] or his staff ever meet any Ukrainians or have any discussions with anyone about the Bidens,” Nunes’ lawsuit read.
According to KTLA, Parnas is currently awaiting an October trial date after pleading not guilty “to charges alleging he made illegal contributions to politicians he thought could aid his political and business interests.”
CNN’s legal counsel argued at the time that Nunes declined comments prior to the publication of the bombshell reporting that sparked the legal action.
As the Washington Examiner reported, U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain decided last week that Nunes’ lawsuit didn’t meet the proper timing requirements in which Nunes had to request that CNN retract the report, citing California-specific retraction requirements as the basis for tossing the lawsuit.
The lawsuit was first filed in the state of Virginia and Nunes’ legal counsel has argued that the rules of New York, Virginia, or the District of Columbia should be the rules used to guide the case, as that’s where the alleged defamation took place.
“Nunes makes two arguments against the application of California law, and in support of the application of either New York or Virginia law. In his supplemental briefing, Plaintiff argues that New York law should apply because CNN has a substantial presence there and Ward and Cuomo, who are generally located in New York, were present there when the statements were made,” Judge Swain wrote in her decision to reject the case.
It’s truly a shame that politicians have to spend time attempting to preserve their good name after a single — sometimes false — hit piece by a mainstream media outlet can have such a devastating effect on that person.
Lawmakers should be able to serve We The People without having to worry about lawyering up because a biased media outlet decided to attack them.
ARTICLE SOURCE: thefederalistpapers.org