Democrats had cause for celebration on Friday when a federal judge threw out a case against MSNBC and its top prime-time host, Rachel Maddow, according to the Washington Examiner.
The defamation suit was filed by One America News Network (OANN), which now plans to file an appeal, Deadline reported.
“Literally” fake news
According to the Examiner, the case stems from an allegation Maddow made in November claiming OANN, a conservative-leaning network that has earned the praise of President Donald Trump, is “literally” Russian propaganda.
“[The most] right-wing news outlet in America really, literally is paid Russian propaganda,” Maddow said of OANN, according to the Examiner. “Their on-air U.S. politics reporter is paid by the Russian government to produce propaganda for that government.”
Months earlier, in July, Maddow had pushed a story alleging a reporter for OANN was working for a Kremlin-owned news outlet, as the Examiner noted.
There was no mistake about it, Maddow was not being sarcastic or satirical in her claims — or at least, that’s what OANN said in its $10 million defamation suit.
But that’s not how the judge saw it.
“Considering the totality of the circumstances — including the general context of the statements, the specific context of the statements, and the statements’ susceptibility of being proven true or false — a reasonable fact finder could only conclude that the statement was one of opinion not fact,” presiding U.S. District Judge Cynthia Bashant said, according to the Examiner.
Getting away with it?
The mental gymnastics that needed to be done for Bashant to come to that conclusion are impressive.
There’s no mistaking it: the mainstream media has lost the trust of the American people, and there is nothing being done to reign them in. There are no consequences for making categorically false claims.
Despite the clear presentation of Maddow’s statements as fact, MSNBC will walk away scot-free and OANN is stuck paying attorney fees, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Until there are real consequences for being so irresponsible with the truth, Americans simply cannot trust the mainstream media. Hopefully, this case will continue in the appeals circuit and OANN will win a victory for truth.