Libel Suit Against ‘One America News’ Could Imperil Trump-Supporting San Diego Network

by on August 16, 2021 · 0 comments

in Election, Media, Ocean Beach, San Diego

By Ken Stone / Times of San Diego / August 15, 2021

When the owners of San Diego-based One America News sued Rachel Maddow for defamation, they scoffed at the liberal TV host’s First Amendment rights. OAN lost, and was ordered to pay Maddow’s lawyers $247,000.

Now the shoe is on the other foot. Herring Networks, the OAN parent, will plead constitutional free-speech protections to stave off a $1.6 billion lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems.

Another loss could spell bankruptcy.

Unlike the six words Maddow uttered in a single 3 1/2-minute MSNBC segment — that OAN “really literally is paid Russian propaganda” — the Trump-friendly conservative cable outlet has aired a mountain of falsehoods over nine months, Dominion alleges.

“OAN manufactured, endorsed, repeated and broadcast a series of verifiably false yet devastating lies about Dominion,” said its lawsuit filed Tuesday in District of Columbia federal court.  “OAN helped create and cultivate an alternate reality where up is down, pigs have wings, and Dominion engaged in a colossal fraud to steal the presidency from Donald Trump by rigging the vote.”

In apparently his first public comments on the case, OAN founder and CEO Robert Herring Sr. suggested Friday that he’ll use truth as his libel defense.

“I figure when we put out the news, our news is always good,” the 79-year-old businessman told Times of San Diego in a brief phone interview. “So we don’t have to worry about it. Meet ’em in court.”

He declined to comment on specifics of the lawsuit, but when asked his reaction, he said: “It means I just have to work harder.”

Herring was pressed on whether he ignored at least 10 Dominion letters demanding retractions (and detailing extensively what to take back).

“I’m not talking about it,” he said. “We’ll go to court and we’ll have our day in court. OK, you [media] guys can sit there and turn it however you want. … All the [coverage] that we’ve ever had for our side of the story — it never came out right. So we really don’t have anything to say.”

Go here for the balance.


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