An Obama-appointed federal judge just dismissed a defamation lawsuit brought by a news outlet against MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and ruled that her show “is different than a typical news segment where anchors inform viewers about the daily news.” The court suggested that Rachel Maddow’s viewers know she offers exaggeration and opinion, not facts. Aren’t liberals big on “fighting misinformation?” Guess not.
The defamation suit reminded people that over a year ago Fox New’s lawyers used the same argument to win a slander lawsuit brought against Tucker Carlson. While the claim that Tucker could not be trusted dominated the headlines of mainstream media, it’s virtually impossible to find similar headlines in Maddow’s case in the news, which carries far more serious accusations.
The suit was brought by One America News (OAN), a conservative-friendly cable outlet that Maddow called a “paid propaganda outlet” for the Kremlin. She called one reporter a “Russian national” who simultaneously wrote copy for the Russian-owned outlet Sputnik and accused the entire network of being Russian propaganda.
But according to the court, everyone in the audience knows that Maddow’s show consists of exaggeration, hyperbole, and pure opinion with outlandish claims. The judge emphasized that Maddow’s statements “would be understood by her own viewers” as non-factual and to serve her liberal activism. They ruled her show as one that offers opinions to the news and that viewers would not conclude what she says as an assertion of objective fact.
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“On one hand, a viewer who watches news channels tunes in for facts and the goings-on of the world. MSNBC indeed produces news, but this point must be juxtaposed with the fact that Maddow made the allegedly defamatory statement on her own talk show news segment where she is invited and encouraged to share her opinions with her viewers. Maddow does not keep her political views a secret, and therefore, audiences could expect her to use subjective language that comports with her political opinions,” the court states.
The judge even states that Maddow will distort the news to shape her “opinion-driven analysis” and that users would not take her statements as factual. Well, that’s one way to completely discredit Maddow. They claimed that a “reasonable viewer” would not think OAN is paid Russian propaganda and would, instead, follow the facts of the Daily Beast article about it.
While it becomes dangerous to punish those who express political opinions, Maddow’s statements that OAN is “Russian propaganda” are far more actionable than any of Carlson’s claims, which were mostly about McDougal “extorting” Trump. Accusing people of being paid Russian agents destroys reputations, careers, and delegitimizes Maddow’s show even more.
Carlson has repeatedly denied that he is even a journalist and maintains the view that he is a commentator sharing his opinions. Maddow, on the other hand, has portrayed herself as some sort of purveyor of “Revealed Truth” with the ability to ban and cancel anyone who criticizes her.
The ruling basically says, “Do not take anything Rachel Maddow says seriously.” If that isn’t a perfect portrayal of liberal mainstream media, then I don’t know what is. The news stopped informing people of actual news a long time ago and has turned into some sort of warped political theatre. While political commentary and having your own show is fine, the dangerous part is when a network brands itself as the “news” when it’s anything but.
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