On top of not officially running for president (yet) and terrorizing his state’s LGBTQIA+ residents and teachers, Ron DeSantis has somehow found time to go after another perceived enemy: the media. He doesn’t like that they report on what he and other shady Republicans are up to. He doesn’t even do press that he can’t control down to a T. And he wants to gut a key part of their first amendment rights. Trouble is, if he does that he’ll probably do the most harm towards the biggest GOP media empire out there.
A new op-ed in The Daily Beast pokes a hole in DeSantis’ perhaps not so air-tight logic. The Florida governor has floated overturning New York Times v. Sullivan, a landmark 1964 ruling that limits the American public’s ability to sue for defamation. That applies to the media, who to be successfully sued for defamation would have had to have had “knowledge that [a claim] was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.”
DeSantis recently held a vaguely worded presser about making it easier to sue journalists for libel. Meanwhile a state legislator went further, drafting a bill essentially criminalizing the use of anonymous sources and making “failure to validate or corroborate the alleged defamatory statement” the standard for malice.
Thing is, guess what Fox News is going through right now. They have a $1.6 billion lawsuit on their hands from Dominion Voting Systems, who took umbrage with them bringing on guests who floated voter fraud nonsense. To defend themselves, Fox News attorneys have floated…New York Times v. Sullivan.
More material in which Fox News people affirm they’re in the news biz: pic.twitter.com/m5e80a1oTE
— ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) February 17, 2023
There’s a problem there, too: In a deposition, Fox News honcho Rupert Murdoch admitted he knew his hosts were spreading misinformation. And his own hosts knew they were bringing on people they privately thought were wackos. So the ruling DeSantis’ wants to overturn so the press doesn’t report on him won’t save them there, at least. And Fox News thought ditching Trump for DeSantis would be good for them.
(Via The Daily Beast)