The open hostility between Trump and the major networks was obvious from before he even took office. But there’s a world of difference between a healthy adversarial press and actual malice.
Trump thinks he has a strong enough case to prove actual malice.
And with examples like Jim Acosta tweeting that Trump denounced Racism as ‘evil’ while pushing the ‘very fine people hoax’ claiming Trump had defended bigots when JIM was the one who had asked the question that people play the deceptively edited clip from… proving malice might not be that hard.
Those Project Veritas undercover videos exposing CNN turned out to be handy evidence too. They were even cited in Trump’s complaint.
Even Harvard acknowledged from the beginning an upwards of 90% negative slant on any Trump-related stories once he was in office. There was no ‘honeymoon period’.
There was Hell to be paid right from the beginning … exactly as David Brock’s Media Matters had intended in the 49-page white paper released before Trump was sworn in: Media Matters War Plan 2017. That plan, written by a Clinton flunkie, even mentions impeachment — before Trump was sworn in. Gee, what are the odds?
Trump had been hinting at a lawsuit since July, but he hadn’t yet pulled the trigger. Other things have come up… including new fronts on the endless war of attrition being waged against his family by various prosecutors’ offices all the way up to the somehow-not-recused Merrick Garland.
POTUS 45 is looking for $475 Million in punitive damages.
From the lawsuit’s opening paragraph (emphasis added):
Beyond simply highlighting any negative information about the Plaintiff and ignoring all positive information about him, CNN has sought to use its massive influence – purportedly as a “trusted” news source — to defame the Plaintiff in the minds of its viewers and readers for the purpose of defeating him politically, culminating in CNN claiming credit for “[getting] Trump out” in the 2020 presidential election. CNN’s campaign of dissuasion in the form of libel and slander against the Plaintiff has only escalated in recent months as CNN fears the Plaintiff will run for president in 2024. As a part of its concerted effort to tilt the political balance to the Left, CNN has tried to taint the Plaintiff with a series of ever-more scandalous, false and defamatory labels of “racist,” “Russian lackey,” “insurrectionist,” and ultimately, “Hitler.” These 12 labels are neither hyperbolic nor opinion: these are repeatedly reported as true fact, with purported factual support, by allegedly “reputable” newscasters, acting not merely with reckless disregard for the truth of their statements (sufficient to meet the definition of the legal standard for “actual malice”) but acting with real animosity for the Plaintiff and seeking to cause him true harm (the way “actual malice” commonly is understood). CNN has been given the dreaded “Pants on Fire!” designation by PolitiFact for its stories comparing Trump to Hitler. Still, it persists, requiring the time and expense of filing the instant lawsuit.
The reference to actual malice reference is important, because that is the legal standard that will be required of any defamation case brought forward by a public figure.
Also from the court documents:
CNN has not complied with the Plaintiff’s demands for retractions of the defamatory statements by way of publishing any such retractions. Instead, and as confirmed by email, dated July 29, 2022, CNN refused to comply, ratifying its position.5
Purporting to be a “trusted” news source, CNN’s anchors have denounced a competing network as providing a “buffet of cultural war cuisine” and “predictably hypocritical.”7 Meanwhile, CNN has undertaken a smear campaign to malign the Plaintiff with a barrage of negative associations and innuendos, broadcasting commentary that he is like a cult leader,8 a Russian lackey,9 a dog whistler to white supremacists,10 and a racist.11 It is the stuff of tabloids cloaked as “honored” news.
On August 25, 2019, CNN broadcast on its “Reliable Sources” program hosted by then-anchor Brian Stelter, an interview with psychiatrist, Allen Frances. In the broadcast, Frances claimed that “Trump is as destructive a person in this century as Hitler, Stalin, and Mao were in the last century.”1
A search across a news database for instances in which “Trump” appears within 10 words of “Hitler” or “Nazi” in CNN broadcasts since November 2016 produces at least 645 results.
In its campaign of dissuasion, CNN has branded the Plaintiff as one who subscribes to the notion of the “Big Lie.” The “Big Lie” is a direct reference to a tactic employed by Adolf Hitler and appearing in Hitler’s Mein Kampf. As commonly understood: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” The “Big Lie” was used by Hitler to incite hatred of the Jews and to convince people to ostracize Jewish people. It was an entire propaganda campaign to justify Jewish persecution and genocide. The phrase is not taken lightly and is not bandied about blithely. CNN anchors and commentators understand this. They have not used it against other political leaders and previously criticized political analogies to Nazi Germany and to Hitler.
On June 15, 2022, CNN’s new Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Chris Licht reportedly held a conference call with top CNN producers in which he expressed displeasure with the use of “Big Lie.” Since then, CNN’s on-air personalities—including John King, Jake Tapper, John Avlon, Brianna Keilar, and Don Lemon, among others—have continued to use the phrase in describing the Plaintiff and the Plaintiff’s questions of election integrity despite an apparent admonition from their Chief Executive Officer.
Reportedly, the term “Big Lie” has been used in reference to the Plaintiff more than 7,700 times on CNN since January of 2021. Id.
Trump might have a certain fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants style when flaming someone on social media… but when he lawyers up and goes to war on the battlefield he has known his whole life, he’s playing to win.
And with evidence like the Project Veritas hidden video of a CNN employee bragging that their propaganda helped defeat Trump and frame Joe ine best possible light — he just might make it stick.
Should the other news media outlets be watching this lawsuit carefully?
They might be next. You may remember that he DID say he would be ‘commencing actions against other media outlets’ when he first announced he CNN suit. And he’s already followed through on that one.
Psalms of War: Prayers That Literally Kick Ass is a collection, from the book of Psalms, regarding how David rolled in prayer. I bet you haven’t heard these read, prayed, or sung in church against our formidable enemies — and therein lies the Church’s problem. We’re not using the spiritual weapons God gave us to waylay the powers of darkness. It might be time to dust them off and offer ‘em up if you’re truly concerned about the state of Christ’s Church and of our nation.
Also included in this book, Psalms of War, are reproductions of the author’s original art from his Biblical Badass Series of oil paintings.
This is a great gift for the prayer warriors. Real. Raw. Relevant.