This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, October 4, 2022:
The massive lawsuit (seeking $475 million in punitive damages plus another $75 million in compensatory damages) filed by former president Donald Trump’s attorneys on Monday peeled the skin off CNN and its writers, exposing the network’s deliberate and intentional perfidy:
The Plaintiff, President Donald J. Trump, has been a long-time critic of the Defendant, Cable News Network, Inc. (“CNN”) — not because CNN does a bad job of reporting the news, but because CNN seeks to create the news (“fake news,” as the Plaintiff has characterized it in public statements).
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 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.
In order to prove defamation, Trump must show that CNN’s writers acted with “actual malice” or “reckless disregard for the truth.”
Working in Trump’s favor is that, back in 2020, CNN settled a $275 million defamation lawsuit filed by Nick Sandmann following the network’s slanted coverage of the confrontation near the Lincoln Memorial. Sandmann also won similar lawsuits against The Washington Post and NBC.
Also working in his favor is the network’s adoption of the term “Big Lie” when characterizing Trump’s insistence that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent, thus deliberately and intentionally in the public’s mind tying him to the hated image of Adolf Hitler. Hitler, in his 1925 book Mein Kampf, used the term as a propaganda ploy to turn public opinion against Jews (whom he accused of using the “Big Lie”) and lay the groundwork for the Holocaust.
Wrote Trump’s lawyers in the complaint:
Most notably, and, the subject of this complaint, is CNN’s persistent association of the Plaintiff to Adolf Hitler and Nazism.
When labels like “racist,” “Russian lackey,” and “insurrectionist” did not have the desired effect to undermine the Plaintiff’s candidacy when running for President or the Plaintiff’s accomplishments as President, CNN upped the stakes to conjure associations between the Plaintiff and arguably the most heinous figure in modern history.
CNN’s persistent use of ever-increasing defamatory characterizations of the Plaintiff up to and including comparing him to Hitler and Nazism demonstrates that it published its defamatory statements about the Plaintiff with actual malice.
The lawsuit is the first of several to be filed against other prominent members of the mainstream media who participated in the defamation. Last June, Trump’s Save America committee stated that the former president would be filing a lawsuit against CNN. At that time, Trump said, “I will also be commencing actions against other media outlets who have defamed me and defrauded the public regarding the overwhelming evidence of fraud throughout the 2020 election.”
That promise also extends to the January 6 Committee. Said Trump on Truth Social on Monday:
… notwithstanding overwhelming evidence, [the committee] REFUSED to investigate the massive Presidential Election Fraud which took place, but only investigate and harass the people and Patriots who complained and asked questions about it.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, has been assigned to a Trump-appointed judge, Raag Singhal.