Justice Clarence Thomas wants the Supreme Court to revisit the definition of libel. On Monday, Thomas dissented on a decision involving a Christian media group that sought to sue the Southern Law Poverty Center (SLPC) for characterizing them as a “hate group.”
For years, Thomas has urged SCOTUS to revisit the landmark First Amendment decision, New York Times vs. Sullivan which set strict standards for public figures who can claim libel. A ruling of that magnitude would pave the way for people to sue media organizations for publishing or broadcasting statements that damage one’s reputation.
According to the Washington Examiner, Coral Ridge Ministries Media Inc. attempted to sue the SLPC but the case was dismissed by lower courts because “it failed to overcome the standards set by Sullivan.
“This case is one of many showing how New York Times and its progeny have allowed media organizations and interest groups ‘to cast false aspersions on public figures with near impunity,’” Thomas wrote in the dissent.
Thomas argued that SPLC’s “hate group” designation lumped Coral Ridge’s Christian Ministry with groups like the Ku Klux Klan.
“It placed Coral Ridge on an interactive, online “Hate Map” and caused Coral Ridge concrete financial injury by excluding it from the AmazonSmile donation program,” said Thomas.
Coral Ridge applied to receive donations through AmazonSmile, a separate portal from Amazon’s main site which donates 0.5% of the price of eligible purchase to the charity of your choice.
Other noteworthy defamation/libel cases include the recent Johnny Depp and Amber Heard cases where Depp was seeking to recoup damages from a 2018 Washington Post op-ed penned by Heard who he claims cost him a chance to further his legacy with the Pirates of the Caribbean series.
Also, former 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin sued the New York Times for linking her political action committee to the 2011 shooting of former Arizona Gabriel Gifford.
Ryan Hedrick serves as the Assistant Program Director and Co-Host of the Morning News Express at WFMD. Prior to WFMD, he hosted an afternoon program at News Talk 103.7 FM in Chambersburg, PA. He has worked at Sirius XM in Washington D.C., WBEN in Buffalo, NY, and for stations in Baltimore, MD. He has also worked at WIBW-AM in Topeka KS, earning the Kansas Association of Broadcasters (KAB) award for Major Market enterprise reporting in 2016. To connect with Ryan, find him on Twitter @SureToCover.
Bill O’Reilly: ‘Unholy Alliance’ Between Liberal Media and Government Officials
A recent effort by citizens to recall Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon is O’Reilly’s point of contention.
On Monday’s episode of The O’Reilly Update podcast, during the “message of the day” Bill O’Reilly focused on the ties between liberal media outlets and government officials.
“There are unholy alliances in play,” O’Reilly said. “That is press agencies advancing the fortunes of leftists seeking power, while at the same time ignoring injustice. Let’s focus on a very vivid example: the Los Angeles Times. Like its namesake in New York, the LA Times is a liberal outfit. Nothing wrong with that, if an attempt is made to provide straightforward news coverage. Unfortunately, that’s not what’s happening. While crime is devastating LA and other California cities, the newspaper is desperately trying to save progressive law enforcement agents who are directly responsible for the death and destruction.”
A recent effort by citizens to recall Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon is O’Reilly’s point of contention. He claims homicides are up 94% since Gascon took office in December of 2020. Shootings are up 54%, and O’Reilly pins those numbers on Gascon’s policy of criminal justice reform. O’Reilly used recent editorials from the California newspaper saying “the notion that a D.A. can make crime rise or fall over a period is absurd” as an example of this “unholy alliance”.
“What is absurd is that newspaper not processing the violent crime it reports on every day. That’s absurd,” O’Reilly argued. “The truth is the progressive movement believes the American criminal justice system is racist and wants to destroy it. The LA Times is part of the progressive movement. It has allied itself with that. And so, death in the streets of blighted neighborhoods really doesn’t matter for the greater good of criminal justice reform.”
Axios, Cox Enterprises Reach Agreement on $525M Sale
The new deal will also include an additional investment of $25 million in Axios’ media branch
Axios has new owners as the company announced Monday that it agreed to sell to its most recent primary investor, Cox Enterprises. Furthermore, the agreement between the two companies is for $525 million.
The deal is structured to secure investments that will continue to pour into local news after the company began providing coverage in 2020 after initially focusing on politics, tech, and business when it was founded in 2016.
“A big part of this investment is to expand the number of local markets we serve. Local watchdog journalism is so important to the health of any community, and no one is more focused on building that out nationally than Axios,” Cox chairman and CEO Alex Taylor said.
The new deal will also include an additional investment of $25 million in Axios’ media branch to assist the company in growing across its local, national, and subscription news products.
“This is great for Axios, for our shareholders and American journalism. It allows us to think and operate generationally, with a like-minded partner — and build something great and durable that lives long after we are gone,” Axios CEO Jim VandeHei said.
Eduardo Razo is the Assistant Content Editor for BNM, which includes writing daily news stories on the news media industry. He can be found on Twitter @eddierazo_ or you can reach him by email at email@example.com.
Elon Musk Offers Twitter CEO Debate On Bots
“I hereby challenge @paraga to a public debate about the Twitter bot percentage. Let him prove to the public that Twitter has <5% fake or spam daily users!"
Billionaire Elon Musk challenged Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal to a public debate on the subject of fake accounts and spam over the weekend.
Musk and Twitter are currently in legal proceedings over a $44 billion takeover offer from the Tesla and SpaceX executive. Musk filed a bid with Securities and Exchange Commission to purchase Twitter in April. After both parties agreed to the deal, Musk made the decision to terminate the deal, accusing Twitter of providing him with incorrect numbers in regards to the amount of daily users that are not spam or bot accounts. In retaliation, Twitter sued Musk to ensure the deal would go through.
A Twitter thread by Andrea Stroppa detailed the allegations made by Musk. Musk replied by saying “Good summary of the problem. If Twitter simply provides their method of sampling 100 accounts and how they’re confirmed to be real, the deal should proceed on original terms. However, if it turns out that their SEC filings are materially false, then it should not.”
Musk later asked followers whether they believed less than 5% of Twitter’s daily users were bots or spam. He later tweeted “I hereby challenge @paraga to a public debate about the Twitter bot percentage. Let him prove to the public that Twitter has <5% fake or spam daily users!”
According to a report from CNBC, a source close to Twitter said a debate “is not going to happen outside of a pending trial”.