Despite the fact that we have a constitutional right to free speech and expression, that doesn’t mean there aren’t legal limitations on what we can and cannot say.
For example, our right to free speech stops when it comes to harming or potentially harming others. It’s against the law nearly everywhere to yell “Fire” in a crowded theater when there is no fire. And we can’t claim someone has done something when they haven’t (libel/slander laws).
But what about the news media? Do they get a free pass because what they print is protected under the First Amendment’s freedom of the press clause?
Yes. And no.
News outlets cannot slander persons, even if they’re public figures. They can’t claim, for instance, that a movie star sexually assaulted someone if it’s untrue.
Can outlets print purposely fake news about a president and his administration? Most free press/free speech lawyers would argue that yes, they can, if the outlet believes the story to be true. What about when the outlet knows a particular story and claim are false, however?
We may be about to find out.
The 2020 Trump campaign is considering a lawsuit against CNN after several employees with were caught on video during an undercover sting admitting that network purposefully slants news (lies) about the president and his administration with the objective of seeing him thrown out of office.
As Natural News reported this week, CNN was targeted by undercover journalists from Project Veritas, the organization that has managed to uncover bias, corruption, and other nefarious political activities that target conservatives and especially President Trump.
To summarize, several CNN employees were caught admitting on camera that the network often fabricates stories or, at a minimum, publishes stories it knows to be false for the express purpose of harming Trump’s administration and even driving him out of office.
For instance, Field Ops manager Patrick Davis admits that his network pretty much publishes fake news and garbage in a never-ending campaign to get rid of Trump. And, he says, much of that is to drive up revenue with clickbait-type ‘bombshells’ that seldom turn out to be remotely accurate.
“…I hate seeing what we were and what we could be and what we’ve become. It’s just awful…I mean, we could be so much better than what we are… And the buck stops with him,” Davis said, castigating network chief Jeff Zucker.
Noted Nick Neville, CNN media coordinator: “He (Zucker) basically said f**k all the other stories” and focus only on hurting the president.
That’s simply too much, according to the 2020 Trump campaign.
Outraged by secretly taped anti-Trump comments attributed to CNN President Jeff Zucker and others at the cable network, President Trump’s campaign is vowing to sue the company for “a substantial payment of damages.”
In a four-page letter to CNN, Zucker, and Executive Vice President David Vigilante, Trump attorney Charles J. Harder cited years of anti-Trump bias at the network and claimed the cable giant has broken its promise of “excellence in journalism.”
Harder listed a number of examples from the Project Veritas videos in which they described Zucker as demanding “impeachment above all else” of the president. He added that they “are merely the tip of the iceberg of the evidence my clients have accumulated over recent years.
“Never in the history of this country has a President been the subject of such a sustained barrage of unfair, unfounded, unethical and unlawful attacks by so-called ‘mainstream’ news, as the current situation.”
Harder not only represents the Trump campaign but also the president himself.
Whether or not such a lawsuit would succeed is a matter of opinion. But CNN’s bias towards the president and its record of publishing fake news stories aimed at damaging the president is a matter of record.