This video by Project Veritas’s James O’Keefe is entertaining. O’Keefe is not a lawyer, but what he says about the progress of Veritas’s defamation lawsuit against the New York Times is basically accurate. The case arises out of Veritas’s exposure of voter fraud in Minnesota, which the Times labeled, falsely, as “deceptive” and “probably part of a coordinated disinformation campaign.” Project Veritas alleges that these and other statements by the Times were false. The Times moved to dismiss Veritas’s complaint. That motion was denied by a judge who seems sympathetic to Veritas’s point of view, and the Times has now been required to answer the allegations of the complaint.
The newspaper’s principal defense is that the allegedly defamatory statements were expressions of opinion, like, say, “Blue is my favorite color,” and therefore immune from defamation liability. The funniest thing about this, as O’Keefe points out in the video, is that the Times’s denunciation of Veritas’s expose led to “fact checks” decreeing Veritas’s statements “false” by liberal sources like USA Today.
So when the Times says you are “deceptive” and “probably part of a coordinated disinformation campaign,” which is it? Fact or opinion? On the bright side, it is nice to see the Times not only admitting, but affirmatively alleging, that its “news” pages consists largely of statements of its reporters’ left-wing opinions.
Here is the video:
Defamation law has been moribund for several decades, as Supreme Court decisions have made it virtually impossible for any “public figure” to sue successfully, no matter how outrageous the newspaper lies may be. This could be changing. Sarah Palin’s case against the Times–America’s #1 purveyor of fake news–was dismissed, even though she was obviously right. But now it has been reinstated by the Court of Appeals. Veritas’s current lawsuit is another instance. Maybe Americans, and American courts, have had enough of the license to lie that the Supreme Court has granted to left-wing “news”–or are they opinion?–outlets. Let’s hope so.