If Trumper and Fox News fave Rep. Devin Nunes thought his $150 million lawsuit would bully The Sacramento Bee or parent company McClatchy into submission, comments from McClatchy CEO Craig Forman yesterday indicate Nunes is sadly mistaken.
Appearing on CNN’s Reliable Sources yesterday, Forman told host Brian Stelter that the firm has retained powerhouse Ted Boutros to defend Nunes’ $150 million defamation lawsuit that even Fox’s own Judge Andrew Napolitano thinks is bogus. Boutros, you may recall successfully represented CNN when correspondent Jim Acosta was banned from the White House.
FORMAN: This is a damaging attack on the Fresno Bee, Brian, but even more significantly, it’s a dangerous assault on local news and press freedom in general. We will vigorously defend ourselves against this lawsuit which is without merit and the facts in the case are pretty much without dispute.
More importantly, it’s a sign of an increasing use of our legal system to go after local news at a time when local news perhaps has never been more important but is also, has some vulnerabilities.
Forman also obliterated Nunes’ suggestion that the paper had some kind of bias against him and that he’s on some kind of a “clean up” operation against the liberal media, as Nunes told an approving Hannity last week.
FORMAN: We supported [Nunes] in his first successful campaign, nearly 20 years ago, and we endorsed him in subsequent elections. But he hasn’t talked to us for more than a year. And then we received this notice of a lawsuit.
Forman didn’t get into it, but previously, The Bee has reported that Nunes had never asked for a correction to the unflattering story, published in May, 2018, that apparently set him off.
Too bad Nunes hasn’t applied his love for “cleaning up” to Hannity’s Seth Rich smears.
Watch Forman promise to fight Nunes’ suit below, from CNN’s April 14, 2019 Reliable Sources.
Part of the point of moving the suit to California is to make sure that the anti-SLAPP laws apply, which will sink this case very quickly. I agree that sanctions are in order – not only in this nuisance suit, but also in every single case filed for the Sandmanns.
It’s clear Nunes is just a tool in this effort and he isn’t even covering the legal cost. The big question is what dark money is financing this farce?
As long as the media keeps promoting this baloney the more lawsuits it’s going to unwittingly encourage.