Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson is suing Fox News and host Jeanine Pirro over their bogus claim that he instigated violence against a police officer.
With the constant cascade of news, I never got to posting about Pirro’s outrageous attack on Mckesson on the September 29, 2017 Fox & Friends.
As the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple explained in an article that day, the matter began with a police officer’s lawsuit against Mckesson that claimed he had incited violence during a Black Lives Matter protest in Baton Rouge. The suit, which was also against the amorphous Black Lives Matter movement, was thrown out partly because there was no evidence Mckesson engaged in or incited violent behavior and partly because a federal judge found that Mckesson could not be held responsible for the behavior of other members of Black Lives Matter just because he was part of the movement.
Mckesson and other protesters also received $500-$1,000 each as the result of a $100,000 settlement in a separate lawsuit against the city of Baton Rouge. They had alleged that police used excessive force and violated the protesters’ civil rights.
But Pirro decided to smear Mckesson with hideous race baiting that none of the Fox & Friends hosts challenged. As Wemple noted, Fox & Friends “set the mood” with “a clip that Fox News viewers can by now recite via memory.” He was referring, of course, to the “Pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon” chant that Fox almost invariably pairs with any discussion of Black Lives Matter.
Pirro picked up on that mood and did her best to amplify it:
Pirro: In this particular case, DeRay Mckesson, the organizer, actually was directing people, directing the violence — you can sue him, but guess what the judge said: “You know what? He was engaging in protected free speech.” Now I want you to guess who appointed this federal judge.
Maybe you can guess that the judge was appointed by (black) Barack Obama. And though nobody actually said so, a photo of the judge revealed to the viewers that he was black, too.
In addition to baselessly claiming that Mckesson had orchestrated violence, Pirro not-so-subtly suggested that a black cabal had kept him from facing justice and instead paid him handsomely for his misdeeds:
Pirro: What is wrong with this country today? The problem is when you have federal judges who make decisions based on politics, activist judges, and not on the facts. You’ve got a police officer who was injured. He was injured at the direction of DeRay Mckesson. DeRay Mckesson walks away with $100,000 for an organization that is amorphous. We got a problem in this country.
Today, Mckesson sued Fox News and Pirro for an unspecified amount of damages, according to the Baltimore Sun. The Sun further reports:
“I take statements that portray untrue statements about me seriously,” [Mckesson] said. Mckesson said he’s already received death threats, including one on Twitter in 2015 during a screening of “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” documentary at the Charles Theatre. The theater was evacuated, and Baltimore police were called to investigate.
The complaint says the statements made by Pirro “are false, and were either known to be false by Defendant Pirro or were made with reckless disregard for whether they were true.” The complaint said the statements have damaged Mckesson’s reputation and endangered his safety, and requests an unspecified amount in damages. It also notes the large audience reach that Fox’s morning show “Fox & Friends” has.
A spokeswoman for Fox News said Wednesday that Pirro’s statements are protected speech.
“We informed Mr. Mckesson’s counsel that our commentary was fully protected under the First Amendment and the privilege for reports of judicial proceedings. We will defend this case vigorously,” the statement said.
Watch Pirro slander Mckesson below from the September 29, 2017 Fox & Friends.
(H/T reader Eric J.)