The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Devin Nunes Sues CNN and Daily Beast Over ‘Demonstrably False’ Stories

Posted on | November 23, 2019 | No Comments

 

Breitbart News reports:

House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) intends to file lawsuits against both CNN and the Daily Beast over fake hit pieces the outlets have published about him in recent days, Breitbart News has learned exclusively.
Two pieces recently published in both outlets — one from Daily Beast earlier this week, and one from CNN published late Friday — alleged that the Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, who is now indicted on unrelated charges, helped Nunes with a variety of matters when digging into Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on behalf of Democrats.
The Daily Beast story, from Betsy Swan (formerly Woodruff), alleges that Parnas helped Nunes set up a variety of meetings on Ukraine matters. The CNN story, from Vicky Ward, goes even further, alleging that Nunes arranged a secret trip to Vienna and met there with Victor Shokin, the Ukrainian prosecutor that former Vice President Joe Biden pushed to have fired when Shokin was investigating Burisma Holdings, the natural gas company paying Biden’s son Hunter Biden $83,000 per month. It is unclear at this time how much of these reports are blatantly false, but most of each of them appear to be inaccurate, according to sources familiar with the matter.
As such, Nunes is planning to sue both the Daily Beast and CNN over each story.
“These demonstrably false and scandalous stories published by the Daily Beast and CNN are the perfect example of defamation and reckless disregard for the truth,” Nunes told Breitbart News late Friday night. “Some political operative offered these fake stories to at least five different media outlets before finding someone irresponsible enough to publish them. I look forward to prosecuting these cases, including the media outlets, as well as the sources of their fake stories, to the fullest extent of the law. I intend to hold the Daily Beast and CNN accountable for their actions. They will find themselves in court soon after Thanksgiving.”

If you report a fact — e.g., person X met person Y in location Z on a certain date — based on what an unnamed source told you, and this “fact” turns out to be false, you’re going to have a difficult time explaining to a judge that this is not libel per se. This is just basic Journalism 101 stuff, and if the “secret trip to Vienna” did not actually happen, heads should roll at CNN and the Daily Beast. Here’s something else that young journalists ought to be taught: When a source offers you a story on the basis of anonymity, ask yourself what their motive is, and if this motive renders the offered information suspect. Even if a story is basically true — i.e., Parnas was trying to help expose the corrupt connections between Ukrainians and Democrats, so that Parnas and Nunes had reasons to cooperate — the specific facts alleged in your reporting must be provably true, or else you could be at risk of a libel case.


 

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