Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Ah, that wonderful impartial journalist Jake Tapper

You may not have heard about it yet, but the Florida First District Court of Appeals recently ruled that plaintiff Zachary Young can pursue punitive damages, along with economic and emotional damages, in a civil trial against CNN. According to Newsbusters, the total damages sought could approach or exceed $1 billion because of Tapper's comments defaming Young's efforts to aid individuals in Afghanistan during the botched withdrawal in 2021.

For that outcome to be remotely in the cards, Young needed to prove malice and according to the ruling, he’s done exactly that. “Young sufficiently proffered evidence of actual malice, express malice, and a level of conduct outrageous enough to open the door for him to seek punitive damages,” Judge L. Clayton Roberts wrote in the court’s ruling.

The court felt the high bars for actual and expressed malice were met because of internal CNN messages that were extremely vicious toward Young. Correspondent  Alex Marquardt, the “primary reporter” expressed in a message to a colleague that he wanted to “nail this Zachary Young mfucker” and thought the story would be Young’s “funeral.” On that declaration of wanting to “nail” Young, CNN editor Matthew Philips responded: “gonna hold you to that cowboy!”

Alongside Marquardt, CNN senior editor Fuzz Hogan, who’s a member of CNN’s internally lauded “Triad” of editorial, legal, and standards/practices oversight personnel, described Young as “a shit.”

In an interview with NewsBusters, Vel Freedman, the lawyer representing Young, said that “everyone makes mistakes” but what CNN’s messages showed was a “systemic problem” inside the network. He added that their internal mechanism for accountability had “clearly failed” and opened themselves to “massive, massive liability.”

And from the sound of it, I hope he gets the ears, tail, and whatever testicles were remaining.


Dan said...

The issue is not CNN's guilt in the matter. That's been established already. In an honest court with an honest judge the plaintiff wins easily. The trick is finding an honwst court with an honest judge. Those are exceedingly rare these days. The "legal" system in America is broken. Corrupted beyond redemption.

Anonymous said...

And then if you do find such a unicorn at the trial court level, and win, you still have to pay the attorneys fees for the endless appeals. The process IS the punishment.
John in Indy