Rachel Maddow and MSNBC has won against One America News’ parent company Herring Networks libel suit
OAN and its owner sued Maddow after she commented on her show on July 22, 2019, Daily Beast report about the pro-Donald Trump network’s employment of a Kremlin-paid journalist,the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a lower court’s ruling that her statements were not actionable
The night of Daily Beast report Maddow commented, “We literally learned today that that outlet the president is promoting shares staff with the Kremlin. I mean, what? … In this case, the most obsequiously pro-Trump right-wing news outlet in America really literally is paid Russian propaganda. Their on-air U.S. politics reporter is paid by the Russian government to produce propaganda for that government.”
the suit was dismissed in May 2020 upon the federal judge’s conclusion that a reasonable viewer wouldn’t take Maddow’s comment to mean that OAN is paid Russian propaganda, and at worst, it was merely her opinion.
“In comparison to the undisputed facts that Maddow reports, the contested statement was particularly emphatic and unfounded: Maddow went from stating that OAN employs a Sputnik employee to stating that OAN reports Russian propaganda,” wrote Circuit Judge Milan D. Smith Jr. “A reasonable person would understand Maddow’s contested statement as an ‘obvious exaggeration,’ that is, as Maddow explains, ‘sandwiched between precise factual recitations’ of The Daily Beast article.”
MSNBC and Maddow prevailed on an anti-SLAPP motion and are entitled to recover legal fees. The judge awarded MSNBC and Maddow $250,000