Alexander Vindman Now Threatens Bogus SLAPP Suit Against Fox News & Laura Ingraham
from the can-we-stop-with-the-slapps dept
SLAPP suits and SLAPP threats are flying back and forth these days. The latest is that Lt. Col. Alex Vindman, who is a key player in the impeachment hearings, is threatening a highly questionable defamation lawsuit against Fox News and Laura Ingraham, because she had on a guest who suggested Vindman was guilty of espionage (he’s not). The threat letter was sent by David Pressman, a lawyer who works for Boies Schiller Flexner, a law firm which has a history of sending around bogus threat letters to the media for doing reporting.
Even if you think that Fox News is terrible (it is), that Ingraham is not to be trusted (she’s not), and that her guests are fools (they are), this threat is still completely bogus and silly.
During their exchange, Ms. Ingraham said, ?Here we have a U.S. national security official who is advising Ukraine, while working inside the White House, apparently against the president?s interest, and usually, they spoke in English. Isn?t that kind of an interesting angle on this story??
?I found that astounding,? Mr. Yoo replied. ?Some people might call that espionage.?
The Mr. Yoo in question is John Yoo, whose biggest claim to fame is writing the legal justifications for torture during the Bush administration. I wouldn’t trust him to throw a ball to a dog, let alone opine on matters regarding the administration, but that doesn’t mean that what he said was defamatory. As Ken “Popehat” White explained in a Twitter thread, even if everything Yoo and Ingraham said is ridiculous (and it is), there’s nothing in there that rises to the level of defamation:
/2 Defamation requires a provably false statement of fact. Arguments, characterizations, political rhetoric and hyperbole, and various forms of consciously performative bullshit don't qualify."Vindman's conduct we were just talking about is ESPIONAGE" is opinion, not defamation.
— IWantNothingHat (@Popehat) November 20, 2019
No matter which side of this you stand on, hopefully we can all agree that bogus threats of defamation, and silly cease and desist letters over people stating a (bad and dumb) opinion are not helping anyone.