Commentary

A Court Ruled Rachel Maddow’s Viewers Know She Offers Exaggeration and Opinion, Not Facts – Glenn Greenwald

(GLENN GREENWALD) June 22, 2021

MSNBC’s top-rated host Rachel Maddow devoted a segment in 2019 to accusing the right-wing cable outlet One America News (OAN) of being a paid propaganda outlet for the Kremlin. Discussing a Daily Beast article which noted that one OAN reporter was a “Russian national” who was simultaneously writing copy for the Russian-owned outlet Sputnik on a freelance contract, Maddow escalated the allegation greatly into a broad claim about OAN’s real identity and purpose: “in this case,” she announced, “the most obsequiously pro-Trump right wing news outlet in America really literally is paid Russian propaganda.”

In response, OAN sued Maddow, MSNBC, and its parent corporation Comcast, Inc. for defamation, alleging that it was demonstrably false that the network, in Maddow’s words, “literally is paid Russian propaganda.” In an oddly overlooked ruling, an Obama-appointed federal judge, Cynthia Bashant, dismissed the lawsuiton the ground that even Maddow’s own audience understands that her show consists of exaggeration, hyperbole, and pure opinion, and therefore would not assume that such outlandish accusations are factually true even when she uses the language of certainty and truth when presenting them (“literally is paid Russian propaganda”).

Source: https://greenwald.substack.com/p/a-court-ruled-rachel-maddows-viewers?token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjo4OTQyNTc0LCJwb3N0X2lkIjozNzg4OTIwNCwiXyI6ImJueEgyIiwiaWF0IjoxNjI0NDIzNTY3LCJleHAiOjE2MjQ0MjcxNjcsImlzcyI6InB1Yi0xMjg2NjIiLCJzdWIiOiJwb3N0LXJlYWN0aW9uIn0.6nf6RYGjaUIZVBBTF3YDkGr9-akllulk0n4NpbpDW_E