Christine Blasey Ford listens to her attorney Michael Bromwich as she testifies to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
Michael Bromwich is at it again.
You may recognize his name from his recent pursuit of the spotlight by representing clients such as disgraced former FBI official Andrew McCabe and Kavanaugh hearings centerpiece Christine Blasey Ford. Now, he’s making wild claims about Fox News being sued for their Wuhan virus coverage.
Bromwich is also a former DOJ inspector general, which should serve as a reminder of just how dangerous many of the “civil servants” in our government are. This is a guy who’s supposed to be a respecter of rights and laws suggesting that someone pursue completely frivolous lawsuits against a media outlet, not because they broke liable laws, but just because he doesn’t like them.
Further, his legal assertion is just idiotic.
Huh? No legal precedent for this AFAIK. https://t.co/K5il3eUCGE
— Brendan Nyhan (@BrendanNyhan) March 29, 2020
Another lawyer https://t.co/6BOyrhtfRn
— Brendan Nyhan (@BrendanNyhan) March 30, 2020
The targeting of Fox News on these grounds is also highly hypocritical. As has been pointed out many times (see Tucker Carlson Roasts the Media for Originally Downplaying the Wuhan Virus After They Try to Blame Fox News), the mainstream media were the worst offenders when it came to downplaying the pandemic, and that’s when they weren’t wasting time on impeachment coverage.
“Legal Analysis” 😂 pic.twitter.com/n9kqYfnya1
— Kaye (@Liberty4Life73) March 30, 2020
The likely result is that any such suit would be thrown out. We have freedom of speech in this country and there is no constitutional provision that would allow a news organization to suffer a “legal bloodbath” over opinions offered on their morning shows and such, especially without showing individual malice. If that standard actually did exist, CNN, MSNBC, and the broadcast networks would have been sued into the ground long ago, as they constantly share misinformation on their broadcasts. Some lawyer could make an attempt here, but my non-expert opinion is that it wouldn’t go anywhere.
Fox News did have some opinion hosts who took the virus less seriously early on than others. (Conversely, Fox’s Tucker Carlson was ahead of almost everyone, including the entire mainstream media.) But that was because of a lack of information at the time. In early February, very few foresaw the current situation. That’s not something that they are legally liable for. China and the WHO were lying to the world about the truth of the virus.
Bromwich’s suggestion, which was a response to Jay Rosen’s made-up claim, is simply nonsense. It should scare everyone to think this guy was once one of the most powerful figures in the DOJ.