Desperation often leads to even more desperate desperation. In this episode of The Most Trusted Name in News™, the embattled network of Brian Stelter, Don Lemon, Anderson Cooper, & company demonstrates just how desperate a failing “news” outlet can become as its ratings continue to swirl down the toilet.
How desperate, you ask? This desperate:
As reported by Bloomberg Law on Friday, the brother and sister-in-law of former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn can proceed with their false light claim against CNN based on a news story it ran alleging that John and Leslie Flynn were QAnon followers, a federal trial court ruled in New York on Friday.
CNN ran an image of the Flynns at a meeting while a chyron appeared on the screen stating “CNN Goes Inside a Gathering of QAnon Followers.” The Flynns said the report was false because they aren’t QAnon followers, adding that they don’t adhere to the conspiracy group’s “dangerous, extremist, racist, anti-Semitic, and violent beliefs.”
CNN asked the court to reconsider an earlier order denying its motion to dismiss. Its lawyers claimed that by retweeting QAnon tweets and following its Twitter page, the Flynns showed that they are, apparently by some inexplicable association, QAnon followers.
Anyway, U.S. District Judge Gregory H. Woods agreed with the Flynns and denied CNN’s motion for reconsideration and a motion to certify an interlocutory appeal on Friday in a Memorandum Opinion and Order.
What does it say about you if you “follow” someone on Twitter? What does it say about you when you retweet someone else’s tweet? These are not just questions for Millennials or Zoomers. They are critical questions in this motion to dismiss.
CNN argues that the Court should conclude as a matter of law that by retweeting another’s tweet, the retweeter is adopting every word in the tweet as their own.
So, stop the tape. One wonders how many zillions of times CNN would be subject to a lawsuit — if its own defense held up in the Flynn case — with the likes of
Mr. Potato Head Brian Stelter incessantly retweeting “guilty by association” nonsense about any number of controversial issues, from Antifa to radical Islam to critical race theory indoctrination and beyond.
Judge Woods further observed that “a retweet, in CNN’s view, cannot merely be used to comment on another’s tweet or to forward the fact of its existence to another,” adding that the failing network is asking the court to agree with the ridiculous position that by simply following a Twitter account, an individual is thereby “an adherent to the entire belief system of the tweeter.”
Why it’s “almost” like CNN continues to try to engineer its own demise, huh?
The case has been going on for months. As reported by Politico in December, Woods largely upheld a recommendation from a magistrate judge that the defamation case brought against CNN by the Flynns could be thrown out. However, Woods ruled that the portion of the Flynns’ suit that accuses CNN of painting the couple in a “false light” could proceed. The Obama-appointed judge wrote at the time:
Whether the Flynns were QAnon followers, and in particular, whether the Flynns were ‘followers’ as that word is understood in the context of CNN’s publication, is a highly fact-intensive inquiry. […] The Flynns’ tweets do not conclusively contradict their factual allegations.
Uh-oh. Facts. Facts are to CNN as a crucifix or holy water is to a vampire, which is why the outlet’s self-proclaimed “most trusted name in news” silliness could not be more blatantly false. When ideology — left or right — supersedes objectivity and fair reporting, sooner or later, the lights are going to flicker, and ultimately there are hard decisions to make, including continuing a stubborn course of self-destruction.
Brian Stelter and Don Lemon were unavailable for comment.