Dershowitz Files $300 Million Defamation Suit Against CNN

Sergei Chuzavkov
AP featured image
Alan Dershowitz, a professor at Harvard Law School poses for a picture at a hotel in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, April 11, 2011. Dershowitz intends to use his evidence-busting skills to defend a former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma, accused in the murder of an investigative journalist more than 10 years ago. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Or so the saying goes….

Once CNN settled with Covington High School Student, Nicholas Sandmann, you’d think they would have learned from publishing deceptively edited videos of people in order to push a narrative.  While we are not sure of the exact amount of Sandmann’s settlement, given that a nine-figure suit was filed, it is likely that Sandmann won’t be hurting much for cash after said settlement.

Yet, in January of this year, CNN again deceptively edited a video of Harvard professor and long-standing attorney-pundit, Alan Dershowitz.  The video suggested that Dershowitz had said that illegal actions were not impeachable, a statement Dershowitz clearly did not make.  Dershowitz had actually stated the opposite, saying that illegal acts were impeachable, but that a self-serving motive was not.  In other words, if Trump’s actions on Ukraine were legal, but selfish, they didn’t rise to the level of an impeachable offense.  For that, Dershowitz is right.

For publishing a deceptive video and slandering Dershowitz, CNN was wrong.


From the NY Post and Daily Mail :

Lawyer Alan Dershowitz has hit CNN with a $300 million defamation lawsuit, accusing the cable network of distorting his words to portray him as an “intellectual who had lost his mind” during President Trump’s impeachment trial, according to media reports.

During the January trial, the Harvard professor raised eyebrows when he argued, “If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.”

He is accusing CNN of airing misleading footage in a “barrage of defamatory programming” that led to him being “openly mocked by most of the top national talk show hosts and by CNN viewers,” the Daily Mail reported.

He wants the left-leaning network to cough up $250 million in punitive damages and $50 million in compensation, the paper reported of the Florida suit.

CNN might end up paying on this suit as well, as their defense of taking Dershowitz’s comments out of context is weak. Had they simply questioned Dershowitz’s comments, it likely would be a case of he said/she said. It is, however, pretty clear that they assigned Dershowitz’s comments to the context that he said illegal actions were not impeachable, when he, in fact, was speaking only to motive *and* the fact that he had said the exact opposite somewhere else in the briefing.  I can hear my 82-year-old father saying, “non-disclosure of a material fact is a form of misrepresentation in a court of law!”  For CNN to *not* disclose that Dershowitz said the opposite will certainly hurt their case.


With the delay of in-person court hearings as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, it is unknown when a case like this would ever make it to court.  Expect a settlement.


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