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NewsBusters Podcast: The Media Rant About Their Palin Smears and Durham Fears


February 16th, 2022 9:05 PM

The media cheered as a judge and jury dismissed Sarah Palin’s lawsuit against The New York Times over their smears claiming she incited a mass shooting in Arizona. They rounded up “free speech” professors to back them in their freedom to smear: 

“The press needs room to function and publish and have the flexibility to make some mistakes,” said Roy Gutterman, director of the Tully Center for Free Speech, in a statement cheering the jury’s decision, “without fearing that it can face civil judgments for simple, honest mistakes.”

Smearing Sarah Palin for inspiring a mass shooter wasn’t an “honest mistake.” The idea that you have to prove “actual malice” is a weird standard. If we wrote that Roy Gutterman’s speech was killing people, he might feel that demonstrates malice and recklessness. He wouldn’t cheer the “flexibility” to express some smears about him. 

Then we turned to the media’s collective fear that special counsel John Durham’s probe of the origins of the Trump-Russia obsession would ruin their long-running collusion narrative. Not only have ABC, CBS, and NBC failed to touch the latest filing by the Durham team, these networks have barely covered Durham’s probe since it began in the spring of 2019…after they gave Trump-Russia collusion more than 2,600 minutes on their evening newscasts alone. 

Enjoy the podcast below or wherever you listen to podcasts. 

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