MOST TRUSTED NAME IN NEWS? I don’t think so. The Good Professor linked last week to a Volokh piece about a Florida intermediate appellate court holding that internal emails showed more than enough evidence of actual malice on CNN’s part to warrant that a libel case against them proceed.

But buried in the judicial opinion I noticed something else. Something that underscores the double-standard of modern media. Something that smacks of dishonesty.

By way of background, the story made factual (and purportedly false) allegations about Navy vet Zachary Young and his company, which was involved in rescuing people from Biden’s disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal. As mentioned above the court found as it did based on internal statements at CNN, such as:

“CNN employees called him a ‘s—bag’ and ‘a-hole’ and remarked they were ‘going to nail this Zachary Young mf—er.’ […] Marquardt [from CNN] referred to him as ‘f—ing Young’ and quipped, ‘it’s your funeral bucko.’”*

That’s the background. Here’s the double standard part: Buried in the ruling, the court mentioned that CNN had proffered the defense of constitutionally protected opinion.

Yes, you read that right. I have three questions:

  1. How can you claim to be “The Most Trusted Name in News” after saying — under oath and in front of God and everyone — that what you broadcast wasn’t news at all, but opinion? By definition, opinion is an unprovable expression not capable of being proven true or false;
  2. People We Are Not Supposed to Like were excoriated by left-leaning outfits for making the same argument, which was distorted wildly. NPR said “You Literally Can’t Believe The Facts Tucker Carlson Tells You. So Say Fox’s Lawyers.” But at the same time, here’s CNN mocking Tucker for doing the exact same thing they did this month.
  3. How can you square the utter hypocrisy of the leftist outfits who much earlier raised the same defense as Tucker, namely Rachel “All Panic, All the Time” Maddow?  As far back as 2021 it took Glenn Greenwald to point this out, saying “A Court Ruled Rachel Maddow’s Viewers Know She Offers Exaggeration and Opinion, Not Facts.

The part that bothers me the most is this is another example of the one-two-three punch of gaslighting, denialism, and projection.

*FOOTNOTE: Discovery is a bitch.