On March 30th, a Connecticut judge found Infowars host Alex Jones in contempt of court for failing to appear for a deposition in a defamation suit brought by the families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims. Jones has been sued by several families over his claims that the Sandy Hook shootings were a “giant hoax” and had been staged by the government to undermine the Second Amendment.
On March 9th, a New York Supreme Court judge ruled that voting technology company Smartmatic’s $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News and Rudy Giuliani can proceed. In his ruling, Judge David Cohen said that Giuliani repeatedly made claims “without any evidence” and “without any basis” that Smartmatic tried to tip the 2020 presidential election in Joe Biden’s favor.
On February 15th, a jury in the District Court for the Southern District of New York, dismissed a defamation lawsuit brought by Sarah Palin, a former governor of Alaska and vice presidential candidate in 2008, against The New York Times. The decision came a day before U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff said that he planned to dismiss the suit if the jury sided with Palin. Rakoff maintained that Palin’s lawyers were unable to prove the newspaper published with “actual malice” when it incorrectly linked her to a mass shooting in a Times editorial.
A defamation lawsuit brought by Sarah Palin against the New York Times began on February 3rd. Palin sued the newspaper in 2017 for an editorial that she alleges incorrectly linked her and her political action committee (PAC) to the 2011 mass shooting that left six people dead and 14 people wounded, including Representative Gabby Giffords of Arizona.
Smartmatic, a voting technology company, sued MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell for defamation on January 18th. The suit, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, begins, “Crazy like a fox. Mike Lindell know exactly what he is doing, and it is dangerous.”
Ruth Shalit Barrett, a freelance writer who wrote a piece for The Atlantic about how some wealthy parents are pushing their children into niche sports in an attempt to get them into Ivy League schools is suing for defamation. The lawsuit, filed on January 7th in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, claims that The Atlantic and editor Donald Peck, “unlawfully smeared” her and damaged her reputation and career.
On December 16th, a judge in the for the Superior Court of the State of Delaware denied Fox News’ request to have a $1.6 billion defamation suit filed against it by Dominion Voting Systems dismissed. In March 2021, Dominion sued Fox News for defamation, arguing that network hosts, including Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and others, spread false information that its company’s technology was used to rig the election in favor of Joe Biden.
A Georgia mother and daughter who processed ballots in Atlanta for the 2020 presidential election are suing The Gateway Pundit, a right-wing conspiracy theory website, for falsely claiming they manipulated ballots. According to the complaint filed in the circuit court for St. Louis City, Missouri, by Ruby Freeman and Wandrea “Shay” Moss, the website published dozens of false stories about them, calling them “crooked Democrats” and claiming that they “pulled out suitcases full of ballots and began counting those ballots without election monitors in the room.”