Tonya Chapman, chair of the Virginia Parole Board, filed a defamation lawsuit on March 29th in the Circuit Court for the City of Richmond against CBS affiliate WTVR-TV and reporter Jonathan Burkett. The lawsuit stems from Burkett’s reporting on a draft report from the Office of the State Inspector General (OSIG) that allegedly implicated Chapman’s involvement in the early release of a prisoner.
The suit against the Times was part of a string of lawsuits the Trump campaign filed in 2020 against media companies. So far, two have been dismissed and one remains ongoing.
On January 22nd, the Texas Supreme Court rejected conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ request to toss four defamation lawsuits filed by parents whose children died in the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The suits claim that Jones' statements calling the mass shooting a “giant hoax,” and accusing the parents of faking their children’s death were defamatory and caused the families emotional distress.
President Donald Trump's reelection campaign sued the local broadcast station in April for running an ad that made it seem like the President had called the coronavirus a hoax. The settlement does not include an apology from Trump, but one of the TV station's attorney framed it as a win for local news.
The judge is asking the family to submit a new complaint based only on whether the family's dairy farm knowingly hired undocumented workers. The new complaint will also have to contain a new argument showing actual malice.
Alex Jones and his website Infowars made repeated claims that the 2012 murder of 20 children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut was a “giant hoax,” possibly instigating a number of his followers to harass the families of the victims. Does the First Amendment protect Alex Jones’ speech?
The Washington Post announced on July 24th that it had reached a settlement with the parents of a Kentucky teenager who sued the newspaper last year over its depiction of an encounter between their son and a Native American activist. A spokesperson for The Post did not disclose the terms of the agreement.
Ben Garrison, a cartoonist known for lionizing President Donald Trump in his drawings, is suing the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for defamation after the organization called one of his cartoons anti-Semitic.