Mark Caserta: Reckless reporting isn’t healthy for country

7 Jul

me

Mark Caserta:  Free State Patriot editor

 

Liberals seem willing to compromise just about anything to see President Trump fail.

It appears to me they’ve displayed a willingness to sacrifice our economy, our healthcare system and even our national security to propagate their progressive agenda. And now, they seem willing to destroy the president of the United States under the guise of exercising their First Amendment rights.

Now, I believe “religious liberty” could be our most important freedom, not only because it’s listed first in the Bill of Rights, but because without it, all other freedoms are devoid of purpose.

But what’s interesting to me is that through the eyes of our immensely wise founding fathers, free speech and freedom of the press held enough influence in their vision for our Republic, they included these freedoms in the First Amendment alongside our religious freedom!

What an incredible responsibility our founders placed upon the press regarding publishing the truth and adhering to the strictest interpretation of accuracy! Anything less would certainly dishonor our founder’s constitutional intent.

But, in my view, some members of the mainstream media have, indeed, dishonored our founders in reporting on President Trump and should be held accountable.

A landmark 1964 Supreme Court case, New York Times Co. versus Sullivan, held that “journalists and newspapers can’t be sued for libel or defamation unless they act recklessly by publishing something they know is false” per an April column by David Martosko for Daily Mail.com.

The definition of “defamation,” according to Law.com, is “the act of making untrue statements about another which damages his/her reputation. If the defamatory statement is printed or broadcast over the media, it is libel, and if only oral, it is slander.”

So, with major news outlets like CNN, MSNBC and The New York Times constantly reporting stories about Trump’s collusion with Russia, with no supportive evidence, at what point does it become “defamation, libel and/or slander”?

I was stuck by the disingenuous nature of the liberal defense of CNN last week for just one of its “errors” in reporting.

It’s true CNN did retract a poorly reported story on a Trump associate’s suggested affiliation with a Russian investment fund. They even “urged” three “journalists” responsible for the retracted story to resign.

But per a June 27 column in The New York Post, by Emily Smith, they reportedly did so for fear of a potential $100 million libel suit! What about the other multiple unfounded stories printed regarding the Trump/Russian collusion?

Sadly, I’m convinced liberals will continue down this path of prevarication throughout the Trump presidency. Perhaps it’s time for the president to respond differently.

Per the 1964 Supreme Court decision, for President Trump to sue the media for defamation, he would need to prove false statements were “knowingly published, with malice, or with a reckless disregard for their accuracy.”

I believe a formidable case could be made on Trump’s behalf and eventually dissuade the liberal media from reckless reporting. It simply isn’t healthy for our country.

And the Supreme Court just might see things a bit differently this time.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

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