Donald Trump often accuses CNN of peddling fake news.
And the network has ferociously fought back against this charge.
But one judge’s ruling was a serious setback for CNN.
David Carbone, former CEO of St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, filed a defamation lawsuit against CNN after the network ran a story alleging the infant mortality rate at the hospital was three times the national average.
Carbone claims CNN fudged the numbers to make St. Mary’s look like a danger zone.
He won a stunning ruling when the judge ruled the case could move forward – which is a rarity in suits against news organizations.
“In our case, we contended that CNN essentially made up its own standard in order to conduct an ‘apples to oranges’ comparison to support its false assertion that St. Mary’s mortality rate was 3 times higher than the national average. Accordingly, the case against CNN certainly fits the description of media-created ‘Fake News.’” said Carbone’s attorney L. Lin Wood, in a statement to LawNewz.com.
Wood says that as a result of CNN’s story Carbone lost his job and it became extremely difficult for him to find new employment in the field of hospital administration.
“False and defamatory accusations against real people have serious consequences. Neither St. Mary’s or Mr. Carbone did anything to deserve being the objects of the heinous accusation that they harmed or put babies and young children at risk for profit,” Wood said.
On Wednesday, Federal District Judge Orinda Evans ruled that the case could move forward, even ruling that she found that CNN may have acted with “actual malice” with the report — a standard necessary to prove a defamation claim.
“The Court finds these allegations sufficient to establish that CNN was acting recklessly with regard to the accuracy of its report, i.e., with ‘actual malice,” the order reads. CNN had tried to get the case dismissed.”
If CNN loses this case against them, it would be proof that the network does in fact air “fake news” – something they’ve fought back hard against anytime Trump levels the accusation.
And he recently just did so after the network posted a story claiming his officials were in contact with Russians known to U.S. intelligence.
The story sounded sensational, but the network added a caveat:
“Among several senior Trump advisers regularly communicating with Russian nationals were then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort and then-adviser Michael Flynn.
Officials emphasized that communications between campaign staff and representatives of foreign governments are not unusual. However, these communications stood out to investigators due to the frequency and the level of the Trump advisers involved. Investigators have not reached a judgment on the intent of those conversations.”
But “Russian nationals” could be anybody.
Manafort was known to have side business dealings and he could have easily been in contact with business associates.
The network also noted that Manafort strongly denied their allegations:
“That is 100% not true, at least as far as me,” he said. “I cannot believe that they are including me in anything like that. I have not been involved in any of these activities.”
Manafort said he did not know where US officials got the idea that he was in contact with suspected Russian operatives during the campaign but said he never spoke with any Russian officials during that time.
“I don’t remember talking to any Russian officials, ever. Certainly during the time we’re talking about,” he said, calling the allegations “boggling.”
“I have knowingly never talked to any intelligence official or anyone in Russia regarding anything of what’s under investigation,” he said. “I have never had any connection to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin or the Russian government before, during or after the campaign.”
The story also noted that Manafort stated the FBI had not contacted him about these allegations.
Is CNN a fake news network?
Does this case prove it?
Let us know what you think in the comment section.