nydailynews.com nydailynews.com 29 Dec, 2020 10:30 am

How defamation law is supposed to work: Networks couldn’t get away with smearing election machine manufacturers

How defamation law is supposed to work: Networks couldn’t get away with smearing election machine manufacturers
The late New York Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said that “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”

Tomorrow, it may be poll workers falsely accused of improperly scanning ballots, voters falsely accused of illegal registrations, not-for-profits falsely accused of illegal ballot harvesting, and anyone in a news story, or a widely-circulated Facebook post or Tweet, who is falsely accused of illegal activity in connection with an election.” Last week, right-wing “news” networks Fox News, Fox Business, Newsmax and OAN got a painful, awkward lesson in the legal meaning of Moynihan’s phrase.Lou Dobbs addresses the claims regarding Smartmatic on Fox Business after November's presidential election.(Fox Business) Normally, one would not think of corporations as the go-to defenders of truth and democracy, but in this case, it was their threat of defamation lawsuits that brought forward truth, and that hopefully will increase confidence in the outcome of our election.

The late New York Sen.New York should consider laws to extend the statute of limitations for defamation suits, mandate double or treble damages in egregious instances, and protect whistleblowers who bring forward evidence of malicious and deliberate false reporting.

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