Joel & Mary Rich v Fox News Network et al; USDC SDNY; Re Seth Rich/Wikileaks Story

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Joel & Mary Rich v Fox News Network et al; USDC SDNY; Re Seth Rich/Wikileaks Story

#1

Post by Addie » Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:55 am

Thread title changed

------------------------------

CNN
Lawsuit: Fox News concocted Seth Rich story with oversight from White House

The White House worked with Fox News and a wealthy Republican donor to push a story about the murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, according to an explosive lawsuit filed Tuesday.

The story was pushed in an attempt to discredit the US intelligence community's determination that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee and obtained the emails released by Wikileaks, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit, which was first reported by NPR, was filed in US District Court in the Southern District of New York. The plaintiff is Rod Wheeler, a Fox News contributor and former homicide detective hired to investigate Rich's death, who alleges that he was misquoted as part of the effort to put the story together. Douglas Wigdor, who is representing current and former Fox employees in other lawsuits against the network, is Wheeler's lawyer.

21st Century Fox, the Fox News Channel, Fox News reporter Malia Zimmerman and Republican donor Ed Butowsky are named as defendants. Butowsky denies the allegations in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit says in part, "The motivation behind the article: establish that Seth Rich provided WikiLeaks with the DNC emails to shift the blame from Russia and help put to bed speculation that President Trump colluded with Russia in an attempt to influence the outcome of the Presidential election. ... Zimmerman, Butowsky and Fox had created fake news to advance President Trump's agenda. Mr. Wheeler was subsequently forced to correct the false record and, as a result, lost all credibility in the eyes of the public. Mr. Wheeler has suffered irreparable damage to his reputation and his career will likely never recover."
Lawsuit (Pdf)

Adding:
Associated Press: Fox Coordinated with White House on False Story
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Re: Wheeler v 21st Century Fox et al; USDC SDNY; Re Seth Rich/Wikileaks Story

#2

Post by RVInit » Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:58 am

Here is the story posted today by NPR. Cross posted elsewhere.

Behind Fox News' Baseless Seth Rich Story: The Untold Tale


The Fox News Channel and a wealthy supporter of President Trump worked in concert under the watchful eye of the White House to concoct a story about the murder of a young Democratic National Committee aide, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

The explosive claim is part of the lawsuit filed against Fox News by Rod Wheeler, a longtime paid commentator for the news network. The suit was obtained exclusively by NPR.

Wheeler alleges Fox News and the Trump supporter intended to deflect public attention from growing concern about the administration's ties to the Russian government. His suit charges that a Fox News reporter created quotations out of thin air and attributed them to him to propel her story.

Fox's president of news, Jay Wallace, told NPR Monday there was no "concrete evidence" that Wheeler was misquoted by the reporter, Malia Zimmerman. The news executive did not address a question about the story's allegedly partisan origins. Fox News declined to allow Zimmerman to comment for this story.
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Re: Wheeler v 21st Century Fox et al; USDC SDNY; Re Seth Rich/Wikileaks Story

#3

Post by bob » Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:00 pm

Folks didn't bite at Wheeler's first ridiculous conspiracy theory; maybe this one will take?

:roll:
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Re: Wheeler v 21st Century Fox et al; USDC SDNY; Re Seth Rich/Wikileaks Story

#4

Post by Sugar Magnolia » Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:46 pm

bob wrote:Folks didn't bite at Wheeler's first ridiculous conspiracy theory; maybe this one will take?

:roll:
What was the first one? That he didn't say what he's quoted as saying?

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Re: Wheeler v 21st Century Fox et al; USDC SDNY; Re Seth Rich/Wikileaks Story

#5

Post by Addie » Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:47 pm

WaPo: A timeline of the explosive lawsuit alleging a White House link in the Seth Rich conspiracy
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Re: Wheeler v 21st Century Fox et al; USDC SDNY; Re Seth Rich/Wikileaks Story

#6

Post by bob » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:03 pm

Sugar Magnolia wrote:What was the first one? That he didn't say what he's quoted as saying?
I recall reading something that tied Wheeler to Burkman's Profiling Project, but I can't find it now.

Still, Wheeler initially said there was evidence linking Rich's death to Wikileaks, and then he walked that back. I see this suit as an attempt to regain his credibility, but I think that's irreparably gone.
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Re: Wheeler v 21st Century Fox et al; USDC SDNY; Re Seth Rich/Wikileaks Story

#7

Post by Sugar Magnolia » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:08 pm

bob wrote:
Sugar Magnolia wrote:What was the first one? That he didn't say what he's quoted as saying?
I recall reading something that tied Wheeler to Burkman's Profiling Project, but I can't find it now.

Still, Wheeler initially said there was evidence linking Rich's death to Wikileaks, and then he walked that back. I see this suit as an attempt to regain his credibility, but I think that's irreparably gone.
From Addie's link
That night, Wheeler appears on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program and supports the story, though he claims not to have personal knowledge of a Rich-WikiLeaks link.
He's also denying the quotes that are attributed to him and apparently has text messages that at least sort of back that denial up.

However it plays out, it should be interesting to follow.

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Re: Wheeler v 21st Century Fox et al; USDC SDNY; Re Seth Rich/Wikileaks Story

#8

Post by Kendra » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:27 pm

I am still reading it, but if he's got all the texts and emails he claims he has. oh boy.

And supposedly Spicey's involved. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/pow ... 7#comments
:snippity: Spicer confirmed the meeting in an interview with Folkenflik, saying that Butowsky and Wheeler had informed him of an investigative story that Fox News was working on. “It had nothing to do with advancing the president’s domestic agenda — and there was no agenda,” Spicer says now. “They were just informing me of the [Fox] story.”

But less than one month later, in a May 16 press gaggle, Spicer claimed to have no knowledge of the Rich story. At the time, D.C. affiliate Fox 5 had run a credulous interview with Wheeler, which kicked off further coverage in conservative media and on Fox News itself.

“Sean, can we get a White House reaction or the President’s reaction to the report that said Rich was emailing WikiLeaks before his murder?” asked a reporter, according to the White House’s transcript.

“I don’t — I’m not aware of — generally, I don’t get updates on DNC — former DNC staffers,” said Spicer. “I’m not aware of that.”

“It would certainly have a great influence on where the leaks came from, if they could potentially — I mean, there’s a lot of implications in this story, of course,” the reporter continued.
:snippity:

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Re: Wheeler v 21st Century Fox et al; USDC SDNY; Re Seth Rich/Wikileaks Story

#9

Post by bob » Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:20 pm

"For completeness": Deadline:
“The accusation that FoxNews.com published Malia Zimmerman’s story to help detract from coverage of the Russia collusion issue is completely erroneous,” said Fox News Channel’s Jay Wallace today in response to the defamation and discrimination lawsuit filed by Rod Wheeler.

* * *
Wallace wrote:The accusation that FoxNews.com published Malia Zimmerman’s story to help detract from coverage of the Russia collusion issue is completely erroneous. The retraction of this story is still being investigated internally and we have no evidence that Rod Wheeler was misquoted by Zimmerman. Additionally, FOX News vehemently denies the race discrimination claims in the lawsuit — the dispute between Zimmerman and Rod Wheeler has nothing to do with race.
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Re: Wheeler v 21st Century Fox et al; USDC SDNY; Re Seth Rich/Wikileaks Story

#10

Post by Addie » Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:16 pm

Yahoo News
Lawyer wants Trump’s testimony in ‘fake news’ suit against Fox

The lawyer for a Washington private investigator who is suing Fox News over its use of allegedly invented quotes in a news story advancing a bizarre conspiracy theory said Tuesday he will seek to depose President Trump and former White House press secretary Sean Spicer to question them over their roles in the affair.

“We’re going to litigate this case as we would any other” and that means “we’ll want to depose anyone who has information,” including the president, said attorney Douglas Wigdor, who is representing the investigator, Rod Wheeler.

The lawsuit was filed in a New York federal court on Tuesday against Fox News, one of its reporters, Malia Zimmerman, and Ed Butowsky, a Dallas-based financier who has often appeared as a commentator on Fox News and allegedly worked with Zimmerman on a story about the death of former DNC staffer Seth Rich. ...

Wigdor told Yahoo News that Trump and Spicer are among a half dozen key witnesses he will seek to depose. The legal papers allege that Butowsky and Zimmerman met with Spicer at his White House office in April to discuss the upcoming story and that Trump himself specifically reviewed early drafts of the story and recommended editorial changes and an aggressive publishing schedule on the Fox News website.
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Re: Wheeler v 21st Century Fox et al; USDC SDNY; Re Seth Rich/Wikileaks Story

#11

Post by Chilidog » Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:20 pm

When do we get to...

DISCOVERY!!!!!!!

:-D

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Re: Wheeler v 21st Century Fox et al; USDC SDNY; Re Seth Rich/Wikileaks Story

#12

Post by Addie » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:19 am

[bbvideo=560,315][/bbvideo]
Adding:
New York Mag: Exactly How Close Was the White House to Fox News’s Fake Seth Rich Story?
Business Insider: Seth Rich family responds to lawsuit claiming White House helped Fox News push conspiracy about their son's death
Dallas Morning News: Dallas financier pushed fake Seth Rich story to divert attention from Trump-Russia probe, suit says
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Re: Wheeler v 21st Century Fox et al; USDC SDNY; Re Seth Rich/Wikileaks Story

#13

Post by Sterngard Friegen » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:39 am

Butowsky can't answer a question yes or no. Or answer simply. As a defendant in the lawsuit he's also a fool for giving an interview.

His email -- that he says was tongue in cheek -- is damning.

Trump, his associates, followers and surrogates sure say a lot of things they don't mean.

Whether Wheeler is being truthful is still hard to say, but Butowsky has cleared up nothing.

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Re: Wheeler v 21st Century Fox et al; USDC SDNY; Re Seth Rich/Wikileaks Story

#14

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:44 am

Sterngard Friegen wrote:Butowsky can't answer a question yes or no. Or answer simply. As a defendant in the lawsuit he's also a fool for giving an interview.
His email -- that he says was tongue in cheek -- is damning.

Trump, his associates, followers and surrogates sure say a lot of things they don't mean.

Whether Wheeler is being truthful is still hard to say, but Butowsky has cleared up nothing.
What is it about Trumpster types who are convinced if THEY say it ain't so, it ain't so?
Have they bought in to their own con?
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Re: Wheeler v 21st Century Fox et al; USDC SDNY; Re Seth Rich/Wikileaks Story

#15

Post by Flatpointhigh » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:01 am

Tiredretiredlawyer wrote:
Sterngard Friegen wrote:Butowsky can't answer a question yes or no. Or answer simply. As a defendant in the lawsuit he's also a fool for giving an interview.
His email -- that he says was tongue in cheek -- is damning.

Trump, his associates, followers and surrogates sure say a lot of things they don't mean.

Whether Wheeler is being truthful is still hard to say, but Butowsky has cleared up nothing.
What is it about Trumpster types who are convinced if THEY say it ain't so, it ain't so?
Have they bought in to their own con?
Remember, they aren't talking to you and I, they're all talking to the groundlings. Keep that in mind when listening to them.

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Re: Wheeler v 21st Century Fox et al; USDC SDNY; Re Seth Rich/Wikileaks Story

#16

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:14 am

Flatpointhigh wrote:
Tiredretiredlawyer wrote: What is it about Trumpster types who are convinced if THEY say it ain't so, it ain't so?
Have they bought in to their own con?
Remember, they aren't talking to you and I, they're all talking to the groundlings. Keep that in mind when listening to them.
:thumbs: The marks.
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Re: Wheeler v 21st Century Fox et al; USDC SDNY; Re Seth Rich/Wikileaks Story

#17

Post by DejaMoo » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:55 am

Butowsky's involvement in this story was reminiscent of another Trump-related story that was heavily promoted and pushed by another obsessive RWNJ. But that was an anti-Trump story: the fabled underage Trump rape victim who never actually existed, and from whom we heard nothing more after the election.

The right seems to have a goodly number of cranks with money, said money giving them the access to our political system in order to pollute it with their crank notions. Just goes to show that "rich" doesn't necessarily equate with "smart". Or sensible. Or stable.
I've heard this bull before.

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Re: Wheeler v 21st Century Fox et al; USDC SDNY; Re Seth Rich/Wikileaks Story

#18

Post by Dan1100 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:23 pm

Sterngard Friegen wrote:Butowsky can't answer a question yes or no. Or answer simply. As a defendant in the lawsuit he's also a fool for giving an interview.

His email -- that he says was tongue in cheek -- is damning.

Trump, his associates, followers and surrogates sure say a lot of things they don't mean.

Whether Wheeler is being truthful is still hard to say, but Butowsky has cleared up nothing.
I predict that Fox will throw Butowsky under the bus and say that they were conned by him and didn't know anything about the false quotes or coordination with the White House.

All the references to the deal to buy Sky were interesting. Probably not relevant to the lawsuit, but I bet it made a few Fox executives throw up their breakfast.
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Re: Wheeler v 21st Century Fox et al; USDC SDNY; Re Seth Rich/Wikileaks Story

#19

Post by Reality Check » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:51 pm

What do our esteemed and knowledgeable members think about Wheeler's chances of proving injury in this lawsuit?
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Re: Wheeler v 21st Century Fox et al; USDC SDNY; Re Seth Rich/Wikileaks Story

#20

Post by bob » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:06 pm

Reality Check wrote:What do our esteemed and knowledgeable members think about Wheeler's chances of proving injury in this lawsuit?
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Re: Wheeler v 21st Century Fox et al; USDC SDNY; Re Seth Rich/Wikileaks Story

#21

Post by Grumpy Old Guy » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:16 pm

Reality Check wrote:What do our esteemed and knowledgeable members think about Wheeler's chances of proving injury in this lawsuit?
I would not call myself esteemed or knowledgeable, but I hope this case will be a refreshing change from the parade of losers we normally follow.

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Re: Wheeler v 21st Century Fox et al; USDC SDNY; Re Seth Rich/Wikileaks Story

#22

Post by Dan1100 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:35 pm

Grumpy Old Guy wrote:
Reality Check wrote:What do our esteemed and knowledgeable members think about Wheeler's chances of proving injury in this lawsuit?
I would not call myself esteemed or knowledgeable, but I hope this case will be a refreshing change from the parade of losers we normally follow.
I think proving injury will be easy. It made Wheeler look like an lying idiot no one would ever hire for anything ever again.

Proving the quotes are false and that it was done with actual malice (especially by anyone besides Butowsky) will be harder.
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Re: Wheeler v 21st Century Fox et al; USDC SDNY; Re Seth Rich/Wikileaks Story

#23

Post by Reality Check » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:17 pm

Dan1100 wrote: :snippity:
Proving the quotes are false and that it was done with actual malice (especially by anyone besides Butowsky) will be harder.
So if Wheeler was collateral damage in Butowsky's (I love that name. It's perfect for a Fox News contributor. :lol:) quest to smear the Democratic Party and get Trump off the hook then it will be harder to prove malice?
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Re: Wheeler v 21st Century Fox et al; USDC SDNY; Re Seth Rich/Wikileaks Story

#24

Post by Dan1100 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:43 pm

Reality Check wrote:
Dan1100 wrote: :snippity:
Proving the quotes are false and that it was done with actual malice (especially by anyone besides Butowsky) will be harder.
So if Wheeler was collateral damage in Butowsky's (I love that name. It's perfect for a Fox News contributor. :lol:) quest to smear the Democratic Party and get Trump off the hook then it will be harder to prove malice?
I am no expert by any means.

Actual malice is "with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not."

I think FOX and Zimmerman will say, "Butowsky said Wheeler said those things. We believed him. He has been dependable in the past. We trusted him. Maybe we were wrong, but it wasn't done with actual malice and we didn't know anything about this alleged conspiracy with the White House."
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Re: Wheeler v 21st Century Fox et al; USDC SDNY; Re Seth Rich/Wikileaks Story

#25

Post by June bug » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:03 pm

Dan1100 wrote:I think FOX and Zimmerman will say, "Butowsky said Wheeler said those things. We believed him. He has been dependable in the past. We trusted him. Maybe we were wrong, but it wasn't done with actual malice and we didn't know anything about this alleged conspiracy with the White House."
Per the NPR story,Wheeler supposedly has a record of a 3-way conversation among himself, Zimmerman and Butowsky. In that conversation Zimmerman admits to some untruths both in the online story and in an e-mail to Rich's parents, but blames her bosses at Fox.

That may still not be enough to meet the malice requirement but I think Zimmerman and Fox will have trouble with the story that they just bought everything Butowsky was selling.

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