“Judge throws out Trump’s ‘big lie’ defamation lawsuit against CNN”


A federal judge on Friday dismissed Donald Trump’s lawsuit against CNN, in which the former president said the network defamed him by associating him with Adolf Hitler.

Trump argued that by using the phrase the “big lie” in reference to his unfounded claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, the network created an unfair association between him and the Nazi regime.

Hitler and Nazi minister of propaganda Joseph Goebbels used the term as a propaganda tool that involved repeating a falsehood until the public started to believe it. A quote, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it,” is often attributed to Goebbels, though it’s unclear where the comment came from.

Trump argued that the network’s references to the “big lie” created a “false and incendiary association” between him and Hitler, and caused “readers and viewers to hate, contempt, distrust, ridicule, and even fear” him. But U.S. District Judge Raag Singhal ruled that the comments did not constitute defamation.

You can find the order here and additional coverage from CNN. A highlight from the ruling by Judge Singhal (a Trump appointee): “CNN’s use of the phrase ‘the Big Lie’ in connection with Trump’s election challenges does not give rise to a plausible inference that Trump advocates the persecution and genocide of Jews or any other group of people. No reasonable viewer could (or should) plausibly make that reference.”

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