Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio hasn’t just quietly faded into the sunset. Nope, he’s suing CNN and others big time. He just hit them with $300 million hammer of a lawsuit. Arpaio is suing them for reporting he was a “convicted felon” who went to prison. A flat-out audacious and brazen lie.
Arpaio filed the lawsuit this week against CNN and its president Jeff Zucker and anchor Chris Cuomo, the HuffPost and its political reporter Kevin Robillard, and Rolling Stone magazine and staff writer Tessa Stuart. He’s alleging that CNN defamed him… or more specifically, Cuomo, who referred to him as a “convicted felon” in a Jan. 10th broadcast. That seems to me to be the very definition of defamation.
“As of today, the CNN Broadcast is still available through Defendant CNN’s website and no efforts have been taken by Defendant CNN, Defendant Cuomo, or Defendant Zucker to correct this false statement,” the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia stated. The lawsuit also puts forth a Nov. 5th article from Robillard published by HuffPost. That article stated that the former sheriff had been “sent to prison for contempt of court.”
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From The Washington Examiner:
Arpaio claimed the neither the news outlet nor the reporter have corrected the false statement as of Monday, but an archived web page of the story shows a correction was made on Nov. 13.
“A previous version of this story mistakenly indicated Joe Arpaio went to prison for his conviction,” a correction at the bottom of the story said.
Arpaio also pointed to a Nov. 13 Rolling Stone piece by Stuart, in which he was referred to as an “ex-felon.” The lawsuit acknowledged that Rolling Stone updated the piece to say “Arpaio was convicted of contempt of court, a misdemeanor, in 2017 and pardoned by Trump less than one month later.” The story included an editor’s note at the end noting a change in the story.
“However, as of today, there is no indication on the Rolling Stone Article that a mistake had previously been made in referring to Plaintiff Arpaio as an ‘ex-felon.’ Thus, persons who read the Rolling Stone Article when it falsely referred to Plaintiff Arpaio as an ‘ex-felon’ are not aware that this statement is patently false,” the court documents said.
Back in August, Arpaio lost the Republican Senate primary in Arizona. According to the lawsuit, Arpaio intends to run for the Senate seat vacated by John McCain in 2020 “as well as pursue other political and governmental endeavors in this district.” He rightly contends that his “distinguished” 55-year career and potential 2020 Senate run have been “severely harmed” and his reputation “severely damaged” by the reporting errors. Actually, I think that is a major understatement here. He’s seeking $300.5 million in damages and attorneys’ fees and I wish him the best of luck on that.
The left is still furious that President Trump pardoned Arpaio in August 2017 for criminal contempt over ignoring a court order concerning detention of illegal immigrants who lacked standing. They harbor a special hatred for the man. Arpaio said it was unintentional… a leftist judge nailed him for it but Trump saved him from jail over it. But the leftist media just won’t stop smearing him or let it go. So Arpaio is suing them and I don’t blame him a bit. CNN crossed a line big time and deserve to pay for this.