Pro-Trump journalist sues Fusion reporter for defamation

Pro-Trump journalist sues Fusion reporter for defamation
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A pro-Trump journalist and commentator is suing a Fusion reporter for defamation in federal court, BuzzFeed News reported Thursday.

Attorneys for Cassandra Fairbanks allege in the lawsuit that Fusion reporter Emma Roller incorrectly accused their client in a tweet of flashing a "white power hand gesture" in a photo taken at the White House and refused to correct the mistake "until the eve of this suit."

The lawsuit alleges that Roller "acted with actual malice when she published the caption either with actual knowledge that the caption was not true or with reckless disregard as to its truth."

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Fairbanks worked for the Russian state-run news site Sputnik when Roller posted the photo. She has since started working at Big League Politics, a right-wing website launched earlier this year by former Breitbart News reporter Patrick Howley.

Fusion Editor-in-Chief Dodai Stewart said in a statement to BuzzFeed that the company would defend Roller in the lawsuit, calling it a "publicity stunt and an attempt to intimidate reporters."

"Our reporter Emma Roller has not actually been served, but the complaint provided to us by Buzzfeed is clearly frivolous," Stewart said. "This suit is an obvious publicity stunt and an attempt to intimidate reporters who scrutinize the activities of the extreme right. We fully support Emma and will defend her."

The lawsuit takes aim at more mainstream media outlets and legacy news organizations, saying that they "see themselves as the exclusive arbiters of truth" and accusing them of having a "self-declared monopoly" on journalism.

"Many of these 'journalists' use their perch of public influence to defame, slander and libel those they disagree with politically and ideologically They see the First Amendment as a sword. not a shield: they view the First Amendment as only protecting those with elites on their rolodex," the lawsuit reads.

Similarly, President TrumpDonald John TrumpComey: Trump's 'Spygate' claims are made up Trump taps vocal anti-illegal immigration advocate for State Dept's top refugee job Seattle Seahawks player: Trump is 'an idiot' for saying protesting NFL players 'shouldn’t be in the country' MORE has accused journalists who cover his administration critically as having a liberal agenda and propagating "fake news."