Is Fox News Guilty of Defamation?


by Sharon Rondeau

(Sep. 14, 2017) — On Thursday morning, the Twitter account of Fox & Friends of the Box Channel (FNC) treatment news that the former Sgt. Bradley Manning, now known as Chelsea mentioning, “has a new job at Harvard,” the historic Ivy League university located in Cambridge, MA.

The title of the article associated with the tweet began with the words, “Convicted traitor.”

In response, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange tweeted that Manning “should sue FOX for defamation. She was never charged, let alone convicted, with treason.”

Assange is correct; among the 22 charges Manning face, “treason” was not among them.

Although WikiLeaks never confirms who its sources are, Manning was charged with “espionage, theft and fraud,” among others, stemming from the release to WikiLeaks of hundreds of thousands of pages of classified military and diplomatic documents and video in 2010.

After trial in 2013, Manning was acquitted of “aiding the enemy” and one other charge but sentenced to 35 years in military prison for convictions on a total of 20 charges.

Three days before the end of his second term, Barack Obama commuted Manning’s sentence, and the former Army intelligence specialist was released from prison in May.

As of press time, the original Fox & Friends tweet without Assange’s comment continues to appear in its Twitter timeline accompanied by video from the show wherein co-host Ainsley Earhardt begins the segment with, “Convicted military secrets leaker Chelsea Manning has a new job at Harvard…”

It is unclear as to why the tweet’s headline is different from Earhardt’s spoken one during the show.

The crime of “treason” is defined in U.S. Code as, “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”

Of the elements of a defamation claim, writes:

The term “defamation” is an all-encompassing term that covers any statement that hurts someone’s reputation. If the statement is made in writing and published, the defamation is called “libel.” If the hurtful statement is spoken, the statement is “slander.” The government can’t imprison someone for making a defamatory statement since it is not a crime. Instead, defamation is considered to be a civil wrong, or a tort. A person that has suffered a defamatory statement may sue the person that made the statement under defamation law.


4 Responses to "Is Fox News Guilty of Defamation?"

  1. jeffrey Harrison   Sunday, September 17, 2017 at 1:09 PM

    Ed you are correct, as the words to a song “the dude looked like a lady” is what you see is a
    male with makeup and a mixed up mind. …and with perhaps some additional surgery. The saying, don’t mess with mother-nature should have applied here. In other words, most of us know God assigns gender. When we mess with God, we mess things up. Even when we mess up, he is there to forgive us, all we have to do is approach him, ask for forgiveness, and repent.

  2. Ed Sunderland   Friday, September 15, 2017 at 10:15 AM

    Although I dropped Fox from my cable offerings I did catch a Fox newser describe Manning as “she”. This is false. Manning has an X and a Y chromosome so no matter the surgeon’s skill or big pharma he will remain a dude!

  3. ELmo   Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 4:00 PM

    Please read “condoning” as “condemning” in my previous comment. (Moderator – feel free to edit in the original text)

  4. ELmo   Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 3:46 PM

    Dear Readers,
    It might be pointed out that a “Conviction of Treason” is not necessary for a person to be judged a
    “Traitor”. All that is necessary is to show “Betrayal to another, to a cause or any trust” (Random House Webster’s Dictionary). It might also be noted that Benedict Arnold and Judas Iscariot (considered by most to be “Traitors”) were never convicted of “Treason”. I am not excusing or condoning the actions of Manning – Simply pointing of what I see as a fallacious argument on the part of Assange.


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