We’re guessing that Rachel Maddow will probably not list 2019 as one of her all-time best years in broadcasting. After riding high in the ratings for two years based on her throw-everything-at-the-wall approach to the Trump/Russia hoax scandal, Maddow’s viewership declined precipitously in March when Robert Mueller finally delivered his report to the Justice Department. Bottom line: No collusion. And just like that, Maddow’s carefully-constructed empire of cards came crashing down around her. Oh sure, some of her viewers are content to still watch her out of habit, but Maddow’s days of being the Queen of Cable News are over.
And now she’s got even more things to worry about. Like…about 10 million things.
From the AP:
A conservative television network sued Rachel Maddow for more than $10 million on Monday for calling it “paid Russian propaganda.”
One America News filed the federal defamation suit in San Diego.
The lawsuit contends that Maddow’s comment on her July 22 MSNBC show were retaliation after OAN President Charles Herring accused cable television giant Comcast of censorship. The suit contends that Comcast refused to carry the channel because it “counters the liberal politics of Comcast’s own news channel, MSNBC.”
A week after Herring sent an email to a Comcast executive, Maddow opened her MSNBC show by referring to a report in the Daily Beast that said an OAN employee also worked for Sputnik News, which is linked to the Russian government.
“In this case, the most obsequiously pro-Trump right-wing news outlet in America really literally is paid Russian propaganda,” Maddow said. “Their on-air U.S. politics reporter is paid by the Russian government to produce propaganda for that government.”
According to One America News, however, the reporter in question – Kristian Rouz – was never an employee for Sputnik. Rather he was a freelancer whose work had nothing to do with his employment with OAN.
“One America is wholly owned, operated and financed by the Herring family in San Diego. They are as American as apple pie. They are not paid by Russia and have nothing to do with the Russian government,” Skip Miller, a lawyer for OAN, said in a statement. “This is a false and malicious libel, and they’re going to answer for it in a court of law.”
Maddow, MSNBC, Comcast, and NBCUniversal are all named as defendants in the suit.
Yeah. Not a good year for Rachel.
But maybe we’re finally headed for a time when the purveyors of fake news get their due.