MSNBC Host Demands Dismissal of $50 Million Defamation Suit

Apr 20, 2012  •  Post A Comment

An MSNBC talk show host has filed court papers in response to a $50 million defamation lawsuit by a conservative radio host, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Rachel Maddow filed a motion seeking dismissal of the suit by Bradlee Dean and demanding that Dean pay legal fees. Maddow’s court filing says: "With this lawsuit — his second — Dean seeks to move one step closer in his self-described mission to stop the ‘radical gay agenda.’ The law does not permit him to use the judicial process in this fashion."

Maddow, MSNBC and NBCUniversal are defendants in the Dean lawsuit, which was filed in July. The suit was first filed in state court, but was later dropped and then filed again in federal court, the story notes.

Dean is alleging that Maddow misrepresented Dean’s words in a report on “The Rachel Maddow Show” in an effort to undermine GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann, according to the story.

Maddow reportedly aired a version of Dean’s comments from his radio show, quoting Dean as saying: "Muslims are calling for the execution for homosexuals in America. … They themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible, the Judeo Christian God. They seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do. Because these people are livid about enforcing their laws, they know homosexuality is an abomination. … If America won’t enforce the laws, God will raise up a foreign enemy to do just that’s what you’re seeing in America today."

THR adds: “Maddow then ran Dean’s later disclaimer that he has ‘never and will never call for the execution of homosexuals,’ and followed it up with some commentary, but it was enough for a defamation lawsuit.”

Maddow’s court filing says the TV host is protected by the First Amendment. According to the report, the filing states: “The the broadcasts truthfully reported on Dean’s May 15th statements. Those broadcasts re-played original audio of Dean speaking on the May 15th radio show. Dean does not — and cannot — allege that he did not make those controversial statements. The fact that NBCUniversal broadcast the essence but not the entirety of what Dean said during that radio show, as he now protests, does not change this analysis.”

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