A new defamation lawsuit against Fox News could compound the network’s legal troubles.
Nina Jankowicz, the disinformation expert tapped by the Biden administration to run a since-scrapped agency within the Department of Homeland Security to combat disinformation, has filed a lawsuit against Fox over its coverage after she was announced as the pick to lead the agency.
Media personalities on Fox and other conservative outlets, along with lawmakers and even some liberals, relentlessly attacked Jankowicz and the agency, conjuring a storm of negative press that helped lead to the Biden administration rather than the board before it officially began its work.
Progressive watchdog Media Matters compiled a list of some of the most egregious claims made by Fox personalities. Jankowicz, who was pregnant when she was selected to lead the board, says she received violent threats as a result of baseless claims about her.
NBC News described her lawsuit, filed Wednesday:
Nina Jankowicz said in the suit, filed in Delaware state court, that she was subjected to violent threats because of Fox News’ portrayal of her and her role, which included insults made on the network.
“Fox’s coverage of Jankowicz was neither news nor political commentary; it was cheap, easy entertainment untethered from the facts, designed to make consumers believe that Jankowicz could and would suppress their speech,” her attorneys wrote in the suit. “Fox chose to lie about Jankowicz deliberately.”
Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
The legal filings have been piling up against Fox News. Last month, the network reached a historically large settlement with Dominion Voting Systems over Fox’s airing of false claims of impropriety in the 2020 election. Smartmatic, another voting system company, has filed a similar lawsuit against Fox that is making its way through the courts. (Fox has denied Smartmatic’s allegations.)
The Dominion lawsuit shook loose some damning revelations about Fox and its hosts (and even spurred a workplace misconduct lawsuit by a now-former Fox employee). The Smartmatic lawsuit could reveal even more damaging info, and now Nina Jankowicz is in the litigation mix as well.
She accuses Fox personalities of using falsities to damage her reputation. Now, with court filings, she may be in a position to return the favor.