Well, I know I don’t trust anything he says.

Courtesy of NYT:

Fox News won a legal victory on Thursday after a federal judge dismissed a defamation suit brought against its host Tucker Carlson by a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with Donald J. Trump before he was president.

The suit, filed last year, stemmed from a 2018 episode of Mr. Carlson’s show in which he accused the model, Karen McDougal, of extorting Mr. Trump. She sold the rights to her story of an affair to The National Enquirer in 2016, which did not publish the story, a transaction that involved Mr. Trump’s former longtime lawyer, Michael D. Cohen.

Ms. McDougal said Mr. Carlson’s remarks harmed her reputation, but Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil, of United States District Court in Manhattan, said the host’s comments were protected by the First Amendment.

“The statements are rhetorical hyperbole and opinion commentary intended to frame a political debate, and, as such, are not actionable as defamation,” she wrote.

This is what the Trump-appointed judge said exactly:

[In] the context of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” the Court finds that Mr. Carlson’s invocation of “extortion” against Ms. McDougal is nonactionable hyperbole, intended to frame the debate in the guest commentator segment that followed Mr. Carlson’s soliloquy. As Defendant notes, Mr. Carlson himself aims to “challenge political correctness and media bias.” This “general tenor” of the show should then inform a viewer that he is not “stating actual facts” about the topics he discusses and is instead engaging in “exaggeration” and “non-literal commentary.” … Given Mr. Carlson’s reputation, any reasonable viewer ‘arrive[s] with an appropriate amount of skepticism’ …

Of course, the problem with this is that the judge is talking about a “reasonable viewer” which rarely if ever describes somebody who consistently watched Fox News. 

Some of you may be familiar with the fact that this defense has been used repeatedly throughout the history of Fox News. 

Whenever somebody sues them for a lack of journalistic integrity their defense is “Why would anybody expect journalistic integrity from Fox News?”

Sadly all too many people fail to realize that they are watching a circus sideshow and continue to believe that Fox News offers actual news.