Fox News Wins Case Arguing No ‘Reasonable Viewer’ Takes Tucker Carlson Seriously
A federal judge dismissed a defamation lawsuit against Fox News after the network's lawyers argued that no “reasonable viewer” would take primetime host Tucker Carlson seriously, Business Insider reported.
The lawsuit was filed by former Playboy model Karen McDougal, “who said Carlson defamed her on his show, ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight,’ by saying she extorted President Donald Trump ‘out of approximately $150,000 in exchange for her silence about an alleged affair,’ the filing said.”
Fox News asked the judge to toss out McDougal's case by arguing that "Carlson's statements were not statements of fact and that she failed adequately to allege actual malice."
Fox News argued that Carlson "cannot be understood to have been stating facts, but instead that he was delivering an opinion using hyperbole for effect," the ruling said.
US District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil agreed with Fox's premise, adding that the network "persuasively argues" that "given Mr. Carlson's reputation, any reasonable viewer 'arrive[s] with an appropriate amount of skepticism' about the statements he makes."
The ruling continued: "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.’”