“Would a reasonable viewer be coming here and thinking this is where I’m going to be hearing the news of the day?”
“Two women approached Donald Trump and threatened to ruin his career and humiliate his family if he doesn’t give them money,” Tucker Carlson said during an episode of his Fox News show in December 2018.
McDougal sued in 2019–alleging Carlson defamed her by accusing herself and Stormy Daniels of committing the crime of extortion.
Though the lawsuit is focused on the host’s alleged defamation by slander, Fox News is named the lone defendant in the case.
Under New York State defamation law, the entire case essentially hinges upon whether or not a reasonable viewer would have thought that Carlson was actually accusing McDougal of a crime.
“There’s no statement that a reasonable viewer would understand in this context to state something provably false,” Murphy added–explicitly invoking the word “hyperbolic” to make her client’s case.
He also claimed that Carlson was “trying to destroy the character and reputation of Karen McDougal” in service of some fealty to Trump. »