Suit Alleges NPR Engaged in Reckless Disregard For The Truth
Deliberately Ignored Facts to Peddle Fake Collusion Narrative
Suit was Designed to Sabotage FOX’s Attempted Purchase of SKY News
Stories Violated NPR’s Own Standards and Defamed Plaintiff, Ed Butowsky
Dallas, Texas, June 21, 2018 — A $57mm lawsuit for defamation was filed today on behalf Dallas, TX financial advisor, Ed Butowsky, against NPR and its media correspondent, David Folkenflik. This is the first of several defamation suits Butowsky plans to file as a result of the publication in 2017 of a false narrative that Butowsky colluded with the President of the United States and FOX News regarding former DNC staffer Seth Rich and the leak of emails in 2016 to WikiLeaks.
Court documents reveal that NPR and Folkenflik deliberately ignored known facts and evidence to publicize on six occasions a fake story being promoted by serial litigator and FOX News arch-opponent, Douglas Wigdor.
This is a case about an unethical and reckless journalist, who was spoon-fed a false narrative about President Trump and Fox News with instructions to leak the fake story online and in social media in the early morning hours of August 1, 2017.
— attorney, Steven S. Biss.
The fake story promoted by Folkenflik and NPR is that Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump and FOX News conspired with a Dallas, Texas financial advisor — Butowsky — to create a story about Seth Rich that would distract the country’s attention away from “the President’s collusion with Russia”.
Court documents demonstrate that Ed Butowsky has never been employed by FOX News, does not know Vladimir Putin, and has never met or spoken with Donald Trump. Because he was inserted at the center of Wigdor’s fake story to undermine the President, Butowsky was thrust into the national media, including on the cover of more than three hundred news outlets across America.
“I am doing this to stand up for every person who has been a victim of fake news and the willing political operatives who masquerade as journalists and push those stories in the media. The press has become perverted. Someone has to stand up for the truth,” said Butowsky.
“Make no mistake, in the coming months in order to clear my name, re-establish my reputation that was assaulted by Wigdor and his confederates, and stop the proliferation of fake news that is corrupting our society, I will take legal action against every single person and outlet that defamed me,” Butowsky stated.
To date, there has been no evidence that Russia hacked DNC servers or that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.
The suit states:
Folkenflik and NPR acted with actual malice and reckless disregard for the truth. Hungry to publish a scandalous story about the President of the United States and Fox and to aid and abet Wigdor’s effort to extort money from Fox, Folkenflik failed to verify the information Wigdor secretly provided before releasing it on NPR.org, to NPR’s radio listeners via Morning Edition, and to millions upon millions via Twitter. In spite of serious doubts as to the veracity of his source, Folkenflik blindly accepted Wigdor’s false statements without ever once questioning Wigdor’s (and his client, Rod Wheeler’s), motive to lie. Folkenflik disregarded known sources of information that flatly contradicted the false narrative peddled by Wigdor.
The suit alleges that the defamation damaged Butowsky both personally and financially. Included in the suit are emails from longtime clients who decided to terminate his services based on the fake stories.
The lawsuit goes on to claim that Wigdor concocted the fake story to extort FOX for $60mm, the amount he demanded to settle twenty lawsuits he had filed against the company. Wigdor’s extortion scheme, according to Butowsky’s complaint, was designed to place maximum pressure on FOX News while it was in negotiations to buy Sky News. The UK Parliament instructed attorneys representing FOX that the merger is on hold until FOX takes care of the lawsuits.
“The evidence in this case demonstrates that Folkenflik — a journalist renowned for his bias against the Fox News Network — knowingly, intentionally and recklessly violated every principle of ethical journalism when, acting in concert and conspiracy with Douglas H. Wigdor, he published and republished false and defamatory statements that harmed an innocent citizen, Plaintiff, Ed Butowsky,” said Biss.
Steven S. Biss
300 West Main Street, Suite 102
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903