ASHEVILLE – A libel case filed in a Buncombe County federal court against conservative activist and investigative journalist James O’keefe was dismissed by the presiding judge Wednesday.
The case stemmed from O’keefe’s non-profit Project Veritas Action publishing video of a 71-year old Asheville woman that implied she was a Democratic activist ibvolved in a plot to stir up violence at a pro-Trump rallies.
In libel cases, the plaintiffs are required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant knowingly published false information about an individual for malicious purposes.
O’keefe has been sued multiple times, and his brand of guerrilla investigative journalism has raised ethical questions. However, those concerns are almost exclusively voiced by the Left when groups like Project Veritas capture alarming things such as “Women’s Health” professionals negotiating the sale of aborted baby parts for profit. The howl when they are exposed, and claim the way they were exposed was unfair, never mind the substance of what O’keefe uncovers.
The fact that the federal judge dismissed this case before it even went to a jury speaks to the weakness of the Asheville woman’s arguments claiming libel.
From Asheville Citizen-Times:
“Framing the decision as crucial to free speech, a federal judge ruled in favor of conservative self-described guerrilla journalists sued for libel after a 2016 Trump rally here.
In a May 22 directed verdict, Judge Martin Reidinger said the First Amendment protected a video Project Veritas and founder James O’Keefe made about the alleged assault of a disabled woman after the Asheville rally. That was despite criticism of the group’s journalism, Reidinger said in the in U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina Asheville Division.
“The court is being asked to walk a very fine line,” between imposing some degree of “media responsibility and the free exchange of ideas,” he said. But in this case, he said the plaintiff Shirley Teeter, 71, who claimed she was slandered in the video, failed to show evidence of actual malice. […]
“For a decade I’ve been accused of lying about what people say,” O’Keefe said. “This feels like justice.” […] O’Keefe said the First Amendment itself had been on trial and criticized the lack of coverage from many media outlets. […]”
You can read more about the trumped up case against the conservative Journalist here.