Hey, Devin Nunes! You want to know what a real defamation suit looks like? Check out this slander claim by Karen McDougal against Fox News after Russia-loving trust-fund baby Tucker Carlson falsely accused her of extortion on live television. It's amazing what a real lawyer can do with an actual, cognizable, non-frivolous claim! She doesn't even have to dream up a bullshit explanation to park the case in some random court in rural Virginia -- she just files it where the actual injury took place. There's not a cow in sight! AMAZING, right?

McDougal was one of the women who sold the story of her affair with Donald Trump to the National Enquirer in the run-up to the election, only to find that Enquirer owner David Pecker and his pet snake editor Dylan Howard had a side deal to sell the rights to Trump so he could make sure it never saw the light of day. And while we may question the judgment of a person who voluntarily chose to bump uglies with Trump, in no universe is this woman an extortionist.


At no time ever did McDougal approach Trump and threaten to expose him if he wouldn't pay her off. And yet, on his show on December 10, 2018, Carlson accused her and Stormy Daniels of extorting the president while a picture of McDougal displayed on the screen:

Remember the facts of the story, these are undisputed. Two women [one of which was McDougal] approached Donald Trump and threatened to ruin his career and humiliate his family if he doesn't give them money. Now that sounds like a classic case of extortion.

Yet for whatever reason, Trump caves to it, and he directs Michael Cohen to pay the ransom. Now, more than two years later, Trump is a felon for doing this. It doesn't seem to make any sense. Oh, but you're not a federal prosecutor on a political mission.

If you were a federal prosecutor on a political mission, you would construe those extortion payments as campaign contributions.

You will be FOR SHOCKED to discover that those are not "the facts of the story." The facts are that Donald Trump initially claimed to have had no knowledge of Michael Cohen's deal to buy up all the incriminating dirt the Enquirer had collected over the years. The facts are that Pecker told SDNY that he met with Cohen in August 2015 and laid out a plan to "catch and kill" any damaging stories about Trump during the campaign, and they agreed that Trump would reimburse him after the election. The facts are that in July of 2018, Cohen released a tape of him and Trump discussing a plan to do just that, which noted serious journalist Tucker Carlson knew damn well before he shot off his mouth about it.

The facts are that Pecker eventually refused to go through with the deal because his lawyers told him it probably violated campaign finance laws. The facts are that Cohen pled guilty to violating campaign finance laws and Pecker and Howard cooperated with SDNY and Mueller to avoid prosecution. The facts are that Cohen only paid Stormy Daniels himself because Pecker got squicked out about writing a check to a porn star, and now Trump is fighting the Manhattan District Attorney to halt an investigation of the reimbursement checks that got laundered, ahem, we mean routed through the Trump Organization.

Those are "the facts of the case." Saying that Karen McDougal extorted Trump is not a fact -- it's A LIE. And it's about goddamn time we start holding these filthy propaganda merchants accountable for the weapons-grade bullshit they pump into America's bloodstream every hour of the day.

Godspeed, Karen McDougal. Take 'em down!

[McDougal v. Fox News Network, LLC / NYT]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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