MSNBC’s far-left, hate-filled, scandal-ridden personality Joy Reid should be preparing to bask in the glory of taking over the network’s 7:00 p.m. Eastern timeslot on Monday with The ReidOut, receiving her second attempt at a weekday program following of four years hosting the weekend show AM Joy.
But thanks to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday, Reid will continue to face a libel lawsuit brought in 2018 by a private citizen and Trump supporter she demeaned as a racist.
The case had seemingly gone away in September 2019 when a federal district court concluded that Roslyn La Liberte was a limited purpose public figure for having attended and been photographed at a June 2018 Simi Valley, California meeting that debated a bill about law enforcement’s relationship with federal immigration officials.
During that original proceeding, Reid retweeted out quite the understatement: “It appears that I got this wrong.”
Not knowing La Liberte, Reid retweeted said photo that claimed an impassioned La Liberte told a Hispanic teen across from her that “[y]ou are going to be the first to be deported.”
Along with an Instagram post in which the phrase “dirty Mexican” was added to the end, Reid leveled this against her on Facebook and Instagram alongside a photo of the 1957 integration of Little Rock High School: “Make the picture black and white and it could be the 1950s and the desegregation of a school. Hate is real, y’all. It hasn’t even really gone away.”
Predictably, La Liberte said no such thing. In fact, the teenager told the Los Angeles-area Fox affiliate KTTV that she was “civil” to him.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Eriq Gardner noted that the appeals court “decided that special laws enacted by states like California to protect First Amendment activity don't apply in federal court.”
Deadline’s Ted Johnson had more with some devastating quotes for Reid from the three-judge panel (click “expand”):
The judges overturned a lower court ruling that La Liberte is a limited purpose public figure, something that would require a higher threshold to prove defamation.
“Accordingly, she was not required to allege that Reid acted with actual malice as to either post,” the three-judge panel wrote. “Moreover, the court erred by characterizing Reid’s second post as nonactionable opinion … That post could be interpreted as accusing La Liberte of engaging in specific racist conduct, which is a provable assertion of fact and therefore actionable.”
The appellate court also ruled that the case could not be dismissed under California’s anti-SLAPP statute, designed to prevent plaintiffs from stifling free speech via litigation. The judges found that the California law was “inapplicable” in federal court because “it increases a plaintiff’s burden to overcome pretrial dismissal.”
The appellate court agreed with another aspect of the district judge’s ruling — that Reid is not protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. That provides immunity to sites for content posted by third parties. “To the contrary, she is the sole author of both allegedly defamatory posts,” the judges wrote.
Later, Johnson quoted the court’s opinion in which they slammed Reid for having gone “way beyond” the retweet, which “intensified and specified the vile conduct that she was attributing to La Liberte,” so the MSNBC host “accordingly stands liable for any defamatory content.”
Ouch. Seeing as how Comcast has had zero issues with not only Reid’s history of scandals and ugly statements but others in the MSNBC/NBC umbrella, little will come of this and Reid will continue with her new show and build on her long track record of grievances and venom for those she disagrees with.