Defamation Suit Against Air America and Randi Rhodes Continues, Media Mum

January 3rd, 2007 2:06 PM

If a conservative talk radio host like Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity was being sued for defamation, would the media cover every aspect of the case like white on rice? Well, a federal bankruptcy judge ruled last Thursday that the lawsuit filed against liberal radio network Air America can go forward, but other than financial websites such as MSN Money and BusinessWeek, America’s media were largely disinterested in this Associated Press story filed Tuesday (emphasis mine throughout, hat tip to Dan Gainor):

Government contractor CACI International Inc. has won bankruptcy court approval to proceed with its defamation lawsuit against liberal talk radio network Air America and one of its hosts, Randi Rhodes.

A federal bankruptcy court in New York ruled Thursday that the case could proceed despite the fact that Air America has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

A LexisNexis search of virtually every major television and print outlet for the phrase “Air America or Randi Rhodes" since December 27 resulted in the loudest chirping of crickets one can imagine. Regardless, the article continued:

The company sued Air America and its parent company, Piquant LLC, as well as Rhodes in the fall of 2005 for defamation. The suit stemmed from comments Rhodes made Aug. 25-26, 2005 on her radio show. According to CACI's complaint, she accused CACI employees of raping and murdering Iraqi civilians at Abu Ghraib prison, claims that CACI said were "false and defamatory."

CACI is seeking $1 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages. An Air America spokeswoman declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Not to be redundant, but is it safe to assume that this would have been front-page news this morning, as well one of the stories filed by all three broadcast evening news programs on Tuesday if the suit was against Rush Limbaugh?