Devin Nunes sues hometown paper for reporting mean things about him


Rep. Devin Nunes is claiming a factually correct article about him is 'character assassination,' so he's suing for $150 million.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) is clogging up the legal system with yet another frivolous lawsuit, this one targeting his hometown newspaper, which he claims defamed him in a May 2018 article.

Nunes is seeking $150 million from the McClatchy Company — the parent company of his hometown Fresno Bee newspaper — and is demanding the paper to delete the article in question. The article reported on a publicly filed lawsuit against a winery Nunes invested in that held a fundraiser replete with cocaine and prostitutes.

According to the Fresno Bee, Nunes never raised any factual concerns about the article when it was published in May 2018. Yet Nunes is now filing a lawsuit with an absurd dollar amount that would cause serious harm to the operations of McClatchy and thus the Fresno Bee.

Of course, Nunes' lawsuit looks like yet another attempt by the California Republican and loyal Trump defender to take down the newspaper that reports on his congressional district.

Nunes went after the Fresno Bee in campaign ads in his 2018 re-election bid, as well as sent out an unhinged fake magazine attacking the newspaper.

This is the latest ridiculous lawsuit Nunes has filed in the past few weeks.

In late March, Nunes filed a lawsuit against Twitter and two Twitter accounts, which he basically accused of being mean to him.

That lawsuit backfired spectacularly, however, as one of the Twitter accounts he sued — @DevinCow — now has hundreds of thousands more Twitter followers than Nunes himself.

It's a prime example of the "Streisand effect," a phenomenon in which someone draws more attention to something they want hidden by attempting to suppress information.

Nunes' lawsuit against the Fresno Bee will likely have the same impact, drawing attention to a story Nunes is clearly perturbed by and which most people likely had long forgot about — if they even knew about it in the first place.

Ultimately, Nunes' lawsuit against McClatchy and by association the Fresno Bee has almost no shot at success. The bar for public officials, like Nunes, to successfully sue for defamation is astronomically high. And it's hard to see how a factually accurate article that draws from a publicly filed legal document would amount to defamation.

But Nunes has now created yet another instance in which his fragile ego will draw attention to an embarrassing article he didn't want people to see.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.