A Washington, D.C. judge has ordered an anti-LGBT preacher to pay MSNBC host Rachel Maddow’s attorney’s fees after he filed a $50 million lawsuit for allegedly defaming him.
Over the weekend, the blog Bradlee Dean Info first reported that Dean and his You Can Run International ministry had 30 days to pay $24,625.23.
Dean had sued Maddow last year after she aired a segment from his radio show where he said that Muslims were “more moral than even the American Christians” because they were “calling for the execution for homosexuals.”
The radio host claimed that Maddow’s report was an attempt to undermine the presidential ambition’s of his personal friend, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN).
Dean lawyer is Larry Klayman told CBS radio that the anti-LGBT’s preacher’s life was in danger because of the MSNBC report.
“His life has been threatened,” Klayman said. “His family has been threatened. And this is outrageous. Rachel Maddow’s career is over.”
Lawyers for Maddow, NBC and MSNBC filed a motion in in D.C. Superior Court to have the lawsuit dismissed on the grounds that it was being used to stifle free speech. The District of Columbia passed legislation in 2010 to curb the use of strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP) that are designed to intimidate or silence critics.
“One, the broadcasts truthfully reported on Dean’s May 15th statements. Those broadcasts re-played original audio of Dean speaking on the May 15th radio show,” the motion said. “Dean bears sole responsibility for the consequences of his words, however much he may try to distance himself from the backlash.”
“Two, the commentary or rebuke Maddow offered about Dean’s statements was classic opinion and rhetorical hyperbole, and thus, cannot be actionable as a matter of law. As Dean is entitled to his opinions, however objectionable, so too is Maddow entitled to hers.”
The motion continued: “Three, the fair comment privilege protects Maddow’s commentary. The broadcasts featured Dean’s actual statements and clearly indicated the source of those statements.”
Watch this video from MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast in 2011.
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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