DeSantis: There should be a presumption of malice when reporters use anonymous sources
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis visits 2019 Miami Open at the Hard Rock Stadium. (

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday said that libel laws should be changed so that jurors have a "presumption of malice" against journalists who print inaccurate information based on anonymous sources.

While touting proposed new legislation that makes it easier to sue reporters, DeSantis argued that journalists simply use anonymous sources to "smear" people, despite the fact that some of the most important pieces of investigative journalism, including the Washington Post's Watergate reporting, relied on such sources.

"The question is, if you bring a suit, how can you show that it was malicious?" DeSantis asked rhetorically. "And I think that it was anonymous could be a presumption that that's the case. I don't think it's going to make much of a difference in terms of free speech, I do think it may cause some people to may not to put out things that are false that are smearing somebody's reputation."

DeSantis went on to claim that the current standard for suing journalists is "impossible to meet," although that is not the case given that many legal experts have said that Dominion Voting Systems has a strong legal case against Fox News after finding text messages showing that the network knowingly aired false statements about its voting machines.

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