Trump-loving MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell got hit with a big $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit this week over his lies about the 2020 presidential election -- and one media analyst believes it could be a turning point for right-wing disinformation campaigns.
Writing at NBC News, Jonathan Peters argues that the lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems against Lindell and other allies of former President Donald Trump could really strike a blow against conservative media's ability to spread false claims without facing any consequences.
"It seems as if disinformation is being put on trial," he writes. "Smartmatic's complaint declares that '[f]acts matter' and that '[t]ruth matters,' and one of Dominion's complaints says the company wants 'to stand up for itself... and the electoral process.'"
Peters then discusses the legal elements of successful defamation cases, and he notes that courts have traditionally taken a very permissive view of the First Amendment in allowing for freedom of speech.
However, he believes that the Dominion lawsuit relies on much more substantive claims than other lawsuits, and he already sees changes in the way conservative media are covering the company.
"The Dominion and Smartmatic claims aren't slam dunks (few are), but they're more meritorious than other recent high-profile libel actions," he concludes. "And as we've seen so far, with Lou Dobbs no longer on the air and with canned disclaimers and clarifications making frequent and self-parodic appearances in conservative media, the claims may be having a positive impact already."