Failed Republican Senate candidate Don Blankenship filed a massive defamation lawsuit on Thursday against dozens of news outlets and media personalities for referring to him as a “felon” during his 2018 run in the West Virginia primary.
While Blankenship, the former CEO of Massey Energy, spent a year in federal prison after a misdemeanor conviction for conspiring to violate safety regulations prior to a deadly mining disaster in 2010, he was acquitted of all felony charges.
Blankenship — whose campaign rose to national prominence after he ran an ad dubbing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “Cocaine Mitch” and called Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao‘s father a “wealthy Chinaperson” — is seeking over $12 billion in damages in the lawsuit filed in Mingo County, West Virginia Circuit Court.
“Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and the other defendants in this case, when they represent themselves as a news outlet or news source, the public’s reasonable expectation is that they are indeed a ‘credible’ news outlet,” Blankenship’s attorney Eric Early, a failed GOP candidate for California attorney general, said in a statement to Mediaite. “It’s beyond wrong when they lie about facts that are easily ‘google-ible.’ These news outlets are going to have to decide at some point whether they are actual news or entertainment channels.”
SOURCE: Caleb Ecarma