JUST IN: Rachel Maddow's Huge Blunder Could Cost MSNBC A Whopping $30M

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Rachel Maddow, one of MSNBC’s most prominent anchors, alongside her colleagues Nicolle Wallace and Chris Hayes, is at the center of a legal storm that could cost NBCUniversal a staggering $30 million. A federal judge has ruled that these top anchors made “verifiably false” statements about a Georgia doctor, Dr. Mahendra Amin, whom they dubbed the “Uterus Collector.”

The lawsuit, now headed for trial, revolves around accusations aired on MSNBC about Dr. Amin’s alleged involvement in performing unnecessary hysterectomies on women detained at a Trump-era immigration facility. The case stems from a whistleblower complaint that emerged in 2020, during the height of the Trump administration’s immigration enforcement efforts.

The complaint, brought forward by nurse Dawn Wooten, alleged that numerous female detainees at the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia underwent hysterectomies without proper medical justification or informed consent. These allegations quickly gained traction, leading to widespread media coverage and political condemnation.

MSNBC, through its high-profile shows hosted by Maddow, Wallace, and Hayes, amplified these allegations, drawing significant public attention. The broadcasts described Dr. Amin as a doctor who routinely performed unnecessary hysterectomies on detained immigrant women, likening the situation to human rights abuses reminiscent of Nazi Germany or the Jim Crow South. Chris Hayes notably commented on the virality of the story, suggesting it evoked memories of historical atrocities.

Dr. Amin vehemently denied the allegations and filed a $30 million defamation lawsuit against NBCUniversal, accusing the network of damaging his reputation and professional standing. The lawsuit contends that the statements made by Maddow, Wallace, and Hayes were not only false but were broadcast with a reckless disregard for the truth.

In a significant development, U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood ruled against NBCUniversal’s motion for summary judgment, allowing the case to proceed to trial. The judge highlighted that there were genuine disputes of material fact regarding whether NBC acted with actual malice, a crucial element in defamation cases involving public figures.

“Multiple statements are verifiably false. The undisputed evidence has established that: (1) there were no mass hysterectomies or high numbers of hysterectomies at the facility,” the court document stated.

The court documents reveal that several key decision makers at NBC, including Chris Scholl, expressed their doubts about the veracity of the whistleblower’s claims. Scholl, who approved the initial articles and broadcasts, pointed out the lack of evidence and described the accusations as unverified. Scholl’s internal communications indicated skepticism, stating, “We don’t know the truth.” Similarly, Maddow and Hayes also expressed their doubts during internal discussions, questioning the credibility of the accusations.

Despite the internal concerns, the network proceeded to air the statements, leading to the defamation lawsuit. The judge noted that a jury could potentially find that NBC acted with actual malice, given the expressed doubts and the failure to verify the claims before broadcasting them.

NBCUniversal argued that its reporting was based on a thorough investigation and corroborating information from other reputable news organizations. The network also included statements from Dr. Amin, ICE, and LaSalle Corrections that contradicted the whistleblower’s allegations, attempting to provide a balanced perspective.

However, the court found that these defenses were insufficient to warrant summary judgment. The judge emphasized that determining actual malice and the truthfulness of the statements should be left to a jury, given the conflicting evidence presented.

The trial will scrutinize the journalistic practices of one of the nation’s leading news networks. If found liable, NBCUniversal could face substantial financial penalties, and the reputations of its top anchors could suffer irreparable damage.

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Source
Las Vegas News Magazine

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