Devin Nunes’ Hometown Newspaper Suggests He Could Be Sued For Spreading Misinformation About Pandemic

Now that would be justice.

594 points

In an era where government has now largely defined what is “real news” and what isn’t — a breakdown largely on the lines of whether it’s good for them or is not — it’s hard enough for Americans to discern what to listen to, what sources to read, what channel to watch to get factual information and accurate accounts of what’s happening in the world.

But that difficulty is exacerbated like an open wound dipped in lemon and rolled in salt when government officials do either of two things: They abuse the public’s confusion to promote their own interests, issuing deliberately false information that stacks neatly into piles of dollar bills, or they just say things without checking the veracity of them, relying on the public to be as lazy as they are and muddling the news in the process.

Devin Nunes is guilty of both of these things.


In an ideal world, there would be accountability for spreading false information either intentionally or through their own ignorance. Ideally, in fact, they would be barred from holding public office if they can’t be trusted to work for the public good.

And while I know that’s naive, perhaps we could get a little ironic justice for a Congressman who’s lawsuit-happy as a central feature of his personality. Maybe Devin Nunes can be sued for lying about the coronavirus pandemic. After all, 10 victims of the virus have died in just one county in his district alone — one for roughly every 12,000 people that voted for him in 2018. That’s almost a quarter of the per-voter deaths that Donald Trump is responsible for, and Trump’s district is much, much larger.

The notion of Nunes being sued comes from Gil Duran, a columnist for the Sacramento Bee, the newspaper of record for California’s 22nd District. If Fox News can be sued, argues Duran, why not Nunes? He’s made countless irresponsible and false statements on the conservative news network and in press releases and other appearances. Nunes even told his constituents and the public near the beginning of March that it was a GREAT time to go out to a restaurant — well after the WHO declared the outbreak a pandemic.

[T]he Republican congressman continues to downplay the coronavirus threat in his regular Fox News appearances. Now, an activist group is suing Fox for its campaign to mislead viewers about the virus. If people in Fresno and Tulare get sick or die due to misinformation spread by Nunes, could the congressman – who is currently suing seven press organizations – find himself on the receiving end of lawsuits?”

One or more lawsuits could be quite sobering for Nunes, whose penchant for litigation over issues of free speech has become legendary. He might actually find out what the harm he accuses others of inflicting on him looks like in the real world.

Featured image via screen capture

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594 points