Today we are happy to announce a monumental legal victory for Mother Jones: A judge in Idaho has ruled in our favor on all claims in a defamation case filed by a major Republican donor, Frank VanderSloot, and his company, Melaleuca Inc [...] That September, we broke the story of Romney's 47 percent comments, which some have argued cost the GOP the White House. Four months later, VanderSloot -- who was also one of Gov. Romney's national finance chairs -- filed a defamation lawsuit against Mother Jones, as well as Stephanie Mencimer, the reporter of the article, and Monika [Bauerlein, Mother Jones CEO] personally (for her tweet about the piece). [...]
This was not a dispute over a few words. It was a push, by a superrich businessman and donor, to wipe out news coverage that he disapproved of. Had he been successful, it would have been a chilling indicator that the 0.01 percent can control not only the financing of political campaigns, but also media coverage of those campaigns. [...]
In a way, there was something ironically hopeful about this: A conservative Republican -- someone who not long ago was quoted saying it was "child abuse" to put a film about gay parents on public television -- had apparently come to believe that to call him a gay-basher was so damaging to his reputation that he must fight the argument at virtually any cost.