Tell me if you've heard this before: Fox News has a problem on their hands. One of their male hosts sexually harassed a women. Which names come to mind? Roger Ailes? Bill O'Reilly? Sure, but now we have a third upstanding, conservative host to add to this venerable list: Eric Bolling.
Huffington Post's Yashar Ali got the scoop of Bolling sending lewd photos to at least three colleagues containing naked photos of his...tiny Bolling. Fox News responded swiftly, suspending Bolling pending an investigation by the law firm of Paul, Weiss.
Bolling has now initiated a lawsuit against Yashar Ali for a whopping $50 million dollars. Ali joined Brian Stetler on Reliable Sources this morning to discuss the lawsuit. So far, Ali has hired a high powered attorney who fired off a letter to Bolling's lawyer, demanding sanctions unless the suit was dropped. No response yet.
Stetler: He is suing you for defamation. Why is he wrong?
Ali: He is wrong because I spent three months on this story. As you said, I had fourteen sources. I have spoken to the victims and that is on a factual basis. I know he's wrong. He's also wrong in the sense that we have the First Amendment and as my lawyer said, the best defense against defamation is the truth. He is trying to intimidate me. He sees me as a young reporter that may get scared by a big lawsuit but if he wants to wade into this pond, I'm happy to wade in with him and as I said on Friday, I look forward to Patty [ed. note: Ali's attorney, Patty Glazer] deposing him and I look forward to the discovery process. It's important to note that he is suing me personally for $50 million dollars. He did not include Huff Post, which is owned by Verizon, in his lawsuit. If he wants $50 million, if he deserves damages, you go after the multi-billion dollar conglomerate, not an individual reporter.
Stetler: Interesting. Yeah, Fox News has nothing to do with this suit either. It's just Bolling personally suing you personally. So you think he is just trying to intimidate you to silence you?
Ali: Yeah, that would normally be a good strategy. I am a young reporter and most people would be scared by this. My life history has given me a lot of experience to not be scared by these things and in fact, I relish the opportunity to see him be deposed and to stand up not only for my 1st Amendment rights, but the rights of many other reporters who messaged me after this case saying that now they would be scared by this kind of action.
The discovery in this case is going to be absolutely amazing (and probably more than a little disgusting) and Bolling will, I suspect, greatly regret filing this case.