His target? CNN.
“I would love to sue them for slander when they say, ‘Oh, he wants Hillary [Clinton] on her deathbed and dead,’ when I said just the opposite,” Hannity said on his radio show Thursday. “I know it’s hard to sue when you’re a public figure, pretty much people can call you anything, and I’ve been called pretty much everything. But I’m thinking of suing them. Maybe I’ll get David Boies, my buddy, to do it.”
Hannity was likely referring to comments CNN’s Brian Stelter made earlier in the week. Stelter called out conservative media for floating rumors about the Democratic presidential candidate’s health long before she revealed she was suffering from pneumonia.
“These are people who bring up rumors and innuendo about Clinton’s health, and have been doing it for years,” Stelter said, pointing to Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones. “I’m not saying Hannity or Limbaugh fit into these necessarily, but some of these figures want her to be sick. They want her to be dying. They want her to be on her death bed.”
Unfortunately for Hannity, he doesn’t have much of a case for slander. Stelter was accurate in saying that Hannity had speculated about Clinton’s health, and he clarified that the “death bed” remark didn’t necessarily apply to the Fox New host. Only remarks that are both false and defamatory are punishable under current libel laws.
If Trump is elected president, however, it could be a different story. The Republican presidential nominee frequently lashes out at media coverage of his campaign, vowing to “open libel laws” to make it easier to sue journalists.
“When The New York Times writes a hit piece, which is a total disgrace, or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected,” Trump said.