Facts? What facts?
Tucker Carlson has absolutely no obligation to investigate the truth of any statements before he makes them on his show, and his audience does not expect him to report facts, said a lawyer for Fox News to a New York federal judge.
So, basically Fox News is arguing that Tucker Carlson is completely full of shit, and they know it, and so what, what are you gonna do about it.
Fox News is defending against a slander lawsuit from Karen McDougal, the former Playboy model who was reported to have received a $150,000 payment from the National Enquirer to keep quiet about her alleged affair with Donald Trump.
From the Hollywood Reporter:
Fox News' attorney Erin Murphy argued that Carlson repeatedly couched his statements as hypotheticals to promote conversation and that a reasonable viewer would know his show offers "provocative things that will help me think harder" not straight news.
"What we’re talking about here, it’s not the front page of the New York Times," said Murphy. “It’s Tucker Carlson Tonight, which is a commentary show.”
While discussing what constitutes reckless disregard for the truth in regard to the actual malice standard, judge Vyskocil asked Murphy, "Does somebody in Mr. Carlson’s position have the duty of inquiry?"
Murphy replied, "Not as to an actual malice standard. The Supreme Court could not be clearer." She argued malice isn't a negligence standard and "failure to investigate" the truth of a statement doesn't suffice.
The Fox News lawyer also argued that even if Carlson was aligned with Trump that's not enough and you can't reach the actual malice standard "just by saying someone has motive for lying."