Lou Dobbs is an ass. I can say that because he’s 1) a public figure 2) engaged in political speech and 3) such expression has the greatest protection in this country. Oh - and truth’s a defense against a claim of defamation.
The last few days Lou and his pals at Fox have backtracked claims they made about two corporations - I won’t name them - involved in voting machines and software. Rudy Guiliani described one of these companies as a “front” and hinted they rigged the 2020 election.
Lou, et al, didn’t backtrack out of concerns for the truth - or in an effort to be fair and balanced. They backtracked because the “suits” at Fox were threatened with a different kind of suit, a lawsuit, for defamation.
What one corporation wields today to address brazen lies can be used tomorrow against people who oppose corporations (See SLAPP suits) that might not be so innocent - if a fictional entity (a corporation) is capable of innocence. (See: Bhopal, India.)
We should be able to openly criticize - or make fun of - people in politics. But corporations? And corporations that manufacture voting machines and software? How the hell are these types of entities NOT at the heart of political speech?
We should not celebrate Lou’s retreat. Corporations are flexing constitutional muscles they first acquired in Citizens United. This was a development unforeseen by people in 1773 who opposed acts of the East India Tea Company - a large corporation.