The first major news network is being sued for defamation in what's being deemed a 'fake news' issue. And no, it has nothing to do with the President of the United States.
Beef Products Inc (BPI), based out of South Dakota, is suing the ABC network for $5.7 billion after ABC ran a report about how their meat products are processed. According to BPI, ABC referred to their ground-beef product as "pink slime."
The reports, which ran in 2012, referred to this "pink slime" approximately 350 times between March 7 and April 3 across six different media platforms.
BPI also claims ABC made other omissions and errors in their reports, which has caused the company's profits to drop 80%. They claim they have had to close 3 of their 4 processing plants and have lost $130 million.
"That success took about 30 years to succeed and it took ABC less than 30 days to severely damage the company," their attorney, Dan Webb, said in court.
As for ABC, they are completely denying these allegations, saying their coverage was not only accurate, but also protected under the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment which guarantees freedom of religion, speech and the right to free press.
What's interesting is the defense BPI is attempting to use: fake news.
Where the case is taking place, 67% of the population voted for Donald Trump, who uses the term "fake news" when things do not report fairly on him (at least in his mind.)
The result of this case, using this defense, could be a milestone for mainstream media. Whether that milestone is good or bad has yet to be seen. In order to win their case, BPI will have to prove ABC intentionally harmed their company by reporting false statements about their beef product being "pink slime."