When 'Literally' Literally Means 'Figuratively': One America News Network v. Rachel Maddow

4 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2020

See all articles by Michael Conklin

Michael Conklin

Angelo State University - Business Law

Date Written: June 9, 2020

Abstract

In 2020 the court determined that Rachel Maddow's statement that right-wing media outlet One America News Network was "literally paid Russian propaganda" was not defamatory. The court reasoned that, in context, "literally" did not mean literally. Rather, it was just a hyperbolic expression. Allowing the word "literally" to have these opposite and contradictory meanings is problematic because it is the word used to delineate when something is to be taken literally. This treatment could have long-reaching ramifications in areas of law beyond just defamation.

Keywords: Rachel Maddow, OAN, Defamation, Literally, Anti-SLAPP, Milkovich, Kneivel v. ESPN, CACI Premier Technology,

Suggested Citation

Conklin, Michael, When 'Literally' Literally Means 'Figuratively': One America News Network v. Rachel Maddow (June 9, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3623371 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3623371

Michael Conklin (Contact Author)

Angelo State University - Business Law ( email )

United States

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