The respondent Private Media published an article on its Crickey website mostly concerning evidence given at a United States congressional inquiry into former US President Donald Trump’s apparent role in inciting the storm of the Capitol in the aftermath of his unsuccessful tilt at a second term as president. The article included comments alleging the Murdoch family supported Mr Trump and, as owners of Fox News, were responsible for “…their slew of poisonous Fox News commentators are the unindicted co-conspirators of this continuing crisis”.
This judgment concerned applications in respect of the parties’ pleadings and, principally, the applicant’s opposition to the respondent’s claim of a “public interest” defence under s 29A of the Defamation Act 2005 (NSW) and the so-called “Lange” defence of qualified privilege.
Michael Hodge KC (leading C Amato) appeared for the respondents, instructed by Marque Lawyers.
The judgment is published here.