A judge has tossed a defamation lawsuit filed by Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson against Jeanine Pirro on the ground that the Fox News host specializes in “loud, caustic” opinion.
McKesson, who is also a podcast host, sued Pirro in December 2017 for claiming on-air that he had “directed” violence against a Baton Rouge police officer. McKesson said that wasn’t true.
Pirro argued that she was merely expressing the opinion that the injured officer could sue McKesson, arguing he is liable for the officer’s injuries.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Robert Kalish agreed that Pirro had the right to express such an opinion, and noted that Pirro’s lawyer had described her shtick as “loud, caustic and hard hitting.”
“Pirro’s lack of temperament, and caustic commentary is what she is known, celebrated and frequently criticized for,” Kalish wrote.
“However divisive one might find the subject two-minute sequence, the law of this state protects the expressions of opinion it represents.”
The judge noted there were clear racial overtones in the September 2017 segment that aired on “Fox Friends.”
“That the Court find’s Pirro statement’s to be protected statements of opinion does not mean this Court agrees with Pirro’s opinions or condones her behavior or rhetoric. This Court is not blind to the undertones in this segment,” Kalish wrote.
Fox News declined comment. Messages for McKesson and his attorney were not returned.
Pirro’s program, “Justice with Judge Jeanine,” has recently not aired on Fox News following anti-Muslim remarks she made about Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar.
The 67-year-old former Westchester County Court judge suggested Omar’s Muslim headdress indicates disregard for the rule of law.
“Omar wears a hijab,” Pirro said. “Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?”