Help Nina Hold Fox News Accountable for Its Lies
I'm asking for your financial support of a lawsuit that I want to bring against Fox News for their malicious, reckless lies about me.
On March 2, 2022, I realized a lifelong dream: entering public service. I had spent my career researching disinformation and would be using my expertise to make the United States safer and American democracy more robust. At the Department of Homeland Security, I would lead a new internal body to help address the challenges of disinformation: the Disinformation Governance Board. My job was to make sure different entities within DHS were coordinated, to bring the latest research to bear in the Department, and to help the Department set up policies to ensure its existing counter-disinformation work was grounded in American values: privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties. That’s all the Board was. It had neither the ability nor authority to act on its own.
In late April, my position was announced, and within hours, baseless claims that the Board was a nationwide, Orwellian “Ministry of Truth” and I was “President Biden’s chief censor” were trending on social media, even though the Board had nothing to do with arbitrating or restricting speech. The next day, Fox News launched its overly personalized, false, and incendiary coverage of me, mainstreaming online conspiracy theories to tens of millions of Americans. The network made over 500 scaremongering statements about my role, my views, and my personal life over the next nine months—an entirely disproportionate disinformation and smear campaign against a person who simply took a job to serve her country within her area of expertise.
The facts did not matter to them or anyone else using me as a punching bag. When it targeted me, Fox News wasn’t providing news, government accountability, or merely biased, selective coverage; most mentions of me involved outright lies. The network’s malicious and reckless false statements about me were easily disproven by a few minutes of research. Fox twisted a handful of tweets, manufactured positions on topics I'd never weighed in on, and amplified absurd claims from anonymous trolls' manipulated videos of me. I became the young, female, easy-to-attack public face of what Fox pundits were recklessly spinning as “men with guns [telling] you to shut up.” Congressional Republicans and the right-wing media characterized me as an unhinged, partisan, unserious, dangerous fascist, despite my track record of measured, bipartisan work, including testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2018 at the GOP chair’s invitation. I received an onslaught of violent online abuse during the final weeks of my pregnancy. My family was threatened; I was pregnant.
Faced with this onslaught, I decided to resign my position . The Board was eventually scrapped, caving to the GOP disinformation campaign about it. Yet, more than ten months after my position was announced, the hate campaign against me continues. In addition to the deferral of my dream of serving my country, I’ve lost something irreplaceable: peace with my son during his first year in the world.
To put it simply: my life has been irrevocably altered because Fox News repeatedly force-fed lies about me to tens of millions of their viewers. Tens of thousands have harassed me online. Hundreds have violently threatened me.
I am far from the only American to experience this type of Fox-led hate campaign, and it must stop.
That is why I am seeking justice—not just for me, but for others who have been or will be in my position, and for American democracy.
I am pursuing a suit to hold Fox News to account for their utter lack of regard for the truth and the consequences of their lies. I have consulted with attorneys who agree there is a case to be brought against Fox, but that it will require more resources than I can afford. The funds I raise here will help me level the playing field in this costly and time-consuming endeavor against Fox News and its army of high-powered corporate lawyers. They will also support my other security and legal costs related to Fox News’ actions. Below please find a list of some of my current costs:
- I have now been subpoenaed before the Subcommittee on the Weaponization of Federal Government. Senior Republicans continue to lie about me and my body of work. I have had to retain a lawyer who specializes in Congressional investigations to help me navigate this process.
- Recently, I obtained a protective order against one of my more persistent individual harassers. I have had to retain an attorney to help me with the protective order.
- I have been named as a defendant in frivolous, nonsensical lawsuits, and have had to retain separate counsel to assist me with one of them.
This list only represents some of my current costs and needs, and over the course of this lawsuit, my legal and security needs may change.
Rest assured that I will not waste, divert, or profit from your donations. Any funds raised in excess of protecting me and my family will be used to support other women and people of intersectional identities who find themselves in situations similar to mine. These problems—online abuse, domestic disinformation, politically-motivated Congressional investigations—are not going away any time soon. Just as I hold my ground against the forces that seek to silence me, I hope to empower others to do the same.
Thank you in advance for your consideration and support.
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