November 8, 2019

LET’S PLAY A ROUND OF “WHISTLEBLOWER SHIT-SHOW!”  Well, CBS fired Ashley Bianco, producer formerly of ABC for allegedly releasing the video that outlines how ABC spiked an investigation of pedophile and Clinton mega-donor Jefferey Epstein. Megyn Kelly interviews her and she tearfully denies it. On the same day, James O’Keefe published a letter from the real whistleblower.

In the meantime both networks are following the DNC-talking points about investigating leakers: When the President does it, it’s bad. When they do it…crickets.

Where to start? I wish Kelly had asked Bianco what CBS told her when they fired her. That aside, I’ve been asked a lot about her legal remedies. Honestly, you could take what I know about Labor Law, put in your eye and still see pretty well. As I understand it, NY is an “at-will” state, meaning they can fire you for no reason unless it’s a race/age/gender thing.

Defamation? Maybe, but defamation claims in NY require “in hac verbae”, that is a pleading of the actual defamatory statement in the Complaint. And you can bet that both CBS and ABC would fight coughing up any docs for years, and would resist pre-action discovery to depose the HR departments to find out what ABC said to CBS. I doubt this lady has the financial wherewithal for that kind of fight.

But, this may be one of the rare instances where a cause of action for Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress might work. Very generally, the tort requires that the plaintiff must have been in the “zone of danger” of the defendant’s negligent act, or it must have been foreseeable that the defendant’s negligent conduct would have caused the plaintiff emotional harm. (And New York does not, like a few states, require physical harm or contact). And if CBS fired an employee on ABC’s mistaken say-so, well, that’s pretty damned negligent. Dare I even say “collusion”?

Who’s taking odds that CBS writes a check to make this go away?

BTW, Jeffrey Epstein did not kill himself.

 

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