Turning Point USA issues cease and desist to ABC News over ‘defamatory statements’ on ‘The View’
The letter claimed that "TPUSA's reputation was unquestionably damaged and that the false statements of fact made during The View's segment on July 25th brought the organization and its student affiliates into disrepute with the public, potential donors, and current and future business partners, posing a significant financial loss to the organization."
The letter accusing 'The View' of making "false, derogatory, and defamatory statements" about its recent Student Action Summit was obtained by Fox News Digital and was addressed to Joshua Hoyos, the head of ABC News' bureau in New York, and Ian Rosenberg, the assistant chief counsel for ABC.
ABC News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The daytime gabfest's discussion of the TPUSA Student Action Summit that took place in Tampa, Florida, last weekend began on Monday. Because of the elaborate event's use of special effects, the co-hosts of "The View" mocked it for taking "a page from the WWE," falsely claiming that the group was affiliated with the GOP, and Joy Behar criticized it because neo-Nazi protesters were outside the venue.
Neo-Nazis were present at the conference's entrance, shouting anti-Semitic epithets and waving Nazi symbols like the swastika and a picture of a supposed Jew with distorted features, just like Goebbels did during the Third Reich. It follows the exact same script, according to Behar.
The Florida governor was then accused of doing 'nothing,' but she omitted to mention that the Republican governor had attended the event the day before neo-Nazis made an appearance. In a later segment of the show, 'The View' read an on-air legal disclaimer to viewers to let them know that Turning Point USA decried the neo-Nazi protesters who had "nothing to do" with the group.
Veronica Peterson, in-house counsel for TPUSA, wrote the harsh cease and desist letter because the on-air disclaimers were insufficient. "The View hosts intentionally misrepresented TPUSA by linking it to neo-Nazi protesters outside the event, which damaged the organization's reputation in the public eye. Such conduct won't be accepted, the letter stated.
The View hosts specifically claimed that TPUSA metaphorically "embrase[d]" neo-Nazis at its SAS event, "let [neo-Nazis] in," and that neo-Nazis were "in the mix of people." The letter continued, "The claim that TPUSA is complicit or associated in any way with the neo-Nazi protesters outside the event is absurd, false, defamatory, and disgraceful. "Ms. Goldberg continues the false tirade against TPUSA, alleging that the group and its members were somehow "complicit" and/or associated with the outside protest, even after Ms. Haines reluctantly read the TPUSA statement that it condemns the neo-Nazi group and that the group had nothing to do with TPUSA, its event, or its student attendees.
To be crystal clear, TPUSA vigorously and categorically rejects neo-Nazi ideologies and has no affiliation with the protesters outside the event, Peterson continued. TPUSA security tried to remove these people because they were on public property but were not allowed to.
Additionally, the letter stated that TPUSA is a "tax-exempt public charity under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3)" and is independent of the Republican Party.
The letter stated that special damages are presumed "in cases where the communication is of such a nature that the court can presume as a matter of law that the communication will tend to degrade or disgrace the party defamed." Therefore, TPUSA demands that ABC stop all further unlawful defamation of TPUSA, retract the above-mentioned defamatory statements, and issue a public statement apologizing for and correcting the above defamatory and false statements.
ABC News was given until July 27 in the letter to retract and apologize.
"Should ABC decide not to comply with the demands above, TPUSA is prepared to immediately take all steps necessary to protect its rights," the letter said. "This includes pursuing all available legal remedies, seeking monetary and non-monetary damages, injunctive relief, and attorneys' fees and costs."
The eighth Student Action Summit of TPUSA was held at the conference this year in Tampa. TPUSA promised "an amazing celebration of self-expression, self-reliance, and self-acceptance" prior to the occasion.