Why is Greg Locke suing CNN? Tennessee pastor calls network 'bunch of lying devils'
Pastor Greg Locke of the Global Vision Bible Church in Tennessee announced on June 27 that he is suing CNN, Newsweek and Pulpit & Pen. The outspoken pastor is taking on the media outlets for their coverage of him, which he claims is "made up" and a "web of lies". Locke made the announcement during a sermon on Sunday to the delight of the congregation.
CNN is no stranger to controversy. In April, Project Veritas released a sting on employee Charlie Chester, who claimed Trump was voted out because of the network. Back in December 2020, Veritas also crashed an editorial meeting, leading the network to calls the cops on Veritas founder James O'Keefe. While covering CPAC 2021 in Orlando, CNN reporter Jim Acosta was heckled by attendees for not condemning "Black Lives Matter violence".
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Following the highly controversial Trump presidency, CNN has often found itself targeted by conservatives for 'bias'. Locke's reported lawsuits seem to be part of that trend. "They flat out lied about us. They lied about this church. They lied about me," Locke claims. However, an analysis of the CNN stories Locke targeted shows a very different story.
Why is Locke suing CNN?
During his sermon, Locke announced he was suing not just CNN, but also Newsweek and conservative website Pulpit & Pen. He is targeting the three networks for various reasons, but broadly for what he claims is false coverage on himself and his church. "We’re going to sue every single one of you for the lies that you’ve told about our church all these years," he claimed.
The lawsuit against CNN stems from two pieces of reporting. One, published in June lists Locke as one of the several pastors who helped spread Trump's 'big lie'. CNN features clips from Locke's sermons, and his tweets, directly related to the January 6 insurrection. The second target is a May report on how his spread of Covid-19 misinformation led to the death of one of his followers. The death also reportedly divided the family over Locke's claims.
Locke is also suing Newsweek, for what appears to be a report on social media censorship. Newsweek has extensively covered Locke and his controversial statements, so it is unclear if that article alone is the sole basis for a lawsuit, or if others are coming. Nonetheless, like CNN, Newsweek too directly quotes Locke from video evidence. Finally, Locke says he will suit Pulpit & Pen "for all their stinking lies through all the years."
Despite CNN and Newsweek directly quoting Locke from videos and tweets, the pastor claims the two outlets "lied" and "misquoted" him. "We just had one of the best defamation lawyers on the planet take up our case, and they gonna sue the pants off of CNN for lying about this church!" Locke said. He added, "We’ll see you in court, CNN! We’ll see you in court! Bunch of lying fake news devils! We’ll sue their pants off!" Locke then said, "Newsweek didn’t just misquote me. Newsweek made me out to be a homegrown terrorist. — and said something in quotations that I didn’t even remotely say."
Interestingly, Locke didn't name the defamation lawyer taking up the case, or whether the suit was even filed. Even if he does do so, Locke may not have much of a standing, Friendly Atheist noted. The site first broke the story and said, "What did they do to defame him? As far as I can tell, they just quoted him accurately." That seems to be true, both CNN and Newsweek merely quote what Locke said on video, or in tweets.
In the meantime, Locke doesn't appear to have backed down from continuing to spread the 'big lie'. Earlier on June 27, he tweeted that Trump is "the legitimate President" and called Biden "a fraud". It's unclear if Locke will actually proceed with a suit, or of the comments were meant to merely whip up the interest of his crowd. You can see his announcement on this YouTube video. Locke announces his lawsuits at the 1:07:57 mark.