First Look’s Press Litigation Fund Wants to Support News Outlets Stuck in Expensive Free Speech Cases

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Last month, Mother Jones won a defamation case filed against it by Idaho businessman Frank VanderSloot and his company, Melaleuca Inc. — an expensive two-and-a-half year battle that dragged in Mother Jones reporterStephanie Mencimer, CEO Monika Bauerlein, and, midway through, Peter Zuckerman, a former Idaho Falls Post Register reporter. At the center of the case were VanderSloot’s claims that Mencimer’s story on super PAC campaign donations and a corresponding tweet from Bauerlein about the piece had falsely stated VanderSloot “bashed” and “publicly out[ed] a reporter.” (VanderSloot recently settled his suit against Zuckerman, the reporter in question.)

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