A New York City judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the parents of murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich on Thursday that asserted Fox News Channel colluded with the White House to propel a false, politically-biased narrative about Rich’s death.
Rich was gunned down outside of his home in Washington, D.C., on July 10, 2016. The death prompted conspiracy theories introduced by Fox News and peddled by television pundits including Newt Gingrich, Sean Hannity, Alex Jones and Rush Limbaugh that Rich was targeted because he allegedly corresponded with Wikileaks, leaking thousands of emails to them from the DNC. (RELATED: Donna Brazile Has A Theory About Who Killed Seth Rich)
Rich’s parents called Fox News’ decision to publish the article, which the family claims is false, as “extreme and outrageous conduct,” according to a lawsuit filed in March. The judge has since dismissed the allegations, which implicated Fox News reporter Malia Zimmerman and Ed Butowsky, a Fox news guest who contributed to the report, according to The New York Times.
“It is understandable that plaintiffs might feel that their grief and personal loss were taken advantage of, and that the tragic death of their son was exploited for political purposes,” but Fox evidently did not intend to inflict emotional distress, Judge George Daniels wrote in his decision. Daniels came to this decision despite the fact that Fox made “false statements or misrepresentations” in their reporting. Their story has since been retracted because it did not meet the publication’s standards.