Last week NBC reporter Jeff Rossen aired a report on The Today Show and Today.com claiming the company Tannerite, a small business that sells rifle targets, is a threat to national security and that "bombs" are for sale at your local sporting goods store. Rossen added to the drama by telling Twitter followers he was in intense pain ahead of the air date, but implied he was sucking it up because the report was just too important.
But it wasn't just Rossen's back pain that was intense, the lies in his report were too. Rossen's claims about bombs being for sale at your local sporting goods store aren't true. Despite his claims, Tannerite only goes off when struck by a high velocity rifle round moving at more than 2,000 feet-per-second. It isn't comparable to the bomb used in Oklahoma City or those used by terrorists overseas to kill Americans.
Tannerite cannot be set off with a lit fuse, open flame, or electricity. It cannot be set off by dropping it or striking it. It will not go off if shot with a .22LR rifle, or any common handgun caliber.
NBC News and a local affiliate have being slapped with a libel and slander lawsuit for March, 23, 2015 report that aired on Today (also known as The Today Show) entitled, “Bombs for Sale? Popular Stores Sell ‘Dangerous Explosives.'”
Attorneys representing Tannerite Sports filed suit against NBC Universal News Group (NBCU) and Lexington, KY-based WLEX Communications for libel and slander for allegedly defamatory print and video reports from NBC News national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen.
Mendelsohn, Drucker, & Dunleavy, P.C. is the firm representing Tannerite Sports in the case, and alleges the following defamatory claims (PDF) were made by NBC News:
-On March 23, 2015, Defendant NBCU released a defamatory “report” that falsely claimed that Plaintiff’s rifle targets are “bombs for sale.”
-In a related video, Defendant NBCU’s investigative reporter falsely asserted that “I am basically holding a bomb in my hand.”
-NBCU’s report contains one or more written false statements that were intended to impugn Plaintiff’s rifle targets and Plaintiff’s reputation in the hunting industry.
-Plaintiff’s rifle targets are not bombs and are not well-suited for use as weapons.
-A bomb is a weapon that is illegal to make. In the United States, manufacturing a bomb requires numerous federal licenses.
Federal guidelines allow consumers to mix and shoot Tannerite®-brand rifle targets for personal, non-commercial use as targets.
The suit alleges that the NBC report constitutes statements that “were made maliciously, intentionally, and with reckless disregard for the truth,” that NBC News published “defamatory statements with malice,” and that the video and print reports ” have, in fact, directly and proximately harmed,” Tannerite Sports.
Be sure to also check out Owens' post thoroughly debunking Rossen's claims and the NBC report here.