Time Inc. Sued for Smearing of Fast and Furious Whistleblower

Posted: Oct 24, 2012 2:59 PM

POLITICO is reporting Fast and Furious whistleblower John Dodson is suing Time Inc. over an article titled "The Truth About Fast and Furious," published in Fortune Magazine and written by Katherine Eban, a former Clinton campaign staffer. Dodson alleges Eban libeled him in the story, where she painted him as unprofessional and as a bad employee.

The lawsuit comes in response to a Fortune magazine article published in June that asserted Dodson had complained about the gunwalking in part because it was his fault guns had been intercepted, and because of a longstanding personal grudge with the ATF supervisor who had been tasked with overseeing the Fast and Furious operation. The article's principle thesis is that the ATF "never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels."

The lawsuit, "for an amount in excess of $75,000.00," calls the article "fictitious in the sense that it contains facts that Defendant [Time Inc., which owns Fortune] knew to be false prior to publication." It also charges Time Inc. with being "negligent, grossly negligent, willful and wanton" and says it "purposely avoided the truth" by failing to interview Dodson. The summons was issued on Oct. 15.

"[T]he Plaintiff has been libeled nationally and internationally by Defendant, injuring his reputation," the lawsuit states. "The falsities in the article subject the Plaintiff to hatred, ridicule and contempt by readers of the Fortune, its online article, and other persons. The defamatory statements are serious criminal imputations, unfavorable in the eyes of the Plaintiff’s fellow United States citizens, including the citizens of South Carolina where he lives."

It should be noted the mainstream media ran with Eban's story as fact. CNN did an entire segment with Eban about her findings, where she had no problem portraying Dodson in a bad light. Eban also appeared on MSNBC to discuss her story, which they praised highly.

Three weeks ago, I wrote about the smearing of John Dodson and his efforts to get Eban's story retracted. The House Oversight Committee has also called for a retraction and the recently released DOJ Inspector General report about Fast and Furious proved her story false. Eban and Fortune Magazine, refused.