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The Independent

Lachlan Murdoch opens defamation lawsuit in opposition to Australian web site



A defamation lawsuit launched by Lachlan Murdoch, the eldest son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, in opposition to Australian information web site Crikey had its first day in courtroom on Friday.

Mr Murdoch, who’s the Fox Corp chief government and News Corp co-chairman, is suing Non-public Media over an opinion piece concerning the storming of the US Capitol.

He claims he was defamed within the article by Crikey’s political editor, Bernard Keane, which was headlined: “Trump is a confirmed unhinged traitor. And Murdoch is his unindicted co-conspirator.”

In its defence, filed with the courtroom on Friday, Crikey argued the opinion piece was within the public curiosity.

Final month, Crikey posted a full-page commercial in The New York Times that invited the lawsuit, saying it needed to “check this necessary situation of freedom of public curiosity journalism in a courtroom”.

The defamation lawsuit was filed the next day.

The web site has framed the battle as one among free speech and highlighted variations in dimension, and wealth between itself and the businesses owned by the Murdoch household.

It has launched a Go Fund Me for its defence and, in a press release launched on Thursday, chief government Will Hayward stated: “We predict it is necessary in an open, well-functioning society that the wealthy and highly effective could be critiqued.”

In a press release of declare, a lawyer representing Mr Murdoch accused Crikey of utilizing the scenario for “self-promotion” and to “publicise the Crikey web site and improve subscribers” and stated the declare of public curiosity journalism was “disingenuous”.

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