A Pro-Trump Writer Just Sued A Fusion Reporter For Accusing Her Of Making A "White Supremacist" Gesture

Joseph Bernstein

June 1, 2017

The lawsuit pits the new, far-right activist press against the mainstream media.

A pro-Trump journalist and political activist sued a Fusion reporter in federal court in Washington, DC, Thursday, the most serious action yet in the emerging conflict between mainstream news outlets and the insurgent conservative media that has set up shop in the nation’s capital.

In the complaint, shared with BuzzFeed News, lawyers for Cassandra Fairbanks allege that Emma Roller, the Fusion journalist, defamed their client when she tweeted an image of Fairbanks at the White House making what Roller claimed in a caption is a “white power hand gesture.”

Fairbanks is represented by Robert Barnes, a Malibu attorney best known for high-profile clients such as Wesley Snipes and Ralph Nader. In the suit, Barnes pits “independent, outsider writers, scribes, advocates, and journalists… a new media” against an “increasingly distrusted elite-backed press.” Mainstream media organizations “view the First Amendment as a wholly owned property of elite-backed journalists to smear and slime their adversaries at will,” the complaint reads. “The First Amendment is meant to protect the Cassandra Fairbanks’ of the journalism world: independent, alternative voices of truth in a sea of fake news.”