The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

03 January 2007

Randi Rhodes, CACI Defamation Lawsuit


Suit Against Rhodes To Proceed

Like a bad penny that just keeps turning up, a defense contractor's now- ancient lawsuit against Air America talk host Randi Rhodes has somehow come back from the dead, forcing the motor- mouthed talker to take a nasty trip down memory lane.

With Air America in bankruptcy, however, what would be the point of pushing CACI's defamation suit against Rhodes?

The answer is simple: any settlement or judgement against Air America would be covered by an insurance policy.

At the same time, where is CACI headed with this litigation that it couldn't get to in the past? In the last round, it was dismissed outright by a federal judge. In order to have a shot at what could be a relatively small settlement, it's hard to imagine the point of further legal bills.

From the AP (thanks to the tipsters who emailed us on this one):

Court Allows Suit Against Air America

WASHINGTON — Government contractor CACI International Inc. has won bankruptcy court approval to proceed with its defamation lawsuit against liberal talk radio network Air America and one of its hosts, Randi Rhodes.

A federal bankruptcy court in New York ruled Thursday that the case could proceed despite the fact that Air America has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Under federal law, legal proceedings against a company are frozen when the company declares bankruptcy.

CACI International asked the bankruptcy court in November to allow its case to go forward, arguing that its claims against Air America are covered by an insurance policy and any damages would be paid out of that policy and not from the company's assets.

The company sued Air America and its parent company, Piquant LLC, as well as Rhodes in the fall of 2005 for defamation. The suit stemmed from comments Rhodes made Aug. 25-26, 2005 on her radio show. According to CACI's complaint, she accused CACI employees of raping and murdering Iraqi civilians at Abu Ghraib prison, claims that CACI said were "false and defamatory."

CACI is seeking $1 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages. A phone call to Air America seeking comment was not immediately returned.

A U.S. District Court dismissed the case, but CACI appealed that ruling. The bankruptcy court's decision allows the appeal to proceed.

Arlington, Va.-based CACI is an information technology consulting firm and gets most of its revenue from government contracts. A CACI subsidiary company provided civilian interrogators to the U.S. military in Iraq, the company acknowledged in its complaint.

NewsBusters has their take here.

Meanwhile, on the Rhodes front, she has nearly disappeared from view since the company's bankruptcy, beyond the talk show itself. Her long- term fate is unclear: if she leaves Air America, it's not clear that other syndicators would be interested in her, given her track record.

Images: Pete at IHillary

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  • Brian,

    It is quite simple why the company would go back to court, they are trying to reclaim their good name and reputation. Randi Rhodes may have shot off both her mouth and her foot (career) at the same time. The point is what syndicator or lone radio station is going to take a chance on a host that continually lands them in court?

    The company suing is looking to keep itself viable for other contracts.

    By Blogger PCD, at 03 January, 2007 15:48  

  • Much as I would love to see Randi taken down a peg or six, I have to question the validity of this lawsuit. Even if the comment was defamatory, who is listening to the Randi Rhodes show in order to hear it?!?

    This is very much a "tree falling in the woods" scenario.

    By Blogger BF, at 03 January, 2007 16:52  

  • was CACI able to provide evidence that the allegations were false, other than just saying they were false? and a defamation suit won't hold in court, given the allegations. this is a "false light" suit, not a defamation suit.

    also, inaranjoiv, you posted your comment only 15 minutes after the original post, so no one had a chance to see it yet.

    By Blogger hardcore conservative genious, at 03 January, 2007 17:21  

  • It appears lnaranjoiv is disappointed that MOP has not left a comment. Seems to demonstrate that the right-wingers who read the comments on this blog are clearly not that interested in what Maloney is posting about but on what the liberal reaction is to the post.

    Isn't that right Voice of Iowa?

    By Blogger none, at 03 January, 2007 19:54  

  • When Rhodes comments against CACI are proven correct by congress investigations into these degenerate private contractors, Rhodes will be exonerated. My heard bleeds for CACI.
    Inanajoiv I have been busy with my wife, the dogs and preparing for tonight's talk fest.
    Good luch Randi and thanks for speaking truth to power. Happy now, Inaranjoiv??? I love the attention!!! The right wingers anxiously await their daily abuse by me!!!

    Everyday more information on the torture is being madse public. Don't you right wingers READ????? I can guarantee you CACI is included in the information.

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 04 January, 2007 10:11  

  • Randi Rhodes is brilliant, and was, in addition, 100% CORRECT on the CACI issue.

    Even if she were to agree to part ways with neocon-infested AAR management, she would be picked up in a SECOND, and always has West Palm Beach as a port in a storm...

    I don't see HER Curtis-Sliwa-ing her fellow hosts, calling their shows and begging for mercy to keep HER job....know what I'm sayin'?

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 04 January, 2007 10:35  

  • Incidentally, I hear Al Franken on my radio right now....I wonder what happened? I read right here, with my very own eyes, that he was to be gone AGES ago....

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 04 January, 2007 14:26  

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