MSNBC forced to edit ‘unquestionably harmful’ column after TPUSA sends cease-and-desist letter

MSNBC has bent the knee after Turning Point USA threatened it with a cease-and-desist letter over a defamatory column published earlier this month.

Written by far-leftist Julio Ricardo Varela, the piece attacked newly minted Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, a Hispanic woman, over her ties to the conservative organization.

“A Latina version of Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., Luna, according to a summary of her career in the Tampa Bay Times, followed the MAGA playbook to gain political fame. She has ties to chief Kevin McCarthy opponent, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and has worked with what I consider to be a MAGA white supremacist cult: Turning Point USA,” the original column read.

Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk did not take kindly to his multiracial coalition of young conservatives being smeared as white supremacists.

In response to the smear, Kirk sicced Turning P0int’s in-house attorney, Veronica Peterson, on MSNBC.

“Alleging that TPUSA is a white supremacist cult is unquestionably harmful to TPUSA’s reputation and brings the organization and its student affiliates into disrepute with the public, potential donors, and current and future business partners, posing a significant financial loss to the organization,” she wrote in a letter addressed to the network.

“Further, while you may claim that the statement is merely a personal opinion, you are not insulated from liability for defamation because your statement can be proven objectively false. TPUSA’s mission, values, programs, and initiatives are squarely within its education purpose and do not align in any sense with white nationalism,” she continued.

Peterson concluded the letter by demanding MSNBC bend the knee.

“TPUSA demands that you immediately cease and desist further unlawfully defaming our organization and retract the defamatory statement. TPUSA demands that such retraction be issued no later than January 12, 2023. If TPUSA is not made aware of the retraction by this date, we are prepared to promptly take all steps necessary to protect our rights, including pursuing all available legal remedies, seeking monetary and non-monetary damages, injunctive relief, and attorneys’ fees and costs,” she wrote.

The letter somewhat worked. On Friday, MSNBC “updated” the article.

“[Luna] has ties to chief Kevin McCarthy opponent, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and has worked with Turning Point USA, whose founder Charlie Kirk has expressed concern over the ‘diminishing and decreasing white demographics in America,’ and pushes the white nationalist belief of great replacement theory,” the offending part of the column now reads.

It still comes off as a smear — just a less blatant one.

White demographics are decreasing in America, and there’s nothing wrong with pointing this out. In fact, if there was something wrong with it, then MSNBC would be just as guilty — as would virtually every other establishment media narrative.

Observe:

Dovetailing back to the column, it still contains a number of other questionable claims, like one claim pertaining to Latinos backing conservatives.

“Their support might seem counterintuitive to those who believe Latinos would turn against Trump, but there has always been a minority of Latinos who view fellow Latinos and Latinas as the ‘other.’ What MAGA has done is give these voices a platform that not only amplifies such extremist views but also provides cover for their white nationalist allies,” the piece reads.

“Not much separates Luna from disgraced Proud Boy and Afro-Latino Enrique Tario. The difference is that, unlike Tario, Luna is now a member of Congress and has a vote that for the first four days of voting last week, she used to block the election of a House speaker and continue what my political podcast co-host and MSNBC contributor Maria Hinojosa has called ‘a perpetual state of attempted coup,'” it continues.

White nationalist allies? Like whom exactly? And when has Luna ever displayed that she views other Latinos as the so-called “other”? The lack of any substantive examples provided by Varela makes it seem to many like he just made it all up …

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Vivek Saxena

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