On Tuesday, a lawsuit was filed alleging that the White House worked with Fox News to push a conspiracy theory that became wildly popular on right-wing websites and even garnered brief attention from the mainstream media.
The suit, filed in the Southern District of New York by Douglas Wigdor on behalf of Rod Wheeler, names Fox News, Ed Butowsky and Malia Zimmerman as defendants. David Folkenflik of NPR said NPR had gained exclusive access to the suit.
At the heart of the lawsuit is a May story published by Fox News about the death of DNC staffer Seth Rich. Rich reportedly was killed July 10, 2016, while walking back to his Washington, D.C., apartment.
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones began pushing the narrative that Rich had given the leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks — an allegation that, if true, would debunk the claim that Russian agents were behind the hacking of the DNC servers.
The Fox News story quoted Wheeler, who was a longtime paid contributor to the network, as a