Jerry Falwell Jr. bashes New York Times as 'bigoted bunch of liars' after Liberty files $10M defamation suit

Jerry Falwell Jr. joins Hannity to discuss Liberty University’s lawsuit against the New York Times

Liberty University files defamation suit against the New York Times over COVID coverage, accuses paper of falsely reporting coronavirus outbreak on campus.

Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. joined "Hannity" Wednesday to explain why the school filed a $10 million defamation lawsuit against The New York Times over its coverage of the university's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Not only are they a bigoted bunch of liars, and also [a] BuzzFeed type click bait publication now," Falwell told host Sean Hannity. "But they're also stupid, because they came on campus. We had 25, at least, 'No Trespassing' signs everywhere, and they were dumb enough to take pictures of the signs and publish them.

"So we got warrants out for their arrest and they had to cut a deal with a local prosecutor to keep from going to jail," Falwell added. "That's how dumb they are."

The lawsuit, filed in the Virginia Circuit Court, cites the Times' March 29 story headlined, “Liberty University Brings Back Its Students, and Coronavirus Fears, Too."

The story reported that about 12 students “were sick with symptoms that suggested Covid-19,” when the school reopened its doors. The lawsuit alleges the Times misrepresented a doctor cited in the report and did not speak to the school physician.

"They were here for a few days," Falwell explained to Hannity. "I think they got their information from a doctor who has a practice 10 miles away from Liberty, who had seen a few Liberty kids who had a cold and upper respiratory problem. And none of it was anything like COVID symptoms … he told the reporters to go and talk to our on-campus doctor at our clinic on campus, and they wouldn't do it. They didn't talk to us.

"We tried to get them to correct all the false headlines … They wouldn't do it. They actually doubled down and lied some more. And so we had no choice," Falwell added. "They left us with no choice but to defend our reputation because it scared parents."

Falwell said that approximately 1,200 students finished out the spring semester on campus and no cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed.

"Some of them had elderly relatives living at home and didn't have high-speed Internet, so they couldn't do online education at home [or] they were international students, had no choice," Falwell said. "But out of 8,000 normally here, we had about 1,200 here this spring. We abided by all the governor's rules and not one case, not one case came out of it."

Fox News' Nick Givas contributed to this report.

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