CNN Presidential Debate Moderator Is At Center Of Defamation Suit

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JULY 31: CNN moderator Jake Tapper speaks to the crowd attending the Democratic Presidential Debate at the Fox Theatre July 31, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. 20 Democratic presidential candidates were split into two groups of 10 to take part in the debate sponsored by CNN held over two nights at Detroit’s Fox Theatre. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, three judges with the First District Court of Appeal for the State of Florida ruled that Plaintiff Zachary Young had sufficiently provided enough evidence to the court that they could proceed with his defamation suit against CNN for punitive damages.

The network allegedly, knowingly lied about his security consulting company and their work amid President Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. Jake Tapper, one of CNN’s presidential debate moderators was one of the journalists at the center of it all.

The defamation suit stemmed from a segment on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper about Young’s company Nemex Enterprises Inc. and the prices they were allegedly charging to get people out of Afghanistan. Tapper led into the segment by painting an image of “black market” hustlers who charged “exorbitant fees” taking advantage of desperate people:

In our world today, the U.S. government, the Biden administration says that as of last week it had assisted in the departure of at least 377 U.S. citizens and 279 lawful permanent residents of the U.S. from Afghanistan since August 31st.

Still, many Afghans, Afghans who desperately want to flee Taliban rule and Afghans who say their lives are at stake, they remain behind. As CNN’s Alex Marquardt has discovered, Afghans trying to get out of the country, face a black market full of promises, demands of exorbitant fees, and no guarantee of safety or success.

A NewsBusters investigation found that CNN has since deleted the segment in question from their CNN Transcripts archive page for the November 11, 2021 episode of The Lead. There’s no note about the missing segment.

CNN correspondent Alex Marquardt singled out Young’s company, not mentioning any others known to be working in-country to get people out.

Read the full story here.