February 3, 2013
Decorated veteran and sniper Chris Kyle was killed at a firing range in Texas on Saturday. Kyle was named in a lawsuit by former Underwater Demolition Team 12 member and Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura. The legal action was taken after Kyle claimed he punched Ventura in a bar for insulting a dead U.S. soldier.
The story was included in Kyle’s book, American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, and during a subsequent television interview on Fox News. Fox News is owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of News Corporation. The publisher of Kyle’s memoir, William Morrow, is owned by the News Corporation.
Kyle allegedly made up the story about Ventura to promote his book. Ventura told the Alex Jones Show last January he believes the story was concocted for political reasons, most notably his support for Ron Paul and his criticism of the TSA.
In December, a federal judge refused to dismiss Ventura’s defamation lawsuit after Kyle’s lawyers argued his remarks are protected by the First Amendment. “His statements are not protected by the First Amendment if they were knowingly false and defamatory, as Ventura claims,” the judge wrote.
In November, 2011, a federal judge in Minnesota threw out a Ventura lawsuit against the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security for violating his right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizure. Federal Judge Susan Richard Nelson ruled that the court lacked jurisdiction in the case.