Phil Bryant: Mississippi Today has ten days to retract ‘false, misleading, and defamatory statements’
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Former Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has sent a letter to news outlet Mississippi Today, demanding they retract and correct “false and defamatory statements” Bryant claims were made by the organization.
According to a letter sent to Mississippi Today by Bryant’s attorney’s on Wednesday, they write that a “defamatory statement” was made by Mississippi Today’s chief executive officer Mary Margaret White.
This after White said the following during a panel discussion in February:
“We’re the newsroom that broke the story about $77 million in welfare funds, intended for the poorest people in the poorest state in the nation, being embezzled by a former governor and his bureaucratic cronies to be used on pet projects like a state-of-the-art volleyball stadium at Brett Favre’s alma mater.”
The former Mississippi governor argues this statement is defamatory, with the letter claiming that Bryant “did not convert or embezzle ‘welfare funds’ and that Mississippi Today’s ‘newsroom’ did not ‘br[reak] the story’ about Bryant converting or embezzling welfare funds.”
The letter comes on the heels of Mississippi Today’s recent Pulitzer Prize win due to reporter Anna Wolfe’s investigation into the welfare scandal.
Wolfe and Mississippi Today’s editor-in-chief Adam Ganucheau are also mentioned in the letter sent by Bryant.
The letter states that Wolfe and Ganucheau also made ”false and calculated” statements on Wednesday’s episode of Mississippi Today’s podcast “The Other Side,” suggesting that the comments made by the two were made “to gaslight and deceive the public.”
Included in Bryant’s letter to Mississippi Today are a list of demands, including that the organization “publish full-and-fair corrections of White’s false and defamatory statements,” and well as comments made by Wolfe and Ganucheau.
The letter also demands that Mississippi Today publicly apologize for having made “false, misleading and defamatory statements” concerning the former governor.
Bryant gave the publication ten days to make the public retraction.
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