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WWF Sues Media Watchdog Group

November 10, 2000|From Reuters

NEW YORK — World Wrestling Federation Entertainment Inc. said Thursday that it filed a lawsuit against the Parents Television Council in a New York federal court accusing the conservative media watchdog group of using threats and lies to drive advertisers away.

The suit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, also named the group's chairman, L. Brent Bozell, and the Media Research Center, another conservative group founded by Bozell, among others.

The suit seeks unspecified statutory and punitive damages. The WWF also said it is seeking an injunction to stop what it called unlawful conduct.

Bozell said in a prepared statement that WWF's claims were without merit and said he was considering a countersuit for libel, based on the WWF's news release.

The pro-wrestling troupe alleges that Bozell and his groups used a pattern of "unlawful threats, intimidation, coercion, deception and flat-out lies" to conspire to damage WWF and interfere with WWF's contracts with advertisers.

The suit accuses Bozell of inventing a false list of advertisers that he says have pulled their support from WWF programming.

Bozell's Parents Television Council has criticized television networks for not airing enough so-called family-oriented shows.

"WWF Smackdown" on Viacom Inc.'s UPN network heads the group's "Top 10 Worst" list of "vulgar and violent" programs.

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