WASHINGTON (CN) – Investigative reporter Murray Waas demands $1 million from the Washington City Paper, claiming it defamed him in three stories in its May 16 issue.
In his pro se Superior Court complaint, Waas objects to a story by Erik Wemple and Cherkis that ran under the headline: “Murray Waas Against the World, A National Journal has fashioned a reputation among his peers: He’s a tough act to follow.” He claims this article falsely accuses him of lying. He cites this statement from the story: “A shared experience among Washington correspondents is following up a Waas story and coming away empty-handed. Perhaps Waas has simply developed sourced and unearthed scoops that his competitors have never been able to get. But there’s another way to look at it – namely, that Many of Waas’ stories fail to pan out, and many offer less than meets the eye.”
Waas also sues Michael Lenehan, who wrote a story that ran as a sidebar in the same issue, under the headline, “The Story Behind the Story or How I Became a Finalist for Worst People of 2006.” Waas cites this sentence from that story: “During one of our conversations, Waas told me a whopper of such majesty, such sheer brazen audacity, that even if our conversation were on the record I would not repeat it here, for fear of embarrassing Waas and the other people involved.”
Waas also objects to a sidebar by Cherkis, in the same issue, that ran under the headline, “How I Became a Cancer Victim Hater. My conversations with Murray Waas.”