Just asking a question, not trying to give legal advice or suggest I know the answer to this legal question. I understand that we don't want to set incredibly dangerous precedents where by corporations can't be criticized. This isn't about trying to quell speech it is about trying to preserve useful speech. This model of being paid to knowingly lie to the public about the public interest is clearly criminal. You don't have to be legal professional to see that. Nothing in the culture supports this. So let us see if I can lay out a semi coherent approach (asserted as protected political speech.) Tesla on behalf of its shareholders and customers who are also members of the general public sues MSNBC on the basis of it taking money and knowingly lying to mislead the public about matters of the public interest that actually do harm to the public and that in aggregate cause grievous harm to the public where the profit involved is an aggravating factor that should result in punitive damages and where the case may (my outsider guess) has class potential or should have it. Remedies 1. MSNBC has to preface all of its reporting on all subjects at the beginning and middle and end for the next decade with: MSNBC has been found in a court of law to have taken monies and profited from intentionally misleading the public about matters of the public interest that resulted in harm to the public and therefore no member of the public should rely upon MSNBC content for any purpose as MSNBC content has been found to be unreliable and the product of malicious intent. 2. Tesla gets control over what MSNBC prints about Tesla for the next 20 years where violations of Tesla's ability to veto the print in advance will lead to the loss of MSNBC's corporate charter with liquidation proceeds going to Tesla- not MSNBC shareholders and where MSNBC is barred from any non-disclosure or settlement agreement related to these matters in the future- in short it can't buy its way out it is stuck for the duration and where the liquidation terms if triggered are self-enforcing and immediate not requiring any special proof or jury verdict or another court case. 3. Precedent where media firms that knowingly take money for the purpose of misleading the public about matters of the public interest lose their charters under instant liquidation proceedings. A similar logic seems to apply to shorts. Its along the lines of false advertisement. When shorts create the conditions they are complaining about and shorting with paid for false statements it amounts to something akin to false advertising and profiting from the harm cause and should lead to jail time and forfeiture. Shorting is a bit like money laundering in this sense too. It is a kind of economic terrorism and allows people to profit from terrorism as people profited from 911- its history is ultra dirty. People who gained by shorting in 911 should have been hit with the proper scrutiny- I don't think there should be any statute of limitations on this. The cons of shorting out weight any insurance function.