Re: I give SuperMicro the benefit of the doubt.
The elements of a libel/defamation claim are: 1) intentional publication of a statement of fact 2) that is false 3) unprivileged 4) has a natural tendency to injure or which causes "special damage," and 5) the defendant's fault in publishing the statement amounted to at least negligence.
Unless you are a public figure, the false statements need not be malicious, nor must you know that the statements are untrue. Failure to adequately vet a story is negligence.
For a media outlet to print a false story like this (assuming it is) is prima facia evidence of negligence, and sticking to it increases the liability. They will have to reveal what their basis were for determining the story’s veracity, and it better be solid. Otherwise, they are clearly negligent in determining the facts. Did they get access to a ‘corrupted’ board? Get it checked by an independent research group? How did they verify any internal documents they obtained? They can likely protect their sources, i.e., not be forced to reveal names, but they cannot use that as a defense. When they protect the source, they give up any firsthand evidence that source could attest to.
If they cannot prove they had credible reasons to believe the story was true, a good attorney would sue them for whatever shortfall in revenues suffered that could reasonably be shown. Considering that the company had a great previous quarter, the assumption would be that the next quarter would have been at least as good without the article.