Donate

MAGA Brat Had A Bad Weekend So He'd Like $250 Million From The Washington Post, Please

Post-Racial America

The family of Nick Sandmann, whose name we only know because he voluntarily disclosed it, has filed a lawsuit against "fake news" purveyor The Washington Post. They want $250 million in damages because the Post wrote words that hurt their feelings.

We join this pity party already in progress:

"In a span of three days in January of this year commencing on January 19, the Post engaged in a modern-day form of McCarthyism by competing with CNN and NBC, among others, to claim leadership of a mainstream and social media mob of bullies which attacked, vilified, and threatened Nicholas Sandmann, an innocent secondary school child," reads the complaint.

It added, "The Post ignored basic journalist standards because it wanted to advance its well-known and easily documented, biased agenda against President Donald J. Trump by impugning individuals perceived to be supporters of the President."

The suit demonstrates that the Covington kids aren't racist by referring to Native American elder Nathan Phillips as a "phony war hero." Odd that they would blame Phillips for how the press, whom they're decrying, chose to identify him. The suit goes on to claim that Phillips is a coward who was "too intimidated" to approach the real "troublemakers," the Black Hebrew Israelites and instead focused on "innocent children." This might be the first defamation suit to defame someone else while suing for defamation.


Generally speaking, a plaintiff would have to prove that a newspaper printed defamatory information that it knew was false. Sandmann's suit chooses to meet this evidentiary burden with wacky conspiracy theories direct from QAnon. This isn't a lawsuit. It's a paranoid manifesto. This is our favorite part:

We're not constitutional originalists, but we still think this is bullshit. It's totally fair to judge people based on the clothing they wear when it expresses a clear political viewpoint. The MAGA hat is not a yarmulke. Actual First Amendment and civil rights attorney Ron Kuby told TheWrap yesterday that Sandmann's supposed case is a mockery of a sham.

KUBY: "It's more like one of these old fashioned cases filed on page 1 and dismissed on page 34... If you report two sides of an encounter, you know that one side is ultimately going to be proven incorrect. That doesn't mean you're open for defamation claims."

But hold on: Robert Precht, an ex-public defender, says that the Covington kids can "easily show damage to their reputations caused by the firestorm of condemnations by public figures and social media posts." The social media posts went viral independent of the Post's specific coverage. Any condemnation from public figures was arguably rooted more in Sandmann wearing the damn MAGA hat. The Post didn't photoshop it onto the kid's noggin. It's also inconceivable that Sandmann was so sheltered that he was unaware that a MAGA hat is more polarizing than a Cincinnati Reds cap. There have been several stories about restaurants and bars banning MAGA wear. If a lawyer presses Sandmann on this point under oath, it would inevitably come out that he chose to wear the hat to a political rally as a defiant, political statement. That is his First Amendment right, but it's also ours to call him out for it. That's not "bullying" and certainly not a "lynching" because he's still alive and obnoxious.

Sandmann wants to link his race and his religion with his political views. However, recent polls show half of white Catholics view Donald Trump unfavorably. Close to 90 percent of black folks think Michelle Obama's husband is awesome, and conservatives have spent years arguing that their antipathy for Obama isn't racially motivated despite all the ape commentary. We don't like Trump or the people who dig him so much, they'd risk hat hair, and although that demographic is predominately white, it doesn't follow that we dislike white people.

The Post even ran a story last week detailing how an "investigation" showed no "wrongdoing" by the Covington kids. High school officials and the Diocese of Covington all think they're squeaky clean. What are the actual damages Sandmann is claiming? Is there any college he's considering that won't accept him? Most white people feel sorry for him. They'd cry halfway through his entrance essay about how the left-wing mob ruined his life just like Emmett Till, if Till had survived his non-rhetorical "lynching" and wasn't an asshole. The president was even considering inviting Sandmann to the White House for a fast-food potluck. He was interviewed on the "Today" show! His life is objectively superior to ours at that age. We'd have given anything for some one-on-one time with Deborah Norville (yes, we're old).

When the president, even a Putin-installed one, publicly supports you, it's hard to prove permanent damage to your reputation. Non-white people might think you're a jerk, but people like Sandmann devote their whole lives to interacting with us as little as possible. Sandmann also shouldn't get too excited about having Trump in his corner. He's had a record number of suits filed against him and likes to brag that he's "only" lost 38 of them.

That $250 million figure is weird, though. It's the exact amount Jeff Bezos paid for the Post in 2013. Bezos is high on Trump's "enemy of the people" list. You get the impression that this nuisance suit is really intended to put a "chilling effect" on any coverage of Trump or his supporters they don't find flattering. It has no higher purpose other than punitive. We guess Sandmann must've learned something at that Catholic school of his after all.

[ The Wrap / WaPo / Vox / CNN / USA Today]

Follow Stephen Robinson on Twitter.

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please send us money to keep the writers paid and the servers humming. Thank you, we love you!

How often would you like to donate?

Select an amount (USD)

Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Seattle. However, he's more reliable for food and drink recommendations in Portland, where he spends a lot of time for theatre work. His co-adaptation of "Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins is playing NOW at Pioneer Square's Cafe Nordo. All Wonketters welcome.

$
Donate with CC

Good morning, America! Attorney General Bill Barr is doing a presser at 9:30 AM EDT about the Mueller report, which nobody will be able to see until around noon or after, once Congress gets the redacted report on CDs. Seeing as that is bullshit, there's no reason to watch this thing, as journalists won't be able to ask him questions about a document they haven't seen. So ... go back to bed, everyone!

Ugh, fine, we guess we will do this, and that is because we care, even though we are quite certain HGTV is doing some kind of very important "Property Brothers" marathon that adds much more of value to the national discourse, and also covers it up with shiplap accent walls. Does Bill Barr do cover-ups with shiplap? No, because he doesn't have the good taste for that.

Reportedly, we are going to hear from Barr why certain things were redacted, including why he thinks certain facts are subject to executive privilege, which is funny because he is not the president and therefore cannot invoke executive privilege. But oh whatever! Details! Robert Mueller won't be there and none of his team will be there, which tells you something about how they feel about this whole process. If they felt like this was on the up-and-up, you'd imagine they might show up to present a united front. As that is not happening, assume the entire thing is a bullshit act meant to help Donald Trump set the narrative for what will otherwise be a very bad day for him.

The New York Times reported last night that the White House has already been briefed on significant portions of the report, because Bill Barr is a rightwing scam artist piece of shit who gives the Trump White House reacharounds. The briefings have reportedly been very helpful for the White House in coming up with how to rebut today's report, which is funny because we thought Trump said this report was a full exoneration, NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION. (Actually nope on both counts, since Mueller didn't decide the obstruction question, and even according to Barr's mash notes, he took a very limited view of the conspiracy question, focusing on the Russian government's hack and dump WikiLeaks operation.)

Anyway, assuming Trump is right about full exoneration, we guess Rudy Giuliani's rebuttal will state that Trump is guilty, full stop. Because that's what "rebuttal" means, correct?

Committee chairs in the House including Jerry Nadler, Adam Schiff and Maxine Waters have called upon Bill Barr to cancel today's briefing, as it is useless horseshit. Because Barr literally gives zero fucks about his reputation and apparently is OK with going down in history as a fecal stain on our institutions and the rule of law, the show will go on.

Keep reading... Show less
$
Donate with CC

Now What? Wonkagenda For Thurs., April 18, 2019

Bill Barr's book report, the NRA is doomed, and Johnny Cash will watch over the Capitol. Your morning news brief!

News

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

Keep reading... Show less
$
Donate with CC
Donate

How often would you like to donate?

Select an amount (USD)

Newsletter

©2018 by Commie Girl Industries, Inc