Nick Sandmann, the Covington Catholic student who was tarred by the National Media as a racist, may get the last laugh.
Sandmann’s attorney Lin Wood has filed a defamation lawsuit against the Washington Post for $250 million, and he promises that this will be the first of many such lawsuits against media outlets and celebrities who posted vicious lies about the youth after he was confronted by a Native American activist while waiting to board a bus in Washington, D.C.
This kind of response to irresponsible reporting is the only solution currently available to society to restore sanity to the rogue forces that control our national debate.
No surprise that fake conservative Judge Andrew Napolitano says the case will be thrown out of court. On Wednesday morning, Napolitano told Stuart Varney:
“He’s not gonna get a nickel! How can the reputation of a 16-year-old possibly be worth $250 million? … Defamation is the loss of reputation. What reputation does a child have? None!”
So according to Napolitano you can say anything you want about a minor without any responsibility to make sure it is true. In other words, the Washington Post could run a headline that says, “Post sued by lying scumbag Nick Sandmann” and Nick would have no recourse.
Napolitano is an idiot if he believes that to be true. Obviously a teenager does have a reputation. You don’t need to be a celebrity news pundit to have a reputation; you just need to be known to have a certain character. If the Washington Post asserts to all of Sandmann’s potential future employers (not to mention his potential future colleges and his potential future friends) that Sandmann is a racist, it has not only affected his current reputation as an upstanding young man of good character, but has besmirched him till the day he dies.
It’s interesting that Sandmann’s court case is making news the same week that we learned Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has called for reconsideration of the court’s precedent-setting ruling in New York Times v. Sullivan that made it virtually impossible for public figures to win libel lawsuits.
Thomas wrote in a concurring opinion to a recent libel case that Sullivan and ensuing cases that protected the press were “policy-driven decisions masquerading as constitutional law.”
Considering that we live in the Information Age where every bit of data — true or false– will follow you the rest of your days, it is indeed time to reconsider Times v. Sullivan — and time to use every means at hand to restore responsibility to a mass media that has grown entitled and reckless.
Frank Miele is a retired Montana newsman who writes at www.HeartlandDiaryUSA.com and is a columnist at Real Clear Politics. To see more of my columns about the Dishonest Media, the Deep Swamp, the failed presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and Trump’s war to restore American greatness, read my “Why We Needed Trump” trilogy. Part 1 is subtitled “Bush’s Global Failure: Half Right.” Part 2 is “Obama’s Fundamental Transformation: Far Left.” Part 3 is “Trump’s American Vision: Just Right.” They are available at Amazon in paperback or Kindle editions. Also please considering leaving a review in support of my conservative commentary on one or all of my book pages at Amazon! Thanks!