The lawsuits will keep on coming, an attorney for Covington High School student Nick Sandmann said during media appearances this week.
Lawyer Todd McMurtry announced Tuesday on the Fox News show “The Story” that Sandmann’s legal team was filing a $275 million lawsuit against CNN for its coverage of the incident that left the Covington teens reeling from a national outpouring of hate directed against them. That comes on the heels of a $250 million lawsuit filed against The Washington Post.
Sandmann and the other teens from Covington made national news when a confrontation erupted after the Jan. 18 March for Life. Initial video spread by some outlets implied that the teens started the confrontation, but later video that showed the incident more fully made it clear that they did not.
“We probably have 10 — at least 10 top targets in the media and individuals, some of whom were people that were involved in — in Twitter attacks,” McMurtry said.
“As to whom we are looking at, who we think crossed the line; certainly we’re looking very closely at NBC, we’re looking very closely at AP, we’re looking very closely at HBO for the conduct of Bill Maher, and we’re looking at some of the people who — like Kathy Griffin, who sent out these — these horrible tweets that are — that are called doxxing,” he said, referring to the practice of revealing a person’s name and contact information.
McMurtry said Wednesday on the “Todd Starnes Radio Show” that there is a method to the lawsuits.
“Our plan is to come out with an additional lawsuit every few weeks or months. We have to issue opportunities for these news organizations to provide retractions,” McMurtry said. “But right now we’re looking very carefully at NBC, AP, HBO. And again, HBO is primarily because they carry Bill Maher’s disgusting comments about Nicholas Sandmann. So, those probably are the next three defendants.”
Although McMurtry said the amount of damages sought may not be in the same ballpark as the suits against CNN and The Washington Post, they will be for major amounts of money as a way to send a message.
McMurtry said the goal of the suits is to change the “mainstream media’s” behavior.
”Clearly, what we want to do is stop them from behaving in a way that discards all journalistic integrity,” he said. “Here they didn’t investigate. They took something off of Twitter and put it right out into the media.”
CNN “is a very significant media organization with a much broader reach than, say, The Washington Post. It has Twitter followers of 41 million people. It published four videos, nine online articles that were tweeted out. So, that’s millions and millions and millions of repetitions of the lies and falsehoods that CNN spread,” he said.
McMurtry said CNN was given an opportunity to retract what was published but failed to do so.
He said that by spreading false information, Sandmann was damaged.
“Well, we’ve talked about the impact on Nicholas Sandmann a number of times and it — it is significant,” McMurtry said. “Nicholas Sandmann was a 16-year-old man who had a perfect reputation. He was loved by his parents, respected at his school, and had many good friends at Covington Catholic High School. So he was a person that was doing very well in life and due to his strong character, he still is,” he said.
“But never the less, his character has now been determined by the lies issued by CNN. So the facts were not first, the lies were,” he said.
On Wednesday, McMurtry and co-counsel Lin Wood issued a video outlining the stakes of the case from their perspective.
“The Washington Post, owned by the richest man in the world, led the print media’s false attacks against Nicholas’ reputation. CNN led the broadcast media’s charge against Nicholas. Both recklessly spread lies about a minor to advance their own financial and political agendas,” the video says.
“Despite raw video debunking the false narrative, the Post and CNN doubled down on their reckless lies. Lies that will forever haunt and endanger the life of an innocent young man. Lies that further divided our nation,” the video’s narrator adds.
“How long will we allow these media giants to tear at the fabric of our lives to further their own agendas? Will they ever be held accountable? Yes, they will,” the video says, later adding, “Nicholas and his legal team will not be stopped until these Goliath corporations are held accountable for their lack of journalistic integrity. Until then, no one’s reputation is safe.”
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