President Donald Trump offered his full support behind Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann’s $250 million libel suit against The Washington Post.
Trump tweeted on Wednesday, “‘The Washington Post ignored basic journalistic standards because it wanted to advance its well-known and easily documented biased agenda against President Donald J. Trump.’ Covington student suing WAPO. Go get them Nick. Fake News!”
“The Washington Post ignored basic journalistic standards because it wanted to advance its well-known and easily documented biased agenda against President Donald J. Trump.” Covington student suing WAPO. Go get them Nick. Fake News!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2019
Law & Crime reported that Sandmann’s lawsuit — filed this week in federal court in Kentucky by high profile libel attorney Lin Wood and co-counsel Todd McMurtry — seeks $50 million in compensatory damages for harm caused to their 16-year-old client’s reputation.
The complaint also asks the court to award an additional $200 million in punitive damages against The Post. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant and deter similar conduct in the future.
It should be noted Jeff Bezos paid $250 million when he purchased The Post in 2013.
Sandmann’s attorneys cited seven articles published by the paper that allegedly contain false and defamatory information about their client.
According to the complaint, these articles further the narrative that Sandmann is a racist because he was wearing a Make America Great Again hat during an incident involving Native American Nathan Phillips on January 18 at the Lincoln Memorial.
The original reporting about the standoff by many media outlets blamed the Covington students for the confrontation, based on a small video clip.
However, when video giving fuller context became public, it revealed that Phillips had approached the students, who were themselves also being jeered with racial slurs by a group of African American men, calling themselves “Black Hebrew Israelites,” who were close by.
Wood argued on Fox News’ “Hannity” that the Post and other media outlets failed in their duty to get the facts straight before publishing their stories.
“So, this video goes viral, the mob attacks, and you would expect that the mainstream media would be responsible enough to pause, recognize that they are dealing with a student, investigate, and make sure that they have the facts accurate, that the story that they tell is accurate,” Wood told host Sean Hannity.
“But they didn’t pause when it came to Nicholas, because they wanted to rush out and they wanted to jump into the mob and give the mob a megaphone, so that they could attack this boy, because he was white, he’s Catholic, and he was wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ cap,” the attorney added.
Wood contended that, but for his MAGA ball cap, no one would know who Sandmann is now.
“Here is a 16-year-old kid, Sean. It is tough being 16,” the lawyer said. “Think about what this young boy is having to deal with at age 16 when the entire world saw him the way that the media portrayed him as literally the face of evil. It is inexcusable, reprehensible conduct by the media. And The Washington Post led the way.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.