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The upshot of Nicholas Sandmann’s $275 million defamation lawsuit against CNN, filed yesterday by attorneys Lin Wood and Todd McMurtry in federal district court in Kentucky, is this: The network is “deplorable,” and ought to be “punched in the face.”
Those words about Sandmann, from a big-mouth leftist on the network, are among the outrages described in the lawsuit, which alleges malice, negligence, and reckless disregard of the truth in its wild accusations against Sandmann.
That truth? Nicholas Sandman did nothing wrong when, at the Lincoln Memorial on January 18, military faker Nathan Phillips approached him, chanting gibberish and banging a drum. Nicholas Sandmann did not shout racial slurs. Nicholas Sandmann did not harass, threaten, or otherwise harm the “Native American elder.”
Worst thing is, the lawsuit alleges, CNN knew the accusations were false. Indeed, the accusations were a caluclated smear.
What Happened, and Why Sandmann Sued
The lawsuit details the cascade of CNN’s scurrilous lies about Sandmann after a short viral video supposedly depicted the boy and his mates from Covington Catholic High in Kentucky as aggressors at the Lincoln Memorial after the March for Life.
Sandmann and his pals were awaiting buses to leave. A group of crackpots, the Black Hebrew Israelites, were verbally shellacking the boys and passersby with a barrage of racial and other insults. The boys replied with high-school chants. Nothing dirty. Nothing racial. But the boys were white and Catholic. They wore MAGA hats.
Phillips, a reputed Indian wiseman whom the media called a “Vietnam veteran” until a former Navy SEAL unmasked his fraud, confronted the boys.
Led by CNN and the Post, the media smeared the boys. They weren’t just the aggressors. They were privileged white racists, ridiculing not just the blacks but the quiet Indian war hero, who was only there to protest the white man’s theft of “native lands.”
But it was one big lie. A 15-minute video from Sandman’s attorneys exonerated him, as did a private detective agency’s report. Thus Sandmann sued the Washington Post, “which rushed to lead the mainstream media to assassinate Nicholas’s character and bully him” with a series of lies.
Malice, Negligence, and Reckless Disregard
Now, it’s CNN’s turn.
As with the lawsuit against the Post, this one alleges that “CNN rushed to take advantage of the viral social media mob to further its anti-Trump agenda” because the boys wore souvenir MAGA hats.
And so “CNN’s vicious attack,” the lawsuit alleges, included at least four broadcasts and nine online articles “falsely accusing” Sandman of “engaging in racist conduct by instigating a threatening confrontation” with the black radicals and Indians. CNN “falsely asserted” the boys were “racist,” had a “mob mentality,” and “looked like they were going to lynch” the blacks who, the network amusingly asserted, were “preaching about the Bible.” The boys “didn’t like the color of their skin” and “their religious views.”
Beyond that, CNN reported, Nicholas and his schoolmates “surrounded” Phillips, which created “a really dangerous situation.” Nicholas “‘blocked [Phillips’] escape’” when he tried to depart the situation, CNN reported, “causing Phillips to ‘fear for his safety and the safety of those with him,’ while Nicholas and his classmates ‘harassed and taunted’ him.”
CNN repeatedly described Sandmann as “mocking” Phillips, the lawsuit alleged, and broadcast the military fraud’s false accusation that Sandmann and the boys were about to “lynch” the radical blacks and perpetrated “acts of ‘hate and racism.’”
All of it was “totally and unequivocally false,” which CNN would have known, the lawsuit alleges, if it had “undertaken any reasonable efforts to verify their accuracy before publication of its false and defamatory accusations.”
The lawsuit also names names, such as that of Bakari Sellers, the leftist who said Sandmann is a “deplorable” who should be “punched in the face.”
Sandmann, the lawsuit avers, did not “instigate a confrontation” or “surround” Phillips or the ranting blacks, and did not “target, confront or assault” anyone. Nor did he “taunt, mock, or harass” or “hurl any political chant or racial slur at anyone.” The boys never chanted “build that wall” or anything like it.
Sandmann and his family endured the ritual Two Minutes Hate for six days, from January 19 through January 25.
Yet CNN knew nearly from the beginning of its reporting, the lawsuit alleges, that the accusations it broadcast and published were false.
CNN, the lawsuit alleges, “negligently and recklessly published its False and Defamatory Accusations by relying on unreliable and biased sources with questionable credibility” and “by failing to conduct a reasonable investigation.”
CNN ignored video evidence that proved its accusations were false, and “was also aware that the video it reviewed was woefully incomplete but published its accusations against Nicholas nonetheless without any further investigation.”
Even worse, the lawsuit alleges, the network “continued to publish its False and Defamatory Accusations with actual knowledge of falsity, having reviewed video evidence and statements of Nicholas Sandmann contradicting its False and Defamatory Accusations.”
Malice is alleged because CNN “intended to harm” Sandmann for being Catholic and wearing a MAGA hat, because CNN did not retract its allegations after learning they were false, and because CNN did not reprimand Sellers.
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