Just Desserts

Attorneys representing Nick Sandman, the Covington Kid who was the subject of Big Left’s two minutes’ hate a couple weeks ago, have started the wheels rolling on lawsuits.

Over fifty of them:

“The legal counsel representing Nick and his family, Todd McMurtry and experienced libel and defamation lawyer L. Lin Wood of Atlanta, have said they will seek justice for the harm allegedly done to the teen,” The Enquirer reported. “McMurtry is with the law firm of Hemmer Defrank Wessels and has practiced law in Greater Cincinnati since 1991. He said a team of seven lawyers has been working full-time to review the media accounts of what happened.”
The letters come in response to the media’s smearing of Sandmann after a selectively edited clip of an incident on January 19, 2019, went viral that showed Sandmann standing face-to-face with Native American Nathan Phillips, who was beating a drum in Sandmann’s face.

The list of people and entities served includes:

  1. The Washington Post
  2. The New York Times
  3. Cable News Network, Inc. (CNN)
  4. The Guardian
  5. National Public Radio
  6. TMZ
  7. Atlantic Media Inc.
  8. Capitol Hill Publishing Corp.
  9. Diocese of Covington
  10. Diocese of Lexington
  11. Archdiocese of Louisville
  12. Diocese of Baltimore
  13. Ana Cabrera (CNN)
  14. Sara Sidner (CNN)
  15. Erin Burnett (CNN)
  16. S.E. Cupp (CNN)
  17. Elliot C. McLaughlin (CNN)
  18. Amanda Watts (CNN)
  19. Emanuella Grinberg (CNN)
  20. Michelle Boorstein (Washington Post)
  21. Cleve R. Wootson Jr. (Washington Post)
  22. Antonio Olivo (Washington Post)
  23. Joe Heim (Washington Post)
  24. Michael E. Miller (Washington Post)
  25. Eli Rosenberg (Washington Post)
  26. Isaac Stanley-Becker (Washington Post)
  27. Kristine Phillips (Washington Post)
  28. Sarah Mervosh (New York Times)
  29. Emily S. Rueb (New York Times)
  30. Maggie Haberman (New York Times)
  31. David Brooks (New York Times)
  32. Shannon Doyne
  33. Kurt Eichenwald
  34. Andrea Mitchell (NBC/MSNBC)
  35. Savannah Guthrie (NBC)
  36. Joy Reid (MSNBC)
  37. Chuck Todd (NBC)
  38. Noah Berlatsky
  39. Elisha Fieldstadt (NBC)
  40. Eun Kyung Kim
  41. HBO
  42. Bill Maher
  43. Warner Media
  44. Conde Nast
  45. GQ
  46. Heavy.com
  47. The Hill
  48. The Atlantic
  49. Bustle.com
  50. Ilhan Omar
  51. Elizabeth Warren
  52. Kathy Griffin
  53. Alyssa Milano
  54. Jim Carrey

Defamation cases are very hard to win. Justifiably so.

But I hope Sandmann cleans clock on this.

The Covington Rohrschach Blob

Your opinion of what happened at the March for Life last weekend largely depends on your point of view on the Trump administration. You either…:

  • Watched the full two hours of video (or take the counsel of those who did) and have come to believe that that CNN edited the video maliciously, with full intent to defame a bunch of MAGA hats ahd the kids they were sitting on, or
  • believe that in abeyance of all the actual evidence, MAGA cap + white + Catholic private school = smug racist, evidence be damned

That’s Robby Soave’s conclusion over at Reason – the Covington Kids are a Rohrschach Blob that says more about the viewers and their opinions than they do about themselves.

But the most frustrating and worrying reactions have come from those who have convinced themselves that the extended video footage confirms their initial impressions. Of all the myriad examples of this, perhaps none is more contemptible than the effort by Deadspin‘s Laura Wagner, who writes, “Don’t Doubt What You Saw With Your Own Eyes.” Wagner accuses the Covington kids’ defenders—me among them—of “siding with some shithead MAGA teens and saying that 2+2=5 in the face of every bit of evidence there is to be had.”
But I know what I saw, and I think I know what Wagner saw, too. She saw a group of white teens wearing MAGA hats who had just engaged in partisan political activity on behalf of a cause she opposes (this last detail is more than sufficient on its own to convict the teens, according to several prominent progressive feminists). And that was enough.

Of course, this country – and by “This country” I mean “mobs of entitled bobbleheads spurred on by the agenda-driven parts of our idiot media” – have a dismal record of seeking truth:

In writing and speaking about this, I have drawn parallels to the Rolling Stone/University of Virginia gang rape hoax of 2014, which provides a powerful example of mainstream media getting a story very wrong in ways that permanently damaged the magazine’s reputation.
But in the less insane media world of 2014, at least the Rolling Stone debunking was accepted by pretty much everyone. When friends of “Jackie,” the alleged rape victim, came forward to help clarify that her alleged attacker did not exist, and was in fact a persona she had invented in order to catfish them, I don’t remember many major pundits sticking their fingers in their ears and pretending not to hear this.
The ongoing effort to pretend that videos of boys doing pep rally type cheers in opposition to a hate group is in fact evidence of deep-seated racism makes me wonder whether Rolling Stone truther-ism would have been much more common had the story come out in 2019.

Things are getting much, much worse out there.