The boy who grew to become the face of “white privilege” when an edited video of his confrontation with an indigenous protester went viral is suing the Washington Post for defamation, asking for its complete worth in a 2013 sale as damages.
Nick Sandmann, the Covington Catholic student whose “smirk” and “punchable face” launched a thousand reactionary tweets when the deceptively-edited video of his confrontation with Native American protester Nathan Phillips went viral final month, has filed a defamation lawsuit towards the Post for $250 million – the whole quantity Amazon founder Jeff Bezos paid for the paper in 2013 – alleging the paper used him as “a pawn in its political battle” towards President Donald Trump.
The suit claims the Post “wrongly focused and bullied” the excessive schooler with a purpose to “advance its well-known and simply documented, biased agenda towards President Donald J. Trump” as a result of Sandmann is white and wore the crimson Make America Great Again hat that has change into an iconic image among the many president’s followers – and his detractors.
By implying that Sandmann “engaged in acts of racism by ‘swarming’ Phillips, ‘blocking’ his exit away from the scholars, and in any other case partaking in racist misconduct,” the Post “fanned the flames of the social media mob right into a mainstream media frenzy,” compounding the threats and bullying directed on the teen, whereas its failure to fact-check – the unedited video was freely out there on the time of publication – confirms its “utter and realizing disregard for the reality.”
Sandmann’s lawyer, Lin Wood, says this lawsuit is “solely the start.” The lawsuit, filed in Kentucky federal courtroom, seeks $50 million in compensatory damages and $200 million in punitive damages, in addition to attorneys’ charges, “to discourage [WaPo] from repeating such egregiously illegal misconduct sooner or later.” The Post was the primary to flow into the video exterior social media, they imagine, however Wood and associate Todd McMurtry despatched a letter to 54 media shops, celebrities, lawmakers, and church entities warning them of future authorized motion as properly.
The edited video circulated by the Post and different mainstream shops framed Sandmann because the villain within the encounter with Phillips, despite the fact that the elder and some different protesters had truly walked into the center of the group of youngsters, chanting and beating drums of their faces intentionally.
Sandmann, whose face was entrance and heart within the video, rapidly grew to become the topic of vicious and even violent tweets from strangers writing about punching him within the face, burning down his faculty, and committing different heinous acts towards him and his classmates.