Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Enter Sandmann

Big news tonight is that Covington Catholic teen Nicholas Sandman is suing the Washington Post for defamation and some people are really stoked!  A quarter-billion dollars?  Take that, Bezos!

It's times like this it's good to visit a legal blog like Legal Insurrection:
I’ve read the Complaint, but it is hard to find specific false statements about Sandmann. As the Complaint states many times, Sandmann relies on the alleged ” false and defamatory gist” of WaPo’s coverage (that phrase appears 24 times). Many of the statements attributed to WaPo that contributed to this gist are the repetition of statements from Phillips and others as part of the news coverage that create the impression (sometimes explicitly so) that the students (and by implication Sandmann) were the aggressors. I wonder, though, whether those conclusions by WaPo were opinions as a legal matter and thus protected by the First Amendment.

So my gut is telling me there may be some legal problems surviving a motion to dismiss. I’ll be looking for solid legal analysis by others on this. If you find any analysis that’s not just wishful thinking, please post in the comments.

Sandmann may have better claims against Phillips, but good luck collecting.
Well I'm ambivalent here: on the one hand, I dislike nuisance lawsuits but I also hate the mainstream media.  Maybe Sandmann will settle for some college tuition.


Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Exit light
Enter night
Democracy dies in darkness

Every failed defamation suit strengthens the force of libel law. Mr. Sandmann, bring us a dream case. (Bum bum bum bum)