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Lawyer sends warning letters to 50+ media outlets, dioceses, celebs who slandered Covington student

Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug

February 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Attorneys for young Nick Sandmann have sent letters to more than 50 media outlets, pundits, journalists, and celebrities as well as Catholic dioceses who publicly slandered the pro-life high school student from Covington, Kentucky based on a misleading video clip that went viral.

The letter, which seeks to prevent the destruction of evidence, discloses a potential intent to sue the recipients, many of whom are household names –– a who’s-who list of strident, often controversial liberal voices.

Attorney Todd V. McMurtry wrote that he was notifying the more than four dozen recipients of their “obligation to preserve information that may be relevant to potential litigation,” in what he refers to as the “Sandman Matter.” The letter is explicit and detailed.  

Sandmann was catapulted into the national spotlight when mischaracterizations of his appearance in the incomplete video unleashed a barrage of unwarranted vitriol and even death threats against him and his Catholic classmates who were participating in the March for Life last month in Washington, D.C.

Among the media outlets who received the letter after having jumped the gun to criticize Sandmann are The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, NPR, HBO, GQ, and TMZ.  

Individual journalists and pundits include NBC's Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell, and Savannah Guthrie; MSNBC's Joy Reid; CNN's Erin Burnett, S.E. Cupp, and five others; The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, David Brooks and two others; and The Washington Post’s Michelle Boorstein and seven others.

Liberal Hollywood types include Jim Carrey, Kathy Griffin, Alyssa Milano, and Bill Maher.

Two controversial Democrats were also sent letters: 2020 Presidential candidate, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and newly elected member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.

Four dioceses that rushed to unfairly criticize the boys have also heard from Sandmann’s attorneys. They include the Diocese of Covington, Diocese of Lexington, and the Archdiocese of Louisville in Kentucky and the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Maryland.  

Here is the complete list of recipients who were sent the letter on Friday, February 1:

  • The Washington Post

  • The New York Times

  • Cable News Network, Inc. (CNN)

  • The Guardian

  • National Public Radio

  • TMZ

  • Atlantic Media Inc.

  • Capitol Hill Publishing Corp.

  • Diocese of Covington

  • Diocese of Lexington

  • Archdiocese of Louisville

  • Archdiocese of Baltimore

  • Ana Cabrera

  • Sara Sidner

  • Erin Burnett

  • S.E. Cupp

  • Elliot C. McLaughlin

  • Amanda Watts

  • Emanuella Grinberg

  • Michelle Boorstein

  • Cleve R. Wootson Jr.

  • Antonio Olivo

  • Joe Heim

  • Michael E. Miller

  • Eli Rosenberg

  • Isaac Stanley-Becker

  • Kristine Phillips

  • Sarah Mervosh

  • Emily S. Rueb

  • Maggie Haberman

  • David Brooks

  • Shannon Doyne

  • Kurt Eichenwald

  • Andrea Mitchell

  • Savannah Guthrie

  • Joy Reid

  • Chuck Todd

  • Noah Berlatsky

  • Elisha Fieldstadt

  • Eun Kyung Kim

  • HBO

  • Bill Maher

  • Warner Media

  • Conde Nast

  • GQ

  • Heavy.com

  • The Hill

  • The Atlantic

  • Bustle.com

  • Ilhan Omar

  • Elizabeth Warren

  • Kathy Griffin

  • Alyssa Milano

  • Jim Carrey

McMurtry told The Cincinnati Enquirer that the incident permanently stained Sandmann’s reputation and that after an in-depth review by a team of several attorneys they “concluded we have a good faith basis to sue.”

“There was a rush by the media to believe what it wanted to believe versus what actually happened,” said McMurtry. “They know they crossed the line.”

“We want to change the conversation. We don't want this to happen again,” McMurtry told The Enquirer. “We want to teach people a lesson.”

McMurtry, a member of the Kentucky law firm Hemmer Defrank Wessels, is working in conjunction with famed trial attorney L. Lin Wood of Atlanta, Georgia, a libel and defamation lawyer who has represented clients against media giants, some of which have captured national attention.  

Wood most famously defended Richard Jewell, who was falsely accused of the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta in 1996 and then brought defamation suits on behalf of John and Patsy Ramsey and son Burke for false accusations regarding the murder of child beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey. Working with Wood, Burke Ramsey recently agreed to settle a $750 million defamation suit against CBS, which aired a documentary in 2016 that suggested he killed his six-year-old sister, JonBenét, when he was nine.

Wood also represented the victim in the Colorado civil case against NBA star Kobe Bryant and was the lead civil attorney for Beth Holloway, mother of Natalee Holloway.

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