Leftists who smeared Covington boys hit with new lawsuits
January 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Following CNN and pro-life teenager Nick Sandmann’s settlement of a defamation suit over the former’s coverage of the 2019 March for Life, it appears the next round of suits has been filed against media and political figures who falsely accused other pro-life teens of harassment.
Immediately after last year’s March for Life in Washington, D.C., the press erupted with claims that a video showed boys from a Catholic school in Kentucky harassing Nathan Phillips, a Native American activist, outside the Lincoln Memorial. But additional extended video and firsthand accounts soon revealed that Phillips was the one who waded into the group waiting for its bus and decided to beat a drum inches from Sandmann’s face, while the boys had merely performed school cheers in hopes of drowning out racist taunts from members of the Black Hebrew Israelites fringe group.
As additional video came to light, many journalists and other public figures quickly deleted their snap condemnations of the students. Some, however, either tried to keep the original narrative alive or refused to unequivocally retract or apologize for their initial claims, leading to various lawsuits on behalf of the boys.
Among the challenges was a $250 million suit against CNN for broadcasting into “millions of homes” the “idea that [Sandmann] was part of a mob...yelling racist slurs,” which was settled Tuesday for an as-yet-undisclosed sum. Sandmann’s attorneys also have pending a $275 million suit against NBCUniversal, and a $250 million suit against the Washington Post.
An unrelated series of suits by a different legal team, on behalf of eight other, unnamed students, targets Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Deb Haaland, CNN’s Ana Navarro, the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, ABC News’s Matthew Dowd, ex-CNN personalities Kathy Griffin and Reza Aslan, Kentucky entrepreneur Adam Edelen, Princeton University’s Kevin Kruse, left-wing activist Shaun King, Mother Jones editor-in-chief Clara Jeffery, and Rewire editor-in-chief Jodi Jacobson.
Aslan, who infamously tweeted a picture of Sandmann accompanied by the question, “have you ever seen a more punchable face than this kid's,” suddenly deleted the tweet this week, which attorney Robert Barnes, who represents the group of anonymous students, took as a sign he had received the suit:
Aslan claimed Thursday morning that he simply deleted the tweet because his wife had asked him to, and implied that it stayed up for so long because he thought he had already deleted it:
LOL. No. https://t.co/qVR72tF76B— Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) January 9, 2020
My wife had asked me to delete it and I do whatever my wife tells me to do. Then a couple of days ago, I saw that it had been remarked upon by this felon and adulterer you may be familiar with. I believe his name is Dinesh something. I realized I hadn’t and so I did. End of story— Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) January 9, 2020
Barnes told PJ Media he had another reason for inferring Aslan had been served, “because his team was not able to find the author's address until last week,” PJ Media reports.
“Several of our Senators, most-famous celebrities, and widely read journalists, collectively used their large social media platforms, perceived higher credibility and public followings to lie and libel minors they never met, based on an event they never witnessed,” the lawsuit declares. “These defendants called for the kids to be named and shamed, doxxed and expelled, and invited public retaliation against these minors from a small town in Kentucky.
“The defendants circulated false statements about them to millions of people around the world,” it continues. “The video of the entire event, known to the defendants, exposed all of their factual claims against the kids as lies. The defendants were each individually offered the opportunity to correct, delete, and/or apologize for their false statements, but each refused, continuing to circulate the false statements about these children to this very day on their social media platforms they personally control.”
The suit seeks for each plaintiff “damages in an amount not less than $15,000 but not more than $50,000 against each defendant.” With eight plaintiffs, that would mean a sum between $120,000 and $400,000 from each of the defendants.
The aforementioned suits represent different students and are being carried out by different attorneys, but Sandmann and his attorney Lin Wood publicly criticized Barnes this week for his use of Sandmann’s name and Aslan’s tweets, thereby giving the impression that Barnes represents Sandmann:
2/ Barnes has been previously warned to stop publicly suggesting or stating that he represents Nicholas. In response, Barnes “blocked” @ToddMcMurtry & me on Twitter. Barnes apparently cannot control his desire to garner publicity by falsely using Nicholas’ name.— Lin Wood (@LLinWood) January 9, 2020
4/ If Barnes does not cease publishing & then correct his prior false statements, Nicholas’ attorneys are fully prepared to take legal action against him. So Barnes can take the easy way out or he will get out the hard way - we will sue him. His choice.— Lin Wood (@LLinWood) January 9, 2020