Accuracy in Media

The Covington High School student featured in a viral video on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial is suing the Washington Post for $250 million for alleged defamation.

The lawsuit, by plaintiff Nick Sandmann, who was wearing a “MAGA hat” during the video exchange, alleges that the Post chose to selectively publish material that painted Sandmann in a negative light and failed to issue a proper retraction that would help Sandmann recover his reputation. Sandmann’s lawyers point out that, until the viral moment, the student was a private figure, which case law has shown offers additional protection against defamation compared to public figures.

From the lawsuit:

“The Post published its False and Defamatory Accusations negligently and with actual knowledge of falsity or a reckless disregard for the truth.

As one of the world’s leading news outlets, the Post knew but ignored the importance of verifying damaging, and in this case, incendiary accusations against a minor child prior to publication.

The negligence and actual malice of the Post is demonstrated by its utter and knowing disregard for the truth available in the complete video of the January 18 incident which was available contemporaneously with the edited clip the Post chose because it appeared to support its biased narrative.

Instead of investigation and publishing the true story, the Post recklessly rushed to publish its False and Defamatory Accusations in order to advance its own political agenda against President Trump.

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