Patterico's Pontifications

1/8/2020

Covington Update: CNN Settles Lawsuit With Nicholas Sandmann

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:41 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Remember Nicholas Sandmann? You know, the kid identified as having a “punchable face”:

Untitled

CNN reports (on CNN):

CNN has settled a lawsuit with a Kentucky high school student who was at the center of a viral video controversy, a spokesperson for the news network confirmed Tuesday.

No other details were immediately available. An attorney for the student, Nicholas Sandmann, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Sandmann only tweeted, “Yes, we settled with CNN.”

The news was first reported by WXIX-TV. The local outlet said a settlement figure was not made public at a court hearing in Covington, Kentucky.

The settlement will allow CNN to avoid a lengthy and potentially unpredictable trial. Sandmann sought $275 million in damages in the lawsuit he filed against CNN last March.

From the suit against CNN, filed in March 2019:

CNN brought down the full force of its corporate power, influence, and wealth on Nicholas by falsely attacking, vilifying, and bullying him despite the fact that he was a minor child.

More details from Sandmann’s suit against CNN:

The lawsuit filed by Sandmann’s attorneys in the Eastern District of Kentucky claimed that 53 statements included in CNN’s coverage of the incident were defamatory. One such statement, included in a CNN opinion piece, accused the students of acting with “racist disrespect” towards Phillips. Meanwhile, Bakari Sellers, a CNN contributor, publicly mused about assaulting the 16-year-old Sandmann, and HBO host Bill Maher called him a “little prick.”

CNN filed a motion to dismiss the suit in May on the grounds that accusations of racism are not actionable in defamation cases because the allegation can’t be proven true or false. They similarly argued they could not be held liable for uncorroborated claims that Sandmann and his classmates chanted “build the wall” during the encounter.

It is not defamatory to say the Covington students “expressed support for the President or that he echoed a signature slogan of a major political party,” CNN’s motion to dismiss claims.

An investigation conducted by an outside firm contracted by the Diocese of Covington found “no evidence that the students performed a ‘Build the wall’ chant” and that Phillips’s account of the incident “contain some inconsistencies” that could not be explored because investigators were unable to reach him.

Phillips initially claimed that the boys approached him but later admitted that he walked into their group after a video emerged disproving his initial claim. According to his second account, Phillips was attempting to defuse a confrontation between the students and a group of Black Hebrew Israelites, who can be heard on video shouting racial and homophobic slurs at the boys.

Concerns raised about these lawsuits and free speech over at Reason:

As Reason’s Jacob Sullum has observed, there’s a difference between unfair press coverage and libel. The media undoubtedly treated the Covington kids unfairly, but the main culprit here was not CNN or The Washington Post, but [Nathan] Phillips. He was the one who provided bad information to the press. If journalists have to fear massive libel lawsuits for reporting bad information supplied to them by sources they had no reason to distrust, it might make them wary of covering important stories. If successful, Sandmann’s suits could have a chilling effect on necessary and consequential journalism.

In any case, the Covington incident was a debacle for the media, and showed that the tendency of social media to inspire quick reactions is the Achilles’ heel of journalism in the digital age.

The Sandmann family’s lawsuits against NBC Universal and the Washington Post over their coverage of the incident are still pending.

As a reminder, the Washington Post issued an editor’s note on a Friday afternoon admitting to their flawed coverage of the incident. Let’s re-read it:

Subsequent reporting, a student’s statement and additional video allow for a more complete assessment of what occurred, either contradicting or failing to confirm accounts provided in that story — including that Native American activist Nathan Phillips was prevented by one student from moving on, that his group had been taunted by the students in the lead-up to the encounter, and that the students were trying to instigate a conflict.

The high school student facing Phillips issued a statement contradicting his account; the bishop in Covington, Ky., apologized for the statement condemning the students; and an investigation conducted for the Diocese of Covington and Covington Catholic High School found the students’ accounts consistent with videos.

Subsequent Post coverage, including video, reported these developments: ‘Viral standoff between a tribal elder and a high schooler is more complicated than it first seemed’; ‘Kentucky bishop apologizes to Covington Catholic students, says he expects their exoneration’; ‘Investigation finds no evidence of ‘racist or offensive statements’ in Mall incident.’

A Jan. 22 correction to the original story reads: Earlier versions of this story incorrectly said that Native American activist Nathan Phillips fought in the Vietnam War. Phillips said he served in the U.S. Marines but was never deployed to Vietnam.”

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

97 Responses to “Covington Update: CNN Settles Lawsuit With Nicholas Sandmann”

  1. Will WaPo and NBC settle as well?

    Dana (643cd6)

  2. If journalists have to fear massive libel lawsuits for reporting bad information supplied to them by sources they had no reason to distrust, it might make them wary of covering important stories

    You mean they might actually have to do things like check their sources, speak to others who may have knowledge of the same events, and research whether what they are saying is accurate? You mean like, practice actual journalism?

    Quelle horreur.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  3. Dustin and Leviticus hardest hit.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  4. Good for Sandman.

    The issue here was the lack of good faith efforts by the media to check their sources. When I say “media”, I mean the big corporation who has staff to actually followup on sources, not rando twitter/bloggers. The information may still be bad after good faith followup and as such, there shouldn’t be any issue of libel here…but, obviously this wasn’t the case.

    The other issue was that the retraction was slow in the face of unambiguous facts that they were initially wrong. Not sure of how libel laws work, but they should at least be given opportunities to retract.

    whembly (51f28e)

  5. Checked Aslan’s twitter to see if he mentioned the settlement…

    Didn’t see anything related but there was this little gem:

    Reza Aslan
    @rezaaslan
    One thing you all need to know about Iranians before celebrating “de-escalation” is that as a people we never ever forget a slight. I mean never.

    _

    Checked CNN too and they also apparently are not reporting on it or at least featuring it in their main news feed.

    They do however have a story today on someone else’s screwup:

    CNN
    @CNN
    The signs at Glacier National Park warning that its signature glaciers would be gone by 2020 are being changed. They were added more than a decade ago to reflect climate change forecasts at the time by the US Geological Survey, a park spokeswoman says.

    _

    harkin (d6cfee)

  6. Aslan deleted the tweet I have in the post.

    Also, I’ve updated the post with the Wapo’s editor’s note about their faulty reporting.

    Dana (643cd6)

  7. One thing you all need to know about Iranians before celebrating “de-escalation” is that as a people we never ever forget a slight. I mean never.

    And maybe that’s why Iran can’t have a thriving democracy where people are free to dissent.

    norcal (42c8d0)

  8. never mind…

    mg (8cbc69)

  9. Do you know who else remembers? Pepperidge Farms remembers.

    frosty (f27e97)

  10. “And maybe that’s why Iran can’t have a thriving democracy where people are free to dissent.”

    I thought Aslan’s comment was an ignorant and racist generalization and wondered how the msm would respond if a conservative had tweeted same.
    _

    harkin (d6cfee)

  11. Lol the WaPo ‘correction’.

    It follows the far-left/TDS standard for today’s media. 1) Attack Trump or anyone supporting him. 2) if no one objects, double down. 3) If evidence is presented showing original attack false, claim the situation is ‘complicated’ and then hope it goes away.

    harkin (d6cfee)

  12. Aslan is right about the Iranian ability (and liability) of holding onto every slight.
    I don’t want to overgeneralize and put this on all Iranians or even a majority, but the folks who are predisposed to grudge holding really are world class at.
    Shame too, I wish Aslan would acknowledge how that cycle really holds people back. Too much energy goes to emotion and revenge.
    Trump may have been flattering, but Iran is home to some very smart, very able people.

    Reminds me of the old line from back when the IRA was bombing everywhere and the Irish Catholics hated Irish Protestants and vice versa… the Irish are great… once you get them out of Ireland

    steveg (354706)

  13. @7. And maybe that’s why Iran can’t have a thriving democracy where people are free to dissent.

    Actually, they more or less did, until the United States and Britain sabotaged it:

    “The 1953 Iranian coup d’état, known in Iran as the 28 Mordad coup d’état (Persian : کودتای ۲۸ مرداد ‎), was the overthrow of the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in favour of strengthening the monarchical rule of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi on 19 August 1953, orchestrated by the United States (under the name TPAJAX Project or ” Operation Ajax “) and the United Kingdom (under the name ” Operation Boot “).” -source, wikiblackbagops

    Neocons conveniently forget there’s world history before 1979. And Aslan’s right; Iran won’t forget.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  14. The settlement is likely to prevent discovery where it would show how far their personnel slanted their opinion to trash this kid. Glad he got a boatload of money and hope he does the same with the rest of the Pravda media.

    NJRob (4fd2eb)

  15. the Irish are great… once you get them out of Ireland

    Sounds like something Mountbatten muttered– just before the micks blew him up in his boat.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  16. Imagine endorsing anything this idiot says:

    Reza Aslan

    @rezaaslan
    After today there is no longer any room for nuance. The President is a white nationalist terror leader. His supporters – ALL OF THEM – are by definition white nationalist terror supporters. The MAGA hat is a KKK hood. And this evil, racist scourge must be eradicated from society.

    _

    I’m sure his hate is based on indoctrination and ignorance and is not because of his race or nationality.

    harkin (d6cfee)

  17. Good for Nick Sandmann. Hope he puts the money to good use.

    nk (dbc370)

  18. Good for Nick Sandmann. Hope he puts the money to good use.

    Forget where I read it, but one article on this settlement suggested that Sandmann got somewhere in the mid-six figures as a settlement and that he plans to use it to go after NBC and the Washington Post.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  19. If Trump wins in November and the GOP has a good showing in Congressional races — perhaps even retaking the House — I wonder if we will come to see the Covington Catholic scandal as the shark-jumping moment for the crybully left. Would any journalist or academic be bold enough to trace the Trump comeback to that fateful afternoon on the Capitol steps?

    JVW (54fd0b)

  20. If Trump wins in November and the GOP has a good showing in Congressional races — perhaps even retaking the House — I wonder if we will come to see the Covington Catholic scandal as the shark-jumping moment for the crybully left.

    LOL

    Dave (65a95a)

  21. Sh!t like is why normal, decent people already voted for Trump, JVW. I will agree with you to that extent.

    nk (dbc370)

  22. Forget where I read it, but one article on this settlement suggested that Sandmann got somewhere in the mid-six figures as a settlement and that he plans to use it to go after NBC and the Washington Post.

    JVW (54fd0b) — 1/8/2020 @ 6:01 pm

    I was very curious how much he got. I am disappointed. CNN is a shoddy outfit, but nothing about their coverage was in bad faith, and criticizing these racist schmucks was something even Covington themselves did. We’ve seen the blackface basketball game and the tomahawk chanting. Maybe that’s no big deal, but it’s also fair game to criticize, and it’s a great thing to challenge the MAGA hat’s association with that kind of behavior. From the moment Trump said Muslim Ban I’ve been pleased to call them out for it.

    But the part that seemed to humiliate them the most was the absurd damage claims, in the hundreds of millions, simply because someone used freedom of speech. That they only got a tenth of a percent of what they asked for really should be read as a loss, not a win, but these things sometimes have a PR momentum. At least the world knows what these men are now.

    Dustin (d9d65a)

  23. The media cluster truck, concerning the Covington students, was born of the medias SOP of advancing a narrative, instead of reporting events as the happen.

    What made the event news, was Native American, versus, White, MAGA hat, Male, Privileged, Private Religious Student. Change either of those two variables, and no scribe takes the effort to open his laptop. Knowing his editor/producer would demote him to covering nursing home birthdays, for thinking such a non-event news worthy

    This is no honest mistake, or lack of due diligence. This was reported only for the purpose of advancing the, all whites > evil,narrative.

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  24. It was not really a non-event. Nice, decent kids from nice, decent families, on a trip to the Capital to exercise their First Amendment rights, were accosted by filthy, filthy-mouthed vagabonds, and harassed with filthy slurs and a filthy vagabond pounding a filthy drum in their faces. The kids were victims, the vagabonds were criminals who should have been arrested, but in a 180 degree inversion of values, the Fake News Media persecuted the kids because they were White, MAGA hat, Male, Privileged, Private Religious Students.

    nk (dbc370)

  25. @22 it sounds like you might be able to answer the implied question @16

    frosty (f27e97)

  26. CNN should have defended itself at a jury trial.
    And ask Mr Sandmann two questions
    1) How has becoming a poster boy of the Right benefited you?
    2) Have you sued Phillips and the multitude of other people who slandered you? Or only the emtities that like us have lots of money?

    Ambulance chasing remains ambulance chasing even when it’s for political causes.

    Kishnevi (474313)

  27. …[N]othing about their coverage was in bad faith…

    So this was in good faith?

    Meanwhile, Bakari Sellers, a CNN contributor, publicly mused about assaulting the 16-year-old Sandmann,

    And this went out without any regard to fact-checking?

    One such statement, included in a CNN opinion piece, accused the students of acting with “racist disrespect” towards Phillips.

    For CNN to claim that it was the unwitting victim of Mr Phillips, taken in by his story displays an amazing credulousness and inherent bias towards the type of sources (a known radical activist?! Really) whose word they will accept as gospel.

    “Reckless disregard” for facts, regarding a minor who was not a public figure UNTIL their broadcast made him one, is close enough to libel that I’d be shocked if they didn’t settle.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  28. ”At least the world knows what these men are now.”
    Dustin (d9d65a) — 1/8/2020 @ 6:37 pm

    Here I thought the Black Hebrew Israelites were responsible for anti-Semitic violence, but I guess it was those meddling Covington kids.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  29. Good for Nick Sandmann.
    See – The Truth About the “MAGA Kids” from Covington Catholic Story
    Nick Sandmann: The Truth in 15 Minutes
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSkpPaiUF8s

    New York Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964) – was wrong, has caused the
    loss of reputation, irreparably damaged the laws of defamation, led to
    irresponsible journalism/Fake News,spawned a national food fight and it is
    way past time to be corrected.
    https://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2295&context=journal_articles

    Recall also what the so called media did to Richard Jewell and recall the
    film Absence of Malice (1981) – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081974/
    GLZ.

    Gary L. Zerman (a1521c)

  30. @24. That’s a good assessment. I’m one of the lefty leaning people here, but I always thought this kid got a raw deal. You can tell he’s a good kid who was trying to keep the peace in a really sh*tty situation. I agree crap like this is why we have Trump.

    JRH (52aed3)

  31. Ambulance chasing remains ambulance chasing even when it’s for political causes.

    Well … a while back I opined that there was a time when if 16-year old Kentucky boys were accosted by some black vagabonds and a drum-pounding Indian, they would have handled the matter themselves by unlimbering their squirrel rifles or their skinning knives, but I was informed that we don’t allow that anymore, so I guess ambulance chasers it had to be.

    nk (dbc370)

  32. and criticizing these racist schmucks was something even Covington themselves did.

    I guess you didn’t read this part:

    Subsequent Post coverage, including video, reported these developments: ‘Viral standoff between a tribal elder and a high schooler is more complicated than it first seemed’; ‘Kentucky bishop apologizes to Covington Catholic students, says he expects their exoneration’; ‘Investigation finds no evidence of ‘racist or offensive statements’ in Mall incident.

    [emhasis added]

    The kids weren’t racist. Calling them that deliberately ignores evidence to the contrary. And Covington apologized for their criticism.

    Chuck Bartowski (6fff93)

  33. Perfectus, nk.

    mg (8cbc69)

  34. but I was informed that we don’t allow that anymore, so I guess ambulance chasers it had to be.

    The point is, the actual slandererd are CNN’s sources, and Phillips and all those Internet folks who piled on the accusations of racism. Strangely, Sandmann doesn’t seem to be suing them.

    Kishnevi (474313)

  35. the actual slandererd are CNN’s sources,

    But CNN is the publisher of the slanders and “publishing” — making public — is the gravamen of defamation.

    all those Internet folks who piled on the accusations of racism

    Under the post-Sullivan standard, even a private plaintiff has to show at least negligence. What truth was published for these consequent defamers to negligently disregard? All they knew was “what they read in the papers”. They are the damage to Sandmann’s reputation, not the damagers.

    nk (dbc370)

  36. The negligence was believing Phillips without checking him.

    And having CNN publish the slanders does not lessen tje liability of the original sources.

    So why isn’t Sandmann suing all those other people in addition to CNN?

    I repeat my original statement: ambulance chasing is ambulance chasing.

    Kishnevi (474313)

  37. The kids weren’t racist. Calling them that deliberately ignores evidence to the contrary. And Covington apologized for their criticism.

    Chuck Bartowski (6fff93) — 1/8/2020 @ 7:33 pm

    The kids weren’t really kids. I’ve heard these 17 year old men described as boys, as 15 year olds, etc.

    They were specifically referring to the man’s ethnicity in their mockery. Is it the end of the world? Nope. Racist? Objectively yes.

    Was Phillips or some other schmucks there just as bad? No they were actually worse in hindsight.

    Covington did indeed change their mind about condemning racism, which I found unsurprising after those photos of Covington blackface mockery of black athletes of other schools (apparently not too many blacks in Covington itself).

    I get that we’re supposed to blame CNN and Wapo. As usual they did a lousy job. But these men were not entitled to hundreds of millions of dollars because the situation they deliberately got involved with, walking up to the cameras and being racist, got them criticized for it.

    The real problem is that CNN didn’t dot their i’s and cross their t’s, but they would probably have settled either way. This guy in particular is a professional victim. They sue and sue and sue until giving them a little money is the cheapest option.

    What they could have said was “yes, that was offensive, but it was heat of the moment, and consider how we were faced with an offensive valor stealing liar” Instead, they said “shut up about me or I’ll get the government to shut you up.” I’m not a fan of the approach they took.

    Dustin (d9d65a)

  38. So why isn’t Sandmann suing all those other people in addition to CNN?

    I thought I answered that, but I guess my answer was so good that you want more. Ok.
    1. Do they have money? Even the “few measly thousand” in costs and attorney time?
    2. A plaintiff is entitled to only one recovery, even from joint and several tortfeasors. When you can get all of it from one rich one, why bother to sue the poor ones for the partial amounts? Let CNN implead them for contribution if it wants to.
    3. Sandmann is in fact suing NBC and The Washington Post. I don’t know how the CNN settlement will affect those suits; and I further very much doubt that it’s a “Mary Carter” whereby CNN might get some some of it back if Sandmann wins big against NBC and WaPo. They can also implead their joint tortfeasors if they want to.

    nk (dbc370)

  39. Here I thought the Black Hebrew Israelites were responsible for anti-Semitic violence, but I guess it was those meddling Covington kids.

    Munroe (dd6b64) — 1/8/2020 @ 7:15 pm

    I don’t understand this argument. The anti-semites are responsible for their behavior. The white supremacist blackface Covington guys are responsible for theirs. Lots of racists hate eachother. In fact that’s largely the point.

    You’ve been really invested in defending the Covington racists, so I’m surprised you haven’t put more thought into it. Also, FYI the civil war was about slavery, MLK was a hero, Obama was born in Hawaii, some racist winning .01% of what he demanded isn’t a win.

    Dustin (d9d65a)

  40. R.I.P. Buck Henry, screenwriter and creator of “Get Smart”

    Icy (d4acbc)

  41. How were the Cov kids racist? How did they reference the guy’s ethnicity? honest question, not trying to be coy.

    JRH (52aed3)

  42. I know some of the kids did a tomahawk chop and chanted along. It was a super tense situation. pressure was going to have to get relieved somehow, and I think these kids opted for silliness and cohesion. (not Sandmann who opted for a kind of dignified stoicness.). but the kids who chopped. They were acting the way they act at football games, which is being silly kids, meeting the chanting indian with an indian chant. I think it’s a stretch to call it racist.

    JRH (52aed3)

  43. How were the Cov kids racist? How did they reference the guy’s ethnicity? honest question, not trying to be coy.

    JRH (52aed3) — 1/8/2020 @ 9:00 pm

    Of course that’s a reasonable question.

    I know some of the kids did a tomahawk chop and chanted along.

    That’s what I mean.

    not Sandmann who opted for a kind of dignified stoicness

    Munroe is really fixated on just the one, but I don’t know any of these people and don’t see any point in naming them. The group did that stuff. These young men were acting stupid for attention, and they got that attention they sought, and now they want criticism shut down. There are a million worse things in the world, but the speech should be protected anyway.

    Dustin (d9d65a)

  44. When I say cohesion. They needed pep they acted like they act at a pep rally. Good way to face hate and stress.

    JRH (52aed3)

  45. cheers. cross posted.

    JRH (52aed3)

  46. By rules of engagement they were military aged males?
    Because in afghanistan and iraq, the 12 year olds carry AK 47’s or at least shuttle ammo?

    Dustin.

    I don’t believe the evidence supports this kid as being a “white supremacist, blackface Covington racist”

    steveg (354706)

  47. These young men were acting stupid for attention, and they got that attention they sought, and now they want criticism shut down.

    These young men were accosted first by a vile nut-job hate group and then by a professional victim experienced in media relations; they acted like virtually all teenaged boys would act in that situation, even if they were insensitive by the standards of adults judging them from the safety of their couches thousands of miles away; and now they want some compensation for having been made the focus of left-wing mob hatred by the national media.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  48. @37

    The kids weren’t really kids.

    They are minors. Phillips and the BHI are most definitely not minors.

    They were specifically referring to the man’s ethnicity in their mockery

    Can you give the details on this? I’m guessing “they” is the kids and the man is Phillips. I’m not aware of evidence that the kids specifically mocked Phillips’ ethnicity.

    because the situation they deliberately got involved with, walking up to the cameras and being racist, got them criticized for it.

    Phillips has admitted that he approached the kids. The Black Hebrew Israelites also initiated the interaction with the kids. The kids were collecting at a designated place where they were supposed to be picked up.

    The kids did not walk up to the cameras and the evidence for racism is based on their numbers, the maga hats, and them being white.

    frosty (f27e97)

  49. I know some of the kids did a tomahawk chop and chanted along.

    That’s what I mean.

    Isn’t

    white supremacist

    and there’s no evidence this was targeted at Phillips specifically.

    My biggest interest in this situation is more what it says about everyone besides the kids. From what we know now, if you’re still putting this on the kids and labeling this incident white supremacy that says more about you than it does the kids.

    frosty (f27e97)

  50. Question to those who believe the kids were racist and in the wrong: If the situation unfolded exactly as it did but the kids weren’t in MAGA hats, would that make a difference in how you would view the subsequent lawsuits?

    Dana (643cd6)

  51. Dana, I hadn’t thought about it before, but I really don’t think the MAGA hats make any difference in how I view the anti-speech lawfare. These huge, absurd damage demands are hundreds or thousands of times as high as a wrongful death. This man saying criticizing his greatness is like killing hundreds of people is obviously BS. He wanted to extort some kind of payout, and hoped the PR damage and the promise of endless litigation from a rich guy would force the issue, and shut down the mean yet seemingly honest criticism.

    Many Americans express very strong negative opinions of these men after fully understanding all the qualifications about the ‘other bad people who exist’. We understand there were also bad people who happened to be liberals, and yet we still want to express what we want to express. Munroe warned me a while back maybe I’d get sued. That’s the idea. There is tremendous fascist power in these egregious lawsuits and I personally and more than refusing to shut up about these racist schmucks. In fact, the lawsuits are literally the only reason I even care.

    Dustin (d9d65a)

  52. Hey Dustin, still waiting for your review of that Richard Jewell movie. Thumbs up?

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  53. The kids were victims on a massive scale and I hope they all get millions like Richard Jewell as their lives will forever be linked with this travesty and on a web search their names will always come up associated with how the media trashed them and called them horrific things.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  54. @51 So, not the hats? I wonder what else is giving them away.

    Basically, you want to be able to attack these kids without consequences because you don’t like them.

    frosty (f27e97)

  55. @51 So, not the hats? I wonder what else is giving them away.

    Basically, you want to be able to attack these kids without consequences because you don’t like them.

    frosty (f27e97) — 1/8/2020 @ 11:38 pm

    Your summary of my position is dishonest. Do you really want to be a troll like Munroe?

    I believe that racism (clearly and plainly described, whether you agree or not) and lawfare (clearly explained, whether you agree or not) are indeed worthy of criticism. Covington students have used blackface to mock black people pretty recently, and used tomahawk chops and chants to mock a native american. I criticize the group generally, and have tried, more or less, to leave it at that general level. The only real reason I keep it up is because I am defiant against lawfare.

    I do indeed support a right to criticize others. I similarly support a right of the criticized to respond with their own criticisms. This is known as “Freedom of Speech.” Do you not support this right?

    I do not know what you mean by ‘attack without consequences’ and if someone were to assault these men they should be prosecuted whether I like them or not. This seems like a pretty hysterical issue to raise.

    Dustin (d9d65a)

  56. on a web search their names will always come up associated with how the media trashed them and called them horrific things.

    NJRob (4d595c) — 1/8/2020 @ 11:11 pm

    Indeed. I have no idea how much money they got, but I think most of them got nothing, and one of them some shockingly tiny fraction of what he insisted he deserved. But that’s after the court kept throwing his lawsuit out, and after he kept filing lawsuits, so it’s basically like he harassed someone into paying him to go away, and not like he won a victory in the court of law.

    It’s almost as though it wasn’t really that bad that those web searches express opinions that he doesn’t want people to express.

    God bless America, land that I love
    Stand beside her and guide her
    Through the night with the light from above
    From the mountains to the prairies
    To the oceans white with foam
    God bless America, my home sweet home
    God bless America, land that I love
    Stand beside her and guide her
    Through the night with the light from above
    From the mountains to the prairies
    To the oceans white with foam
    God bless America, my home sweet home
    From the mountains to the prairies
    To the oceans white with foam
    God bless America, my home sweet home
    God bless America, my home sweet home

    Dustin (d9d65a)

  57. These young men were accosted first by a vile nut-job hate group and then by a professional victim experienced in media relations;

    True

    they acted like virtually all teenaged boys would act in that situation, even if they were insensitive by the standards of adults judging them from the safety of their couches thousands of miles away;

    They were not passive victims. They approached and sought this interaction. They wanted to be judged and were certainly old enough to understand the troll they were engaged in. These were not 10 year olds with lollipops innocently waiting at the school bus.

    and now they want some compensation for having been made the focus of left-wing mob hatred by the national media.

    JVW (54fd0b) — 1/8/2020 @ 9:25 pm

    Yes one of the weird ones wants hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars to shut down the speech, clearly to manipulate the story, and the courts tossed the claim out, but he just kept suing and now he got some unknown (but likely relatively microscopic) amount.

    But what’s really fascinating is how the media (which is not left wing) really needs to perpetuate this idea that white men are victims, so they can be outraged all the time. Waste of life, if you ask me. These racist shmucks looked like racist shmucks. It is unfortunate that they documented their problem with native Americans for all to see. I honestly wish the internet wasn’t like that. There’s a reason I try not to use their names, and instead criticize Covington’s culture generally. The school instantly recognized the racism, and had recent history with blackface crap. They did respond to the right’s insistence this was some great victimization and backtrack, but they knew.

    Anyway, hopefully young men who encounter angry racists temper their reaction when they jump in front of cameras. If they too act racist, someone might call them racist. The only real problem with it is that 17 year olds learn from their dumb mistakes and the hate they were raised with, sometimes, and the internet remembers stuff for far too long.

    But you can think Munroe and these kids for constantly Streisand Effecting this issue. I personally have never brought it up.

    Dustin (d9d65a)

  58. Agenda driven media should back off on hoaxing after this debacle.

    mg (8cbc69)

  59. I would imagine the material in discovery is why cnn settled. Probably instructions from the top brass.

    mg (8cbc69)

  60. Maggie Habberman look out.
    I’m not sure but I think one of the lawyers is one who worked for Richard Jewel. He may not win but this guy knows what questions to ask.

    mg (8cbc69)

  61. I would imagine the material in discovery is why cnn settled. Probably instructions from the top brass.

    I would imagine their insurance company who would pay any settlement lead a discussion that

    if (settlement $$) * (%chance of loss) + Legal Fees <= (settlement amount)
    then settle.

    In my real world job I’ve been involved in situations where that’s exactly what our legal staff demanded. I was opposed because the plaintiff was wrong.

    Our lawyer’s patiently explained that they didn’t care about that on any level and I was being unhelpful.

    At this point there’s no way to tell if if CNN threw a truck load of money at this, or if the plaintiff took a small settlement because that was the best they were going to get. But if it makes you feel better to think that this validates your priors feel free.

    Time123 (306531)

  62. *lawyers

    Time123 (306531)

  63. The MAGA hat was determinative for CNN, NBC and WaPo. They tried to destroy these kids because they thought it would hurt Trump.

    And that further answers Kishnevi’s question — why the “ambulance chasers” are going after CNN, NBC and WaPo, and not the little guys. The little guys are on a more or less equal footing with the kids in “the marketplace of ideas” and expressing their own personal beliefs. The Big Fake News Media are 800-pound gorillas with political agendas on 100s of millions of TV sets who did not care whom they smeared as long as some of the dirt splattered on Trump.

    nk (dbc370)

  64. Having settled – guilty as charged

    mg (8cbc69)

  65. Anyway, I think we have pretty much exhausted this discussion.

    Let’s talk about that racist punk David who knocked down poor Goliath with a rock just because Goliath was Philistine (who did not extend his pinkie when drinking his tea, I guess) and then cut off his head with his own sword. And then he called Saul! What was that all about?

    nk (dbc370)

  66. Well wearing blackface makes you a racist, unless your a Democrat governor.

    bud (b48f3e)

  67. @55

    Your summary of my position is dishonest.

    I really don’t think it is. You are mixing several issues together that aren’t related and in some cases making false statements.

    They were not passive victims. They approached and sought this interaction. They wanted to be judged and were certainly old enough to understand the troll they were engaged in. These were not 10 year olds with lollipops innocently waiting at the school bus.

    They did not approach or seek out that interaction. I’ve mentioned this at least once already and you can know this from even a cursory review of the facts we know now. This was also easy to verify early on.

    You are doing what you can to elevate them to adult status to make it easier to put blame on them. But the facts are what they are and you clearly know they are minors.

    Covington students have used blackface … instead criticize Covington’s culture generally

    You are using one thing from the culture generally to help support the charges of racism in this incident with Phillips and against Sandman specifically. You can claim you aren’t but it’s right there in your comments. The blackface incident wasn’t known when the media was lying about these kids and it can’t be used to support any of the actions immediately following the incident with Phillips. We can go into details about the blackface incident but you are twisting this into something it isn’t and it doesn’t support your charge against the culture generally.

    The school instantly recognized the racism

    The school instantly caved to overwhelming public pressure and this type of reaction is exactly why these legal efforts are important.

    But what’s really fascinating is how the media (which is not left wing) really needs to perpetuate this idea that white men are victims

    Are you’re saying the media threw these kids in the chipper to feed the larger narrative of white victimhood? Some sort of false flag operation?

    I do indeed support a right to criticize others. I similarly support a right of the criticized to respond with their own criticisms. This is known as “Freedom of Speech.” Do you not support this right?

    I do support this right. This situation went beyond that. I’m not sure an objective read of your comments says that you believe in a balanced version of this.

    I do not know what you mean by ‘attack without consequences’ and if someone were to assault these men they should be prosecuted whether I like them or not. This seems like a pretty hysterical issue to raise.

    Normally, I’m on the side of saying words are not actions and I push back against using the word attack in the context of free speech.

    In this case, the media, and others, negligently made false public statements. Statements that could have been checked but weren’t. This led to action against these kids that have real effects. When better information was made available the media, and others, continued to lie and obfuscate the issue. Even now you’re perpetuating false information about these kids generally and Sandman specifically. This is a textbook case for defamation and you call it lawfare, i.e. you want to engage in defamation without the consequences that can result from that. These kids have a right to seek compensatory, general, and punitive damages and I wish them luck. This was more than a spirited exchange of ideas.

    Do you really want to be a troll like Munroe?

    I’m responding to your false statements as fairly as I can. I’m not trying to attack or offend you but I can’t find a better way to accurately describe your position. I’ll accept that you may honestly believe what you are saying, although that is getting increasingly difficult given the gap between your statements and the facts. It’s pretty clear that you, like many of the people reacting to this issue, initially saw the white guy smirking at the native American, embraced the white racism narrative, and are continuing to interpret any new information to support that rather than reevaluate.

    frosty (f27e97)

  68. nk (dbc370) — 1/8/2020 @ 8:30 pm

    You are thinking too much like a lawyer, nk!

    If Sandmann was really interested in making those responsible for “slandering” him accountable, he would be suing, at the very least. Phillips and his associates, no matter how little money he might get out of them. The example would help curb future incidents of slanders when other Phillips-types try to provoke normal people.

    But Sandmann is only suing the deep pockets. Which means to me he (or at least, his lawyer) is only interested in getting as big a payout as possible

    Which is why I call it ambulance chasing.

    kishnevi (496414)

  69. The little guys are on a more or less equal footing with the kids in “the marketplace of ideas” and expressing their own personal beliefs.

    Phillips had ready access to people willing to put out his story for him, Sandmann did not, until well after the incident. So Sandmann was not on an equal footing even with the “little people” who baying after him.

    kishnevi (496414)

  70. “racist”, “fascist”, “troll”

    How very Black Hebrew Israelite of you, Dustin.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  71. If Sandmann was really interested in making those responsible for “slandering” him accountable, he would be suing, at the very least. Phillips and his associates, no matter how little money he might get out of them.

    This would only reinforce the narrative of the white man trying to oppress the minorities who were only exercising their free speech. Or rather, the

    tremendous fascist power in these egregious lawsuits

    frosty (f27e97)

  72. The mistake was thinking: Better call Saul
    I laugh every time I think of the creative team sitting around building a character who is a crappy but cunning lawyer in New Mexico who renames himself Saul so clients will think he is a Jewish lawyer. I’ve never seen any more than snippets of an episode, but I can see why some people would like it.
    Maybe I’ll put it on my binge watch list for my 95th birthday

    steveg (354706)

  73. The Covington kids, before that march in DC were obscure teens without much of an internet profile. Their job prospects were pretty good; they had a future they could possibly create for themselves. Until they became internet villains, they were not public figures.

    CNN did not just strip them of their reputations. They made them awful right wingers and probable racists for the next 10-20 years. When they go for jobs, and get their credentials checked — guess what story is going to come up?

    There is a cost here for the infamy imposed on the Covington kids that is real. The professionals who promoted a narrative without checking their facts really ought to pay for it, even if they do have deep pockets. There is a big difference between people who choose to play in the public arena, and those who get dragged into it.

    Appalled (80bbda)

  74. Appalled (80bbda) — 1/9/2020 @ 8:40 am

    They promoted the narrative but they did not originate it. Which is why it is at least as important to go after the people who actually originated it (Phillips and his associates) as it is to go after CNN. Do you think Phillips really cares how much CNN has to pay? (For that matter, what about the CNN personnel who were directly involved?) Until you put the hurt on Phillips and his ilk in some way, the problem just moves on.

    kishnevi (496414)

  75. I’ve never seen any more than snippets of an episode

    Me neither. Not a big fan of Breaking Bad, either. But they’re in the culture for the time being.

    nk (dbc370)

  76. Iranians better not bomb them.

    nk (dbc370)

  77. #19

    If Trump wins in November and the GOP has a good showing in Congressional races — perhaps even retaking the House — I wonder if we will come to see the Covington Catholic scandal as the shark-jumping moment for the crybully left. Would any journalist or academic be bold enough to trace the Trump comeback to that fateful afternoon on the Capitol steps?

    JVW (54fd0b) — 1/8/2020 @ 6:03 pm

    Remember…this happened right after the Kavanaugh fiasco.

    I’ve mentioned this before, but it was the Covington and Kavanaugh ordeal that solidified my opposition to Democrats such that I will crawl over broken glass to vote for any GOP candidates…and that includes Trump (where I *was* debating to just stay home).

    whembly (fd57f6)

  78. Reza Aslan
    @rezaaslan
    .
    Look I honestly don’t know why you are so interested but you seem like a nice person so I will answer you. I actually thought I had deleted that tweet a long time ago, after I clearly addressed my intention in writing it.

    Reza Aslan
    @rezaaslan
    ·
    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

    __ _

    Not Eric Ciaramella
    @dabrewman7

    Engage CYA mode..

    Mix in accusations as a smokescreen..

    That should do.

    Don’t fail me Rules for Radicals
    __ _

    Eileen McGuire
    @LovieMcGuire
    ·
    “When it was just me against a teen it was cool, when lawyers got involved my wife wanted to keep our money.”
    __ _

    s0ur lem0ns
    @KrexPershing
    ·
    “I actually thought I had deleted that tweet a long time ago”

    If I had a dollar for every time I saw that retweeted over the previous year, I could pay for CNN’s lawsuit.
    __ _

    harkin (d6cfee)

  79. I could see the Covington starting the ball rolling- however, the Kavanaugh episode played out a few days before even the first of the early voting periods took place (confirmation was Oct. 6, 2018 – I remember the day clearly because of the CPD Officer Jason Van Dyke (16 shots) trial here in Chicago and I prayed for the cosmic trade-off – Kavanaugh confirmed but JVD convicted, much like my Cubs/Trump tradeoff in 2016).

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  80. On the Wall thread, urbanleftbehind wrote:

    That might also explain your “cape” on behalf of the Covington kids.

    It certainly does, Ollie. And why Parkland resonated with a lot of parents. The Covington kids and the Parkland kids could be our kids.

    nk (dbc370)

  81. I wonder if we will come to see the Covington Catholic scandal as the shark-jumping moment for the crybully left.

    Absolutely we will. It’s just like Richard Jewel is the talking point. We can see how the MAGA crowd likes to repeat what they are told.

    If Trump wins in November and the GOP has a good showing in Congressional races

    Big if. Are these clowns someone the American people can identify with? I think the sort of person who opens a web browser and goes to Gateway Pundit, hoping to be outraged, will find what they needed. They were surrounded by the ‘real racists’ who are conveniently black and brown. And don’t let my answer to Dana confuse: MAGA does overlap with white supremacist, more or less.

    But Richard Jewell was far more representative of normal Americans. Rather than smirking down on society, Jewell tried to work his way up and genuinely wanted to help people and be appreciated. Even with tons of cleverly gained media attention and a more honest narrative, his movie is (sadly) a flop.

    I’m guessing the mood in Biden’s staff suite is brighter than the mood in the west wing today. There’s a sense Trump can’t handle the heat these days, and reacted to impeachment with that clumsy disaster in Iran. Will people who don’t know what Stormfront, Aceofspades, and Gateway Pundit, people who don’t really care when confederate statues are removed, people who don’t describe black people as black, even remember Covington?

    But I concede your point. Trump supporters love this issue and want it to be a huge one, which is amusing, as they know they are Streisand Effecting the supposed victim that everyone would have forgotten about by now, without their cynical politics.

    Dustin (d9d65a)

  82. Until you put the hurt on Phillips and his ilk in some way, the problem just moves on.

    This is just silly. Hurt on Phillips and his Freon Ranger empire? There’s nothing there to hurt. Though AIUI, he will be sued later. Once there’s some money available to sue him with. But then when he does get sued, the argument will be “look how spiteful this kid is. He already got his money from CNN (and WaPo and etc. etc. etc….hopefully). That said, even suing Phillips is a bit weak. It’s not (entirely) Phillips’ fault, though he did aid the MSM culprits later on. The only justifiable reason to sue him is because he told his side of the story to the media. It was the media, IIRC, that sought him out based on a viral video. Because of the media spotlight he was put in a vulnerable position himself. An aspiring lawyer with nothing better to do could make a name for himself helping Phillips sue CNN, etc. for similar reasons. Though with him, much more than Sandmann, CNN, etc. would have the out of him making himself a public personality, or whatever the legal term for that excuse is. But hey, no such thing as bad publicity right?

    I offer the latter partly in jest but partly as it feels like this place some sort of home for lame and wayward arguments. In the short time I’ve been visiting here, I’ve heard some real doozies. Labor value theory, Christmas ruined by little children singing Away in the Manger off key, Shooting Adm. Yamamoto out of the sky actually helped Japan in WWII, lighthouses visible from beaches 100 miles away (even in daylight!). It’s like a journey to some other dimension. A journey into a land whose boundaries are that of imagination. To put it nicely.

    PTw (894877)

  83. “Punchable faces?!?!”

    Wrestle w/this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkHqCEu9ogs

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  84. lol @ Munroe. This has “cost-of-defense settlement” written all over it.

    Sandman will make more self-publishing his “I, Snowflake” memoir than he will from this settlement.

    Leviticus (7fcc89)

  85. PTw (894877) — 1/9/2020 @ 10:50 am

    It’s my understanding that Phillip and his associates were the sources of the lie, and actively helped propagate it. CNN is at fault for not fact checking, but Phillips actively lied.

    Kishnevi (8f80b4)

  86. How very Black Hebrew Israelite of you, Dustin.

    Munroe (dd6b64) — 1/9/2020 @ 7:55 am

    To think you are sincerely angry and you came here to troll. You’re doing it wrong!

    Dustin (d9d65a)

  87. 65. nk (dbc370) — 1/9/2020 @ 6:04 am

    David who knocked down poor Goliath with a rock just because Goliath was Philistine (who did not extend his pinkie when drinking his tea, I guess) and then cut off his head with his own sword. And then he called Saul! What was that all about?

    What happened there was that Goliath went around saying: Why should all these people be killed? Let’s make war more humane by having only two people fight and whoever wins, we;ll declare won the battle. Goliath was a giant, very tall, taller even than Saul. Nobody from Israel was willing to stand up to him as he strutted about.

    Noe David was sent by his father to deliver some food to older brothers, who were in the army. And he heard what was going on and he didn’t like it that he was taunting the armies of the living God. David took religion seriously and it meant something to him. As you know, he composed psalms.. And he asked what would happen to the man that kills the Philistine, and people were saying the king (Saul) will make him very rich, and give him his daughter as wife (this really happened) and exempt his family from the draft or taxes.

    His oldest brother saw him and accused him of coming there just to watch the battle. David said that he was just talking. And as he continued to ask he got taken before Saul (whom he actually knew, although Saul did not recognize him, because he played the harp and used to calm down Saul who was already suffering from his periods of mania.)

    And David said to Saul he would take up the challenge of Goliath. And Saul said to him: What are you talking about? You are a teenager and this man has been a man of war from his youth. David said to him he had fought off a bear and a lion already and that uncircumcised Philistine will end up like one of them. God, who saved me from the lion and the bear, will save me from him.

    So Saul gave him his blessings.

    And he gave him his armor but David had trouble walking with that on. So he took them off and he picked up a few smooth stones and he put them in his shepherd’s bag and with them he went off to challenge Goliath.

    Goliath was carrying on, preceded by his shield bearer and said: What am I a dog that you come after me with sticks. They spoke to each other, and you can read in any Bible more or less what they said, and when Goliath approached him, David fired off a stone with a slingshot, knocked him out, and killed Goliath with his own sword.

    And then the Philistines all panicked and ran.

    The Italian Renaissance sculptor Michelangelo made a statue of Goliath, but he said it was that of David. When asked how he did it, he said he had chopped away all that was not David Goliath.

    Sammy Finkelman (2cb3c3)

  88. 85 Phillips kept changing his lie as more became known.

    Sammy Finkelman (2cb3c3)

  89. The statue was not meant to be Goliath. Among other things, it depicts David resting the slingshot on his shoulder.

    But Michelangelo did say something about taking away everything that was not the statue.

    Kishnevi (8f80b4)

  90. But the statue is gigantic and the man is uncircumcized

    It has to be Goliath, disguised as David.

    Sammy Finkelman (2cb3c3)

  91. I saw, just after I left this comment, a television commercial about Goliath and David on Channel 2 in New York, before Stephen Colbert’s Late show.

    It was for the law firm of Jacoby & Myers.

    Sammy Finkelman (2cb3c3)

  92. No you

    Leviticus (44101b)

  93. (For the record, my last comment is in response to a comment that is no longer there, possibly removed in violation of this site’s policies for the promotion of ethical discourse).

    Leviticus (44101b)

  94. (Come see the violence inherent in the system)

    Leviticus (44101b)

  95. I’m curious as to the inside baseball between Sandmann and the schoolmates who went on the trip…I got a feeling fingers will be pointed at “the one real racist kid” with social media fair game:

    https://www.foxnews.com/media/cnn-sandmann-covington-students-lawyers

    urbanleftbehind (495d2c)

  96. UBL,

    That’s one reason why I’d rather be critical of the school or the group in general, or the behavior itself (hate the sin not the sinner). Making this about one particular kid, naming him a million times, it’s counterproductive. It wasn’t newsworthy and is just kinda one of those stupid things kids have to learn to be better than. The huge lawsuits… that’s newsworthy and important though.

    Dustin (e9f606)

  97. Hmmm… Let me see if I can state this more acceptably. People who engage in victim blaming, people who mock a young minor-aged person who handled himself quite well under the circumstances, but who was persecuted in the mass media by contemptible people, people like that are worthy of any hatred and contempt that may come their way. Certainly more so than this young man. Is it OK to say that here? Understand you might not agree. Just sayin’.

    PTw (49889c)


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