Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, February 19, 2019
Attorneys representing the Kentucky high school student involved in a confrontation that went viral on social media last month announced Tuesday that they were suing The Washington Post for $250 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Kentucky, accused The Post of practicing “a modern-day form of McCarthyism” by targeting Nicholas Sandmann and “using its vast financial resources to enter the bully pulpit by publishing a series of false and defamatory print and online articles … to smear a young boy who was in its view an acceptable casualty in their war against the president.”
The lawsuit claims The Post “ignored the truth” about the incident and says the paper “falsely accused Nicholas of … ‘accost[ing]’ Phillips by ‘suddenly swarm[ing]’ him in a ‘threaten[ing]’ and ‘physically intimidat[ing]’ manner … ‘block[ing]’ Phillips path, refusing to allow Phillips ‘to retreat,’ ‘taunting the dispersing indigenous crowd,’ [and] chanting, ‘Build that wall,’ ‘Trump2020,’ or ‘Go back to Africa,’ and otherwise engaging in racist and improper conduct. …”Sandmann’s attorneys accuse The Post of publishing seven “false and defamatory” articles about the incident between Jan. 19 and 21 and claim the paper “knew and intended that its false and defamatory accusations would be republished by others, including media outlets and others on social media.”
Earlier this month, Sandmann’s attorneys sent preservation letters to more than 50 media organizations, celebrities and politicians — including The Post, The New York Times, CNN, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and actors Alyssa Milano and Jim Carrey — the first step in possible libel and defamation lawsuits.