by Karl Denninger, Market Ticker:
Plenty of time has passed and enough video has been posted to make clear that the students from Covington were not in any way in the wrong. They did not accost a man playing a drum, said person misrepresented who he is and has done so before, there were racial slurs being hurled at the kids, not by the kids, and they exhibited incredible restraint. They also stood their ground, an admirable quality and their absolute right given that they were in a public place and they did so calmly and without responding to the obvious and outrageous provocation to which they were exposed.
Those who called them all sorts of names without evidence, as ordinary citizens, now have evidence and have a duty to retract and apologize. Those who called them all sorts of names as journalists had a duty to investigate before calling names; they owe an even deeper duty.
Some have retracted and apologized. It’s not enough, but it likely keeps them away from a civil judgment for libel or slander. Those who silently removed their social media posts, however, should not escape liability; they must apologize as well.
The rest — the many who have not only refused to retract and apologize but in some cases have continued to pile on, have no excuse and should be sued to beyond the orbit of Mars for libel and/or slander, be bankrupted and asset-stripped to their underwear.
These kids are not public figures and thus there is no immunity and requirement for actual malice — although that standard certainly appears to be met in this instance as well.
Further, if any of the crazies who have made threats actually carry any of them out the media organizations, celebrities and politicians who slammed these kids without performing one scintilla of due diligence on the story first must be named as accessories before the fact to whatever criminal acts take place.