by Karl Denninger, Market Ticker:
The Washington comPost is going to be the new name, I suspect….
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.
This should be amusing to watch.
The kid has a very strong case. Not just on the facts, which are going to be extremely hard to argue over — but due to who he is.
He’s not a public figure and he is a minor.
Further, the media deliberately ignored the fact (which they knew about) that Phillips, almost-immediately after accosting Sandmann, tried to crash a Catholic Mass at the nearby cathedral — and was repelled by security.
Most of the time it’s hard to sue a newspaper or other publication (online or not) because the person who wants to do the suing is in some way a public figure. They are themselves a reporter, they’re a CEO who has made some sort of political statement, or their firm (or themselves!) has injected themselves into a public controversy. Once you do that the public figure standard of proof, which requires malice, knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard for the truth attaches and that’s an extremely high bar to clear.
But Sandmann is none of those. He’s a private citizen, he has no record of public activism of any sort, he took no public stand on anything (no, going to Washington DC on a field trip doesn’t count) and the video evidence is quite-conclusive that neither he or anyone else in his group did anything wrong or provocative.
The clear record of the Washington comPost, on the other hand, is also clear; they are most-certainly not “equal opportunity critics” by any stretch of the imagination, and that too should be trivially demonstrable.
This is going to be fun to watch.