By Jon Dougherty
The attorney representing the Covington, Ky., Catholic high schooler who is suing theÂ Washington Post for defamation blasted the paper on Monday for its half-assed ‘apology’ over its erroneous coverage of his client.
Lin Wood, who is representing student Nicolas Sandmann in a $250 million lawsuit seeking compensatory and punitive damages, accused the Post of attempting to paste over its false report in an ‘Editor’s note’ over the weekend.
The suit claims that the paper’s coverage of a confrontation between his client and Native American activist Nathan Phillips in Washington, D.C., following a March for Life event attended by Sandmann and his classmates was slanderous and erroneous, as well as harmful to his client’s reputation.
The Post — like so many other ‘mainstream’ media outlets — portrayed MAGA hat-wearing Sandmann and his classmates as racist bigots who berated Phillips because of his Native American heritage, when in fact, video evidence proves that Phillips initiated the contact. The editor’s note was a disgraceful attempt to paper over the Post’s mistakes, Wood noted.
In a statement, Wood said that the Post’s attempt to â€œwhitewash its wrongdoing were untimely, grossly insufficient and did little more than perpetuate the lies it published â€“ lies that will haunt and adversely impact Nicholas for the rest of his life.â€
â€œLate last Friday evening, 41 days after it launched its false attacks on a minor, the Post published an Editorâ€™s Note and delivered to Nicholasâ€™ lawyers a letter from its General Counsel, Jay Kennedy,” Wood continued.
“With its unlimited financial resources, the Post likely spent tens of thousands of dollars on media defense lawyers to publicly parse and spin its false coverage in an effort to avoid accountability and limit its legal responsibility for its wrongdoing. The Postâ€™s efforts were too little and too late,â€ he added.
Wood noted further that â€œthe Post ignored its own culpability and wrongdoing. Mr. Kennedyâ€™s letter stated that the Post â€˜provided accurate coverage.â€™ It did not and its belated public relations efforts change nothing and fool no one. The Post made no effort to retract and correct the lies it published.â€
The defense lawyer said that the Editorâ€™s Note did not â€œadmit its negligent and reckless violations of fundamental journalistic standards documented by its complete failure to investigate the incident at the National Mall before publishing lies about a child.â€ Wood also pointed to the paper’s ownÂ policies and standardsÂ that their coverage violated.
â€œFalse accusations against an adult destroy a lifetime of accomplishments. False accusations against children forever rob them of their inherent right to define their lives for themselves and force them to suffer a life tainted and damaged by the permanent shadow of the lies,â€ the statement continued.
â€œLast Friday night the Post made clear that it has learned no lesson and remains willing in the future to falsely attack others to further its political agenda, including false attacks on children,” said Wood, noting further that the paper â€œhas now doubled down on its lies.”
For the record, billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos paid $250 million for the Post — the same amount as Sandmann’s lawsuit.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10