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Trump cheers on MAGA teen's absurd lawsuit waging war on the press

The MAGA hat-wearing Kentucky teen who stared down a Native American protester on the National Mall sued the Washington Post for $250 million in damages, and Trump cheered him on.

By Emily Singer - February 20, 2019
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Donald Trump

Using the courts to make a political point is usually frowned upon by judges, whose time is best spent on actual legal issues.

Yet Covington Catholic high school student Nick Sandmann’s absurd lawsuit against the Washington Post — which reads like a laundry list of GOP attack lines against the media rather than a legitimate legal document — was cheered on by Trump on Wednesday.

“Covington student suing WAPO. Go get them Nick. Fake News!” Trump tweeted.

Sandmann, who was thrust into the national spotlight when a video of him in a Trump hat staring down a Native American protester on the National Mall went viral, is suing the Washington Post for a cool $250 million.

The lawsuit claims that amount is what Jeff Bezos paid for the newspaper, and will “teach the Post a lesson it will never forget.” That comes after the lawsuit claims that Sandmann did not “bring this lawsuit to use the judicial system to further a political agenda.”

Except that’s exactly what this lawsuit seeks to do.

It reads like a piece of GOP propaganda against the media, a message Trump has pushed to try and absolve himself of responsibility in a litany of legal and ethical scandals that ensnare his presidency.

The lawsuit claims with no proof that the Washington Post only wrote the story about Sandmann because it “wanted to advance its well-known and easily documented, biased agenda against President Donald J. Trump.”

Apparently Sandmann and his legal team believe factual reporting on the unethical behavior and legal problems surrounding Trump constitutes “bias.”

It goes on to claim the Washington Post “target[ed] Nicholas in furtherance of its political agenda,” and “wanted to lead the charge against this child because he was a pawn in its political war against its political adversary — a war so disconnected and beyond the comprehension of Nicholas that it might as well have been science fiction.”

“‘The Washington Post ignored basic journalistic standards because it wanted to advance its well-known and easily documented biased agenda against President Donald J. Trump,” Trump tweeted, quoting from the farcical lawsuit.

The lawsuit, which doesn’t appear to be on sound legal footing in the first place, then begins to fall apart when it admits that the Washington Post wasn’t even the first outlet to report on the standoff between Sandmann and the Native American protester.

“The Post was the one of the first, if not the first, mainstream media outlet to expand coverage of the January 18 incident from social media to mainstream media,” the lawsuit states — a pretty weak excuse of an argument to justify $250 million worth of damages solely from the Washington Post.

It’s no wonder Trump cheered this lawsuit on, however.

Trump spent his Wednesday morning tweeting attacks against the media, saying that, “The Press has never been more dishonest than it is today,” and calling the New York Times the “true ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”

It’s the kind of attack he regularly makes against the free press: on Twitter, at his rallies, in interviews.

In other words, it’s a day that ends in “y.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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