Covington Teens’ Attorney Deals Major Blow To Fake News

An attorney representing students and alumni from Covington Catholic High School announced on Wednesday that his clients are giving journalists and celebrities 48 hours to either retract false statements made about them or face legal action.

“Everybody now is on 48-hour notice so by Friday, everybody needs to retract and correct any false statements they have issued about these kids,” Los Angeles-based attorney Robert Barnes said on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”

“That includes any major member of the media. That includes any major celebrity. That includes anybody with a substantial social media platform,” he added.

Barnes pointed out, unlike falsehoods directed at public figures (like politicians), the standard to successfully prove libel in court is negligence, not malice. At the time of the confrontation, the students were in Washington for the annual March for Life demonstration protesting legalized abortion.

“Because these are all private citizens and in many cases minors and kids, the law is saying anything false about them is libel,” he explained. “You don’t have a defense of actual malice. All you have to prove is negligence.

“So a lot of these journalists that have been saying false statements about these kids, false statements about the kids at the Lincoln Memorial,” the lawyer continued.

“Slurring and libeling the entire school and all the alumni for the school, and all you have to do is prove negligence, and by this standpoint, by this point in time, it is clear the anyone who continues to lie about these kids has done so illegally and can be sued for it.”

Barnes said his clients have decided to offer the 48-hour period of “grace.”

“‘If you have said anything false about these kids, they are willing to extend to you a 48-hour time period of grace, consistent with their Christian faith, for you, through confessions, to get redemption and retract and correct and apologize,” he said.

However, he warned, those guilty of making false statements about Covington High may be defendants in a lawsuit, because he will start filing them next week.

Fox News showed pictures of journalists and celebrities who have retracted so far including CNN’s S.E. Cupp and Jake Tapper, “The View’s” Meghan McCain, National Review editor-in-chief Rich Lowry, and actress Jamie Lee Curtis.

“Fox & Friends” host Ainsley Earhardt asked Barnes if there was anyone in particular he would like to identify who owes the Covington students a retraction.

He pointed to New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman.

The reporter tweeted on Sunday,”There are dozens of students laughing and egging on the behavior. Will be interesting to see if anyone is actually expelled, as officials suggest is possible.”

She linked to a Times story titled, “Viral Video Shows Boys in ‘Make America Great Again’ Hats Surrounding Native Elder.’”

Barnes tweeted in response, “I will represent the kids for free is they want to sue @maggieNYT for obvious libel.”

In an interview that aired on NBC’s “Today” on Wednesday, host Savannah Guthrie asked Covington student Nick Sandmann, if he felt he owed native elder Nathan Phillips an apology. Sandmann is seen standing face-to-face with Phillips in video and pictures from the incident.

The original reporting about the standoff by many media outlets blamed the students for the confrontation, based on a small video clip.

However, when video giving fuller context became public, it revealed that Phillips had approached the students, who were themselves also being jeered with racial slurs by a group calling itself Black Hebrew Israelites who were close by.

“As far as standing there, I had every right to do so,” Sandmann told Guthrie.

“My position is that I was not disrespectful to Mr. Phillips. I respect him. I’d like to talk to him,” the 16-year-old added. “I mean, in hindsight, I wish we could’ve walked away and avoided the whole thing. But I can’t say that I’m sorry for listening to him and standing there.”

In a tweet, Barnes thanked Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota for her retraction.

The freshman lawmaker, who is among the first two Muslim congresswomen to serve, wrote, “The boys were protesting a woman’s right to choose … They were taunting 5 Black men before they surrounded Phillips and led racist chants … Sandmann’s family hired a right wing PR firm to write his non-apology.”

Fox News reported, “after an avalanche of criticism, the tweet had been removed by late morning on Wednesday.”

source: westernjournalism.com

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17 Comments

  • Sissybrat
    Posted January 24, 2019 9:43 pm 0Likes

    Mr. Barnes don’t forget Rosie O’Donnell and Kathy Griffin as some of the many Hollywood libs and Jimmy Kimmel. What is immoral and inhumane is the Dems voting against the wall leaving our workers not working. People have to see thru what these dimwits are doing to the country. ASAP.

  • USMC0352
    Posted January 26, 2019 11:37 pm 0Likes

    Nah…they’ve gotten away with this kind of nonsense for far too long. Sue EVERY one of those hypocrite libtards because that’s PRECISELY what they deserve. But I respect and I admire those students for offering a 48 hour grace period and it’s their right to extend that courtesy. But after that….game.ON!

  • Deborah
    Posted January 26, 2019 11:39 pm 0Likes

    Sue them for enough money to pay for their college educations and the school a huge grant for the damage they have done.

  • Ron
    Posted January 26, 2019 11:42 pm 0Likes

    They should be sued , one for the damage to these kids and not reporting the truth about the real culprits. Second they spread too much fake news and deserve to be taught a lesson. God bless these young Christians for giving them the chance to apologize. That’s probably more than the liberal haters are worthy off.

  • vince
    Posted January 27, 2019 12:21 am 0Likes

    there should be NO TIME FOR APOLOGIES,,,, NO kind of apology should be accepted …. SUE THE SCUM DEMORATS…. they have NO SOUL

  • Judy Stascheit
    Posted January 27, 2019 12:55 am 0Likes

    Hopefully, the lawyer follows through, esp. with grossly contemptible people like Kathy Griffin.

  • Cher
    Posted January 27, 2019 3:22 am 0Likes

    These boys are just kids. The old Indian was the antagonizer and should’ve known better.
    He is trouble. He attempted to interrupt a mass being held in a Catholic Church by banging his drum during the services that same weekend. He lied about being a Vietnam combat vet. Stolen valor. Honestly, the children’s families should sue the media outlets who lied and blew this out of proportion. I’m sick of protestors, sick of the media and so sick of the democrats dividing our country!! And also, end the Mueller witch hunt and investigate the FBI for lying to FISA court!

  • josephg
    Posted January 27, 2019 4:43 am 0Likes

    Its about time!

  • madmemere
    Posted January 27, 2019 8:00 am 0Likes

    Removing tweets IS NOT ENOUGH – -those who tweeted insults, need to be publicly called out and humiliated and MADE TO APOLOGIZE – -PUBLICLY, stating “who, what, when, why and where”! That is -“who they are, what they did, to whom and why and where they did it” They should be made to publish their apologies in NATIONAL, SYNDICATED NEWSPAPERS – -in the public notices section and they should be forced to publish that notice THREE DAYS IN A ROW, just like ANY legal notice.

  • ben
    Posted January 27, 2019 6:07 pm 0Likes

    This was a dedicated hack-job on Republicans,children and Christian beliefs concerning the sanctity of Life,by Liberals and the Left who support the choice of women concerning whether to destroy the life within them.

  • Donna M Kelley
    Posted January 27, 2019 8:16 pm 0Likes

    THEY WON’T BECAUSE THEY THINK THEY ARE ABOVE THE LAW AND NO ONE CAN TOUCH THEM, BEHAR FROM THE VIEW IS ONE OF THEM, WOOPIE GOLDBERG IS ANOTHER. THEY THINK JUST BECAUSE THEY HAVE A SHOW THAT THEY CAN SAY AND DO WHAT EVER THEY WANT. MANY YEARS AGO BEHAR SAID ANY ONE THAT LIVES IN A MOBILE HOME IS TRAILER TRASH. SHE SHOULD HAVE BEEN SUED FOR THAT BUT NOTHING WAS DONE. LIKE BARBARA BUSH WAS ASKED IF THERE WAS SOMETHING SHE COULD DO TO HELP HOMELESS PEOPLE HER ANSWER ON NBC NEWS WAS NO THEY GOT THEMSELVES INTO IT THEY CAN GET THEMSELVES OUT. WHY I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IS WHY ARE PEOPLE SO MEAN TO ONES WHO JUST NEEDED SOMEONE TO HELP THEM GET BACK ON THERE FEET. ANIMALS ARE MORE FORGIVING THEN PEOPLE THEY KNOW HOW TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER AND IT DOESN’T MATTER ABOUT YOUR COLOR, OR HOW MUCH MONEY YOU HAVE. PEOPLE WHO HAVE A LOT OF MONEY DON’T CARE ABOUT THE ONE WITH LESS. THE RICH WANT TO TAKE ALL THEY CAN AND THEY DON’T CARE WHO THEY ARE TAKING IT FROM.

  • Juanita
    Posted January 27, 2019 10:48 pm 0Likes

    Along with this you need to include one (or more) of the Daily Blast Live hosts.

  • Freedom fighter
    Posted January 28, 2019 12:51 am 0Likes

    It was reported that buzzfeed, the huffington post and other media outlets laid off 1000 media workers off all ilk last week. As media continues to spiral into the abyss, expect to see more and more sensationalist stories with no basis in fact. The buzzfeed story about the President directing his lawyer to lie to the FBI. Turned out to be pure crap. The media gets away with leading a story with the term “If true, this could be a blockbuster”. “If true”? So the media will now report on a story with no verification, no follow up and just flood the airways with the most outrageous lies and if necessary, when they finally can’t keep the lie going any longer they make a very brief retraction and move on, no matter who’s lives are destroyed in the process. We need some sort of accountability. I am all about the first amendment, but there is a line between free speech and character assasination

  • Patsy M
    Posted January 28, 2019 1:06 am 0Likes

    I agree with you madmemere. They had no problem putting all the fake news out there, now they need to put the truth out there and publicly apologize for the slanderous remarks made against those kids. Deletinga post is not an apology, it’s avoiding the truth, which they all do so well. It’s part of their character. If they have to print a truth, they may actually start selling papers again.

  • Ron C
    Posted January 28, 2019 5:16 am 0Likes

    Nah…all the people have to do is judge shop…with the right activist judge and a few bucks…he will just throw the law suit out…right?
    After all their is absolutely No consequence to the little dictator’s in the black robes in this country any longer!’And now the branch of the courts has supremacy over all other branches of government, any a$$-hole in a black robe supersedes the executive, and legislative branches of government nowadays…the proof is in the pudding!

  • Woodie thompson
    Posted January 28, 2019 1:48 pm 0Likes

    How many more times will the buzz report this same story ? Nothing new here
    Is there any actual news on this?

  • Joe
    Posted June 9, 2019 12:34 am 0Likes

    Sent the Demopukes to jail !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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