There was an incident in January in Washington in which some Catholic school teenagers were attending a “March for Life” event and while waiting for their bus were being met by a group of Native Americans led by an “elder” named Nathan Philips, and harassed by a group of so-called Black Hebrew Israelites who were shouting obscenities at the teens.
However, because of a brief video clip of the incident that went viral, the news media especially the Washington Post and social media were calling the teens racists and accusing them of doing the harassing. (Hmm. Given the terrible racist things the “Black Hebrew Israelites” were shouting at the Covington school teens, why didn’t the Washington Post also go after that group? Just askin’.)
So now, the main teen in question, Nicholas Sandmann, is suing the Washington Post and several other people for millions of dollars for libel. I guess the suit is suggesting that the false accusations of “racism,” etc. against the teen may result in affecting his future college applications or job prospects, as well as the smearing of his otherwise reputation up to now. Many news media journalists, politicians and show-biz celebrities jumped to conclusions based on the very brief video that went viral, until the entire two-hour video was publicized in which the whole picture of the incident could be seen.
In a related development, the Supreme Bureaucrats turned down a chance to hear a libel case in which a Bill Cosby accuser sued Cosby for libeling her by calling her dishonest. Supreme Bureaucrat Clarence Thomas wrote in a concurring opinion that libel laws should be more flexible and allow public figures to sue for libel. He doesn’t like the New York Times vs. Sullivan decision, which protected the Freedom of the Press in regards to writing about public officials.
The reason that public officials, such as Justice (sic) Thomas, don’t like the Freedom of the Press is because they don’t like members of the Press (that is, anyone) to exercise their right to criticize government officials, government policies, and fascist members of the U.S. Supreme Court, like Clarence Thomas.
Now, I can see why Thomas is sensitive to these matters, given that he was the victim of a “high-tech lynching,” led by Anita Hill, who accused Thomas of sexual harassment which Thomas denied.
And Donald Trump, by the way, has cheered on the libel lawsuit against the Washington Post by the high school teen. Trump has for years been saying that we need to strengthen libel laws to protect fascist politicians such as himself. What these government officials really want is to stifle free speech that includes criticism of them and their terrible policies. Not to mention the fact that The Donald is extremely thin-skinned. He sure can dish it out, but he wants to shut up his critics.
And I understand the opposition to fake news. But I believe that fake news is protected by the First Amendment, unfortunately.
The laws are clear in distinguishing between writing about public figures (such as Bill Cosby or government officials) and private people who are not public figures. In my view, Nicholas Sandmann the Catholic school teen is not a public figure. However, he has been made a public figure by all the false allegations and rumors against him that were viral on videos and social media. That’s not his fault.
Now, notwithstanding “public figures” who are not government officials, government officials especially don’t have a right to sue others for libel, no matter how false an accusation or assertion, no matter how malicious an intent. Why? Because government officials possess an artificial legal authority over others that is entirely illegitimate. Their rule or jurisdiction over others is not a “government by consent of the governed” when even a small minority of those who are being ruled over do not voluntarily agree to such a usurpation of power over them.
“…obviously, protecting a person’s reputation is not an absolute value.
“If it were, if, that is, reputations were really sacrosanct, then we would have to prohibit most categories of denigration, even truthful ones. Unfavorable literary criticism, satire in movies, plays, music or book reviews could not be allowed. Anything which diminished any individual’s or any institution’s reputation would have to be forbidden…
“… what is a person’s ‘reputation’? … Clearly, it is not a possession which may be said to belong to him in the way, for example, his clothes do. In fact, a person’s reputation does not ‘belong’ to him at all. A person’s reputation is what other people think of him; it consists of the thoughts which other people have.
“A man does not own his reputation any more than he owns the thoughts of others — because that is all his reputation consists of. A man’s reputation cannot be stolen from him any more than can the thoughts of other people be stolen from him.”
So, while I don’t favor the existence of libel laws, I nevertheless support the Covington school teen’s lawsuit against especially the Washington Post, given the Post’s having been acting as the propagandist bureau of the U.S. government and its evil national security state, and has played a major role in the apparatchiks’ witch hunt of “Trump-Russia collusions” and “2016 election hacking,” none of which ever happened.