STATEMENT OF L. LIN WOOD and TODD MCMURTRY REGARDING NICHOLAS SANDMANN and THE WASHINGTON POST
- posted: Mar. 04, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 4, 2019
In a span of 3 days beginning on January 19, The Washington Post rushed to claim leadership of a mainstream and social media mob of bullies who falsely attacked, vilified and threatened Nicholas Sandmann, an innocent 16-year old boy. Late last Friday evening, 41 days after it launched its false attacks on a minor, the Post published an Editor’s Note and delivered to Nicholas’ lawyers a letter from its General Counsel, Jay Kennedy. 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 Post’s efforts were too little and too late.
The Friday night efforts by the Post to whitewash its wrongdoing were untimely, grossly insufficient and did little more than perpetuate the lies it published – lies that will haunt and adversely impact Nicholas for the rest of his life.
The Post ignored its own culpability and wrongdoing. Mr. Kennedy’s letter stated that the Post “provided accurate coverage.” 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.
The Post did not have the integrity to unequivocally admit 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. One need only review the Post’s published list of its own Policies and Standards at https://www.washingtonpost.com/policies-and-standards/?utm_term=.ec515ec8b6aa to find violation after violation after violation.
The Post did not have the character to apologize to Nicholas and seek his forgiveness.
Highlighting its arrogance and lack of contrition, the Post announced its “deletion” of one of its false and defamatory tweets about the incident and Nicholas by re-posting the tweet so that its lies will also forever remain available on the Internet and in social media.
False 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.
Last 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.
The Post has now double downed on its lies. As Nicholas’s lawyers, we will now double down on truth and aggressively continue our legal efforts to hold the Post accountable and obtain justice for Nicholas in a court of law.