First Amendment

In Editor's Note, The Washington Post Admits Early Covington Reporting Was Flawed. Nicholas Sandmann's Attorney Says That's Not Good Enough.

"The Sandmanns would never accept half of a half-measure from an organization that still refuses to own up to its error."


Social Media/REUTERS/Newscom

The Washington Post published an editor's note Friday admitting the paper's early reporting on the January 18 incident involving Covington Catholic High School students at the Lincoln Memorial was not completely accurate.

"Subsequent reporting, a student's statement and additional video allow for a more complete assessment of what occurred, either contradicting or failing to confirm accounts provided in" the paper's initial story, the editor's note concedes.

The note specifically cites Native American activist Nathan Phillip's assertions about being taunted and prevented from moving by the Catholic teenagers as claims that did not stand up to scrutiny.

In a statement to Reason, Washington Post Vice President for Communications Kristine Corrati Kelly told me, "While we do not accept the characterizations and contentions regarding our reporting of the incident at the Lincoln Memorial, we have taken steps to address the concerns expressed to us."

Nicholas Sandmann, the Covington student wrongly described as cruelly smirking at Phillips during the encounter, is currently suing The Post over its coverage of the viral video. The Post would not confirm whether the lawsuit motivated the paper to post the editor's note, and defended its handling of the matter in general.

"The full story did not emerge all at once and throughout our coverage, we sought to produce accurate reports," said Coratti Kelly. "Even the comments of the school and church officials changed, and The Post provided ongoing coverage of the conflicting versions of this event and its aftermath, giving prominent attention to the student's account and the investigative findings supporting it. We thus have provided a fair and accurate historical record of how this incident unfolded."

Attorneys for Nicholas Sandmann—the Covington student accused of smirking at Phillips—were not satisfied with the editor's note.

"What The Washington Post put out is barely worth comment," Todd McMurtry, an attorney for Sandmann, told Reason. "WaPo committed gross journalistic malpractice and cannot undo its deeds with an editor's note that purports to correct the record over a month after it led a frenzied mob in trashing a minor's reputation. The Sandmanns would never accept half of a half-measure from an organization that still refuses to own up to its error."

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  1. It seemed credible.

    1. Most lies do, if not looked into.

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    2. I see what you did there.

    3. The only thing credible was a picture of a boy smiling at a man with his mouth wide open.
      Presumptively, the man did not did not have bad breath.

  2. “While we do not accept the characterizations and contentions regarding our reporting of the incident at the Lincoln Memorial, we have taken steps to address the concerns expressed to us.”

    “There was nothing wrong with our journalism and besides we corrected it.”

    1. “The problem was with the readers that wouldn’t accept the narrative”

    2. They’re out of control. Glad an adult is putting them back in their box. May they lose a ton of money for their journalistic malpractice.

    3. “Am I out of touch? No, it’s the children who are wrong.”

      1. That’s what Biden always says.

  3. But seriously, good on the lawyers and fuck the “journalists” who threw this kid under the bus in pursuit of their narrative.

    Good article Robby.

    1. It was the diocese and archdiocese to which they belonged which threw them under the bus.

      The WaPo was simply behaving the way it did because “it’s their nature.”

      1. So WaPo is the scorpion?

        1. Fish gotta swim and birds gotta fly
          Scorpions gotta sting the frog ’til it dies

          1. Sometimes scorpions get stepped on.

            1. Sometimes the sun goes round the moon,
              Sometimes the snow comes down in June,
              Sometimes my coke flies from my spoon

              1. Living as I have in Idaho, Montana and Alaska, I’ve seen snow in June on more than one occasion.

                1. Also, snow in June would be expected in the southern equator in regions prone to snow.

            2. By you, yeah? Mr. Scorpion stepper?

      2. So the bishop should “learn to code”?

        1. They may have already written the code for the Reason commenting system.

          1. Between this and that farce conference, how churchgoers are not storming dioceses is beyond me….

        2. Speaking to needing to learn to code.


          1. These guys too. New management should have bought the robots first.


            1. From the article about the Sonic loosing its employees:

              The expletive-laden letter points the finger at new owners who “don’t give a [expletive] about anyone but themselves” as the reason for the entire staff quitting, temporarily shutting down the store.

              Granted, the high quality food at Sonic will bring people into the door, but customers won’t come back if they get poor customer service the first time. A workforce that thinks people will back them up when they try to solve an economic disagreement with a public expletive-laden letter is worth $4/ hour plus tips.

              We have the technology to do without low quality waiters. Alternatively, a single payer healthcare system can treat the underlying conditions that make it difficult for some waiters to integrate into the workforce. Don’t taze me bro.

          2. From the Fox News article:

            He added that JCPenney “still desperately” needs an inspiring vision for its brand as more and more customers head to Target, Walmart and Amazon.

            Target and Walmart both have automatic registers that allow a customer to buy purchases without interacting with a cashier who wants to fight the Capitalist system by providing poor customer service. Amazon doesn’t bother with cashiers in the first place. It does not pay to be surly in an age of technological progress. The meek will inherit the new economy.

          3. The thing that stands out about the stores listed here is that they all have a heavy indoor mall presence. Malls were already a dying part of the retail industry, but this might be reflective of the sector’s last gasps.

            There are still plenty of malls where I live that still seem to be hopping on the weekends, but I rarely see people with actual shopping bags in their hands. It seems like they’ve morphed into a glorified community center for people to hang out for a couple hours and get lunch in the food court.

            1. It makes you wonder how today’s partisan journalist would have reacted to farriers losing their jobs back at the beginning of the 20th century as automobiles became more common.

            2. Which is pretty disturbing if you’ve ever worked in a mall and know what they are like in the employee only areas. Basically, all malls have rats. And since the food court booths never really have enough space behind the counter to do things properly, the food court is a giant rodent feeding station.

            3. Our local mall is doing pretty well. It seems to have found its role as a giant food court with some interesting shops to visit while you’re walking off your meal.

      3. The diocese presumed that an article was truthful as they are quick to discipline students. The onus is on mainstream media for their reporting on a minor. Minor’s names are not even released by the press when involved in criminal activity until charges are filed, and some after a verdict. They put a minor out to pasture for slaughter basically.

        1. That’s the ultimate stupidity of the ‘blame the priest’ argument. Making the argument confirms that the students suffered sanctions from the Diocese, while also pointing out that, absent the reporting the Dioceses got from others, there would have been no sanction from those officials. In one swoop you have both established harm and pointed a finger at those responsible.

    2. Remember when you guys used to be against frivolous lawsuits? For press freedom? Against worshipping politicians?

      Me either.

      1. Explain why this lawsuit is frivolous? Does this kid have no recourse for those who irresponsibly falesly accused him and mischaracterized him? Does he deserved no recourse for the harm and potential long term harm, to his reputation and it’s impact on his future prospects?

        1. I don’t think he was falsely accused of anything. How many innocent people hire PR firms anyway? There are competing narratives and two media bubbles and depending on whether you like Trump you believe one or the other.

          The ballsy thing is how everyone can watch the videos and see for themselves how it went down, and while it was more complicated than indicated by the original short video, it doesn’t exonerate anyone. It’s just something people say and hope others believe it.

          The WaPo is acting stupidly, however, in assuming that anyone who has an emotional stake in this kid’s parents attempt at getting rich quick will give a crap. Rightwingers believe facts they like and don’t believe facts they don’t like. It’s how they work. There’s no point in trying to placate them.

          1. You don’t think he was falsely accused despite not a single thing he was accused of being true? That the videos (multiple) have shown that every early accusation was completely contrary to what actually happened? Hiring a public relations firm when you are being dragged through the mud is only logical.
            Really, even most of those who originally accused this kid have now admitted the video almost completely exonerates tis kid.

            And did you actually accuse the right wing of believing facts that they want to no matter what with a straight face? After you continue to try and argue this kid is guilty of something despite eyewitness and video evidence to the contrary?

            1. Tony are you sure your not a parody because I find it hard to believe that any functioning adult could be this oblivious to their own character as you consistently display.

            2. You aren’t even referring to anything. You’re just repeating the PR firm’s argument. The kid “silently prayed”? His goal was to diffuse the tension? What a hero. I wonder why he couldn’t diffuse the racist mocking his friends were engaged in.

              The fact his his actions were so bizarre that it’s hard to know what was going through his head. It’s pretty damn obvious that his PR firm’s statement was full of lies.

              1. Bizarre, how so? When confronted by someone beating a drum in your face,after he approached you first, uninvited and keeping silent is bizarre? How do you know he wasn’t silently praying? So far you are dancing around what the video evidence shows, which is that he, Sandmann, was approached, that he did not initiate anything and that he stood there silently. He bears absolutely no responsibility. And even if he smirked because he was amused by the whole thing, he still bears no responsibility. He did nothing to initiate this occurrence other than wearing a hat you disagree with. You know that and the videos show this. These are the facts. Even if the kid is a complete asshole (and at least some of his actions such as telling one of the other students to stop it when he engaged with one of the activist would argue favorably for him not being an asshole or at least a smart one) he still did nothing here that could be considered to have initiated or furthered this interaction. Period. No matter how you try and frame it, he was approached and he didn’t react other than possibly “smirking”. How is he responsible? How? Explain how he had any culpability in this episode? Can you show anything that demonstrates he has any guilt?

                1. You’re asking Tony a serious question?

                  1. Ik ow it is a rather futile effort. But I find that the best way to counter the Tony’s of the world is with intellectual honesty. They don’t recognize it and don’t know how to counter it. The revert to character. I don’t score points with Tony, but most honest observers can see how inconsistent and illogical his arguments are.

                    1. *I know

          2. How many innocent people hire PR firms anyway?

            That’s probably not a good metric.

            1. My question is who wouldn’t hire both a lawyer and a PR firm in his shoes? In Tony’s world acting proactively to assert your innocence is akin to admitting guilt. But then again he also believes denying you are a racist proves that you are a racist. His kind believes that any action, or lack of action ironically enough, just proves the original accusation.

          3. How many innocent people hire PR firms anyway?

            Well, just off the top of my head, every Democrat candidate for office, every Hollywood actor who has an agent, and every infant sodomizing person who has ever been caught, although there is quite a bit of overlap in there.

            1. Are infant sodomizers innocent? I think that was a poor choice of examples. But hiring PR firms is fairly common and innocent behavior and most do it not to hide guilt but to help react to the mob constructively.

              1. Innocent or guilty, various people hire PR firms. And yes, I was going for insult value. I know I shouldn’t do so, but we all have our moments of weakness.

                1. I agree but I just think lumping a guilty part in with other, presumably innocent characters lessens the argument that innocent people can hire PR firms without nefarious reasons.

                  1. Ahh, I see the disconnect. In Tony’s world all three are innocent. In Dace’s world all three* are guilty. In your world it’s a mix. (There may be a few innocent Democrats and/or Hollywood actors. The overlap wasn’t complete.)

                    1. Bingo

                    2. I entertain the idea that some Democrats and actors are innocent. There may even be a few elected to high office that could be considered innocent, though this possibility is extremely remote.

        2. He is a minor. The media has endangered him. Death threats resulted, ignorant celebrities got off at the expense of a minor, and other hate groups were fueled. Some of the hate groups blogged about going to see the school and some believe the initial story as fact. Retractions are viewed as white privilege thus a cover up for the white boy. The student and the school will continue to be at risk as a result of hate filed reporting. The retraction is NOT good enough. Frankly, it appears they have no remorse and wish the student harm by its’ lack of due diligence to own up to their actions.

  4. The BHI released a statement: “Until the den of rattlesnakes at the WaPo go back to the fly-ridden Pale of Settlement, they can fork-tongue our blessed perineums. AMEN!”

    1. “They are reporters made out of incest!”

      Might not be an entirely inaccurate statement, metaphorically

    2. Why does it always have to be about the Russians?

  5. Look, they got excited and jumped the gun on spreading a bullshit story simply because it reflected poorly on their enemies one time, you can trust that every other story they report has been scrupulously researched and fact-checked and presented in a fair and unbiased manner as Serious Journalism requires. Being first with the news is nowhere near as important as being accurate with the news and nobody knows this better than Serious Journalists.

    1. Notably, those enemies are a bunch of high schoolers

  6. “Subsequent reporting, a student’s statement and additional video allow for a more complete assessment of what occurred, either contradicting or failing to confirm accounts provided in” the paper’s initial story, the editor’s note concedes.

    In other words, we were just repeating what we were told, it’s not like we actually did any, you know, journalism work on the story. It’s not our fault the kids didn’t come to us and tell us their side of the story, it’s not like we were going to go to them. We’re stenographers, not investigators.

    1. Yeah, they fail to explain why they themselves didn’t seek out the “student’s statement,” additional video, etc.

      1. “Additional research discloses that Haywood Jablome is not in fact the President of Croatia.”

      2. The problem they’ve got here is that they had the evidence that their original story was wrong within hours, and they took weeks to take it down.

        Yes, if you go to the original story they ran, they’ve FINALLY taken it down. You get their 404 page, not an apology. Instead of correcting it, they shoved it down the old memory hole.

        Here’s the original story, on the Wayback Machine. They knew it was false within hours, and never corrected it.

        1. If they were responsibly covering an ongoing story, why did they delete their earlier coverage?

    2. “Stenographers” is generous, since stenographers are concerned with accuracy. These are propagandists and JUMPED at the opportunity to bash people associated with Trump.

      1. I know I’m a bit of a broken record on this, but newspapers have ALWAYS been about promoting a Narrative. They started out as political broadsheets and never really got very far away from their roots. The nonsense that reporters should or even could be neutral is a con the Progressives sold the world to cover their gradual takeover of the mainstream media.

        And they had it pretty good, for a while. But they lost the ability to sell the Narrative against and opposing Narrative. Hell, based on what we see in rags like the Washington Post ans the New York Times, they lost the ability to tell their own story at all well. They’re not just biased, they’re boring.

        And with the election of Trump they have gone completely bugshit. They aren’t even TRYING to be believable or to create stories that stand up to any kind of scrutiny. Why they think this will help the Left, I have NO idea.

        1. The difference is that, back before the left managed to take over essentially all MSM outlets, you had a ecosystem of competing outlets trying to sell different narratives, and exposing each other if they got too far from the truth.

          Now that the journalistic profession has become an ideological monoculture, they’ve lost that discipline. They just go full narrative, without any worry about exposure.

          1. The difference is that, back before the left managed to take over essentially all MSM outlets

            Could you cite an example of this halcyon time?

            It is my experience that, prior to the Reagan Era, the ‘right’ side of the news was the ‘right’ side of the left. Still wholly leftist, but not yet ready to raise the red flag in public.

  7. This is why the “Learn to Code” meme is so stupid. You can’t make big mistakes like this in coding and still expect to keep your job. Only in journalism and government does nonsense like this fly without repercussion

    1. That’s precisely why they need to learn to code: if they discover that accuracy, truth, and sound logic are actually tied to their employment and/or income, maybe they’ll carry those excellent habits back to journalism.

      1. Farming has the same effect. You can’t put food on the table lying to the fields.

        1. How about by legislation?

    2. The reason why the leftard journalists are having a conniption over people telling them “learn to code” is that they know they’re hopelessly incompetent to do so. It’s like telling Michael Moore to run a marathon.


    3. “Learn to scrub urinals” doesn’t have quite the same ring.

    4. The biggest distinction is that nobody releases a coded product without extensive testing. Coding isn’t so much about writing as it is about editing and correcting.

      Had the WaPo edited and corrected with the same diligence, gusto, font size, and placement as their initial reporting they wouldn’t be facing this lawsuit.

      And the kids would largely have their reputations intact.

      But, that is not how the media works in the age of MAGA.

  8. “Subsequent reporting, a student’s statement and additional video allow for a more complete assessment of what occurred, either contradicting or failing to confirm accounts provided in “the paper’s initial story, the editor’s note concedes.”


    Stuff we neglected to actively seek didn’t conform our initial reports!

    1. What they mean is ‘We decided to take a bias video posted on you tube as our only source of information because being a real journalist is too much like hard work’.

      1. And no matter what the kid may or may not have thought, this is the Crux if the matter. Was it irresponsible and so egregiously so, as to amount to willful negligence on their part? Some will try and focus on the kid’s supposed ‘bizare behavior’ and state that the issue is unclear. That actually proves the kid’s case though. That the WaPo reported only one side with no attempt to ascertain the other side. That this smeared the kid’s reputation irresponsibly.

  9. Wapo: “You fucked up. You trusted us.”

    1. ‘Seven Years of College Down the Drain’ was runner up to ‘Democracy Dies in Darkness.’

  10. ” ‘The full story did not emerge all at once and throughout our coverage, we sought to produce accurate reports,” said Coratti Kelly.’ ”

    They told this to Robby Soave, who pointed out that the full video was available and had a full story written about how badly the media misrepresented things less than one fucking day later. The full story was ACTUALLY there all at once.

    In other words, stop being a blatant fucking liar, Coratti Kelly.

    1. If I were Robby I’d be actually pissed about getting this sort of condescending response after his work trying to clarify just how badly the media bungled this.

      It’s practically an elitist shot like, “Well, that’s not journalism works, we had to deal with the details as they came in,” when they blatantly rushing in order to push out their hot take on the situation with no concerns about objective reality.

      1. Robby endured a ton of shit and skepticism (even from fellow Reason writers) for contradicting this narrative

      2. She probably went to Columbia.

        (The school, not the country)

        1. The country is spelled different so there’s no need to clarify…as long as you’re being accurate.

        2. I don’t know if she went to Columbia and I have no idea what stimulants she did or did not get from Colombia the country.

        3. Based on AOC’s economic theories, and international relations knowledge, I suspect they also went to Boston College.

  11. I hope this kid wins a jury award significant enough to bankrupt WaPo, and set a precedent that will allow them to move forward with multiple suits against outer media outlets, perhaps bankrupting them too, and even setting off a series of suits from third parties .

    1. Even if Sandmann doesn’t win, I hope:

      1) That just about every non-leftist that is slandered by a leftist is sued.

      2) That one or more wealthy donors sets up a large legal fund to help non-leftist victims of slander or libel sue.

      3) People continue to boycott the libelous and slanderous media outlets.

      1. i would like to contribute to their Legal Offense Fund

      2. Yeah. Mr. Sandmann send me a dream.

  12. Sandmann should get the full 250M. Bezos can afford it, and Sandmann suffered irreparable harm.

    Next in line to pay up are all the Hollywood douche bags who piled onto the destruction of this innocent child.

  13. “The full story did not emerge all at once and throughout our coverage, we sought to produce accurate reports.”

    This is complete BS.

    The same Native American activist who posted the first 60 second clipped video to her instagram account (that was later posted to twitter by @2020fight) posted a longer, 3 minute video to her youtube account (KC Noland) that clearly showed Phillips approaching Sandmann, not the other way around. (It didn’t show the BHI’s or Phillips approaching the whole group, but it did show he was the instigator of the encounter with Sandmann). The 3 min youtube video was posted on the 18th, a full day before Wapo’s first story was published, and also linked in the description of KC Noland’s instagram video. The 3 minute video got millions of views and was also posted to some news articles accusing the kids of harassing Phillips so I don’t see how Wapo can claim ignorance of it. Any honest journalist worth their salt would have known from that video that Sandmann or any other kid was not “blocking” Phillips, and it should have raised red flags about Phillips’ story at the very least.

  14. the full video was available when wapo reported. they didn’t bother with the gold standard evidence because they got exactly what they wanted from the indians lies and the 10 second clip.

  15. I bet the “editor” had to run that note by outside counsel if it wasn’t already dictated to him word-for-word.

    1. A day late and dollar short almost hidden admission that you either knew, or should have known you were wrong does not seem like wise counsel to me.

  16. “throughout our coverage, we sought to produce accurate reports.”

    There is no evidence of this whatsoever.

    I hope Team Sandmann takes it all the way to trial. Let’s see exactly what WaPo did in their quest to produce “accurate reports”

  17. The articles I have read in law journals are that billions could be sued over, from Jim Carrey and Kathy Griffin calling for confrontations with the kid to the people at the wedding party invaded by a frenzied mob of 100 that were searching for the kid (the mob had the wrong family) and shadow lawsuits from that family.

    The list goes on and on. I think the family needs to get a financial adviser because that kid is about to be very, very rich.

    1. I hope Bezos cuts his losses and WaPo gets the Gawker treatment.
      The schadenfreude would be exquisite.

  18. “Even the comments of the school and church officials changed…”

    Yeah, because their original comments were based on information from the WaPo. The editor neglected to mention that part.

    1. “Oh yeah? Well they believed our lies, so why aren’t you going after them instead?” – t. Washington Post

  19. The First Amendment doesn’t require the press to be honest, fair or competent. Nor does it prohibit it from producing propaganda to further a political agenda.

    1. A people who can’t be responsible with their rights may find they lose those rights down the road.

      Not everything that is permissible is beneficial.

    2. This is not a first amendment case.

    3. No, it doesn’t, nor should it. However it ALSO doesn’t shield the press from the legal consequences of being dishonest, unfair, and incompetent. Nor should it.

      1. Bingo. Many people are under the mistaken idea that free speech shields you from any consequences, i.e. getting sued for libel or protesting on your employers dime. But neither case is your speech actually curtailed it is simply that your speech has perceivably injured someone (yes your employers reputation and thus their business can be harmed) and thus you are required to pay for aforesaid harm or potential harm.

    4. “The Second Amendment doesn’t require the shooter to be accurate, fair or competent. Nor does it prohibit him from shooting people to further a political agenda.”

      Act responsible or be held responsible.

    5. You are, I think, the very first person to bring up the 1st Amendment in this thread.

  20. I hope WaPo loses big time. Not so much for the kid, but so people reporting the news start reporting facts, and quit editorializing as a fact.

    1. Guy who loves liberty wants government goons telling the press what to do.

      1. Civil court award = government goons telling press what to do.

        Yeah, you stick with that.

        1. I suppose civil court judges are employees of local Applebees franchises and not the government, and they can’t compel action.

          1. The courts are deciding if the press did or did not cause the plantiffs harm. You’re stretching and as always moving the goal posts. It’s a good thing you placed them on wheels because you shift them so often (I can predict you retort… Something something nu uhn, something something, you’re a poopyhead Trumpian authoritarian, something something, insert juvenile insult about my intelligence).

            1. Tony, do you have any sense of intellectual honesty? Even a shred of self awareness and self respect? Or are you so narcissistic that you believe you are never able to admit you’re wrong?

              1. *Or are you so narcissistic that you believe you are never wrong?

            2. I’ll bet you real money the lawsuit fails. Then what will you have to say?

              1. That the courts didn’t find that his case was strong enough. That’s how the courts work. I may not agree with the outcome but the courts exist for a reason. And it is his right to launch this lawsuit rather he is or isn’t successful.

                1. Why do you think you actually made a point here, Tony? Do you suspect we all lack any principles except partisanship? Some of us actually do try and be consistent (no one ever truly is completely consistent) despite our self identified tribe.

                  1. You’re one of the good ones, but I don’t blame Tony for thinking you guys have no principles except partisanship when most of his interactions here are with slimeballs like LC, Tulpa, and Shitlady.

                    Then again, I don’t exactly blame you for thinking all leftists are like the moronic Tony and Kirkland, in fact, it’s repeated here several times on almost every article – an amazing exercise in groupthink for a website ostensibly about individualism and liberty (there are few exceptions, such as Square=circle, yourself, and, most of the time, Chemjeff)

                    1. LC is a kid and shows some self awareness but does suffer from the inherent narcissism that all juveniles have. He will, I think, as he matures become increasingly self reflective and a better person as a result. We all suffered that to some degree as children. The world slapping you in the face a few times cures most of us. Not all of us, as evidenced by Tony and Kirkland.

                    2. I’ve also argued with all three that you mentioned, but less so than with Tony or Kirkland. Tulpa and Shitlord own their trollish behavior and are unapologetic about it. Kirkland does as well, but is more irritating because he is so redundant and makes no attempt at discourse civil or otherwise. LC seems to believe that Nuclear power is evil and solar is the answer to the future despite the evidence to the contrary. We all have our blind spots. His I feel are more forgivable because of his youth. But that hasn’t stopped me from pointing out he is a Luddite and lacks the scientific knowledge to make the arguments he makes.

                    3. John occasionally surprises me but tends to be fairly partisan. However, he does demonstrate intelligence generally. And does at least appear to have questioned his beliefs and why he holds them. It is perfectly okay to say I believe what I want to believe because I want to, especially if the evidence doesn’t support your beliefs (or as in the case of religion cannot support nor disprove it, I fully embraces that my Christianity and faith are by choice). Tony and Kirkland irritate me so much because they, unlike the John’s and LCs of the world don’t appear to even entertain the idea that they could be wrong.

                    4. They are all fair enough points. I’ve been reading this section for years now, but rarely have the time to start a discourse.

                      The thing I love about this board is its verbosity, the last thing its missing is a genuinely honest and reflective liberal to even out some of the more partisan circle-jerking that seems to be increasing as of late.

                      But I’m rambling. Keep up the good work!

                    5. “a genuinely honest and reflective liberal”.

                      That’s what we need. And a unicorn

          2. I’m shocked that you don’t have enough experience with the legal system to know that there are actually civil juries as well.

        2. ThomasD, Please don’t feed the troll.

      2. Can you point to where he said he wanted the government to control the press? Are you able to debate without reverting to straw man arguments?

  21. Regarding the WaPo staff and coding –
    Lacking social media accounts, I am not sure exactly what the ‘learn to code’ meme is about, but from context, I believe this programming theorem from my 45 years of actual coding is applicable;

    “Code can’t fix stupid”

    It is usually applied to the first set of ‘fixes’ requested by the user department when the system they specified “is too hard to use”

    1. I believe the proper coding jargon is that 99.99% of ‘journalists’ suffer from a PIBKAC (Problem Is Between Keyboard And Chair).

  22. Of course, if you just look at the WAPO online, you’ll never see this “editor’s note”. Using the link above, you can find the note, and it’s supposed to be in the “National” section per the superscript, but if you look in the National section, you can’t find it. If you look on the front page you can’t find it. If you search “Covington” you can’t find it.

    Also, if you somehow do find it, the comments are turned off.

    Pretty sleazy, even for the Post.

    1. I just confirmed that. It’s a buried apology basically nobody would find without being given a direct link to it. You search for “Covington” and you’ll never see it.

  23. accused of smirking

    I still can’t believe this is a thing.

    1. How much are they willing to pay for their narrative? Let’s see. Hopefully the lawyers will include that little piece of info to show further how committed wapo is to their slander.

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  25. Every time this story comes back, we all get a little dumber.

  26. My biggest worry in this whole affair is that WaPo offers a settlement large enough to get the kid to drop it. Settlements without an admission of guilt just sit wrong with me. Maybe there is good reason to have them, but more often than not, I seem to see them used by the clearly guilty to avoid admitting guilt because it’s usually the little guy who cant risk going the distance and failing. And given how shitty judges and the system can be, failing is ways a real possibility even if you are arguing that 2+2=4 or that the sky is blue.

    1. “Something, something Darkness.” Still, you can’t pay for ‘resting smirk face’ surgery with an apology.

  27. When does Barack Obama get to sue the entire right-wing media for calling him a Kenyan?

    1. As soon as he’s willing to accept discovery in the matter.

    2. 1) He was a voluntary public figure and this requires a higher level of proof.
      2) the entire media?
      3) did they all state unequivocally that he was a Kenyan or did some question his citizenship based upon statements he himself had stated earlier (or allowed others, i.e. his publisher) to state to promote his writings etc?
      He could try but I doubt he has nearly as strong a case .

      1. This place is getting even stupider, I think.

        1. Because you keep posting? Contradict my points or resort to childish insults. You chose the second, which shows you are unable to refute me, therefore you try and distract with juvenile behavior.

          1. If you are still carrying the birther torch in 2019, or if you carried it in 2008, you don’t deserve anything but to be called stupid.

            1. I never carried the birther torch, just because I pointed out the difficulty involved in the former President launching a lawsuit based upon this issue is not proof of my support for this craziness. It is me being intellectually honest. I can and do try to apply consistent standards no matter my personal opinion on a subject. I know that is hard for you to grasp.

              1. Additionally I would argue the entire birther thing was completely stupid. Rather or not he was born I. Hawaii doesn’t have any impact o. His citizenship since his mother was an American citizen who never renounced her citizenship (officially or otherwise as far as the evidence shows). But rather than just saying this Obama actually allowed it to fester because he could use this stupid sideshow to his advantage. He could point to it whenever aforementioned press actually had a legitimate argument as means to discredit their argument. “These are the same people who keep asking for my birthday certificate” chuckle, wink-nudge. Rather than hurt him, these arguments actually probably helped him. And distracted his opponents from more profitable avenues of attack.

                1. Actually, it would have legally made a difference, because citizenship for Americans born abroad is a statutory matter, and per the law at the time of his birth, his mother hadn’t spent enough time in the US to pass on citizenship to a child born abroad.

                  Agreed, he kept the controversy going deliberately, because he knew there wasn’t anything there, and so long as his foes were chasing that red herring, they weren’t looking in places they might find something real.

      2. Now, he may have a slim chance for those who continued to report or question his citizenship after he released his birth certificate, but even then, questions are not necessarily accusations.

    3. There are 50 million Kenyans in the world, do you think calling them that is insulting?
      Obama’s father was Kenyan making him as much Kenyan as American. You truly are stupid.

    4. Obama would have to sue his publisher.

  28. It’s almost impressive how right-wing lies become reality simply because they shout them often and loud enough.

    However, this nonevent has gotten too much attention already. Let the snowflake kid cry. He can comfort himself knowing that if skin were any other color and he wasn’t wearing a hat, the rightwing asshole sphere wouldn’t give a single sloppy shit about him.

    1. Right wing lies? Do you have evidence of this in this case? And I see you are still besmirching this young man despite the evidence almost completely exonerating him. It is funny and the pinnacle of irony you accusing others of dishonest partisanship.

      1. It’s not in dispute that he’s a whiny little snowflake suing a newspaper for a gazillion dollars because it was mean to him. If he had on a HOPE shirt instead of a MAGA hat your opinion would be 100% different, and I’m just so sick of how much whining right-wingers do about every little goddamn thing. I prefer to hang around adults.

        1. Would it? And your proof of this is what exactly? And why is he whiny? Because he protests being seriously mischaracterized in the public arena, his reputation possibly suffering irreparable damage? This makes him whiny snow flake?
          As for your assertion that you hang around with adults, your level of discourse here, especially when asked any question that runs counter to your preconceptions definitely raises reason to doubt this.

          1. I don’t care if the kid was being the lone tolerant one among a sea of assholes. I don’t care if he was one among the assholes. If we didn’t all have a camera in our pocket, this would have been just another day in DC. We’re living through a mass extinction event and you idiots to a person care infinitely more about zinging the Washington Post because it’s mean to the president by reporting facts.

            1. No, we are stating that when you cause harm to someone through your irresponsible actions you are liable for those actions. He may or may not actually succeed but he has a right to attempt to seek redress to the harm they caused him. Why do you keep dodging this point? Because you wanted to believe the original, false narrative? Do you also believe Rolling Stone shouldn’t have been sued over their poor reporting on the Jackie story? If not, how is this case any different?

              1. I just want to know how the kid’s lawyer proves he was silently praying.

                1. They don’t have to. Why do you think this somehow makes the kid innocent or guilty? All the kid’s lawyer has to prove is that the story they Washington Post originally reported was not consistent with the facts and that responsible reporting would have demonstrated that contrary to accusation the kid did not instigate this nor did he do anything aggressive and not did he, contrary to reporting by the Washington Post approach the drummer or surround him or shout insults at him. His silently praying or not has no impact on the facts of the case. This kid either was the aggressor or he wasn’t and the videos pretty much prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was never the aggressor. Your fixation on a single assertion hat has little impact on the overall event shows that you are not trying to be objective here but are looking for a way to absolve your side of any culpability for their accused irresponsibility. That is what the courts will decide rather or not the Washington Post acted with disregard to established norms of reporting and if this action was egregious enough to cause harm to the kid. And was it done in such a manner as that any reasonable person could conclude that they were will fully negligent.

            2. If it’ll make you feel better, I’ll stomp one of my feet in solidarity.

              1. Make whom feel better?

        2. Notice that you failed to point out a “right wing lie”?

  29. Nick Sandmann’s family used Louisville public relations firm RunSwitch PR, to compose a three-page statement represented as a letter written and signed by the underage Covington Catholic student presented to the media himself. It was not a statement written on RunSwitch PR stationery.

    So the L. Lin Wood Atlanta law firm is unlikely to squeeze libel money from Bezos. and his high-powered attorneys with obviously unclean hands on the part of the plaintiff.

    1. Really? The fact is that the WaPo made no attempt to reach the kid and that multiple other videos existed that the WaPo also made no attempt to obtain. You’re focus on what his PR firm did or didn’t do is non-sequitor in this case. Why is hiring a PR firm if you are falsely accused in the public eye exculpatory evidence of libel by the defendant?

      1. That they didn’t obtain the more complete videos isn’t established. That’s in the nature of an ignorance defense, but I wouldn’t bet good money on it actually being true.

    2. So the L. Lin Wood Atlanta law firm is unlikely to squeeze libel money from Bezos

      You are so prescient but you forgot to mention all the libel money Wood didn’t squeeze for Richard Jewell from NBC, The New York Post and the AJC.

  30. Adding some more lies to the original lies, I see.

  31. Given the amount of shitty reporting routinely done by right-wing outlets, I’m surprised that so many in the Reason commentariat seem to think that the law should be bent so that the WaPo is bankrupted by this case.

    Where are the usual complaints about predatory plaintiff’s lawyers? The requested damages here clearly signal “contingent fee arrangement.” Or the idea that a free democracy requires an independent and, yes, freewheeling press? Do we cast out our values just whenever it suits a political outcome we short-sightedly favor?

    Listen, you start with the Sandmanns, before long a site like Reason is torpedoed into oblivion. I’ve seen more than enough dishonest and negligent reporting here that it shouldn’t be hard to find someone sufficiently “private” and sufficiently “libeled” by it to take it down. Never mind FoxNews and Breitbart. Those would be like shooting fish in a fucking barrel.

    1. Can you please provide a similar instance of “shitty reporting by the right”?
      A free republic does require a free press but that just means not limited by the government. However, is doesn’t absolve them of responsibility for gross negligence. Much as the 2A protects my right to own a gun, but doesn’t protect me from responsibility if I use that firearm irresponsibly. The latter is not inconsistent with the former. Nor does a plaintiff seeking redress for irresponsible reporting that caused the aforementioned plaintiff harm hurt the free press. In fact it may actually I prove confidence in them. Also,these cases are purposely difficult to prove specifically so that they are rare and error on the side of free press.

    2. “I’ve seen more than enough dishonest and negligent reporting here that it shouldn’t be hard to find someone sufficiently “private” and sufficiently “libeled” by it to take it down.”

      Gee, Simon, as a card-carrying lefty, you have always ‘seen’ or ‘heard of’ the right doing the same, but, what a shame, you never have any cites.

      1. Well, those are the things one just “knows”, you see, just as one “knows” left-wing speakers are chased off right-wing campuses*, like, ALL the time.

        *-list of hundreds available from Rev. Kirkland, from Liberty to Hilldale to *mumble* to BYU to on and on and so on, etc., etc….

  32. But where do you draw the line? Sometimes no one really knows what may have happened at an incident such as this one. Even if a news source could be proven to have reported fake stories, when does inaccurate info become libel?

    1. when does inaccurate info become libel?

      When inaccurate information is published with reckless disregard for whether it is accurate.

      1. And in this case trying to approach something more accurate was such an easy thing to do. Just find the whole video and watch it. It was there, it was available.

        1. It was there, it was available, and they almost certainly DID watch it.

          1. And that’s what will be unearthed in discovery, making this a slam dunk.

    2. When it can be proven, as in this case they didn’t even make a pretense at discovering the actual truth. They didn’t call the kid even for a statement or do a simple Google search to see if a longer video or different video occurred. Neither of these things would have taken more than a few minutes.

  33. “A Washington Post article first posted online on Jan. 19 reported on a Jan. 18 incident at the Lincoln Memorial. Subsequent reporting, a student’s statement and additional video allow for a more complete assessment of what occurred, either contradicting or failing to confirm accounts provided in that story . . .”

    The passive tense. It burns.

    1. Mistakes were made.

      1. The passive voice was heard.

        1. But, a necessary conversation around these issues was started.

          So there’s that…

  34. Even if the WaPo story was completely accurate, they were attacking a 16 yr old with very over the top accusations of racism. But the simple fact is that 2 hrs of video were immediately available which the Post ignored even over the following days when it was all over the internet. Their “sorry, not sorry” is pretty sickening.

  35. “The full story did not emerge all at once and throughout our coverage, we sought to produce accurate reports,” said Coratti Kelly


    They went with their usual race baiting narrative as the *full story* the moment they could spin the limited evidence available to fit that narrative.

    That the initial video was barely even *suggestive* of their race baiting narrative was obvious immediately, but that didn’t stop them from trumpeting their narrative as the full story immediately.

    1. This is a good point. EVEN IF the only video that existed was the shorter clip, even it does not contain enough information for reason and logic to allow for a jump to racism. Therefore, to use it as evidence of racist actions is patently inaccurate reporting of the facts. If there is a 30 sec video of a grey overcast sky, that and that one is not enough to claim the sky beyond the clouds is green.

      The video of an indian and a white kid face to face only allows us to know one thing, they were face to face. That would be the “facts, just the facts.” Anything beyond is not reporting but conjecture. To state conjecture as factual reporting and in doing so causing a harm is what WaPo should be held liable for.

      1. 1st paragraph should read “that and that alone…”

        Someone should sue reason for not having an edit button. Ugh

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  37. “…we have taken steps to address the concerns expressed to us.”

    Wtf? You’ve only been at it, what, 100 years and you couldn’t get this simple story out?

    “The full story did not emerge all at once and throughout our coverage, we sought to produce accurate reports,” said Coratti Kelly. “Even the comments of the school and church officials changed,”

    And this makes it ok? That the school and Church (who both were idiotic too. Their job was to back up and defend the students not throw them under the damn SJW/narrative bus) did the same? Are these people for real? So-called professionals from a fricken paper that took out a Super Bowl ad warning people that if journalism died so too does democracy are pulling this sophomoric crap?

    Clownish if you ask me.

  38. “Nicholas Sandmann’s Attorney Says That’s Not Good Enough.”

    And they didn’t do THAT until they were staring a $250m law suit.

  39. BTW:
    “The full story did not emerge all at once and throughout our coverage, we sought to produce accurate reports,” said Coratti Kelly.”
    gotta love the passive voice here: A supposed newspaper employing ‘reporters’ and ‘editors’ who are charged with printing the truth as best it can be ascertained was waiting for the story to ’emerge’. And the complete vid was available before they published. What a pack of lies.

    “Even the comments of the school and church officials changed,…”
    Uh the church and the school don’t have ‘reporters’ and ‘editors’.

    “…and The Post provided ongoing coverage of the conflicting versions of this event and its aftermath, giving prominent attention to the student’s account and the investigative findings supporting it. We thus have provided a fair and accurate historical record of how this incident unfolded.”
    No, the Post has done nothing of the sort. Some wishy-washy ‘well, there are two sides here’ bullshit don’t feed the bulldog. The two sides are the one which occurred and the fantasy the Post published.
    A flat retraction and apology was due the day after publishing the original story, and not under the fold on Pg 12.

  40. “While we do not accept the characterizations and contentions regarding our reporting of the incident at the Lincoln Memorial, we have taken steps to address the concerns expressed to us.” That is one hell of a mouthful of gobbledygook.
    If the “characterizations and “contentions” are not “accepted” Then why are you taking steps to address them? How long has the Wa-po been reporting news? I think it is 100 years or so? And you still can’t get a story right? sounds like it is time to turn off your presses.

    1. 100 years or so, but that was back when “factual reporting” was a thing and they gave a shit. Now, social justice virtue-signalling is the top priority.

      And just WHAT, o sophisticates, did you expect from generations of college graduates rigorously trained to deconstruct such dated paradigms as “objective truth”, duty, family, loyalty, honor, modesty and that most-easily-mocked non-virtue…”patriotism” lol.

      The real lulz come from people expecting better. Good job tearing down those weak sauce “Western Values”…but now whattaya got? Intersectionality?

  41. Bullshit.

  42. To be clear, I was applying the bullshit comment to WaPo.

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