President Trump's confrontational relationship with what he terms the "fake news" media is set to take centre stage in the 2020 election campaign following the commencement of defamation proceedings by Nicholas Sandmann against the Washington Post claiming $250 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
Threatened further actions against other leading media outlets based on the same circumstances will see a real lawyers picnic keeping the courts very busy whilst the media coverage promises comprehensive and sensational reporting.
The complaint filed by Sandmann's attorneys sets out the following allegations:
- In a span of three (3) days in January of this year commencing on January 19, the Post engaged in a modern-day form of McCarthyism by competing with CNN and NBC, among others, to claim leadership of a mainstream and social media mob of bullies which attacked, vilified, and threatened Nicholas Sandmann ("Nicholas"), an innocent secondary school child.
- The Post wrongfully targeted and bullied Nicholas because he was the white, Catholic student wearing a red "Make America Great Again" souvenir cap on a school field trip to the January 18 March for Life in Washington, D.C. when he was unexpectedly and suddenly confronted by Nathan Phillips ("Phillips"), a known Native American activist, who beat a drum and sang loudly within inches of his face ("the January 18 incident").
- Nicholas stood quietly and respectfully for several minutes after being targeted and bullied by Phillips and Nicholas' body language remained non-aggressive and passive throughout the incident.
- Nicholas is 16-years of age, is 5'9" in height and weighs 115 pounds.
- The school field trip to the Nation's capital was the first out-of-state trip Nicholas had ever taken without being with his family.
- In targeting and bullying Nicholas by falsely accusing him of instigating the January 18 incident, the Post conveyed that Nicholas engaged in acts of racism by "swarming" Phillips, "blocking" his exit away from the students, and otherwise engaging in racist misconduct.
- The Post ignored basic journalist standards because it wanted to advance its well-known and easily documented, biased agenda against President Donald J Trump ("the President") by impugning individuals perceived to be supporters of the President.
The last allegation will necessitate the production of substantive evidence detailing the Washington Post's anti-Trump bias - offering the President reams of free advertising justifying what Trump has been consistently complaining about for the last two years.
Multiply this by possibly 50 times or more in other similar cases and the news and positive outcomes for the President promises to be very good duringnext two years.
The Washington Post case and the other threatened proceedings will not be concluded by the time of the 2020 elections - unless they are settled.
However these cases will be constantly in the public domain. The optics and perceptions created by these proceedings during the election campaign could see the electorate expressing their disgust by rejecting media calls from a perceived biased media campaigning for Trump's defeat.
The media's behaviour is the second issue - the other the chaos at the Southern Border - that has considerably boosted Trump's chances of winning the 2020 elections.
Both involve legal proceedings invoking David and Goliath images: one - a targeted and bullied young boy pitted against the media world - the other - a President fighting 16 States because Congress would not let him honour a core election commitment to prevent entry into America other than through authorised entry points - ensuring continuation of the current crisis and chaos.
Trump's media enemies and his Democratic opponents have each become the victims of their perceivedhate-Trump policies - playing right into Trump's welcoming embrace.
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