In 2018, Nick Sandmann found himself the subject of national scorn after a selectively edited clip of him smiling awkwardly while a Native American activist banged a drum in front of him amid a boisterous confrontation between a number of parties outside the Washington Monument following the March for Life.
Sandmann, sporting a MAGA hat along with many of his fellow Covington High School students, was portrayed by a number of prominent outlets as having taunted the activist. Those outlets absolutely should have known better than to lift their reporting from a short clip that went viral on Twitter.
Several of these outlets have had to pay sorely for their bad reporting ever since — and Sandmann is set for life.
In his case, it was the establishment media complex, taking cues from outraged Twitter mobs, that spun the narrative implying Sandmann was something he was not.
In the case of Kyle Rittenhouse, however, who was portrayed by the establishment media as a white supremacist militia member after shooting three rioters in self-defense as Kenosha burned following Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, the inevitable defamation suits will likely take aim at an even bigger target: the President of the United States.
Todd McMurtry, who helped Sandman reach a hefty defamation settlement with CNN, told Fox News last week that he thinks Rittenhouse may very well have a solid case against now-President Joe Biden, who used the teenager’s image and implied he was a white supremacist during the 2020 campaign.
Not only did Biden suggest that Rittenhouse was a white supremacist on CNN shortly after the teenager shot three rioters in self-defense in fiery riots last year, the candidate also included an image of Kyle with his AR-15-style rifle in a video he tweeted out as part of a montage of white nationalists and Proud Boys in Charlottesville and elsewhere, along with audio of Chris Wallace asking Trump to disavow white supremacists.
There’s no other way to put it: the President of the United States refused to disavow white supremacists on the debate stage last night. pic.twitter.com/Q3VZTW1vUV
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 30, 2020
The suggestion was far from subtle — Rittenhouse was being portrayed as a white supremacist by a man running for president.
Should Rittenhouse sue President Biden?
And when Rittenhouse was found not guilty by a jury in Kenosha on felony homicide and attempted homicide charges on Nov. 19 after it had already been exhaustively established that he in no way held to white supremacist ideology, it was a sitting president who had egg all over his face.
“What you take from that tweet is that Kyle Rittenhouse was using his rifle and engaging in White supremacist misconduct so it’s actionable,” McMurtry said, adding that such a case wasn’t “necessarily going to win, but it’s actionable.”
The attorney also noted that as Biden was not yet president at the time, he wouldn’t be able to benefit from any kind of executive or congressional immunity.
Fox notes that Rittenhouse’s mother, Wendy, accused the president of slandering her son “for votes.”
“I was so angry for a while at him and what he did to my son. He defamed him,” she said during an appearance on “Hannity” earlier this month.
Rittenhouse himself pretty handily dismantled Biden’s brazen suggestion that he was a racist during his own lengthy sit-down with Fox’s Tucker Carlson last week.
“Mr. President, if I could say one thing to you, I would urge you to go back and watch the trial and understand the facts before you make a statement,” the teenager said, going so far as to describe it as “actual malice, defaming my character, for him to say something like that.”
He is most certainly not wrong.
President Biden, like so many of his own party members, wasn’t above leveraging wrongful charges brought against a teenager who defended his own life using a firearm he was lawfully allowed to carry after he showed up to help protect private property and administer aid during a violent protest that the then-candidate was criticized for being too slow to condemn.
All of this was to accuse his rival, then-President Trump, of refusing to disavow white supremacy — something Trump has done on multiple occasions and in no uncertain terms, by the way.
As Carlson noted to Rittenhouse, it is “no small thing” to be called a virulent racist who believes in the kind of disgusting ideology that has led to millions of deaths at the hands of psychotic tyrants. In reality, neither Rittenhouse nor the millions of American voters the left loves to slander with the same term hold to those beliefs.
Biden may be subject to a lawsuit — but he and everyone else who abuses this very serious accusation ought to be held accountable in the eyes of the entire public at large for their blatant lies on a much bigger scale if we have any chance of scraping the state of American discourse up from the low estate to which it has plummeted.