Judge dismisses Sandmann libel case against Washington Post

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.

But of course! A Kentucky judge has thrown out the $250 million Nick Sandmann libel case against the Washington Post, saying the Post was merely exercising its first amendment rights.

Everyone should understand how this works. Leftist and liberal news outlets, as well as leftist and liberal politicians and pundits, are allowed to slander and libel and lie about any conservative because of free speech. Should a conservative do it however be prepared to have the full force of the law come down on you like a brick.

More and more it appears the law is no longer for everyone. Instead, it has become a weapon by the left to oppress its opponents.


Every July, to celebrate the anniversary of the start of Behind the Black in 2010, I hold a month-long fund-raising campaign to make it possible for me to continue my work here for another year.

This year's fund-raising drive however is more significant in that it is also the 10th anniversary of this website's founding. It is hard to believe, but I have been doing this for a full decade, during which I have written more than 22,000 posts, of which more than 1,000 were essays and almost 2,600 were evening pauses.

This year's fund drive is also more important because of the growing intolerance of free speech and dissent in American culture. Increasingly people who don't like what they read are blatantly acting to blackball sites like mine. I have tried to insulate myself from this tyrannical effort by not depending on Google advertising or cross-posts Facebook or Twitter. Though this prevents them from having a hold on me, it also acts to limit my exposure.

Therefore, I hope you will please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.


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  • Tom

    This will be appealed and be kept alive.

  • Wodun

    Rand Simberg has been waiting for his first amendmend case to either be thrown out or go to trail for many years now.

    Often, the rules for what can be said about public and private individuals is different. This was clearly a case of public people slandering a private individual, who experienced life changing damages because the media engaged in democrat party propaganda rather than journalism.

  • Anthony

    What I can’t wrap my head around is why any judge or any member of the “justice” system would side with the left.

    I was shocked when I heard what this judge did. I thought Nick Sandmann had a very good case.

    I first learned of this news on YouTube. Fox news channel had a video on this and an interesting thing to note is half of the viewers down voted it and half up voted. The comment section was equally divided. Previously all of the videos I saw on this topic the comments where overwhelmingly supportive of Nick Sandman. I suspect something is happening under the table here. YouTube may be manipulating their system to suppress support and exaggerate the condemning view point.

    One other point I would like to make is this “news outlet“ should have at least used the term “allegedly“ before making any accusations based on this obviously unreliable witness.

    I would love to see what would happen if YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, or Google got sued for suppressing free speech and this judge presided over the case.

  • wayne

    What we are missing here (at least in part)— the actual complete text of the judge’s decision.
    USAToday= Fake news.
    Sandmann’s attorney (L. Lin Wood) is no slouch, he has an enviable track-record of success in precisely these type of cases.

    Nick Sandmann: The Truth in 15 Minutes
    L. Lin Wood PC
    Feb 1, 2019

  • wayne

    “Life, Liberty, and Levin,”
    L. Lin Wood interview (excerpt)
    March 10, 2019

  • wayne

    New York Times Co. v. Sullivan:
    A Landmark Case for Free Speech [No. 86]
    Professor Eugene Volokh
    ” In this episode of No. 86, Professor Eugene Volokh of the UCLA School of Law explains how New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (1964), a landmark Supreme Court case, transformed our understanding of libel law.”

  • wayne

    NYT Company V. Sullivan
    Oral arguments January 6 & 7, 1964

  • Edward

    From the article: “But the Eastern District of Kentucky judge ruled that Phillips, who told the media he felt threatened, had a First Amendment right to express his opinion.

    But the lawsuit was not against Phillips. It was against the Washington Post, which made no corrections or apologies when it learned the truth of the situation. Instead it continued to express the untrue version, badly defaming the boys who had been dragged into the situation by unscrupulous adults — including the press, as we learned.

    Phillips has a right to express his opinion, but the press has a duty to present both sides. Because it didn’t, it has libeled these kids. This is the basis of the lawsuit, not Phillips’ bad behavior.

    Bertelsman also ruled it was irrelevant to the defamation case that “Sandmann was scorned on social media.”

    This is how we know that the libel has had a deleterious effect and just how bad it was. Does this judge have any brains at all?

    Where is the country that I grew up in?

    My grandfather was a judge, but he served back in a time when it was an honorable profession. He specialized in probate and juveniles. I wonder what he would have said about the poor treatment that these kids received.

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