Lawyer for Covington Catholic Families Gives Media 48 Hours to 'Retract and Correct' Smears
Robert Barnes, the lawyer representing the Covington Catholic High School kids who were smeared by the media, is warning reporters, celebrities, and others with large media platforms that they have until Friday to correct the record, or they will be sued.
Because of their sloppy reporting of what transpired in Washington, D.C., when two groups of protesters confronted a group of Catholic high school students who were waiting to catch a bus last Friday, the teens and their families have become the subjects of ongoing threats and harassment from a hateful online outrage mob.
On Fox and Friends Wednesday morning, Barnes, who is representing the families at no cost, explained that because the kids are private citizens and minors, anything someone says about them that is false can be libel, according to the law. Rather than proving malice, "all you have to prove is negligence," he said.
So a lot of these journalists have been saying false statements about these kids, false statements about the kids that were at the Lincoln Memorial, false statements about kids that were in various photographs related to the school, slurring and libeling the entire school and all the alumni for the school, and all you have to prove is they were negligent in doing so and by this standpoint, by this point in time, it is clear that anyone who continues to lie and libel about these kids has done so illegally and can be sued for it.
Barnes said he was representing the families in a possible class-action lawsuit pro bono because libel lawsuits are difficult for average citizens to bring as they are very expensive. "They cost between a quarter of a million and a million dollars in legal fees to bring," he explained. "So I wanted to equalize the playing field. These are people who couldn't afford to bring this claim on their own behalf. That's why I offered my services for free because somebody needed to stop this from reoccurring."
The attorney stated he was giving the the libelers 48 hours to correct and retract their smears.
"Everybody now is on 48-hour notice. So by Friday everybody needs to retract and correct any false statements they have issued about these kids. That includes any major member of the media, that includes any major celebrity, that includes anybody with a substantial social media platform. If you've said anything false about these kids, they are willing to extend you a 48-hour time period — a period of grace consistent with their Christian faith — for you to, through confession, get redemption and retract and correct and apologize."
The lawyer warned that if libelers don't do this by Friday, they may be "a defendant in a lawsuit because those lawsuits will start to occur next week."