Covington HS Student's Attorney on Planned CNN Lawsuit: They Joined a 'Social Media Mob Attack'
High-profile defamation attorney L. Lin Wood, who is representing Covington Catholic student Nicholas Sandmann in cases against media outlets, discussed what he called the decline of the media, on "Life, Liberty & Levin."
Levin asked whether the media has declined in professionalism over the past few decades.
Wood said it has, calling the downturn "vivid" and "remarkable."
He said that when he started practicing law in 1977, Ted Turner hadn't yet started the first 24-hour news channel and the media also did not have the convenience of the internet.
"What should have been... a benefit to society has turned into our worst nightmare," Wood said. "Literally no one is safe from a false attack."
Wood warned that in the case of his client, Sandmann, the teenager could one day hope to land a spot on the Supreme Court and could face the same scrutiny Justice Brett Kavanaugh had.
"They ... will dig out this garbage, misconstrue it and throw it back at him again," he said of how Sandmann was criticized for smirking at a Native American activist while wearing a MAGA hat.
Prior to representing Sandmann, Wood was the defendant's attorney in several key defamation cases, including Officer Richard Jewell after the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing, former Rep. Gary Condit (D-Calif.) and former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.
Wood also discussed plans to sue CNN for more than $250 million for its reporting and coverage of Sandmann's encounter with a Native American man.
"CNN was probably more vicious in its direct attacks on Nicholas than The Washington Post. And CNN goes into millions of individuals' homes," he said, arguing the First Amendment does not protect media outlets who "rush out and adopt a social media mob attack on a 16-year-old child."