He has also made it clear that he plans to sue multiple news organizations, saying last month that he had sent letters to more than 50 publishers and individuals (including The Atlantic) demanding that they preserve all documents relating to their statements and reporting regarding Sandmann and his classmates.
When asked which other news outlets he planned to sue, Wood said, “We are still formulating our [precise] plans regarding complaints against other media entities so I cannot state with certainty the order of the filings. I can tell you that at the present time, our team is carefully analyzing the coverage of CNN, Associated Press and NBC/MSNBC.”
In a recent interview on Fox News, Sean Hannity asked Wood if there were “hundreds, thousands of potential lawsuits here?”
“Certainly hundreds,” Wood said. “The good news is that we have two and a half years to identify and file lawsuits against the wrongdoers because he is a minor. Nick will turn 18 in July of 2020. We’ve got two and a half years. We’ve got a lot of work to do, because the social-media and mainstream mob of bullies was extremely large in number. And they were very vocal.”
What impact the Post’s editor’s note might have on the litigation was also a matter of debate. Wood said it was simply “too little, too late” in a statement to Fox News this weekend.
Kelly, the Post spokesperson, made it clear to me in an email on Sunday that the newspaper does not consider its editor’s note a correction. “While we do not accept the characterizations and contentions regarding our reporting of the incident at the Lincoln Memorial, we have taken steps to address the concerns expressed to us,” Kelly said. “The full story did not emerge all at once and throughout our coverage, we sought to produce accurate reports. Even the comments of the school and church officials changed, and the Post provided ongoing coverage of the conflicting versions of this event and its aftermath, giving prominent attention to the student’s account and the investigative findings supporting it. We thus have provided a fair and accurate historical record of how this incident unfolded.”
LoMonte, from the University of Florida, said that Kentucky is one of the states that allows publishers to mitigate damages through corrections, but that “what the Post has published is not a complete retraction, and I’m not sure whether it rises to the level of a correction. It doesn’t explicitly say, ‘We were wrong about certain facts.’ It just says that those facts have been contradicted or can’t be confirmed.”
Nott said the editor’s note “doesn’t seem like an attempt by The Washington Post to mitigate defamation damages. It seems like a statement that they didn’t engage in defamation at all.”
Youmans, from George Washington, said the statement was “carefully crafted to avoid surrendering ground to Sandmann’s lawyers.”
“It makes the case that inaccuracies in initial reporting were worked out over a series of articles,” he said, “hinting at possible defenses and demonstrating the absence of actual malice.”