Robert Barnes: Covington Lawsuit Will Determine if Media Can ‘Destroy and Defame’ a ‘Bunch of Kids’

Covington Catholic High School students
AP Photo

Robert Barnes told Breitbart News on Monday that he and his legal team are suing Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM), Reza Aslan, Matthew Dowd, Kathy Griffin, Maggie Haberman, Ana Navarro, and other news media figures for defamation on behalf of eight students from Covington, KY.

“We filed suit on Thursday on behalf of eight Convington families,” said Barnes in an interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow. “Likely there are three or four more Covington families that will be added to this suit after they review it.”

Barned continued, “We sued Kathy Griffin. We sued Maggie Haberman of the New York Times. We sued Senator Elizabeth Warren. We sued Congresswoman Deb Haaland. We sued Matthew Dowd and Ana Navarro of ABC and CNN, and a range of other personalities including Reza Aslan, a professor from Princeton and the editor of Mother Jones and Rewired … and a few other defendants mixed in there.”


“The cases are filed,” stated Barnes. “There will likely be some amendments to the complaint, and then we’ll get to the motion to dismiss stage, which I think we’ll survive. There will be multiple legal issues, one will be whether a senator or congressman can be sued. There are some that believe that they’re immune from any kind of suit while they’re a senator or congressman for any speech-related issues. There’s law on our side in that regard, but it will set a unique precedent in that respect.”

Barnes went on, “It will also set unique precedent in making clear that media personalities cannot use their major social media platforms to lie and libel a bunch of kids with immunity and impunity without some meaningful legal consequence. It will be a precedent-setting case.”

“It will be an underdog fight,” remarked Barnes, echoing his law firm’s self-description, “but a necessary one to protect kids and ordinary everyday people from big media personalities using their big social media platforms to try to destroy and defame them.”

Barnes recalled the chorus of condemnation directed at the high school students — alleging they engaged in “racist gestures” against “tribal elder” Nathan Phillips, a left-wing activist —  by Democrats and the broader left, including many news media figures.

“By the time they get home to Covington, Kentucky, [they find out] that they have been the subject of a massive social media lynch mob that’s trying to end their financial futures, led by the most prominent senators, celebrities, and public members of the press in our country,” Barned noted.

“We’re only suing the people that have refused, to this very day, to ever retract or correct anything in their statements and comments that hurt these kids,” Barnes specified.

“These are kids who were marching for the most vulnerable life in the world,” Barnes determined. “They’re from a very small town. It’s the very first time they’re in this beautiful, majestic city of our nation’s capital, and to the media elites, that offends them deeply — the pro-life march. And so that’s why they went after these kids.”

“Media elites,” said Barnes, will continue leveraging their positions to “destroy” all those dissenting from their political orthodoxies if not held accountable for defamation.

“They wanted to send a signal,” said Barnes of “media elites.” “If they could destroy the lives of a bunch of minor children from a small town in Kentucky, merely because they had the audacity to march for the most vulnerable life in the world in the nation’s capital — which was the real political motivation of this targeting — then they can do it to anybody, anywhere, anyplace, anytime. That’s why it was so critical to try to at least bring suit to fight this out in the legal system, to force the legal system to give some sort of remedy.”

Barnes predicted, “I believe we’ll get past the motion to dismiss, and they’re going to face a real Kentucky jury, and some of them for the very first time, are going to have consequences to their leveraging of their superior media access [and] their bigger social media platforms to try to destroy their political adversaries and their opponents.”

“It is a part of a fake news epidemic that is pervasive throughout institutional press that what they accuse others of is what they are the most guilty of, and the Covington case will always be the penultimate example of that,” estimated Barnes.

Marlow invited Barnes’s comments on news media and politicians’ reactions to Saturday’s mass shooting in El Paso, TX.

“We’re going to face a new group of mass shooters who are deliberately creating really fake political trails, solely for the goal of politicizing and publicizing their horrific acts,” assessed Barnes.

Barnes added, “It was clear in the Christchurch example. There was a lot of reason and evidence to believe the New Zealand shooter was creating a fake political trail because he believed it would be a more effective way to get attention. “

“The media know this,” stated Barnes. “They know that the number one reason these people do it is to get attention. The media knows if they deny them any media attention, that it likely deters future violence.”

Barnes concluded, “But if you look at someone like [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez], she wants people to see — or, put it this way, the political effect of her conduct is that there are going to be copycats. There are going to be people saying, ‘I want attention. I have all these mental disorder problems. I want this violent fantasy. How am I going to make sure I get attention? Well, I should pretend I’m on the right because then people like AOC will make sure I’m heard and broadcast around the world because it suits and serves their political and partisan interest.'”

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