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The Washington Post can breathe a bit more easily.
A federal judge in Kentucky on Friday dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed against the Post by Nicholas Sandmann, a student at Covington Catholic High School in Park Hills, Kentucky. Sandmann and his family sought $250 million in damages over the newspaper's reporting about Sandmann's confrontation with a Native American activist on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in January during an anti-abortion rally in the capital. The report, Politico writes, caused Sandmann, who is white and appeared to be wearing a Make America Great Again hat at the time, to be "castigated" for "apparently intimidating a person of color."
The lawsuit alleged that the Post smeared Sandmann as part of its "war" against President Trump. The paper did later acknowledge it made several errors in its coverage of the incident.
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The judge, William O. Bertelsman, ruled that the Post's reporting was projected as free speech and that the paper did not factually report Sandmann had behaved in a violent or menacing way, relying instead on a recounting from Nathan Phillips, the activist, who said the teenager blocked his path. The ruling elaborated that although the reporting may have been inaccurate it was not defamatory.
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