Johnny Depp’s unexpected victory in his defamation suit against former spouse Amber Heard brought much joy to some of the worst people on Earth. This includes perpetual victim machine Kyle Rittenhouse, who tweeted last week that “the Johnny Depp trial is just fueling me, you can fight back against the lies in the media, and you should!”
Rittenhouse feels that the media, President Joe Biden, Whoopi Goldberg, and anyone else with a soul and a bank account sullied his good name with wild accusations that he killed people. He insists that he’s not a murderer because he was acquitted in a court of law. So was OJ Simpson. An acquittal keeps you out of prison or the electric chair. It doesn’t qualify you for Time magazine’s Person of the Year.
The teen killer (true statement!) appeared on Tucker Carlson’s white male grievance fest Monday night where he whined some more about how the media made it impossible for him to enjoy a “normal” life after he shot two people dead, which is fatal, and permanently injured a third.
RITTENHOUSE: We’re going to make the media pay for what they did to me. They made it hard for me to live a normal life. I can’t go out in public. I can’t go to the store. It’s hard for me to go anywhere without security. Doing basic things like taking my dog to the dog park is difficult. So, they made it really difficult to be normal. And they affected future job opportunities to me. I don’t think I will ever be able to work or get a job because I’m afraid an employer may not hire me.
I don’t think anyone has the right to a quiet, low-key murder trial. He’s also actively sought fame and attention, maintaining his public figure status. He’s spoken at conservative conferences and was greeted as a liberator (of people’s lives) at Turning Point USA’s “AmericaFest.” Last week, Turning Point USA even presented Rittenhouse as an ideal catch for young conservative women eager to marry whiny babies who admit on national TV that they have no job prospects.
Of course, the dim picture he paints for his media-tainted future is contradicted by his adoring fans in Congress who’ve already offered him work. He’s clearly teeing up a “career” of steady rightwing grift.
Carlson has spent the past few weeks insisting you can’t prove that his Great Replacement Theory rhetoric influenced the racist Buffalo shootings, but he absurdly asked Rittenhouse, “When you go into public, do people repeat to you things they saw on social media or on say, NBC News or CNN?”
The media isn’t why people might have a bad impression of Rittenhouse, who voluntarily tweets this crap:
Someone should probably contact the Secret Service.
Carlson asked Rittenhouse “what action are you taking against the tech companies that made this defamation possible?” It’s hard to keep track of how rightwingers think social media should actually work: Is it a free-speech-for-all where anything goes or do platforms have an obligation to ensure that the content users share is accurate?
Rittenhouse’s lawyer Todd McMurtry later explained: “I think the first one that I’m taking a look at is Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg announced in a videotape that what Kyle was involved in was ‘mass murder,’ and that’s clearly defamatory.”
Zuckerberg had described the Kenosha, Wisconsin shootings as a “mass murder event” in a video where he admitted Facebook should’ve removed a page that had encouraged people to bring weapons to the ongoing protests. Zuckerberg was speaking as Facebook CEO and not on behalf of Facebook, per se, but regardless, good luck successfully suing a billionaire for anything.
Like we keep saying: In defamation cases, a plaintiff who’s a public figure has to prove that the accused party not only said something untrue, but that they knew it to be untrue — that they acted with “actual malice,” which has nothing to do with animosity or ill will. People can hate the little creep but that doesn’t mean they acted with “actual malice” if they called him a murderer or a white supremacist.
Much like when I wanted to marry Winona Ryder in the early 1990s, Rittenhouse needs to accept that he’s not Johnny Depp. You need a few Pirates movies under your belt before you can overcome the established burden of proof in a defamation suit.
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