Kyle Rittenhouse and his new attorney, Todd McMurtry, have vowed to hold Facebook and Big Tech “accountable” for their actions in defaming the teenager both during and after his murder trial.
McMurtry, who was a member of Covington Catholic student Nicholas Sandmann’s legal team, recently joined Rittenhouse’s legal team to help file defamation lawsuits against public figures and media outlets who made false accusations and statements about the teen.
Rittenhouse was acquitted of all five felony charges brought against him after an incident in August of 2020 during a riot in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he was forced to shoot three individuals in self-defense, killing two and wounding the third.
Speaking on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Rittenhouse discussed how the media and Big Tech’s defamation has led to him needing private security to protect from harassment, and has likely led to him never being able to be employed in the future due to his reputation.
“We’re going to make the media pay for what they did to me,” Rittenhouse told host Tucker Carlson. “They made it hard for me to live a normal life.”
“I can’t go out into public,” he continued. “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 for me. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to work or get a job, because I’m afraid an employer may not hire me.”
Discussing their plans for future lawsuits, McMurtry revealed that he has his eye on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg because of defamatory statements from the company and violations of Section 230, also known as the Communications Decency Act, which protects internet and social media platforms that remove offensive material and gives these companies immunity for third-party content.
According to McMurtry, Zuckerberg will be facing a lawsuit for referring to the shootings as a “mass murder” event.
“We’re going to sue, A, for the defamatory statements that Kyle engaged in mass murder and, B, for violations of Section 230 by taking down posts that told the truth about Kyle. So in essence, they suppressed the truth by taking down truthful posts,” McMurtry said. “The Communications Decency Act does not provide that protection.”
The high-profile attorney went on to assert that the media engaged in “actual malice” and “negligence” by falsely labeling Rittenhouse as a “white supremacist” and falsely claiming that he crossed state lines with a firearm.
“Calling somebody a murderer in certain circumstances can be actionable. Other things that media personalities, people on social media said, were clearly defamatory,” the attorney said.
Speaking directly to Tucker Carlson, McMurtry added: “I think your comment about [the media] calling Kyle a white supremacist is made up out of thin air. I don’t know how the media can claim they didn’t make a statement that was completely made up out of thin air without engaging in actual malice or most certainly negligence.”
“I think we have some strong grounds to proceed,” he continued. “We’re going to evaluate them and look for opportunities to hold the media and to hold [Big] Tech accountable, as Kyle’s promised.”
In February of this year, Rittenhouse launched the Media Accountability Project to fundraise and take legal action against media organizations and public figures who have defamed him.