PHILADELPHIA – The parents of an avid 12-year-old supporter of President Donald Trump have launched a defamation lawsuit against Newsweek Magazine, for labeling him as a “Trump Mini-Me” and as a part of a sinister plot by the political alt-right in “defending raw racism and sexual abuse.”
Brian McCafferty and Melissa McCafferty (individually and on behalf of their minor child, “C.M.”) of Philadelphia filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Feb. 21 versus Newsweek Media Group, Ltd.
The McCaffertys allege their son, referred to in the litigation as C.M., was unfairly characterized in an article titled “Trump’s Mini-Mes”, published in a January print edition of Newsweek and which displayed his full name and photograph.
"As set forth in the offending article, the defendant characterizes C.M. as part of a ‘weird little army’ of ‘mini-mes’ that has been ‘weaponized’ – by the ‘alt-right’ and/or his parents – as part of a greater scheme to defend ‘racism and sexual abuse,' and, even more offensively, all under a picture of C.M. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth, and the defendant knew or should have known this,” the suit states.
A copy of the print version of the article is included an exhibit in the complaint.
The McCaffertys argue Newsweek claimed the “voices behind C.M. are hiding behind children as part of yet another sinister plot to weaponize children through the seduction of becoming ‘a celebrity'” and that the magazine feels “no child has the right to organically develop a conservative point of view…it must be part of a bigger, sinister plot to exploit or hide behind children.”
“In reality, it is Newsweek itself that is disgracefully ‘weaponizing’ children, as the reckless article brands and punishes a child simply because he chooses to exercise a First Amendment right to be conservative,” the plaintiffs allege.
The McCaffertys claim a Newsweek editor recently admitted that “the sexual abuse of children will always exist” and “sometimes, it leads to great art," leading them to harshly criticize the publication throughout the lawsuit.
“Thus, Newsweek condones an editorial belief that pedophilia potentially ‘great art’, and now, this article deliberately weaponizes children to promote racism and sexual abuse, all for a desperate Newsweek to sell magazines. The truth behind Newsweek’s sloppy, poor and sensationalist journalism reveals that Newsweek is doing to children exactly what it falsely claims others are doing, but to an unprecedented manner by improperly crying that C.M. has been ‘weaponized’ by the alt-right to promote racism and sexual abuse,” the plaintiffs stated.
“To forever link C.M. and his parents to a scheme designed to defend racism and/or sexual abuse in any manner whatsoever is false, defamatory and outrageous, and no reasonable journalist or editor would ever have permitted such a reckless and malicious publication.”
According to the McCaffertys, Newsweek never attempted to contact them to discuss the article in question, which remains available on the publication’s website. They claim the article was a “heinous, horrendous, demonstrably false and malicious message” which has left their child under “a highly-offensive, national attack.”
The online version of the article is instead titled “Trump’s Child Crusaders” and does not feature a sub-headline referring to the political alt-right’s “weird little army” of child supporters.
Newsweek was not able to be reached for comment on the litigation.
For counts of false light and defamation, the plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages substantially in excess of the arbitration limits, plus costs, pre- and post-judgment delay damages, interest and any further relief the Court deems just and appropriate, along with demands of the defendant for preservation of documents, communications and other relevant evidence, and a trial by jury.
The plaintiffs are represented by Dion G. Rassias of The Beasley Law Firm, in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 180202035
From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at email@example.com