Kyle Rittenhouse 'Has No Case' Say Critics, As Kenosha Shooter Plans To Sue Media

A number of public figures have dismissed Kyle Rittenhouse's vow to sue news organizations and media personalities who spread what he describes as "lies" about him before and after his trial.

Rittenhouse, who was cleared of murder last November after killing two people at Black Lives Matter protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, told Fox News' Tucker Carlson that he has set up "The Media Accountability Project" as a tool to hold the media accountable and "deal with them in court."

When asked by Carlson who in particular he is hoping to hold accountable, Rittenhouse said: "We're looking at quite a few politicians, celebrities, athletes.

"Whoopi Goldberg is on the list, she called me a murderer after I was acquitted by a jury of my peers. She went on to still say that. And there's others, don't forget about Cenk [Uygur] from the Young Turks. He called me a murderer before verdict and continues to call me a murderer."

The 18-year-old said he hopes to hold those who referred to him as a "white supremacist" accountable in court as part of his latest fundraising effort.

Rittenhouse and his lawyers have long stated there is no evidence to link him to any far-right group, and the judge in the trial told the prosecution they could not attempt to highlight any alleged ties to the jury.

Following his appearance on Carlson's show, critics have suggested that Rittenhouse may not have a case to sue people who still refer to him as a "murderer" as it is still considered opinion under the law.

Adrienne Lawrence, an attorney and host on The Young Turks media network, tweeted: "Did someone call Rittenhouse a 'convicted murderer'?

"Because, to my knowledge, you can be a murderer factually, even if you're legally acquitted. An acquittal doesn't really change that one murdered another."

In a follow-up tweet, Lawrence explained how Rittenhouse's case is different to that of O.J. Simpson, who was cleared of murder in the highly publicized 1995 trial before a civil court jury ruled him legally responsible for the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

"O.J. could sue for defamation because he maintains that he did not kill. Rittenhouse, however, admitted to killing; he simply claims it was legally justified, which a jury agreed with," Lawrence wrote.

Former MSNBC anchor David Shuster tweeted: "The courts have long established that calling somebody a 'murderer' is an opinion + a legal right, even after the person is found 'not guilty.' At that point, one can still call them a murderer, just not a 'convicted murderer.'

"Nobody has called Rittenhouse that. He has no case."

Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower who has sought asylum in Russia since 2013, quoted French philosopher Albert Camus to make the point that Rittenhouse should not go down the route of suing media companies.

"'A free press can be good or bad, but without freedom, the press will never be anything but bad,'" Snowden tweeted.

"As someone called worse things by bigger names, lawsuits against newspapers over hurt feelings—and even false claims—are not the answer. Won't fix people, but will harm rights."

Rittenhouse previously vowed to sue President Joe Biden for defamation over a September 2020 tweet that linked him to white supremacy.

The tweet, which Biden's team posted during his presidential campaign, featured a video condemning Donald Trump for failing to denounce white supremacy and other far-right groups, which included a still of Rittenhouse from the night of the Kenosha shootings.

Legal experts previously told Newsweek that Rittenhouse's threat to sue Biden was "not a serious claim."

Barbara McQuade, a University of Michigan law professor and former U.S attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, said: "A defamation case is unlikely to succeed here against any defendant."

"By inserting himself into the civil unrest in Kenosha, Rittenhouse voluntarily became a limited purpose public figure, which subjects defamation claims against him to the actual malice standard."

McQuade added that Rittenhouse must also prove that Biden or whoever was responsible for posting the tweet acted with "reckless disregard as to its truth" by linking Rittenhouse to the far-right.

The Media Accountability Project has been contacted for comment.

kyle rittenhouse sue
Kyle Rittenhouse peers at the screen as attorneys for both sides argue about a video in Kenosha (Wisconsin) Circuit Court on November 12, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Kyle Rittenhouse is launching a new fundraising project to sue media organizations and people who called him a murderer. Mark Hertzberg-Pool/Getty Images