Remember “Clock Boy?” The media lifted his story to the national stage to fuel a narrative of Islamophobia in America.
For anyone in need of a refresher, just over a year ago, teenager Ahmed Mohamed was arrested at his high school for bringing what was believed to be a fake bomb to school. The media quickly took Mohamed’s side, reporting that he’d been arrested for merely bringing a homemade clock to school, and it was only mistaken as a “bomb” because he was Muslim. Anyone who later saw the photo of the, um, “clock,” realized the reason Ahmed got into trouble was because his clock actually did look like a bomb.
Not satisfied with the media attention, recognition from the president, hundreds of thousands of social media followers gained, and countless scholarship, internship, and job opportunities, Ahmed’s father filed a $15 million lawsuit against Fox News, Glenn Beck, the Mayor of Irving, and Ben Shapiro — among others — who dared to accurately report on the story.
Last month, Beck got the suit against him dismissed. District Court Judge Maricela Moore dismissed the lawsuit under Texas’ Anti-SLAPP grounds. SLAPP stands for “Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation,” defined as “a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.” Beck, who filed the Anti-SLAPP motion, was awarded attorney fees and court costs for the dismissed case.
Also freed from the ridiculous lawsuit: Ben Shapiro. As EAG News reported:
Daily Wire Editor-In-Chief Ben Shapiro did nothing wrong in questioning the motives of Ahmed “Clock Boy” Mohamed, a Muslim student who was detained by police after building a “clock” that resembled a bomb, a Texas court ruled.
A Dallas County District Court judge this week dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed against Shapiro by Mohamed’s father, Mohamed Mohamed, over Shapiro’s comments about the September 2015 incident at MacArthur High School in Irving.
He tweeted out a photo of the dismissal on his Twitter account yesterday:
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) February 2, 2017
The article goes on to say:
“Shapiro is entitled to recover his attorneys’ fees, curt costs, and other expenses in bringing his Motion to Dismiss and defending against Plaintiff’s claims,” the order read.
“Ben Shapiro has always been a steadfast advocate of the First Amendment and there was never any doubt he was going to stand up for his right to speak freely,” Shapiro’s attorney, Kurt Schlichter, told Townhall. “I’m very grateful that the state of Texas takes the First Amendment seriously, I only wish my own state of California would do the same, especially after the fiasco at Berkeley yesterday.”
Bad news for clock boy — but great news for freedom of speech advocates. The media already controls the narrative, let’s not allow lawsuits to uphold those who challenge it.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]