Libel Lawsuit Over Daily Dot’s Allegations That Someone Was “Jan. 6 Capitol Riot Organizer” Can Go Forward
From Bostic v. Daily Dot, LLC, decided Wednesday by Judge Robert Pitman (W.D. Tex.):
This case revolves around an article … published on February 23, 2021, by the Daily Dot—a wholly owned subsidiary of Clarion Media—which stated that Plaintiff Daniel Bostic … was a “Jan. 6 Capitol riot organizer.” Bostic claims that he “was not connected in any way with the January 6 riots, much less that he was an organizer or coordinator of riots and insurrection.” According to his complaint, Defendants knew or disregarded that Bostic was not connected with the January 6 riot and falsely attempted to portray him as an organizer by using a photo of him at an event from a different rally in November 2020.
Bostic has a background in politics but maintains that he has never been substantially involved in any attempts to overturn the 2020 election. He first interned for and later worked as a staff assistant for Congressman Tim Scott, and in 2018, volunteered with the organization “Stop the Steal,” which protested ongoing recounts in Broward County, Florida. After 2018, he maintained contact with the organizers of Stop the Steal but began to focus on promoting his filmmaking. He attended political rallies in 2020, including some following the November election results, but alleges that he did not play any part in organizing the Stop the Steal rallies planned for January 5 or 6, 2021. While Bostic does not firmly deny that Stop the Steal helped to organize parts of the January 6 protest, he says that the organization did not plan the march on the Capitol or rally at then-President Trump’s speech.
While Bostic acknowledges that he was at a protest in Washington D.C. on January 6, he maintains that he only attended a peaceful portion of the protest. Bostic walked from the White House Ellipse to the media area of the Capitol Lawn and live-streamed a portion of the walk on Twitter via Periscope with “Stop the Steal” chants in the background. He captioned one of the videos “Storming the Capitol#StopTheSteal” but argues that he was so far away from the Capitol building that it should have been obvious that he was not actually storming anything. When he reached the Capitol, Bostic saw the violent scene unfolding, deleted his Periscope stream, and left the protest. According to Bostic, that was the extent of his participation in the events of January 6.
On January 19, 2021, Salon published an
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