Kyle Rittenhouse has announced a new initiative that seeks to challenge major media outlets in court over their reporting.
On Monday, Rittenhouse said that the Media Accountability Project would raise money to fund legal challenges against media outlets he believes were responsible for defaming him during his murder trial last year and otherwise hold them more broadly “accountable,” the Washington Examiner reports.
“The Media Accountability Project is the official fundraising vehicle for holding the worst offenders in our activist media accountable in court. In the long term, I want to provide a platform for independent journalists who are actually committed to the truth, but for right now, accountability is priority No. 1,” Rittenhouse told the outlet.
Rittenhouse, who was 17 when he fatally shot two men and injured a third during the 2020 riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, claimed he was acting in self-defense and was in the city with a rifle to help protect businesses there during the unrest that followed the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
A Wisconsin jury in November acquitted Rittenhouse of all charges, ranging from intentional homicide to recklessly endangering safety.
Following his trial last year, during and after which he was subject to nationwide attention, Rittenhouse told Fox News there would be “some media accountability coming soon.” Although he did not specify the names of the outlets he would challenge in court, Rittenhouse argued that major media lied about him by describing him as racist and a white supremacist during his trial.
“I was called a white supremacist, a vigilante, and those just aren’t true,” Rittenhouse told The Daily Wire’s Candace Owens late last month. “There’s going to be some accountability, Candace.”
In November, when Fox News’ Tucker Carlson asked Rittenhouse if he planned to hold “liars to account” who defamed him, Rittenhouse responded, “I have really good lawyers who are taking care of that right now.”
“So, I’m hoping one day there will be some, there’ll be accountability for their actions that they did,” Rittenhouse said.
“Okay, so you’re intent on not, you’re not gonna let that go?” Carlson pressed.
“Like I said, really good lawyers are handling that,” Rittenhouse said.
“What did you make of the President of the United States calling you a white supremacist?” Carlson went on to ask.
“Mr. President, if I could say one thing to you, I would urge you to go back and watch the trial, and understand the facts before you make a statement,” Rittenhouse said.
“That’s not a small thing to be called that,” Carlson responded.
Kyle added: “No, it’s actual malice, defaming my character for him to say something like that.”
Following his trial, Rittenhouse said: “My trial exposed a deep corruption in our media that cannot go unanswered. Their blatant lies, defamation, and propaganda were malicious attempts to tear our nation apart and destroy my life — and I am committed to holding them accountable.”
He announced the new project on Carlson’s program. The initiative already has a website where supporters of him and his cause can donate to a fund for his legal challenges against the media.
In a promotional video for the Media Accountability Project, Rittenhouse read a quote from Malcolm X that describes the power of the mainstream media.
“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power,” he said.
Rittenhouse has also put certain figures on notice, per se, that they could be facing defamation litigation, including the U.S. president and ABC’s “The View” co-host Whoopie Goldberg, who said the teen committed murder even though a jury found otherwise.
“We are 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,” he said, before noting Cenk Uygur from “The Young Turks” is also on his list.