Leave it to Kyle Rittenhouse to land a deal starring in the lamest video game ever. The acquitted Vigilante of Kenosha is hawking—what else—a third-person shooter in which players control an avatar of him and try to gun down cartoon turkeys labeled as “fake news”.
Add this to the list of things that sound like the least enjoyable way to spend your spare time. Whose mans is this? Whose mans told mans this was a good idea? Just why?
In a video posted to Twitter, the boy killer explains that the game was inspired by the idea that he—a guy who killed two people while “protecting” a business that wasn’t his, in a state he didn’t live in, with a gun he wasn’t old enough to buy on his own—was mistreated by journalists in the coverage of his 2020 shooting of three police brutality protestors in Kenosha, Wis., and his trial last year on homicide charges.
“From the beginning, I did nothing wrong. But that didn’t stop the media from smearing my name,” he says. To illustrate his point, the video shows several clips of real headlines that ran at the time, including Fox News’ “Flashback: Biden compared [killer’s name redacted] to white supremacists in 2020,” and from an unnamed website, “[killer’s name redacted]’s mother says Biden ‘defamed’ her son by suggesting he is a white supremacist.”
By the way, those headlines were from coverage of things that actually happened. His third example was a tweet from LeBron James, who for not one second of his life has been a journalist.
Rittenhouse has for months followed the lead of another fake tough-guy killer, George Zimmerman, threatening to sue journalists and others for talking about things he literally did in real life. Proceeds from the game, which is up for pre-sale and which we absolutely, positively won’t be linking to, will go towards helping pay legal expenses.
But here’s another possibility: this is all a grift to keep his name in the same headlines he claims to loathe so much. As he riles up supporters with talk about suing media outlets, he’s been on a tour of the right-wingnut mediasphere himself, most notably with recent lies about where (if?) he’s going to college.
As we’ve noted before, defamation is a hard-to-prove claim that involves proving that a media outlet or individual knowingly wrote or said untrue things about a third party and that those things harmed their reputation. Rittenhouse, like Zimmerman, will find out that suing people for discussing a thing he actually did—in this case, shooting two people to death and wounding a third—probably doesn’t end well for the plaintiff.
Funding some likely doomed lawsuits is a better marketing pitch than, “Hey, y’all, come play my creepy, boring video game.”