January 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – At least one of the defamation suits brought against the media by pro-life teenager Nick Sandmann will not proceed to trial, as CNN agreed Tuesday to a settlement in the case.
Immediately after last year’s March for Life in Washington, D.C., the press erupted with claims that a video showed boys from a Catholic school in Kentucky harassing Nathan Phillips, a Native American activist, outside the Lincoln Memorial.
But additional extended video and firsthand accounts soon revealed that Phillips was the one who waded into the group waiting for its bus and decided to beat a drum inches from Sandmann’s face, while the boys had merely performed school cheers in hopes of drowning out racist taunts from members of the Black Hebrew Israelites fringe group.
As additional video came to light, many journalists and other public figures quickly deleted their snap condemnations of the students, while some either tried to keep the original narrative alive or refused to unequivocally retract or apologize for their initial claims, leading to various lawsuits on behalf of the boys.
Among the challenges was a $250 million suit against CNN for broadcasting into “millions of homes” the “idea that [Sandmann] was part of a mob…yelling racist slurs,” according to attorney L. Lin Wood. But the suit was settled Tuesday for an as-yet-undisclosed sum, Fox 19 reports.
Further details were not immediately available, though social media quickly erupted with reactions:
They should have to make a public apology for what they did.
WaPo too. The lot of them. Going after teenagers because of politics. https://t.co/WlYofyrTwR
— Ashe Schow (@AsheSchow) January 7, 2020
Of course the amount is not disclosed, and I'm sure there's no admission of liability, but it seems CNN did not have the stomach to defend this case. https://t.co/wsbzoeUmFJ
— Trust In God Products (@bsmithtampabay) January 7, 2020
“We just want this to go away so we can get back to mourning the death of Qassem Soleimani,” one senior CNN executive was heard to say.
— Aldous Huxley's Ghost™ (@AF632) January 7, 2020
Sandmann’s lawsuits against other individuals and media giants remain pending, including a $275 million suit against NBCUniversal and a $250 million suit against the Washington Post. “This case will be tried not one minute earlier or later than when it is ready,” Wood has declared, while Sandmann’s legal team stresses that the dollar amounts are not sought for the teen’s sake but to deter the press from smearing others in the future.
Attorneys Robert Barnes and Kevin Murphy have also filed defamation suits on behalf of eight other Covington students, targeting Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Deb Haaland, CNN’s Ana Navarro, the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, ABC News’s Matthew Dowd, ex-CNN personalities Kathy Griffin and Reza Aslan, Kentucky entrepreneur Adam Edelen, Princeton University’s Kevin Kruse, left-wing activist Shaun King, Mother Jones editor-in-chief Clara Jeffery, and Rewire editor-in-chief Jodi Jacobson.