Nick Sandmann suing NBC, MSNBC for $275 million over ‘defamation’ against Covington boys
May 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Attorneys representing Covington Catholic High School junior Nicholas Sandmann have filed another major defamation suit against another mainstream media giant over its misleading coverage of Sandmann and his classmates at the 2019 March for Life, this time seeking $275 million from the parent company of NBC News and MSNBC.
Immediately after January’s March for Life in Washington, D.C., the press erupted with claims that a video showed boys from the Kentucky school 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 members of the Black Hebrew Israelites fringe group shouted racial taunts at the kids.
As additional video came to light, many journalists and other public figures quickly deleted their snap condemnations of the students, and in February an independent investigation commissioned by the Diocese of Covington (which had initially condemned the boys) cleared the students of wrongdoing.
On Wednesday, Sandmann attorneys Lin Wood and Todd McMurtry announced they have filed a defamation suit on the student’s behalf against NBC Universal in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky:
Today, Nicholas Sandmann sued NBC & MSNBC for defamation in federal court in Kentucky seeking accountability for false accusations. Nicholas did not instigate a hate crime or engage in racist conduct. Complaint available @ToddMcMurtry. #ReformOurMedia— Lin Wood (@LLinWood) May 1, 2019
Today, @LLinWood and I filed a $275,000,000 lawsuit against NBCUniversal on behalf of Nicholas Sandmann. The facts of the suit show the anti-Trump narrative NBC pushed so hard. Here is a link if you wish to read it: https://t.co/X6v4HBqxXk pic.twitter.com/jcRTnWh5hl— Todd V. McMurtry (@ToddMcMurtry) May 1, 2019
“NBCUniversal created a false narrative by portraying the ‘confrontation’ as a ‘hate crime’ committed by Nicholas,” the complaint says, the Washington Times reported. Through NBC and MSNBC, the company allegedly “unleashed its vast corporate wealth, influence, and power against Nicholas to falsely attack him despite the fact that at the time, he was a 16-year-old high school student.”
The suit argues that Sandmann made “an easy target for NBCUniversal to advance its anti-Trump agenda because he was a 16-year-old white, Catholic student who had attended the Right to Life March that day and was wearing a MAGA cap at the time of the incident which he had purchased earlier in the day as a souvenir.”
After the facts came to light, some public figures tried to keep the original narrative alive and others refused to unequivocally retract and apologize for their false claims. So attorneys representing the students have threatened to sue numerous media figures and Phillips himself for defamation, with Sandmann’s attorneys previously filing a $250 million lawsuit against The Washington Post, and an even larger suit against CNN.
“How long will we allow these media giants to tear the fabric of our lives to further their own agendas?” Sandmann’s legal team asked in a March video. “Will they ever be held accountable? Yes, they will,” it answers, declaring that Sandmann is standing not just for himself but “for you ... Nicholas and his legal team will not be stopped until these Goliath corporations are held accountable for their lack of journalistic integrity. Until then, no one's reputation is safe.”
Fox News noted in March that Sandmann’s lawyers have also identified HBO (which features far-left host Bill Maher) and the Associated Press as potential subjects of future lawsuits.