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The Washington Post Announces Settlement with Covington Catholic High School Student, Nicholas Sandmann

— July 24, 2020

Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann recently enjoyed a great birthday present, a settlement announcement from The Washington Post.

Remember Nicholas Sandmann, the Covington Catholic High School student that had his face plastered all over major news media outlets because of a confrontation he had with a Native American elder, Nathan Phillips? According to CNN, The Washington Post, and many others, Sandmann was the aggressor in the confrontation and was painted as nothing more than a racist, privileged white boy. But as more footage of the ordeal became public and as more people began listening to Sandmann’s account of what happened, it became obvious there was more to the story than the tiny bit reported by CNN and The Washington Post. As a result, Sandmann filed multiple defamation lawsuits, and some, including the one filed against CNN, resulted in a settlement. Earlier this today, even The Washington Post announced a settlement with the youth. 

The previous headquarters of The Washington Post on 15th Street NW in Washington, D.C.
The previous headquarters of The Washington Post on 15th Street NW in Washington, D.C.; image courtesy of Daniel X. O’Neil via Wikimedia Commons,

In a Twitter post announcing the news, Sandmann wrote:

“On 2/19/19, I filed a $250M defamation lawsuit against Washington Post. Today, I turned 18 & WaPo settled my lawsuit. Thanks to @ToddMcMurtry & @LLinWood for their advocacy. Thanks to my family & millions of you who have stood your ground by supporting me. I still have more to do.”

This recent settlement came on the heels of a multi-million dollar settlement offered by CNN back in January, and now Sandmann is turning his sights towards Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Sandmann tweeted:

“We have settled with WAPO and CNN. The fight isn’t over. 2 down. 6 to go. Don’t hold your breath @jack.”

Lin Wood, Sandmann’s attorney, also posted on Twitter, “For our present to @N1ckSandmann to celebrate his 18th Birthday, @ToddMcMurtry & I gave Nicholas the gift of justice from…THE WASHINGTON POST #FightBack.”

When commenting on the suit, a spokesperson for The Washington Post said, “We are pleased that we have been able to reach a mutually agreeable resolution of the remaining claims in this lawsuit.”

The controversy surrounding Sandmann began back when he attended the March for Life event in D.C. with a group of Covington High School students. While attending, Sandmann wore a MAGA hat. At one point, when he and his classmates were waiting for their bus, they were surrounded by a group of Native Americans and a group of Black Hebrew Israelites. According to video footage, the Black Hebrew Israelites were actually the ones who provoked the confrontation between the Native Americans and Sandmann. However, all that anyone saw or read being reported by agencies like CNN and The Washington Post was a “MAGA hat-wearing student smiling at Nathan Phillips beating a drum and singing a chant as he was surrounded by Sandmann’s peers, who all had joined in on the chant in front of the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.” The Washington Post, CNN, and others portrayed the incident as “being racially charged before additional footage later showed that a group of Black Hebrew Israelites had provoked the confrontation, slinging racial slurs at the students as they were waiting for their bus.” Additional footage also showed that Phillips, “who was in town for the Indigenous Peoples March, approached the students amid the rising tension between the two groups.”

In addition to CNN and The Washington Post, lawsuits were also filed against ABC, CBS, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, NPR, Slate, The Hill, and “Gannett which owns the Cincinnati Enquirer, as well as miscellaneous other small outfits.”


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