Politics

Covington Catholic Student Files Major Lawsuit Against NBC, MSNBC

Out-of-context video, plus misleading headlines, were part of the rush to judgment against a high school teen who was completely innocent of what the media claimed

Image Credit: Screenshot, YouTube, CBS

Lawyers representing Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann have filed a $275 million lawsuit against NBCUniversal.

Sandmann (shown above left) became the main focus of an original video clip in January, which showed an alleged confrontation between Covington students and a Native-American man.

He swiftly became a target of the media simply by standing in front of Nathan Phillips (above right), who had walked toward him beating a drum.

Sandmann’s “crime” was that he did so while wearing a MAGA hat. He was accused of confronting Phillips. He was accused of being racist.

Related: Covington Teen’s Family Hires Attorney Specializing in Slander 

The out-of-context video was debunked when subsequent videos from different angles and longer time periods thoroughly exonerated the students from the media charges leveled against them.

Now, NBC and MSNBC are being called out for their false reporting.

“NBCUniversal created a false narrative by portraying the ‘confrontation’ as a ‘hate crime’ committed by Nicholas,” the lawsuit alleges.

“Nicholas was 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,” the suit contends.

The filing notes that multiple headlines on NBC and MSNBC were framed as a way of portraying Sandmann as guilty of something he hadn’t done, including a pair of headlines that read: “Nathan Phillips, Native-American man harassed by high schoolers, tells his story,” and “Video of teens taunting man at Indigenous Peoples March sparks outrage.”

Holding fake news media accountable. The $275 million lawsuit is the latest in a string of suits by Sandmann’s lawyers, in an attempt to hold the “fake news” media’s feet to the fire.

The team slapped The Washington Post with a $250 million lawsuit in February and warned that the teen’s battle against smears perpetrated by the media “is only the beginning.”

The following month, CNN was also slapped with a suit for $275 million. Sandmann’s lawyers accused CNN of acting worse than The Post.

“CNN was probably more vicious in its direct attacks on Nicholas than The Washington Post. And CNN goes into millions of individuals’ homes,” Georgia attorney L. Lin Wood said.

NBCUniversal’s reach is similar, which is likely why they, too, were sued for a larger amount.

Sandmann’s legal team has also suggested further lawsuits could be forthcoming, hinting that The New York Times, along with celebrities such as Jim Carrey, Alyssa Milano and Bill Maher, as well as politicians like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), could become targets.

“We don’t want this to happen again. We want to teach people a lesson,” lawyer Todd McMurtry said. “There was a rush by the media to believe that it wanted to believe versus what actually happened.”

This piece originally appeared in The Political Insider and is used by permission.

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