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You may recall that at the beginning of this year, Covington Catholic high school student Nicholas Sandmann was trashed by mainstream media outlets like CNN, NBC, and the Washington Post for a (misleading) video showing Sandmann wearing a MAGA hat allegedly “blocking” the path of a Native American protestor.
Sandmann alleged that the news networks’ statments about him were defamatory and filed a libel lawsuit that was blocked a few months ago, but today, Judge Bertelsman overturned that ruling and has allowed the lawsuit to proceed.
Take a look:
Sandmann's lawyer made the announcement of the "Huge, huge win!" for Sandmann on Twitter:
Sandmann's legal team also published this video explaining why he is suing the media giants:
The National Review has more details on the judge's ruling that Sandmann's lawsuit can proceed:
Federal judge William Bertelsman on Thursday allowed Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann’s $275 million libel lawsuit against NBCUniversal to move forward, rejecting the media company’s attempt to have the suit dismissed in full even as he threw out parts of it.
Sandmann, 16, sued NBC and other major news outlets in the aftermath of their coverage of a controversial interaction he and several of his classmates had with Native American activist Nathan Phillips near the Lincoln Memorial on January 18. Viral video of the incident showed Sandmann and Phillips standing face to face as Phillips loudly beat on a drum and Sandmann smirked from time to time. NBC asserted that Sandmann “blocked” Phillips and “did not allow him to retreat” during their interaction. Longer versions of the video showed that Phillips approached Sandmann, who stood mostly still during the incident.
Sandmann and his classmates wore “Make America Great Again” caps and were attending the annual anti-abortion March for Life, while Phillips was participating in the Indigenous Peoples March.
The Washington Examiner also said:
Sandmann became the center of racial controversy after a video of him smirking in front of a Native American man while wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., went viral in January. The teen was labeled as racist in news coverage from several major outlets, including the Washington Post, CNN, and NBC. It was later revealed that Sandmann had done nothing wrong and that circulating videos did not account for the full timeline of events.
The Kentucky teenager’s attorneys filed multi-million-dollar lawsuits against several newsrooms, including a $275 million libel lawsuit against NBCUniversal. NBC tried to have the lawsuit dismissed, but a judge denied their request on Thursday.
The judge explained that NBC had falsely reported that Sandmann “blocked” Nathan Phillips, the Native American man in the photograph, and “did not allow him to retreat.” Given that the reports were false, they could be libelous, as well.