Jeff Bezo’s Washington Post has settled a $250M Defamation Lawsuit filed by Nick Sandmann, one of the Covington High School students who were the victims of false coverage by multiple news organizations.
From the NYPost:
The Washington Post on Friday agreed to settle a monster $250 million lawsuit filed by Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann over its botched coverage of his 2019 encounter with a Native American elder.
Sandmann declared the victory in a tweet on his 18th birthday. It’s unclear how much the newspaper settled for.
“On 2/19/19, I filed $250M defamation lawsuit against Washington Post. Today, I turned 18 & WaPo settled my lawsuit,” he wrote.
“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,” he continued.
It’s the teen’s second win in a whopping $800 million defamation battle against a number of news outlets including the Washington Post, CNN, ABC, CBS, The Guardian, The Hill and NBC.
CNN agreed to settle with Sandmann in January this year as part of a separate $275 million claim.
Sandmann and a group of his Covington classmates were vilified on social media after they were filmed wearing “Make America Great Again” hats after an anti-abortion rally while being yelled at by demonstrators.
Sandmann, then 16, was singled out after footage of his confrontation with Native American activist Nathan Phillips was picked up by CNN and other outlets who claimed the incident was racially motivated.
Footage released later showed it was the Covington students who were being harassed.”
Our friends at Fox News provided further coverage, with a statement from Sandmann's lawyer:
Sandmann's attorney, Lin Wood, similarly wrote, "For our present to @N1ckSandmann to celebrate his 18th Birthday, @ToddMcMurtry & I gave Nicholas the gift of justice from . . . THE WASHINGTON POST #FightBack."
A spokesperson for The Washington Post told Fox News, "We are pleased that we have been able to reach a mutually agreeable resolution of the remaining claims in this lawsuit."
In March 2019, Sandmann's attorneys filed a suit against CNN for its coverage of the incident before all the facts had surfaced. The teen was seeking a whopping $800 million in damages from CNN, NBC and the Post.
Attorney Todd McMurtry previously told Fox News that lawsuits against “as many as 13 other defendants" would be filed.
Among them: ABC, CBS, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, NPR, Slate, The Hill, and Gannett which owns the Cincinnati Inquirer, as well as miscellaneous other small outfits, according to McMurtry. Separate lawsuits against the Washington Post and NBC have already been filed, he added."
For those who don't remember, Sandmann and other Covington High School students were nationally vilified due to their depiction by major news outlets as being MAGA hat wearing bigots.
Many might remember their depiction as Trump's Hitler Youth, harassing a poor Native American War Hero (who wasn't actually a War Hero).
Turns out that the teens were waiting for their ride back from a Pro-Life rally.
From The Atlantic:
The full video reveals that there was indeed a Native American gathering at the Lincoln Memorial, that it took place shortly before the events of the viral video, and that during it the indigenous people had been the subject of a hideous tirade of racist insults and fantasies. But the white students weren’t the people hurling this garbage at them—the young “African American men preaching about the Bible and oppression” were doing it. For they were Black Hebrew Israelites, a tiny sect of people who believe they are the direct descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel, and whose beliefs on a variety of social issues make Mike Pence look like Ram Dass.
The full video reveals that these kids had wandered into a Tom Wolfe novel and had no idea how to get out of it.
It seems that the Black Hebrew Israelites had come to the Lincoln Memorial with the express intention of verbally confronting the Native Americans, some of whom had already begun to gather as the video begins, many of them in Native dress. The Black Hebrew Israelites’ leader begins shouting at them: “Before you started worshipping totem poles, you was worshipping the true and living God. Before you became an idol worshipper, you was worshipping the true and living God. This is the reason why this land was taken away from you! Because you worship everything except the most high. You worship every creation except the Creator—and that’s what we are here to tell you to do.”
A young man in Native dress approaches them and gestures toward the group gathering for its event. But the Black Hebrew Israelites mix things up by throwing some dead-white-male jargon at him—they are there because of “freedom of the speech ” and “freedom of religion” and all that. The young man backs away. “You have to come away from your religious philosophy,” one Black Hebrew Israelite yells after him.
A few more people in Native costume gather, clearly stunned by his tirade. “You’re not supposed to worship eagles, buffalos, rams, all types of animals,” he calls out to them.
A Native woman approaches the group and begins to challenge its ideology, which prompts the pastor’s coreligionists to thumb their Bibles for relevant passages from Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. He asks the woman why she’s angry, and when she tells him that she’s isn’t angry, he responds, “You’re not angry? You’re not angry? I’m making you angry.” The two start yelling at each other, and the speaker calls out to his associates for Isaiah 58:1.
Another woman comes up to him yelling, “The Bible says a lot of shit. The Bible says a lot of shit. The Bible says a lot of shit.”
Black Hebrew Israelites believe, among other things, that they are indigenous people. The preacher tells a woman that “you’re not an Indian. Indian means ‘savage.’ ”
Men begin to gather with concerned looks on their face. “Indian does not mean ‘savage,’ ” one of them says reasonably. “I don’t know where you got that from.” At this point, most of the Native Americans who have surrounded—“mobbed”?—the preacher have realized what the boys will prove too young and too unsophisticated to understand: that the “four young African American men preaching about the Bible and oppression” are the kind of people you sometimes encounter in big cities, and the best thing to do is steer a wide berth. Most of them leave, exchanging amused glances at one another. But one of the women stays put, and she begins making excellent points, some of which stump the Black Hebrew Israelites.
It was heating up to be an intersectional showdown for the ages, with the Black Hebrew Israelites going head to head with the Native Americans. But when the Native woman talks about the importance of peace, the preacher finally locates a unifying theme, one more powerful than anything to be found in Proverbs, Isaiah, or Ecclesiastes.
He tells her there won’t be any food stamps coming to reservations or the projects because of the shutdown, and then gesturing to his left, he says, “It’s because of these … bastards over there, wearing ‘Make America Great Again’ hats.”
The camera turns to capture five white teenage boys, one of whom is wearing a maga hat. They are standing at a respectful distance, with their hands in their pockets, listening to this exchange with expressions of curiosity. They are there to meet their bus home.
“Why you not angry at them?” the Black Hebrew Israelite asks the Native American woman angrily.
“That’s right,” says one of his coreligionists, “little corny-ass Billy Bob.”
The boys don’t respond to this provocation, although one of them smiles at being called a corny-ass Billy Bob. They seem interested in what is going on, in the way that it’s interesting to listen to Hyde Park speakers.
The Native woman isn’t interested in attacking the white boys. She keeps up her argument with the Black Hebrew Israelites, and her line of reasoning is so powerful that it throws the preacher off track.
“She trying to be distracting,” one of the men says. “She trying to stop the flow.”
“You’re out of order,” the preacher tells the woman. “Where’s your husband? Let me speak to him.”
By now the gathering of Covington Catholic boys watching the scene has grown to 10 or 12, some of them in maga hats. They are about 15 feet away, and while the conflict is surely beyond their range of experience, it also includes biblical explication, something with which they are familiar.
“Don’t stand to the side and mock,” the speaker orders the boys, who do not appear to be mocking him. “Bring y’all cracker ass up here and make a statement.” The boys turn away and begin walking back to the larger group.
“You little dirty-ass crackers. Your day coming. Your day coming … ’cause your little dusty asses wouldn’t walk down a street in a black neighborhood, and go walk up on nobody playing no games like that,” he calls after them, but they take no notice. “Yeah, ’cause I will stick my foot in your little ass.”