“NBCUniversal created a false narrative by portraying the ‘confrontation’ as a ‘hate crime’ committed by Nicholas.”
Attorneys for Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann filed Wednesday a $275 million lawsuit against NBCUniversal, the media conglomerate that owns and operates NBC and MSNBC, alleging the company’s “anti-Trump” bias drove it to orchestrate a “false narrative” about the teen supporter of President Donald Trump, the Washington Times reported.
“NBCUniversal created a false narrative by portraying the ‘confrontation’ as a ‘hate crime’ committed by Nicholas,” read the complaint, which referenced Sandmann’s highly publicized encounter with Native American activist Nathan Phillips, footage of which was widely disseminated on social media in mid-January.
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According to the lawsuit, filed by L. Lin Wood and Todd V. McMurtry, Sandmann 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 which he had purchased earlier in the day as a souvenir.”
Sandmann’s legal team has also filed lawsuits against CNN for $275 million and the Washington Post for $250 million. In the lawsuit against the Post, Sandmann’s attorneys claimed the outlet “ignored the truth and falsely accused Nicholas of, among other things, ‘accost[ing]’ Phillips by ‘suddenly swarm[ing]’ him in a ‘threaten[ing]’ and ‘physically intimidat[ing]’ manner.”
While filing the lawsuit, Sandmann’s attorney warned: “All members of the mainstream & social media mob of bullies who recklessly & viciously attacked Nick would be well-served to read it carefully.”
On Jan, 18, Sandman, 16, participated in the March for Life, an anti-abortion rally outside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, with his Kentucky classmates. At one point, he was confronted by Nathan Phillips, a 64-year-old Native American protestor.
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A misleading video of the standoff quickly went viral, and major news outlets helped perpetuate a false narrative that made Sandmann an instant poster boy for bigotry in Trump’s America.
Additional videos and accounts soon made it clear that Phillips initiated the standoff and later misrepresented what happened. Some journalists, commentators, and celebrities responded to updated evidence by amending their views, and in some cases even apologizing. Others doubled down.
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