“Nick Sandmann was perceived as an easy target.”
Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann sued the Washington Post for defamation on Tuesday, accusing the newspaper of leading a “mob of bullies, which attacked, vilified & threatened” an innocent minor.
The lawsuit, filed in US District Court in Kentucky, seeks $250 million in damages, the amount that Amazon founder and the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, paid for the Post in 2013.
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Sandman’s attorneys allege that the newspaper targeted their client because he is a white Catholic supporter of President Donald Trump. Lin Wood, once nicknamed the “attorney for the damned,” tweeted Tuesday that the Post “recklessly ignored basic journalistic standards” to advance its anti-Trump agenda.
“Nick Sandmann was perceived as an easy target. He is 16. Inexcusable on every level,” Wood said.
Washington Post recklessly ignored basic journalist standards because it was eager to advance its biased agenda against @realDonaldTrump by impugning individuals perceived to be his supporters. Nick Sandmann was perceived as an easy target. He is 16. Inexcusable on every level.
— Lin Wood (@LLinWood) February 19, 2019
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.
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.
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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.
Sandmann’s lawsuit claims that the Post “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.”
The Washington Post’s Vice President for Communications Kristine Coratti Kelly said: “We are reviewing a copy of the lawsuit and we plan to mount a vigorous defense.”
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