The Slatest

Covington Catholic Student in Viral Standoff With Native American Activist Sues Washington Post for $250 Million

A screengrab from the viral video showing Nick Sandmann standing in front of veteran Nathan Phillips in Washington, D.C. on January 18, 2019.
A screengrab from the viral video showing Nick Sandmann standing in front of veteran Nathan Phillips in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 18.
Youtube

The Covington Catholic High School student involved in a standoff with a Native American activist on the national mall last month is suing the Washington Post for defamation for its portrayal, according to the suit, of the MAGA hat–wearing teen as a racist instigator of the ugly interaction that went viral. Lawyers for 16-year-old Nicholas Sandmann filed suit in federal court Tuesday seeking $250 million in damages, the very same amount Jeff Bezos paid for the Washington Post, in order to “teach the Post a lesson it will never forget.”

“Unlike the Post’s abuse of the profession of journalism, Plaintiffs do not bring this lawsuit to use the judicial system to further a political agenda,” the suit reads. “The Post wanted to lead the charge against this child because he was a pawn in its political war against its political adversary—a war so disconnected and beyond the comprehension of Nicholas that it might as well have been science fiction.”

“In a span of three (3) days in January of this year commencing on January 19, the Post engaged in a modern-day form of McCarthyism by competing with CNN and NBC, among others, to claim leadership of a mainstream and social media mob of bullies which attacked, vilified, and threatened Nicholas Sandmann (‘Nicholas’), an innocent secondary school child,” the suit says. “The Post wrongfully targeted and bullied Nicholas because he was the white, Catholic student wearing a red ‘Make America Great Again’ souvenir cap on a school field trip to the January 18 March for Life in Washington, D.C. when he was unexpectedly and suddenly confronted by Nathan Phillips (‘Phillips’), a known Native American activist, who beat a drum and sang loudly within inches of his face (‘the January 18 incident’).”

The Diocese of Covington, which had initially condemned the students in the wake of the Lincoln Memorial interaction, issued a report last week that, it said, absolved the Covington Catholic students of making racist statements and instigating the incident. A spokesperson for the Post said in a statement Tuesday: “We are reviewing a copy of the lawsuit and we plan to mount a vigorous defense.”