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Washington Post settles with pro-life teen wrongly maligned in rush to judgment news coverage

by | Aug 24, 2020

By Dave Andrusko

Editor’s note. My family will be gone on vacation through August 24. During that span we’ll run prior posts from the past year that remain timely and/or were particularly well-received. We will also add a new story or two as events dictate.

Two down and hopefully more to go. Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn wrote today

The Washington Post is the latest news organization to settle a defamation lawsuit launched by Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann over its botched coverage of a viral confrontation with a Native American elder that had portrayed the Kentucky teen as the aggressor

As was the case with the settlement with CNN, announced January 7, the amount was not disclosed. Sandmann, who was 17 and the time of the January 18, 2019 “incident,” announced the victory on Twitter:

“On 2/19/19, I filed $250M defamation lawsuit against Washington Post. Today, I turned 18 & WaPo settled my lawsuit. 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.”

A Post spokesperson told Fox News only that “We are pleased that we have been able to reach a mutually agreeable resolution of the remaining claims in this lawsuit.”

Sandemann was with others from his Covington Catholic  High School  who had just attended the March for Life in Washington, DC.

Initial coverage missed the Sandemann had kept his composure while being taunted,  turning the victim into the victimizer. 

According to Wulfsohn, “[S]everal mainstream media outlets, including CNN and The Washington Post, portrayed the incident with Sandmann and the other teens as being racially charged before additional footage later showed that a group of Black Hebrew Israelites had provoked the confrontation, slinging racial slurs at the students as they were waiting for their bus following the March For Life event.”

The negative publicity “led to death threats and the temporary closure of his Catholic high school for several days due to security concerns,” according to Micaiah Bilger.   

“More presents to be delivered to you this next year,” attorney Wood wrote on Twitter. “You deserve justice. We all deserve justice.”

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Categories: Media Bias