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 March 26, 2024

SCOTUS rejects defamation appeal of former Covington Catholic student whose life was upended by a viral video

The Supreme Court rejected the defamation appeal of "cancel culture" victim Nicholas Sandmann on Monday, USA Today reported. The young man was featured in a viral video that was spun by the media to make it look as if Sandmann was the aggressor against a Native American protester.

In 2019, Sandmann found himself in the middle of a media firestorm because of a video that was selectively edited and widely shared. The footage was captured while Sandamann, only 16 at the time, attended the March for Life in Washington, D.C., with his Covington Catholic High School classmates.

As they gathered at the Lincoln Memorial, Native American protester Nathan Phillips approached Sandmann and stood beating his drum in front of the boy.  Sandmann, donning a red "Make America Great Again" hat, remained motionless with a smile plastered on his face.

The Narrative

A video clip made its rounds on social media but edited out all that came before the confrontation. It made the situation appear as if there was racism behind Sandmann's reaction, especially since he wore a hat supporting former President Donald Trump.

Media outlets piled onto the then-teenager, including ABC News, CBS News, The New York Times, and Rolling Stone. After his good name was smeared, Sandmann sued eight media outlets for a total of $1.25 billion.

The lawsuit was dismissed in 2022 by a federal judge in Kentucky, though he did receive some compensation from NBC, CNN, and The Washington Post. The recent ruling stated that repeating Phillips's assertion that Sandmann "blocked him and wouldn’t allow him to retreat" was opinion and, therefore, the outlets weren't liable for sharing it.

It didn't matter that the consequences of repeating Phillips' version of the story led to a "cancel culture" that swallowed up the young man's life. "Sandmann was denounced by his church diocese, denied re-admission to his high school, and attacked in the national media," the filing said, according to Newsmax.

"Round-the-clock police protection was assigned to his house; his visage was featured on nearly all major television outlets, with celebrity commentators stating that they would 'like to punch him in the face,' and worse," the document added. Still, the high court rejected the appeal.

Exposing the Left's Ugliness

With the narrative that Sandmann was a MAGA racist in place, leftists in many public spheres took their potshots at him. Some of those included Anna Navarro at CNN, Matthew Dowd at ABC, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), actress and comedian Kathy Griffin, and more, Fox News reported.

One of the worst comments came from Reza Aslan, formerly of CNN. "Honest question. Have you ever seen a more punchable face than this kid’s?" she asked in a since-deleted tweet.

However, Sandmann also had the support of Trump, who was furious at the news media for their treatment of the young man. "Nick Sandmann and the students of Covington have become symbols of Fake News and how evil it can be," Trump wrote at the time, according to People.

Sandmann and Trump would later be vindicated when the full story came out. Still, the left showed its ugliness in how it treated a minor because he was wearing the iconic hat that showed his support for a sitting Republican president.

It's a shame that Sandmann won't be getting his day in court against these particular parties. The frightening reality is that if they can do it to a high school kid, they can do it to anyone, and they should be curtailed.

Written By:
Christine Favocci

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