WASHINGTON – Covington Catholic high school student Nicholas Sandmann is suing The Washington Post over its coverage of a January incident involving himself and Native American protester Nathan Phillips.
Attorneys for Sandmann filed the lawsuit Tuesday, accusing the Washington newspaper of engaging in a “modern-day form of McCarthyism.” The lawsuit also blames CNN and NBC, “among others,” for taking part in the smear, but it does not take direct legal action against those outlets.
“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, a known Native American activist, who beat a drum and sang loudly within inches of his face,” the lawsuit says.
“The Post ignored basic journalist standards because it wanted to advance its well-known and easily documented, biased agenda against President Donald J. Trump by impugning individuals perceived to be supporters of the President,” the lawsuit continued.
The lawsuit asks for The Washington Post to pay Sandmann $250 million in damages, equal the amount for which Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos purchased the newspaper in 2013.
Sandmann’s lawsuit comes less than a week after Greater Cincinnati Investigation, Inc., released the results of an investigation debunking early reports that the high schoolers yelled offensive or racist slurs and incited the confrontation with Phillips, Fox 19 reports.
“In truth, taking everything into account, our students were placed in a situation that was at once bizarre and even threatening,” Covington Bishop Roger Foys said in a letter released with the investigation’s results. “Their reaction to the situation was, given the circumstances, expected and one might even say laudatory.”
In the hours after the incident went viral, Sandmann and many of his classmates were condemned by the media for allegedly mobbing Phillips, as The New York Times described the incident in a headline.
The Covington Catholic boys and their families received numerous death threats from being burned alive to sexually molested.
In the days following the incident and after facts began to come to light, some of the largest names in media and pop culture began apologizing to the Covington boys for the role the accusers played in spreading false information.