Federal Judge Reverses Ruling, Allows Covington Catholic Student To Sue WaPo

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In January of this year, Nick Sandmann, a pro-life student from Covington Catholic High School in Indiana, was branded as a racist by hoards of mainstream media outlets and left-wing celebrities based on a thoroughly debunked viral video clip.

One of the biggest outlets that brazenly slandered the teen was the Washington Post. Now, Sandmann has gained an important legal foothold in a lawsuit filed against the outlet on his behalf. 

According to LifeSite News, Sandmann’s defamation suit against the Washington Post was revived when US District Judge William Bertelsman partially reversed his prior ruling on Monday, finally allowing the suit to proceed.

In case you missed it, LifeSite reports:

Immediately following the January March for Life in Washington, D.C., the press erupted with claims that a video showed boys from the Kentucky religious school harassing Nathan Phillips, a Native American activist, outside the Lincoln Memorial. But additional extended video and firsthand accounts soon revealed that Phillips was the one who waded into the group waiting for its bus and decided to beat a drum inches from Sandmann’s face, while the boys had merely performed school cheers in hopes of drowning out racist taunts from members of the Black Hebrew Israelites fringe group.

The Washington Post issued an editor’s note in March admitting that “subsequent reporting, a student’s statement and additional video allow for a more complete assessment of what occurred, either contradicting or failing to confirm accounts provided in that [January 18] story,” but neither retracting nor apologizing for its initial piece. Sandmann’s attorneys rejected it, and launched a $250 million defamation suit against the paper.

Not only were Sandmann and other Covington Catholic students brutally slandered and mocked, the careless and slanted reporting of WaPo and others led to the teens being mercilessly doxxed and harassed, endangering themselves, their families, and any public associates. They received personal threats, professional threats, and the school even had to close due to a bomb scare before thousands of hysterical adults were forced to quietly walk back the awful things they’d said about Sandmann and his classmates.

Scads of journalists and other public figures were quick to delete, and often without apology, their posts and tweets harassing the boys as more footage came to light. Even the Diocese of Covington was forced to retract its initial condemnation of the boys after an independent investigation.

Still, many media outlets and public figures, including CNN, NBC Universal, Democrat presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, comedian Kathy Griffin, ABC News’s Matthew Dowd, Princeton University’s Kevin Kruse, left-wing activist Shaun King, and Rewire editor-in-chief Jodi Jacobson, refused to retract their claims, apologize, or acknowledge the truth of the incident. Now, many of these individuals and entities are also facing defamation suits.

Initially, Bertelsman dismissed Sandmann’s suit against WaPo back in July on the grounds that the Post’s initial coverage didn’t mention Sandmann by name, that the article was considered constitutionally-protected “rhetorical hyperbole,” and that WaPo’s coverage of Phillips’ “erroneous” version of the event was considered his “opinion” and was protected under the First Amendment.

Thankfully, the judge partially reversed his illogical ruling and allowed the case to move forward to the discovery phase, attorney Todd McMurtry announced:

Attorney Lin Wood also issued a statement praising Judge Bertelsman’s new ruling:

These boys have withstood more slander and hate from the left than most Christians in this country would even dream of subjecting themselves to and for this we ought to praise God on their behalf. Keep them in your prayers, and learn from their boldness in the face of absurd and cruel slander.

 

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