Nicholas Sandmann lent his support to Kyle Rittenhouse in an opinion article for the Daily Mail this week. Sandmann had previously filed defamation lawsuits against several legacy media outlets after he was accused of being a racist or white supremacist after viral video footage showed him in a confrontation with a Native American activist.
As jurors deliberate in Rittenhouse’s murder trial, Sandmann wrote that he views his situation as similar to Rittenhouse’s. Rittenhouse, without evidence, has also been accused of being a white supremacist or racist by members of the media.
“This is the problem with liberal media outlets in the United States,” Sandmann wrote. “They want to get the story first, get the most views, make the most money, and advance the agenda from liberal patrons. These outlets cover themselves when they are wrong with small footnotes at the ends of long articles, clarifying that new information has come out and that they have updated their coverage.”
He argued that “every single label on Kyle as a ‘terrorist,’ ‘white supremacist,’ and ‘school shooter’ in the streets of Kenosha, will only ever be withdrawn” by media outlets “after the damage has been done.”
“Not only does Kyle have to deal with that, but it is compounded with the overwhelming stress and trauma of the character assassination taking place against him,” Sandmann wrote.
“From my own experience, the death threats, feeling of no future ahead, and that millions of people hate you, is enough to alter you in many concrete ways and permanently. Make no mistake: even the strongest of people cannot resist the mental impact when the media war machine targets you.”
Sandmann was thrust into national headlines in 2019 when he was captured in an edited video during an encounter with Native American activist Nathan Phillips in Washington, D.C. A longer version of the video showed that the students weren’t taunting or berating Phillips, as a number of media outlets had suggested.
The unedited footage also revealed that it was Phillips who approached Sandmann and other Covington Catholic students.
In October 2020, dismissal motions brought by The New York Times, Rolling Stone, ABC, and CBS in the defamation suit were denied in the U.S. District Court in Covington, Kentucky. Sandmann’s complaints against the outlets allege that Phillips’s statements were false and defamatory, suggesting that the companies acted negligently, recklessly, and with actual malice in publishing them.
Sandmann, in his opinion article, suggested that Rittenhouse should file lawsuits if he’s found not guilty.
“If Kyle is innocent it would create an easier road to winning,” he wrote. “If Kyle is prepared to take on another burden in his early life, with the acceptance that it might result in nothing, I answer, give it a shot and hold the media accountable.”