CNN settled a defamation lawsuit brought against it by Nick Sandmann, a student at Covington Catholic High School, over the cable news channel’s coverage of an incident captured in a viral video.
“The case settled. We have no comment,” said Todd McMurtry, one of Sandmann’s lawyers, in an email to The Epoch Times.
CNN didn’t respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.
Covington IncidentThe lawsuit stems from a Jan. 18, 2019, incident that took place after the March for Life anti-abortion event in Washington. Sandmann and other students from the religious private school in Kentucky were waiting for their bus near the Lincoln Memorial when they were approached by several Native American activists who were taking part in the Indigenous Peoples March at the Lincoln Memorial on the same day.
The encounter was extensively covered by media, initially using short video clips that made it appear as though the students were chanting and cheering in mockery of one of the activists, 64-year-old Nathan Phillips.
Some of the students were wearing hats with President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again”—a fact that was emphasized by various media.
CNN reported on the incident, allegedly using captions such as “Teens Taunt Native American Elder” and “Teens Harass Native American War Veteran.”
Longer video footage of the incident showed the students began to cheer and shout their school chant in response to offensive remarks being made to and about them by a small group nearby of Black Hebrew Israelites, a group known to have members expressing anti-white and anti-Semitic views.
43 MinutesThe suit alleged that CNN defamed Sandmann in at least four television broadcasts, nine online articles, and four Twitter posts.
“Contrary to its ‘Facts First’ public relations ploy, CNN ignored the facts and put its anti-Trump agenda first in waging a 7-day media campaign of false, vicious attacks against Nicholas,” the suit stated.
The network ran 43 minutes of coverage on the incident over the first two days, the Media Research Center (MRC), a right-leaning media watchdog, reported.
It took CNN a week to initially tell its viewers about the lawsuit, according to MRC.