By Jon Dougherty
Lawyers for Covington Catholic high schooler Nick Sandmann revealed on Thursday which media outlets and individuals they plan to target next in a series of lawsuits for wrongfully smearing their client in January.
Attorney Todd McMurtry said earlier this week on Fox News that Sandmann’s legal team — which has already filed a $250 million suit against the Washington Post — would file a $275 million suit against CNN.
Sandmann and classmates from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky made national news following an alleged ‘confrontation’ with Native American activist Nathan Phillips following a March for Life event in Washington, D.C., Jan. 18.
Initial video reported and spread by several “mainstream” media outlets claimed that the confrontation was initiated by Sandmann, who was seen facing off with Phillips, implying it was an act of racism. The footage sparking outrage among several other personalities who then disparaged Sandmann publicly and called for him to be harmed and even killed.
But later video showed conclusively that Phillips was the one who initiated the confrontation, not Sandmann.
“We probably have 10 — at least 10 top targets in the media and individuals, some of whom were people that were involved in — in Twitter attacks,” McMurtry said.
“As to whom we are looking at, who we think crossed the line; certainly we’re looking very closely at NBC, we’re looking very closely at AP, we’re looking very closely at HBO for the conduct of Bill Maher, and we’re looking at some of the people who — like Kathy Griffin, who sent out these — these horrible tweets that are — that are called doxxing,” he added, referring to the practice of revealing a person’s name and contact information.
On the “Todd Starnes Radio Show” Wednesday, McMurtry said there was a legal strategy behind the suits and the manner in which the legal team is proceeding.
“Our plan is to come out with an additional lawsuit every few weeks or months. We have to issue opportunities for these news organizations to provide retractions,” McMurtry said.
“But right now we’re looking very carefully at NBC, AP, HBO. And again, HBO is primarily because they carry Bill Maher’s disgusting comments about Nicholas Sandmann. So, those probably are the next three defendants.”
He said the objective of the suits is get the mainstream media to change their “behavior” and act more responsibly when they report such incidents — such as, doing some research and asking questions before jumping to [anti-Trump] conclusions (Sandmann and several fellow students were wearing red “MAGA” hats).
”Clearly, what we want to do is stop them from behaving in a way that discards all journalistic integrity,” McMurtry noted. “Here they didn’t investigate. They took something off of Twitter and put it right out into the media.”
He added that thanks to irresponsible and incorrect reporting, the media has permanently harmed Sandmann’s reputation.
Earlier this week, lead attorney L. Lin Wood released a video outlining what is at stake in the case, from their point of view.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10