Attorneys representing Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann and his family indicated on Friday that they have sent letters for potential lawsuits to over 50 entities ranging from Democratic politicians to celebrities to media figures.
"The legal counsel representing Nick and his family, Todd McMurtry and experienced libel and defamation lawyer L. Lin Wood of Atlanta, have said they will seek justice for the harm allegedly done to the teen," The Cincinnati Enquirer reported. "McMurtry is with the law firm of Hemmer Defrank Wessels and has practiced law in Greater Cincinnati since 1991. He said a team of seven lawyers has been working full-time to review the media accounts of what happened."
The letters come in response to the media's smearing of Sandmann after a selectively edited clip of an incident on January 19, 2019, went viral that showed Sandmann standing face-to-face with Native American Nathan Phillips, who was beating a drum in Sandmann's face.
The Enquirer added: "This week they have prepared documentation preservation letters addressed to organizations and individuals they believe may have defamed or libeled Nick with false reporting."
"They know they crossed the line," McMurtry said. "Do they want 12 people in Kentucky to decide their fate? I don't think so."
The list of entities that letters were sent to includes:
- The Washington Post
- The New York Times
- Cable News Network, Inc. (CNN)
- The Guardian
- National Public Radio
- Atlantic Media Inc.
- Capitol Hill Publishing Corp.
- Diocese of Covington
- Diocese of Lexington
- Archdiocese of Louisville
- Diocese of Baltimore
- Ana Cabrera (CNN)
- Sara Sidner (CNN)
- Erin Burnett (CNN)
- S.E. Cupp (CNN)
- Elliot C. McLaughlin (CNN)
- Amanda Watts (CNN)
- Emanuella Grinberg (CNN)
- Michelle Boorstein (Washington Post)
- Cleve R. Wootson Jr. (Washington Post)
- Antonio Olivo (Washington Post)
- Joe Heim (Washington Post)
- Michael E. Miller (Washington Post)
- Eli Rosenberg (Washington Post)
- Isaac Stanley-Becker (Washington Post)
- Kristine Phillips (Washington Post)
- Sarah Mervosh (New York Times)
- Emily S. Rueb (New York Times)
- Maggie Haberman (New York Times)
- David Brooks (New York Times)
- Shannon Doyne
- Kurt Eichenwald
- Andrea Mitchell (NBC/MSNBC)
- Savannah Guthrie (NBC)
- Joy Reid (MSNBC)
- Chuck Todd (NBC)
- Noah Berlatsky
- Elisha Fieldstadt (NBC)
- Eun Kyung Kim
- Bill Maher
- Warner Media
- Conde Nast
- The Hill
- The Atlantic
- Ilhan Omar
- Elizabeth Warren
- Kathy Griffin
- Alyssa Milano
- Jim Carrey
Hours after the initial clip, which was only several seconds long, went viral on social media, longer videos began to emerge that showed the initial way the incident was framed was misleading and false. The Daily Wire's Emily Zanotti reported:
The three-minute video was posted online by a group of Native American protesters who claimed they were harassed and intimidated by a group of Covington Catholic High School students waiting for their bus near the Lincoln Memorial. The video is heavily clipped at the beginning and end, and shows only an apparent "confrontation" between a protester named Nathan Phillips and a Make America Great Again-hat wearing teen. ...
Saturday night, a two-hour long, full video of the confrontation became widely available on social media, and that video shows a very different interaction than the one initially portrayed. The video, taken from the point of view of a second group of protesters who witnessed the interaction, shows that Phillips approached the teens — not the other way around, as Phillips claims — and that the teens were relatively peaceful during the incident, laughing and clapping along with Phillips' drumming, and occasionally asking questions like, "what is going on here?"
The Daily Wire further noted that "the Covington Catholic students were verbally attacked by a designated hate group that called them 'Child molesting f**gots,' 'Dirty a*s crackers,' 'Future school shooters,' and 'Incest babies.'"