Almost a year and a half after the fateful day that launched him to national stardom, Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann opened up about the constant threat and fear he has lived under ever since the media plastered his face all across the news, smearing him as a racist Trump supporter.
Fox Nation host Lara Logan thoroughly explored the Covington Catholic High School controversy in her series, “Lara Logan Has No Agenda,” during which she brought Sandmann back to the Lincoln Memorial where it all started.
“As we stood there, people began to stare at Nick and it became uncomfortable,” narrated Logan, as reported by Fox News. “He was mindful of the death threats and bomb threats against him, his home and [his attorney Todd McMurtry]. So we decided to leave. The long looks followed us on the way.”
“Does that happen all the time?” Logan asked Sandmann at the Lincoln Memorial.
“It happens everywhere I go,” he responded. “From in my community to different parts of the country. Everywhere I go, there is someone that will point me out.”
“It’s going to be that way for how long?” pressed Logan.
“Probably forever,” he replied, “It’s a constant threat and it’s a terrible threat. But you can’t choose to live your life in fear or they’ve won and they robbed you of your life.”
Sandmann was thrust into the national spotlight in 2019 when mainstream news outlets like the Washington Post and CNN reported that he and several of his fellow students harassed Native American man Nathan Phillips while attending the D.C. March for Life. Phillips told media outlets that the “Make America Great Again” hat-wearing boys blocked his path and taunted him with racial slurs — a story that appeared somewhat credible at first when viral video showed them surrounding Phillips, cheering as he banged a drum into Sandmann’s smirking face.
However, the narrative took a dramatic turn when other videos sufaced showing that it was Phillips who approached the boys. New video also revealed that the boys were the ones being taunted with racial slurs at the time by an extremist group known as the Black Hebrew Israelites.
Without fully investigating the matter, news outlets largely ran with Phillips’ account of what happened, smearing the boys as racists. Sandmann arguably bore the brunt of the smears as his face being featured so prominently in the initial, shortened video.
Media figures like CNN contributor Reza Aslan lashed out at Sandman; Aslan suggested he’d like to punch the 16-year-old in the face. “Honest question. Have you ever seen a more punchable face than this kid’s?” Aslan tweeted at the time. Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” producer Jack Morrissey said he wanted to throw the children into a woodchipper “Fargo”-style.” “#MAGAkids go screaming, hats first, into the woodchipper,” Morrissey tweeted.
Comedian Sarah Beattie, a former contributor to “Saturday Night Live,” went so far as to offer free sexual favors to anyone that would punch a Covington boy. “I will blow whoever manages to punch that maga kid in the face,” she said in the now-deleted tweet.
In response, Sandmann’s family sued several news outlets for defamation, targeting The Washington Post first for $250 million and accusing the outlet of “using its vast financial resources to enter the bully pulpit by publishing a series of false and defamatory print and online articles … to smear a young boy who was in its view an acceptable casualty in their war against the president.”
Sandmann had his first major legal victory this past January when CNN settled for an undisclosed amount. Lawsuits against other media outlets, including The Washington Post and The New York Times, are still pending.