On Tuesday, news reports broke that CNN shelled out a settlement to Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann after the teen filed a $275 million suit against the network for smearing him last year.
On Wednesday, Fox News co-host Juan Williams speculated that CNN settled with Sandmann to avoid “discovery,” where the network’s internal communications and emails would become public.
“I think a lot of people who don’t like CNN are quick to rush and say, ‘Oh this means CNN admitted that they did wrong.’ I think — I know lawyers — the lawyers are like, ‘Oh, if we have to go through discovery then that means emails and discussions are gonna be revealed. We may not want that out,'” Williams explained.
Shannon Bream, fill-in host for “The Five” on Wednesday, piggybacked off Williams’ explanation.
“Juan, like you said, when you go into discovery — I used to have clients who you talk to them and say, ‘Listen, this is how much it’s gonna cost you to go to trial, this is what they want in settlement, what do you wanna do?’ And some people would say yeah, we don’t want all that stuff out there, we’ll pay,” Bream explained.
“I’d have other clients who would say, we will not pay a dime because what we’re worried about is if we pay this person, the next one is gonna want it and the next one and the next one,” she continued. “So, CNN had to make a lot of calculations here just beyond the legal issues.”
The details of the CNN settlement with Sandmann have remained undisclosed.
Sandmann and other teens from Covington Catholic were smeared by multiple news outlets after an out-of-context video clip of a “standoff” between the teens and a Native American activist Nathan Phillips went viral last year. However, further video footage debunked the media’s narrative that Sandmann and company were “blocking” and “harassing” Phillips. Instead, it was shown that the teens were victims of harassment themselves and Sandmann was trying to deescalate the confrontation after Phillips approached the teens.
As noted by The Daily Wire on Tuesday, the teen has also filed suits against The Washington Post and NBC Universal for $250 million or more each and is reportedly seeking to “sue Gannett, owners of The Enquirer.”
“CNN was probably more vicious in its direct attacks on Nicholas than The Washington Post. And CNN goes into millions of individuals’ homes,” Sandmann attorney Lin Wood told Fox News last year. “CNN couldn’t resist the idea that here’s a guy with a young boy, with that Make America Great Again cap on. So they go after him.”
“They really went after Nicholas with the idea that he was part of a mob that was attacking the Black Hebrew Israelites, yelling racist slurs at the Black Hebrew Israelites. Totally false,” the famous attorney explained. “Now you say you’ve seen the tape; if you took the time to look at the full context of what happened that day, Nicholas Sandmann did absolutely nothing wrong. He was, as I’ve said to others, he was the only adult in the room.”