If at first you don’t succeed, try try again:
CNN on Tuesday settled a defamation lawsuit filed by Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann over its botched coverage of a viral confrontation with a Native American elder that had portrayed the Kentucky teen as the aggressor.
Fox 19 first reported that CNN settled with Sandmann for an undisclosed amount. The $250 million defamation suit sought damages for the “emotional distress Nicholas and his family suffered” in the fallout of the network’s reporting.
A lawyer for Sandmann declined to comment on the settlement but confirmed to Fox News that lawsuits against The Washington Post and NBC were ongoing. Fox 19 also reported that Sandmann attorney L. Lin Wood told the judge they planned to sue media company Gannett, the publisher of the Cincinnati Enquirer among other newspapers, within 60 days. Gannett did not immediately comment either.
There is presumably a non-disclosure agreement in play that will keep the settled amount private. If it’s merely 2% of what Sandmann’s family asked for, Nick is set for life.
This is the dissident’s answer to virtual mobbing, canceling, and doxing. This is especially true for private persons as they are accorded greater protection under the law than public figures are. The targeted harassment involved in these things invariably includes threats of violence and often even death from scores of drive-bys. Given the nature of the harassment, the threats are often specific and potentially actionable.
To those who know someone or who are themselves at the center of such a firestorm, document everything. Screen shots, video recording, URL capture–everything. This renders the source(s) initiating the harassment potentially liable for enormous damages.
Going to trial means discovery. There is nothing corporate media and the journalists and reporters in their employ want less than for wronged parties to be able to sift through all their DMs, emails, text messages, etc. And so, like CNN, many will settle.