It appears that organized leftism might finally have gone too far.
Lawyers for the high-school boy who was vilified coast-to-coast after his confrontation with a drum-banging Indian at the Lincoln Memorial have fired their first salvo in what might be a long, costly legal war.
Newspapers, magazines, celebrities, and four Catholic dioceses, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported on Friday, received letters from Todd McMurtry, the attorney representing Nick Sandmann, the Covington Catholic student they smeared. The letters instruct the recipients to preserve documents and records relating to their stories, tweets, and public comments about Sandmann.
In other words, defamation lawsuits are coming.
The trouble for Sandmann and his fellow students began during the March for Life on January 18. At the Lincoln Memorial, a group of black racists began shouting unspeakable insults at them, and Nathan Phillips, an Indian with a criminal record who lied about serving in Vietnam and his career in the Marine Corps, approached them, banging a drum and chanting gibberish.
Nick Sandmann stood his ground and smiled.
Shortly thereafter, a deceptively edited video of the affair went viral, and the media pounced, depicting Sandmann as a privileged white kid picking on an old Indian man. Leftist celebrities were particularly vicious in attacking the student, and he and his family received death threats.
“I don’t blame the kid, the smirking kid,” Maher said. “I blame lead poisoning and bad parenting. And, oh yeah, I blame the f***ing kid. What a little p***k. Smirk-face!”
Maher said Sandman’s refusing to give ground to Phillips, whom the media repeatedly described as a “Native American elder” and “Vietnam veteran,” as a “d*** move at any age.”
Sandman didn’t walk away, he told NBC, because he “didn’t want to be disrespectful to Mr. Phillips and walk away if he was trying to talk to me.”
Among the defamatory statements, McMurty told the newspaper, were “those saying Nick got into the face of Phillips.”
McMurtry has assigned seven lawyers, the newspaper reported, to work full time to review all the stories about the matter.
The letter reproduced at the Enquirer’s website reads, in part:
I write on behalf of our clients to notify you of your obligation to preserve information that may be relevant to potential litigation between our clients and the XXXXX. Please forward this letter to your legal counsel immediately. Please preserve all information that may be relevant to the Sandmann Matter. If our clients pursue litigation, we intend to serve the XXXXX with discovery requests to access your computer networks and systems, and to seek the production of relevant documents.
They Crossed the Line
Among the recipients of the demand are the following news organizations and individuals: GQ, CNN, TMZ the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Guardian, the Atlantic, National Public Radio, and the dioceses of Covington, Lexington, Louisville, and Baltimore.
Named individuals include commentator S.E. Cupp, Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D- Mass.), comedienne Kathy Griffin, actor Jim Carrey, actress Alyssa Milano, and, of course, HBO bigmouth Bill Maher.
“They know they crossed the line,” McMurtry told the Enquirer. “Do they want 12 people in Kentucky to decide their fate? I don't think so.”
McMurtry admitted that the recipients will “raise legal defenses and challenges that we'll have to overcome, but that's the way it goes.”
Not all the individuals and organizations on the list will be sued.
“We want to change the conversation. We don’t want this to happen again,” McMurtry told the newspaper. “We want to teach people a lesson.”
The Narrative of Phillips
Part of that lesson might be for the Left and its media auxiliary not to peddle a juicy but false narrative that “privileged,” “smirking” white kids — wearing MAGA hats, no less — had insulted a “Native American elder” and “Vietnam veteran.’
This fake news unraveled as quickly the fake news story about President George W. Bush and his service in the National Guard. The narrative collapse was almost immediate.
Within hours, we learned that Sandmann and his pals were the victims of a nationwide smear campaign, and that Phillips was a lowly refrigerator repairman who never served in Vietnam and repeatedly went AWOL during his time in the Corps. He was also, at one time, a violent criminal.
And so now, the lawyers are involved.