Before the start of the new year, Nick Sandmann — a 16-year-old student at Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky — was an unknown name outside of his community. But, in just a few weeks time, that would change forever.
Now, the teenager's name and face are recognizable in millions of households across the country after mainstream media made him the target of an online lynch mob for allegedly mocking a Native American man in Washington, D.C., last month. However, the media made a tremendous rush to judgment, and, once all the facts had surfaced, the truth looked completely different from what it was first purported to be.
But the damage was done. Sandmann and his fellow students were being smeared from every corner of the internet. To make matters worse, Nathan Phillips, the Native American man whom the students were accused of mocking, was also disseminating false information that further skewed the narrative.
On Saturday, one of Sandmann's attorneys, high-profile lawyer L. Lin Wood, published a 14-minute video highlighting the narrative arc of the controversy, beginning with the media's rush to judgment and ending with the vindication of Sandmann and his classmates.
"[Two] weeks ago, the mainstream media, politicians, church officials, commentators, & celebrities rushed to judgment to wrongfully condemn, threaten, disparage & vilify Nick Sandmann based solely on a few seconds of an out-of-context video clip. It only takes 15 minutes to learn the truth," Wood wrote in the video's description.
Nick Sandmann: The Truth in 15 Minutes www.YouTube.com
What are Sandmann's attorneys doing?
On Friday, Sandmann's team of lawyers took the first step in obtaining justice for the student and his family, sending 54 letters to media organizations, journalists, Hollywood celebrities, and Catholic organizations they say are culpable in defaming Sandmann in their contribution to the media's initial narrative. Included on the list are the New York Times, the Washington Post, Bill Maher, Alyssa Milano, Jim Carrey, NBC's Chuck Todd, among dozens of others.
Todd McMurtry, one of Sandmann's lawyers, told the Cincinnati Enquirer: "We don't want this to happen again. We want to teach people a lesson. There was a rush by the media to believe what it wanted to believe versus what actually happened."