Network Newscasts Ignore Covington Lawsuit Settlement; CNN Barely Covers

January 13th, 2020 2:42 PM

Last Tuesday (January 7), it was announced that Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann would settle his lawsuit with the Jeffrey Zucker-led CNN for an undisclosed amount after they tried to ruin his life last year. 

Luckily for CNN, they’ve all but ignored this on-air (save 29 seconds from Brian Stelter on Reliable Sources) and had help with blackouts from ABC, CBS, MSNBC, and NBC.

In contrast, the Fox News Channel spent 13 minutes and 28 seconds on the settlement. The segments began on Thursday and continued through Sunday (likely delayed due to the tsunami of breaking news surrounding Iran).



FNC’s The Five had the first full segment on Thurday (after a 32-second brief on Fox & Friends), spending three minutes and 58 seconds on Sandmann. Townhall’s Katie Pavlich led off, reporting that Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann “scored a legal win after being smeared by the media” and then reminded viewers of the vicious liberal media attacks with a sampling of the worst examples.

Co-host Greg Gutfeld featured prominently in this segment, ruling that this presents the chance for the liberal media mob to learn a lesson (click “expand”):

I want to know how much money this was settled for and we’ll never know. It drives me crazy, but this is really good news for everybody on the planet because it’s a turning point. Before, there really wasn’t any consequences to social media mobbery and the cancer culture where somebody could dig up something from Brian or Juan’s past and just destroy you, just destroy you. Not you, Shannon, because you’re squeaky clean.


But now, if you know that somebody can sue you, that changes your behavior. And if you don’t have deep pockets, I mean, your company is going to worried. So I think this is — could put an end to the swarm. That thing that happens when somebody finds out you said some stupid when you were 16. So I hope they — I hope they got something good. I hope the kid can — has his education paid for.

Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade later added that this wasn’t the only lawsuit Sandmann filed, nothing that he’s “still suing NBC, and The Washington Post, and 13 more defendants are going to be named, ABC, CBS, The Guardian, Huffington Post, NPR, and Slate, and The Hill are all coming up.”

He also noted that, at the least, Sandmann was looking for an apology, but didn’t get it.

A few hours later, Tucker Carlson spent one minute and 44 seconds on his eponymous show trashing CNN for having “played a leading role in vilifying the boys of Covington High School” and not the “extremist religious group and the man pound[ing] a drum harassing them.”

After a 10-second nod on Friday’s Special Report by Washington Times’s Charlie Hurt, Gutfeld’s Saturday night show spent over six minutes on Sandmann. Fox & Friends weekend co-host Pete Hegseth hailed the news as a sign of “the kind of fight back in this new era that President Trump has inspired.”

The next morning, FNC host Howard Kurtz closed MediaBuzz with a brief on Sandmann (click “expand”):

It’s been overshadowed by the Iran story, but CNN has settled the lawsuit filed by Nick Sandmann. He's the Covington Catholic High School student wearing a Make America Great hat who was wrongly portrayed as a disruptive force in a confrontation last year with a Native American activist at the Lincoln Memorial. Now, neither side would comment on the terms but the $275 million suit said it was designed to “deter CNN from ever again engaging in false, reckless, malicious, and agenda-driven attacks against children.” CNN said at the time it was covering a newsworthy event and adding new facts as they developed.

Sandmann has also sued The Washington Post and NBC and his lawyer says more suits are coming against as many as 13 other media outlets. Look, this was an awful episode as most of the media rushed to judgment based on a single misleading video. CNN undoubtedly paid some sum of money to make the suit go away, given the PR nightmare, of battling a teenager who was intentionally or not, unfairly maligned.