It appears that Nick Sandmann has pulled off the hat trick. After receiving settlements in defamation lawsuits from CNN and the Washington Post, the teenager announced yesterday on Twitter that he had reached a settlement with NBC Universal along the same lines. The details of the settlement are confidential, but given the starting point in the negotiations, it was very likely a hefty sum.
At this time I would like to release that NBC and I have reached a settlement. The terms are confidential.
— Nicholas Sandmann (@N1ckSandmann) December 17, 2021
The term “hat trick” is doubly appropriate in this case. When the entire mess began, it centered on a brief clip of Sandmann being screamed at by a Native American activist, along with a crowd of Black Hebrew Israelites who were hurling slurs and insults at him and his classmates. In response, all Sandmann did was smile, something that the press immediately dubbed “smirking.” But what really angered all of the talking heads in the liberal media was the fact that he was a white kid wearing a Make America Great Again hat. And that made him the enemy. But now, instead of “smirking,” Sandmann might want to allow himself the luxury of outright laughter, as in “having the last laugh.” (NY Post)
Nicholas Sandmann settled Friday with NBC-Universal, he said.
The media had lambasted the Covington Catholic High School student from Kentucky, now 19, over a confrontation at the 2019 March for Life in Washington, D.C.
“At this time I would like to release that NBC and I have reached a settlement,” wrote Sandmann on Twitter, adding that the terms were confidential.
The original lawsuit against NBC Universal and MSNBC asked for $275 million. The final number was almost certainly far lower than that, but Sandmann’s attorneys never would have agreed to put the case to rest if it wasn’t a substantial amount of money, likely in the range of multiple millions. And by agreeing to keep the terms confidential, NBC gets to continue pretending that they never really did anything wrong and were simply settling out of court to keep the costs down. You’ll notice that an apology to Nick for the outrageous treatment he received was not included as part of the settlement.
This probably isn’t the end of the line for Sandmann’s ride on the (well deserved) gravy train. His attorneys have previously stated that additional lawsuits of a similar nature were already underway. The list of defendants includes ABC, CBS, The Guardian, HuffPost, NPR, Slate, The Hill, and Gannett. If Nick Sandmann manages to wring a few million out of each of them, he could be set up quite well for whatever he decides to do with the rest of his life. After all, the guy is still just 19 years old. Think of all the options awaiting him over the horizon.
The real question is whether or not the mainstream media will have learned anything from all of this. Three of the biggest media outlets in the country have now been figuratively slapped upside the head by Sandmann’s legal team in consecutive order and there may be many more to come. Will these events in any way dull their collective kneejerk impulse to instantly create a narrative out of every public event in a way designed to support liberal ideology and denigrate or diminish anyone or anything they perceive as being associated with Donald Trump or the entire conservative movement?
I’ll confess that I couldn’t even finish typing that question without laughing. Of course nothing is going to change. Even with the terrible ratings that outlets such as CNN and MSNBC have been turning in this year, the amount of money they probably had to hand over to Sandmann won’t be enough to significantly impact their bottom line. Selling outrage against conservative causes and creating works of fiction designed to paint their perceived adversaries as monsters is how they hang on to their core audiences and butter their bread. They’re not going to give up on it now. But it’s conceivable that Sandmann may have taught a few of them that there is a line you shouldn’t cross because, if you do, you’ll wind up being made to look like a fool by a teenager in a MAGA hat.