Eighteen-year-old Nick Sandmann may have had plenty of reason to smirk Tuesday as he took a victory lap in his yearlong fight against the media that defamed him.
The fresh-faced recent graduate of Kentucky’s Covington Catholic High School needed no introduction as he stood in front of the Lincoln Monument, not far from where his world changed, for better or worse, during the 2019 March for Life.
His ordeal made him, as he said, a “poster child” for the Trump movement—immediately vilified, defamed and falsely accused.
But determined to fight back, he now has become an inspirational symbol to many others who have been—or fear being—victimized by the radical left’s Orwellian suppression and censorship of conservative viewpoints.
As Sandmann stepped back willingly into the spotlight Tuesday, ironically he was the one waging the attack on former persecutors such as CNN and the Washington Post, with whom he recently settled some of his many defamation lawsuits.
Meanwhile, those same leftist outlets, some actively engaged in efforts to fact-check the Republican National Convention’s second night, received an uncomfortable reminder of their own willfully negligent and reckless disregard for the truth.
“I learned that what was happening to me had a name. It’s called being cancelled,” said Sandmann, now a freshman at Kentucky’s Transylvania University, according to his Twitter account, which boasts more than 150,000 followers.
Cancel culture is now “happening to people around this country, to people who refuse to be silenced by the Left—and often the media is a willing participant,” he said.
Sandmann said that the famous smirk he had during his uncomfortable encounter with activist Nathan Phillips was not what it seemed.
Instead, he had two thoughts: don’t do anything that might agitate his antagonizer, and don’t do anything that would embarrass his family, school or community.
Nonetheless, following the strange episode, “the full war machine of the mainstream media revved up into attack mode,” he said. “The truth was not important in advancing their anti-Christian, anti-conservative … narrative.”
Sandmann said nobody better understood the ordeal he experienced than President Donald Trump, who likewise has endured a constant barrage of hostile media attacks.
Unlike Sandmann, however, Trump does not stand to gain financially from being made the drive-by media’s No. 1 victim.
Sandmann called on the president’s supporters to continue to push back against the Fake News and reject its increasingly dishonest narrative.
“I look forward to the day that the media returns to providing balanced and responsible news coverage,” he said.
Until then, honest Americans must continue to “challenge the media,” he continued.
“This is worth fighting for, this is worth voting for, and this is what Donald Trump stands for,” he said, donning his iconic “Make America Great Again” cap.