WPO Backtracks From Covington Catholic Smear

Facing $250 Million Lawsuit Washington Post Issues Backtrack From Covington Catholic Smear

By Calvin Freiburger

It’s a great and all-too-rare day in America when the mainstream media is actually forced to retract one of their lies, especially when the offender is as big as the Washington Post.

In January, the internet blew up when a viral video supposedly showed a group of students from Kentucky’s Covington Catholic High School harassing a Native American veteran named Nathan Phillips at the annual March for Life in Washington, DC. But from the start, the limited video didn’t match the hysterics, and it didn’t take long for the smear to fall apart.
It was soon revealed, as many eventually admitted and an independent investigation commissioned by the Diocese of Covington laid out, that Phillips and a contingent of the Black Hebrew Israelites fringe group were the ones who descended on the kids harmlessly waiting for their bus, and the Covington chants were attempts to drown out the racial epithets of their BHI thugs.
One of the earliest offenders was the Washington Post, which last month got slapped with a $250 million defamation suit by attorneys for Covington junior Nick Sandmann.
“The Post rushed to lead the mainstream media to assassinate Nicholas’ character and bully him,” they argued, fanning the “flames of the social media mob into a mainstream media frenzy” and inflicting on the boy “substantial reputational and emotional harm.”

Apparently that lit a bit of a fire under WaPo, which released the following “Editor’s Note” on Friday:

Here’s a portion of the statement:

Subsequent reporting, a student’s statement and additional video allow for a more complete assessment of what occurred, either contradicting or failing to confirm accounts provided in that story — including that Native American activist Nathan Phillips was prevented by one student from moving on, that his group had been taunted by the students in the lead-up to the encounter, and that the students were trying to instigate a conflict. The high school student facing Phillips issued a statement contradicting his account; the bishop in Covington, Ky., apologized for the statement condemning the students; and an investigation conducted for the Diocese of Covington and Covington Catholic High School found the students’ accounts consistent with videos.

Note well that the words “sorry” and “regret” don’t appear anywhere in it, and “apologize” only appears in reference to others who rushed to smear the kids.

Accordingly, plenty of folks on Twitter aren’t buying it:

𝕮𝖍𝖗𝖎𝖘 𝕲𝖆𝖘𝖙@chrisgast

You’ve got a lot of apologizing to do. Your initial article read more like an op/ed than news, which is what you held it out as

Beth D Goldstein@BethDGoldstein

Can you please be a little more specific about ‘the incident’ – sounds kinda vague!! Or maybe that’s intentional


Exactly what I was thinking. Real vague, people will hop right over it. Headline should have been “Covington Boys”, that would have gotten a lot on the left to look.

Daniel Krchnavek@DaKrchn

Posted after 5pm on a Friday…


It’s there pattern, usually a holiday weekend. @Barnes_Law please please make them go away.

And the best part? WaPo isn’t out of the legal woods yet. From Fox News:

But if the goal was to smooth over concerns about how the encounter had been covered, it fell short for at least one person attorney representing Sandmann.

“Too little, too late,” L. Lin Wood, an attorney representing student Nicholas Sandmann, said in a terse reply.

Good. The biggest reason smears like this keep happening is because there are never real consequences. Conservatives must demonstrate to the Left that every time they slander innocent people, they’ll suffer dearly for it in their pocketbooks.


(TLB) published this article from the Federalist Papers with our appreciation for the coverage and commentary. 

[Pictorial content added by TLB]

Calvin Freiburger

Calvin Freiburger is a Wisconsin-based conservative commentator and 2011 graduate of Hillsdale College. He is also a regular writer for LiveActionNews.org, and has written extensively for numerous other conservative publications. Follow him on Twitter @CalFreiburger, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ConservativeStandards/, and his personal blog, ConservativeStandards.com


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