CNN political analyst Joe Lockhart attacked former Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann after his network settled a $250 million defamation lawsuit earlier this year.
On Tuesday evening, CNN awkwardly aired Sandmann’s speech as part of the second night of the Republican National Convention, where he said his life “changed forever in that one moment” because the “full war machine in the mainstream media revved up into attack mode” while botching its coverage of the 2019 viral confrontation with a Native American elder that had portrayed the Kentucky teen as the aggressor.
However, one of Sandmann’s loudest critics came from the network that he settled with.
“I’m watching tonight because it’s important. But i [sic] don’t have to watch this snot nose entitled kid from Kentucky,” Lockhart tweeted.
Critics blasted the CNN commentator, suggesting his tweet attacking the Covington teen lacked any self-awareness.
“It seems like CNN still hasn’t learned their lesson about smearing and slandering an innocent teen,” NewsBusters news analyst Nicholas Fondacaro reacted.
“Your bosses at CNN defamed this kid. The entitled snot nose idiots were from CNN … not the other way around,” National Review contributor Pradheep Shanker told the former Clinton press secretary.
“Joe Lockhart enjoys picking on an 18-year-old who has a far greater net worth than he does. After CNN tried to destroy Nick Sandmann, he sued and they were forced to settled [sic]. Maybe Joe had to take a pay cut for the settlement,” radio host Jason Rantz tweeted.
“It’s rare to watch someone fall into an obvious trap in real time, but it happens,” Daily Wire editor Emily Zanotti wrote.
“Yeah, I guess he is entitled….to the money your clown network has to pay out for defaming him,” Daily Caller reporter Chuck Ross said.
Lockhart wasn’t the only CNNer who spoke out against Sandmann on Tuesday. CNN opinion writer Jeff Yang addressed Sandmann directly.
“Hey @N1ckSandmann, I watched your speech tonight at the #RNCConvention2020 with an open mind, thinking I might hear something that would convince me of your position that you were an innocent victim of a cruel media. I was disappointed, but not surprised, to hear otherwise,” Yang began a Twitter thread.
Yang slammed Sandmann for not extending a “branch of peace” to Nathan Phillip, the Native American elder from the confrontation.
“You said you didn’t see the incident as something beneficial—rather, that it was destructive and horrific. But your speech tonight was a clear embrace of a role as a political symbol and conservative icon; a career move. It was your choice. I hope you end up satisfied with it,” the CNN writer concluded.
Sandmann responded to Yang, telling the CNN writer “I can’t say I’m too surprised.”
CNN did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
This follows claims made by Sandmann’s attorney Lin Wood that CNN’s media correspondent Brian Stelter breached the network’s confidentiality agreement after retweeting a critic who suggested Sandmann was “undoubtedly paid nuisance value settlement & nothing more.”
“This retweet by @brianstelter may have cost him his job at @CNN. It is called breach of confidentiality agreement. Brian Stelter is a liar. I know how to deal with liars,” Wood tweeted with a screenshot of Stelter’s retweet.
CNN analyst Asha Rangappa appeared to agree with the assertion, writing “I’d guess $25K to go away.”
Speaking in front of The Lincoln Memorial, where the confrontation took place, Sandmann told his side of the story on Tuesday night.
“Looking back now, how could I have possibly imagined that the simple act of putting on that red hat would unleash hate from the left and make myself the target of network and cable news networks nationwide?” he wondered. “While the media portrayed me as an aggressor with a relentless smirk on my face, in reality, the video confirms I was standing with my hands behind my back and an awkward smile on my face that hid two thoughts: One, don’t do anything that could further agitate the man banging the drum at my face. And two, I was trying to follow a family friend’s advice never to do anything to embarrass your family, your school, or your community.”
Sandmann accused the media of “advancing their anti-Christian, anti-conservative, anti-Donald Trump narrative” that if that meant ruining “the reputation and future of a teenager from Covington, Kentucky, well so be it.”
He explained that he was “being canceled” and said similar treatment is being dished out to people across the country who “refuse to be silenced by the far left,” with the media “a willing participant.”
“But I would not be canceled,” Sandmann declared. “I fought back hard to expose the media for what they did to me and I won a personal victory. While much more needs to be done, I look forward to the day that the media returns to providing balanced, responsible, and accountable news coverage.”
At the end of the video, Sandmann expressed his support for President Trump and put on the iconic MAGA hat.