Lin Wood, the attorney representing Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann in a defamation lawsuit against 'The Washington Post,' appeared on Wednesday night's 'Hannity' to discuss the case.
"If Nicholas had not purchased that souvenir cap that day at the Mall, if he was not wearing it, none of us would know who Nick Sandmann is," Wood said. "He would still be living his life privately, going to school without worrying about how his school and his classmates and the world feel about him."
"Here is a 16-year-old kid, Sean. It is tough being 16. Think about what this young boy is having to deal with at age 16 when the entire world saw him the way that the media portrayed him as literally the face of evil. It is inexcusable, reprehensible conduct by the media. And 'The Washington Post' led the way," the attorney said.
Transcript, via FOX News:
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: But, first, joining us now with more on this lawsuit and what is a media mob, I got to know him in 1996, one of the most tenacious attorneys in the country, if he sent me a letter of cease and desist, I’d beg for an apology. Lin Wood is with us.
Lin, good to see you.
LIN WOOD, ATTORNEY FOR NICHOLAS SANDMANN: Good to talk to you, Sean. Thanks for having me on.
HANNITY: I meant what I said about Richard Jewell. He -- I learned a lot. It has served me well.
WOOD: Well, let me say this to you; Richard Jewell always appreciated what you did for him, Sean. When the mob went after Richard, you are the sole voice in the media that urged caution and said, stop, investigate, get the facts, get it right. Nobody else did that.
HANNITY: I looked at Nicholas Sandman --
WOOD: He was always grateful for you doing that.
HANNITY: I think the stress killed him. I think it so upset him.
I look at Nicholas Sandmann --
WOOD: I know it did.
HANNITY: -- and I know, we now know the story, this kid, you couldn’t teach somebody to act more perfectly than he did under the circumstances, and it would have taken all of seven seconds to get the truth out.
WOOD: Well, let me tell you what "The Washington Post" did to Nicholas and other members of the mainstream media. You have the era of social media now, Twitter, Facebook -- thank goodness that did not as exist back in 1996 when Richard Jewell was under attack.
So, this video goes viral, the mob attacks, and you would expect that the mainstream media would be responsible enough to pause, recognize that they are dealing with a student, investigate, and make sure that they have the facts accurate, that the story that they tell is accurate. But they didn’t pause when it came to Nicholas, because they wanted to rush out and they wanted to jump into the mob and give the mob a megaphone, so that they could attack this boy, because he was white, he’s Catholic, and he was wearing a "Make America Great Again" cap.
If Nicholas had not purchased that souvenir cap that day at the Mall, if he was not wearing it, none of us would know who Nick Sandmann is. He would still be living his life privately, going to school without worrying about how his school and his classmates and the world feel about him.
Here is a 16-year-old kid, Sean. It is tough being 16. Think about what this young boy is having to deal with at age 16 when the entire world saw him the way that the media portrayed him as literally the face of evil. It is inexcusable, reprehensible conduct by the media. And "The Washington Post" led the way.
HANNITY: Well, you also telegraphed my interpretation, I have read every word of your 38-page complaint that CNN is not far behind, NBC is not far behind. But, Lin, I’ve got to imagine if you add up all media outlets in this day and age, and include Hollywood actors and actresses, the fame behind and the power of the pulpit that they have, hundreds, thousands of potential lawsuits here?
WOOD: Certainly hundreds. The good news is, is that we have two and a half years to identify and file lawsuits against the wrongdoers, because he is a minor, Nick will turn 18 in July of 2020. We’ve got two and a half years. We’ve got a lot of work to do, because the social media and mainstream mob of bullies was extremely large in number. And they were very vocal.
And the mainstream media like "The Washington Post" gave them a megaphone to go out and to shout to the world that this young boy had instigated this event, which he did not, had engaged in behavior swarming around Mr. Phillips, which he did not, had blocked Mr. Phillips’ ability to leave the scene, which he did not.
And Nicholas Sandmann as you said, Sean, he didn’t do anything wrong. He exhibited the most respectful behavior of anyone involved in this incident.
He was a child. He was accosted by adults. The Black Hebrew Israelites as your clip shows yelling the most obscene slurs at these boys, homophobic, racist slurs. And then you have this character, Phillips, and I say character because let me tell you, I have watched what he said. He didn’t tell the same story twice because he is a liar. And yet the media put him on --
HANNITY: Can you sue him?
WOOD: -- interview after interview, interview after interview, to tell his false story and condemn this young innocent boy.
HANNITY: I assume by those comments and I think you said on Twitter that you would sue Nathan Phillips as well.
You know, I watch what those kids went through and what the people said to them. They said nothing back. I don't know if I would have that kind of restraint. It is kind of amazing, they said that he went and confronted Nathan Phillips -- just the opposite.
I went through a high litany of profile cases. And they get it wrong all the time, this mob.
WOOD: Listen, you dated both of us talking about 1996. I have spent the last 23 years --
HANNITY: And you still look the same.
WOOD: -- of my career -- I’m sorry?
HANNITY: You still look the same.
WOOD: Well, thank you. Both of our hair is a different color now than it was back then.
But I have spent the last two decades working in the area of First Amendment law trying to protect individuals’ reputations and seek redress from false attack. And I have watched it, Sean, deteriorate over two decades. It’s gotten worse and worse. And now, it’s reached a point where they are attacking falsely a child.
HANNITY: I am really --
WOOD: Things have got to change, and there’s got to be accountability.
HANNITY: I am -- and I know that you do not need the money. I know that this is your passion. I am happy that they hired you. You’re the best person in this.
Lin Wood, thank you.