On the ballot, President Trump is running for reelection against Democratic nominee Joe Biden. But at the Republican National Convention, the GOP is acting as if the mainstream media had joined Biden on the opposing ticket.
At Tuesday night’s event, former Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann of Kentucky, who has become a conservative symbol of liberal media excess, praised Trump for his antiabortion position and told the convention that the president was voters’ best chance for a return to “objective journalism.”
“I fought back hard to expose the media for what they did to me, and I won a personal victory,” Sandmann said in a video in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. “While much more must be done, I look forward to the day that the media returns to providing balanced, responsible and accountable news coverage. I know President Trump hopes for that too.”
At RNC, former high schooler Nicholas Sandmann claims he was a victim of ‘cancel’ culture
Video of Sandmann as a Covington Catholic High student went viral for staring down a Native American activist in D.C.
Trump has maintained a contentious relationship with the media, calling factual but unflattering reports “fake news” and labeling reporters “the enemy of the people,” to the objection of most press freedom advocates.
Sandmann became a national figure by accident during a school trip to Washington, D.C., for the antiabortion March for Life in 2019, when his group encountered other protesters nearby the Lincoln Memorial.
In social media posts that went viral at the time, and in some media commentary that immediately followed, some liberals criticized Sandmann, then 16, who was wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat when he encountered Omaha Nation elder Nathan Phillips, who had approached him while singing and playing a drum. Sandmann later said he was not mocking Phillips.
His family and many conservatives felt that Sandmann had been defamed or otherwise treated unfairly by media coverage, which led to them filing lawsuits against news outlets saying that he had been “targeted and bullied” by the media. He reached settlements with CNN and the Washington Post.
“In November, I believe this country must unite around a president who calls the media out and refuses to allow them to create a narrative instead of reporting the facts,” Sandmann said. “I believe we must join a president who will challenge the media to return to objective journalism.”
On his Twitter account, Sandmann identifies himself as the communications director of the Transylvania University College Republicans.