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By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture, Jan 21, 2020

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio

Thank God for Nicholas Sandmann and for his lawyers. Thanks to them, thousands of pro-lifers will be a bit safer when they participate in the March for Life this week.

Sandmann, you will recall, is the teenager from Covington Catholic high school in Kentucky, who was the focal point of a nationwide campaign of vilification— a frightening phenomenon reminiscent of the “two-minute hate” in Orwell’s 1984— after last year’s March. The young man himself had done absolutely nothing wrong. He stood his ground, smiling a bit nervously to defuse tensions, as a leftist agitators sought a confrontation, chanting in his face. But the leftists controlled the narrative (as they always do, thanks to sympathetic friends in the mainstream media), and the Covington Catholic boys were blamed for provoking the people who had, in fact, tried unsuccessfully to provoke them.

The confrontation itself was a minor thing. But the media circus that followed was astonishing. Reporters and commentators filled the airwaves and cyberspace with demands that the Covington Catholic teens be punished. And much more. There were calls to “dox” them, to assault them, to bar them from colleges. In short the media set out to destroy the lives of these young men.

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