(CNSNews.com) - "Looking back now, how could I have possibly have imagined that the simple act of putting on that red (MAGA) hat would unleash hate from the left and make myself the target of network and cable news networks nationwide?" Nicholas Sandmann asked Tuesday night, in a speech to the Republican National Convention.
"I would not be canceled," he said, despite "the full war machine of the mainstream media."
"I fought back hard to expose the media for what they did to me, and I won a personal victory."
The student from Covington, Ky., has sued eight national media outlets -- CNN, The Washington Post, NBC, ABC, CBS, The New York Times, Gannett, and Rolling Stone -- for defamation, following his stare-down with a protester in Washington, D.C., at the conclusion of the January 2019 March for Life. Several "news" outlets have settled the defamation suits.
In January 2019, those same media outlets portrayed Sandmann as the aggressor, he said, because he was wearing a red MAGA hat:
"My life changed forever in that one moment," Sandmann said:
The full war machine of the mainstream media revved up into attack mode. They did so without researching the full video of the incident, without ever investigating Mr. Phillips' motives or without ever asking me for my side of the story.
And do you know why? Because the truth was not important. Advancing their anti-Christian, anti-conservative, anti-Donald Trump narrative was all that mattered. And if advancing their narrative ruined the reputation and future of a teenager from Covington, Kentucky, well, so be it. That would teach him not to wear a MAGA hat.
I learned what was happening to me had a name. It was called being canceled. As in annulled, as in revoked, as in made void. Canceled is what's happening to people around this country who refuse to be silenced by the far left. Many are being fired, humiliated or even threatened. And often the media is a willing participant.
But I would not be canceled. I fought back hard to expose the media for what they did to me, and I won a personal victory. While much more must be done. I look forward to the day when the media returns to providing balanced, responsible and accountable news coverage. I know President Trump hopes for that, too. And I know you will agree with me when I say that no one in this country has been a victim of unfair media coverage more than President Donald Trump.
In November, I believe the 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. I believe we must join a president who will challenge the media to return to objective journalism. And together I believe we must all embrace our First Amendment rights and not hide in fear of the media or from the tech companies or from the outrage mob, either.
This is worth fighting for. This is worth voting for. And this is what Donald Trump stands for.
"And one more thing, let's make America great again," Sandmann concluded, as he put on a red MAGA hat.
As expected, Sandmann's speech drew thousands of comments on Twitter, including a snarky one from former Clinton spokesperson Joe Lockhart: "I'm watching tonight because it's important. But i don't have to watch this snot nose entitled kid from Kentucky," Lockhart wrote.
Another Twitter contributor wrote: "You may be cool but not like Nick Sandmann being on CNN, bashing CNN, while being paid by CNN."
CNN settled Sandmann's defamation suit out of court.