Mainstream media continues to dig its own grave as over the weekend sensationalised reports from the Washington March for Life rally alleged that a large group of MAGA hat-wearing high school students had “swarmed around” Native American protesters, making them “feel threatened” as they “prepared to leave”.
The students were swiftly condemned by public figures, journalists and their own school which threatened potential expulsions. A Twitter mob is currently attempting to dox them. But as more contextual footage has emerged, many have retracted and even apologised for these premature condemnations, and most mainstream media outlets such as the Washington Post and New York Times have reluctantly measured themselves with follow up articles.
The primary source for this story was the word of the Native American activist Nathan Phillips himself speaking to the Washington Post, accompanied by a short video in which a young boy stares unflinchingly back at Phillips who is playing his drum and singing the “American Indian Movement” song.
“It was getting ugly, and I was thinking:‘I’ve got to find myself an exit out of this situation and finish my song at the Lincoln Memorial,’” Phillips recalled. “I started going that way, and that guy in the hat stood in my way, and we were at an impasse. He just blocked my way and wouldn’t allow me to retreat.”
Phillips kept drumming and singing, thinking about his wife, Shoshana, who died of bone marrow cancer nearly four years ago, and the various threats that face indigenous communities around the world, he said.
“I felt like the spirit was talking through me,” Phillips said.– The Washington Post
The story, confirming various left-wing narratives about the horrors of being a non-white in Trump’s America, was quickly picked up by the propagandists at The New York Times;
The encounter became the latest touchpoint for racial tensions in America, particularly under Mr. Trump, who has painted immigrants in broad strokes as rapists and drug dealers and recently mocked Senator Elizabeth Warren with a reference to Wounded Knee and Little Bighorn, sacred ground for Native Americans whose ancestors fought and died there.
Across the country, Mr. Trump’s name — and his campaign for a wall on the southern border with Mexico — have been used to goad minorities, including by high school students at sporting events.– The New York Times
The story quickly went viral on social media (and Twitter in particular), as many other outlets such as Buzzfeed postured over the event by backing up this version. None bothered to investigate the matter further, ask the kids or any of the other groups at the location for their recollection of the situation (which, difficult as it is to believe, was once the bare minimum we expected of journalists).
More contextualising video evidence was soon shared by others who attended the event, casting doubt on the way mainstream media had unquestioningly reported the Native American group’s fantastical version of events. By the end of the weekend, this full 1 hour and 45 minute clip became public which clearly shows the Native American group willingly approach and put themselves into the midst of the young boys, harassing them and attempting to provoke them with their intentionally obnoxious singing. Much of Nathan Phillip’s version is now verifiably false thanks to on-the-ground video evidence the video provides.
CNN have since published a statement by the ‘smirking’ kid at the centre of the outrage, whose name is Nick Sandmann. His version is much more accurate against the full video and others shared on Twitter, and adds the context that a different group of African American protesters also at the Lincoln Memorial park taunted the kids, calling them “racists,” “bigots,” “white crackers,” “faggots,” and “incest kids.” They also singled out the one African American student in the group, saying the white kids would “harvest his organs”. The Native American protesters, he says, also racially insulted the young students, saying that they “stole our land” and that they should “go back to Europe”.
I’d encourage you to watch some of the full clip and make up your own mind, but this event truly unmasked the deceitful, nefarious, hate-fuelled mob mentality that animates the Left (despite their constant insistence this is really the nature of the Right). Targets for the social media frenzy were not limited to the kids (many as young as 15 years old), but stretched to the school itself and members of the clergy. Perpetrators of the mobbing were not merely fringe-dwelling activists but mainstream politicians and figures with massive cultural clout and online followings:
But far and away the best hot-take is provided by Alex Cranz, ‘Senior Review Editor’ for tech blog Gizmodo who very clearly is still pissed she didn’t get asked to prom:
Some of the innocent people have also been harassed in the doxing frenzy. The older brother of a wrongly-identified student gave an account of the harassment his family had received because the online mob had targeted them:
Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky’s Democratic secretary of state who graduated from a Catholic high school, said in statements on social media that she was alarmed to see the students from her state taunting and harassing Mr. Phillips.
“In spite of these horrific scenes, I refuse to shame and solely blame these children for this type of behavior,” she said.“Instead, I turn to the adults.”– The New York Times’ original article
I could not agree more. There are many supposed ‘adults’ with much to answer for here.
* Updated 24/1/19: Since the time of publishing this article, many more heinous and vile tweets aimed at the Covington students have become apparent, most disgusting among them being one Disney Producer Jack Morrissey who tweeted his fan-fiction of murdering the kids in a woodchipper, and Erik Abbriss, freelance journalist for INE media, who was subsequently fired: