When the whole Covington Catholic High School students versus elder Native American mess went down I warned everyone to check out their facts first and look into the guy. But many sites on both the left and the right just ran with it. It turns out I was right and after numerous videos came to the surface, the boys were not the bad guys here. But that doesn’t stop them from getting death threats or promised violence over something they did not do.
Both journalists and pundits stepped in it this time in a rush to judgment. The elder Native American agitator is Nathan Phillips. A man who has done something like this before… most notably in 2015. He’s also not a Vietnam veteran as many would lead you to believe. When a number of teens wearing MAGA hats were seen surrounding the guy, they were accused of mocking and harassing him. The exact opposite was true and I still wonder who paid the guy. He’s a professional activist.
— Screenshot Bot (@sshotbot) January 21, 2019
Phillips charged into the crowd of teens who were in DC for the March for Life rally. He banged his drum in the face of one boy and was very aggressive. Scripted almost.
The video that went viral seemed to show one of the students, Nicholas Sandmann, staring down Phillips, trying to intimidate him. An interview with Phillips after the confrontation showed him wiping away tears, talking about how he was intimidated by the students. He also went on about how he wanted to make America better. None of that was true.
— Screenshot Bot (@sshotbot) January 21, 2019
Protesters are showing up at the school in Kentucky and the school has been closed today over security concerns because of it. All of this can be attributed to voices on both the left and the right rushing to condemn the boys. Celebrities are calling for violence against them and for them to be doxxed. It’s shameful.
Now, a more in-depth video is out showing what really happened. “Black Israelite” protesters taunted the students with insults and gay slurs, and then Phillips approached the boys where they were waiting for their bus to leave. They were doing school chants to drown out the insults, not to mock Phillips. No one called for a wall and this had nothing to do with Trump.
38 thousand retweets vs 60. pic.twitter.com/5XO26w5jWa
— Ben McDonald (@Bmac0507) January 21, 2019
Now, a number of celebrities and big-name pundits are backtracking on their calls for punishment for the boys.
“National Review quietly deleted its article, posted Sunday at 2:55 a.m. and entitled, “The Covington Students Might as Well Have Just Spit on the Cross,” without explanation. NRO Deputy Managing Editor Nicholas Frankovich wrote: “‘Bullying’ is a worn-out word and doesn’t convey the full extent of evil on display here.”
“Decide for yourself who is more pleasing to Christ, Phillips or his mockers. As for the putatively Catholic students from Covington, they might as well have just spit on the cross and got it over with,” he wrote. The article can be found archived here.
“Bill Kristol deleted his tweet evoking the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), asserting that McCain would have called Phillips to express regret, according to Screenshot Bot, a Twitter bot that captures deleted tweets.
“Bakari Sellers, a former politician and CNN pundit, deleted his tweet calling for Sandmann to be “punched in the face.”
“He is a deplorable. Some ppl can also be punched in the face,” his tweet said, according to the Screenshot Bot.
“Some were more open about their retractions after watching the fuller video.
“Many other Blue-Checkmarks backed down, admitting they had rushed to judgment.
“Media outlets began following suit, updating their stories and doing follow-ups that acknowledged their first stories did not show the full picture. As the Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway noted, the New York Times published a headline that said the studenst had mobbed Phillips. A follow-up headline said, “Fuller Picture Emerges.”
“The Washington Post edited a headline that said, “‘It was getting ugly’: Native American drummer speaks on the MAGA-hat-wearing teens who surrounded him,” to “‘It was getting ugly’: Native American drummer speaks on his encounter with MAGA-hat-wearing teens.”
“Some outlets issued updates to their stories.”
Hey guys. Seeing all the additional videos now, and I 100% regret reacting too quickly to the Covington story. I wish I’d had the fuller picture before weighing in, and I’m truly sorry.
— S.E. Cupp (@secupp) January 21, 2019
Despite many backtracking and apologizing, the left is still calling Sandmann “racist” and calling for violence against him, the other boys and their families. Any excuse will do to attack those on the right even if they are children. Apologies fall short here and the damage is done. Bring on the lawsuits.
me too https://t.co/0om9VTZQiH
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) January 21, 2019
Yesterday I had one impression of the maga kids from Kentucky. Now after seeing more videos I have a different more complicated impression. Makes all the hot takes seem silly.
— David Brooks (@nytdavidbrooks) January 20, 2019
Shorter NYT: Please don't sue us. pic.twitter.com/CDpHqcO5Cw
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) January 21, 2019