VIDEO: Covington Catholic High mother explains how the media rush-to-judgment smeared her kids
Someone on the scene pulled out a camera phone to record video, and within hours, without any confirmable information, an online mob was ready to draw and quarter a high school junior. The mainstream media quickly joined the keyboard warriors in the mob, as did the Covington Catholic School leadership. As the short heavily edited clip of the incident starting appearing on Twitter, there was universal condemnation of the teenagers from liberals, conservatives, and almost everyone in between. The cell phone video that first appeared on Twitter and Facebook quickly spread across the national press and was described by the New York Times as “A Catholic high school is condemning the actions of students seen jeering a Native American elder in a video.”
Former governor and regular television pundit Howard Dean tweeted “#CovingtonCatholic High School seems like a hate factory to me. Why not just close it?” Bakari Sellers at CNN said that the boy in the video should be “punched in the face.” The video showed what the videographer wanted the world to see. A young man in a Make America Great Again hat was appearing to stare a hole through an innocent Native American who served his country in Vietnam and was trying to bring awareness to the plight of the American Indian.
However, there was one major flaw in the online mob and media arguments in a rush to condemn the racist, sexist Catholic school kid from Kentucky. None of it was true.
The rush to judgment is commonplace in American culture because of social media and the 24-hour news cycle that requires journalists, politicians, activists and everyday Americans to provide their hot takes before anyone beats them to it. The undoctored video that came to light hours later showed that the Covington kids were waiting on their bus, acting like typical annoying teenagers, when the Black Hebrew Israelites approached them and they were soon joined by the alleged victim of the juvenile taunts, Phillips. The narrative surrounding the poor victimized Native American veteran turned out to be fake news, but was widely spread by media outlets who reported that Phillips felt threatened by a large group of white men wearing “Make America Great Again” hats and chanting “Build The Wall.”