Beware the 1-sided story

What were the lessons we should all take from the coverage of the Covington High School teens and Native American Nathan Phillips? Have we actually learned them? Will this change how news is reported?

And I have a “Name That Quote” segment again. It’s been gone for a while, but it’s back! For this quote, you may want to prepare yourself if it surprises you as much as it did me.

Mentioned links:

Good, Bad & Ugly: How the Media Covered False Smear of Covington Kids

Networks Spend 19X More Time Smearing Pro-Life Teens Than Reporting on March for Life


How We Destroy Lives Today

NBC: The Covington boys should apologize because they wore MAGA hats


Instapundit quote, 1/22/19

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Show transcript

Unless you were under a rock this past week, you certainly knew about the story about how a bunch of racist teenagers in Washington, DC surrounded an elderly Native American and harassed him while chanting, “Build that wall!” Or perhaps you didn’t believe the initial media reports and watched the whole video to realize that the teens were approached by the Native American, and the one kid who’s face you saw everywhere tried to de-escalate the situation. As I understand it, depending on your politics you either saw a blue and black dress or a white and gold one. But in this case, there was a way to get the bigger context, if you were willing to watch it.

Yes, this was Covington Catholic High School and student Nick Sandmann versus Nathan Phillips, the media, and the left-wing mob. Mr. Phillips lied about how the event unfolded, the media (Left and Right, incidentally) took a snippet of video and overlaid a host of assumptions, and the mob doxxed the kids and their families, while threatening or suggesting violence against them.

But it’s Trump supporters and Republicans that are hateful and violent. Riiight.

There’s a host of links in the show notes about how the media came to snap judgements, and how some (but certainly not all) walked back their initial reporting, and what this says about social media. Someday, someone’s going to get hurt or killed because of this sort of prejudice. Then, the lessons might be learned, though certainly too late. And “prejudice” is the right term for taking a picture or a video snippet out of context and applying your pre-conceived notions to it based on skin color or perhaps a red cap being worn.

Speaking of that hat, some journalists have suggested that if the teens had not been wearing them, this situation could have been defused before it even happened. Savannah Guthrie even suggested that on national TV in her interview of Sandmann. I wonder if she would also consider asking a rape victim, “Do you think if you weren’t wearing that short skirt this might not have happened?” Yes, rape is a much more violent act, but I see victim-blaming in both questions. Apparently the irony is lost on Guthrie.

And to be sure, some of the kids could have been considered mocking Mr. Phillips, and for that they should apologize. A bunch of teenagers wound up in an awkward situation not of their making, and some did misbehave. But is that worth the vitriol they’ve received? (Hint: No.)

Do you want to know why the term “Fake News” has caught on? It’s not because of Trump. He’s only been around for 2 years. It caught on because this sort of thing has been going on for a long time, we knew it was happening, and the term is just a convenient way to describe it. This was yet another “Hands up, don’t shoot” moment, and the media fell down on the job. Again.

But “Fake News” isn’t just misreporting. It’s also selective reporting. While there’s no real reason that this event should have been national news, it happened after an event that should have been. These kids joined hundreds of thousands who marched in the March For Life that weekend. The media didn’t want to cover it, and they dutifully minimized it. However, they spent almost 20 times the effort on those kids rather than a weekend of events including a visit from the Vice President.

The media forgot one of its truly important aspects of a story – context – in an effort to get the scoop. They, and many of us, rushed to judgement before the facts came out. Social media and the 24-hour news cycle make this possible. It’s killing us; morally now, but soon perhaps, physically.

It’s been a while since I did a “Name That Quote” segment. That’s where I read a quote by someone and you try to figure out who said it. Then I reveal who it was and, in most cases, you get to bask in the irony.

I have a few quotes by a person that I’d like to read. Now, these are from tweets so the phrasing is a little awkward sometimes so that it fits, but you’ll get the idea. Here we go, first quote, “Empty Head disease, Porn and PlayStation. We’ve lost many good men to this. GONE. No return.” Getting an idea who it might be?

Let’s add this, “Talk to our children. As young adults we can make our own choices. But, it’s a slippery slope. I ? [pray] kids can be brave,  rebel against it all.” Now I imagine you’re trying to figure out what church this person represents.

Here’s more. “The worst lovers watch porn – numb, desensitized .. needing more and more variety, even violent .. Porn is not what love looks like.” OK, so this has to be Jerry Falwell, Jr., or Franklin Graham, or the Pope, right? Well those guys may have been saying this sort of thing for a long time, but they didn’t say this back on January 20th.

No, not those men, but a woman. And a woman who both ought to know, but who also contributed to the problem. These are the tweets of Pamela Anderson. Yes, that Playboy Playmate Pamela Anderson.

I agree with what she said. I do wonder how she squares these views with her career, and I’m afraid that career will blunt any good her words could do. This is something of an example of how, if you want people to listen to what you have to say, you need to live it yourself. Otherwise you may find that fewer people take you seriously. That’s a lesson for all of us, me especially. But I’m very glad to hear it from someone who might make today’s teens and 20-somethings reconsider their habits.

OK, you can pick yourself up off the floor now.

And finally, Glenn Reynolds recently posted this at his Instapundit site regarding the vitriol coming Nick Sandmann’s way, “Hey, remember when nobody was supposed to criticize David Hogg because he was just a high school kid?” Well, at least I know I’m old enough to remember. Great times.

Filed under: Human SexualityMediaPartisanshipRace Issues