One of the basic rules of political journalism is, you don’t have to comment on every controversy that comes along. And you certainly don’t have to rush to become the first to publish such a commentary. What happened over the weekend with a viral video of Catholic school boys confronted by a protester in D.C. should remind us of that rule.My favorite:
On Friday, students from Covington Catholic School participated in the annual March for Life in Washington. On Saturday, a video clip was posted that claimed to show the students — many of whom were wearing red “Make America Great Again” hats — engaged in harassment of a Native American activist named Nathan Phillips. This clip went viral on Twitter, with a swarm of blue-check pundits excoriating the boys.
Honest question. Have you ever seen a more punchable face than this kid’s? pic.twitter.com/jolQ7BZQPD— Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) January 20, 2019
This face seems waaaay more "punchable". pic.twitter.com/OcSSS5RFyx— Erma Gurd (@LuckyGreekGirl) January 20, 2019
Does this not characterize our media class perfectly? Willing to promote violence against a teenager who stood still and smiled while a smarmy leftist banged a drum in his face? CNN should fire him, but won't. And he's not the only one. One Hollywood director suggested feeding the kids with MAGA hats through a wood chipper, Fargo style. Just kidding, I'm sure, but there was real misplaced anger behind it. That's just like the Disney flicks I know and love!
I see journalists are now researching things other kids at Covington Catholic did 7+ years ago, because clearly that has direct bearing on what these kids did over the weekend. Our news cycles are like toxic waste explosions; everyone in the vicinity gets splattered with sludge.— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) January 22, 2019
I was barely aware of this story when it first broke, and thought then that it was likely to fall apart on closer examination. Immediately,
It was only about 24 hours until enough people looked at the full video and it told a very different story. Even the Washington Post climbed off it's high horse a little, while still claiming the moral high ground.
As Treacher writes: Liberals Are Bigots, But It's Okay Because That Kid Had a MAGA Hat
Here's a rule of thumb I came up with a few years back, and maybe you've noticed it too: By the time I learn enough about a huge news story to realize I don't care, it turns out to be bull$#!+ anyway. The press latches onto something, focuses on it like a laser, and then it turns out to be nothing. This keeps happening, again and again. And over the weekend, it happened twice in as many days.Now, liberals are running for cover, deleting tweets, and offering the usual non-apology-apologies to the kids, and the high school. The kids and the high school in turn, are considering filing libel or defamation against some of the media outlets and celebrities that joined in the fun. Filed under lawsuits I hope will win.
Stephan Green at Insty Twitter suspends account that helped ignite controversy over viral encounter.
So next time, wait a day or so before joining the media frenzy. It works for me.The account claimed to belong to a California schoolteacher. Its profile photo was not of a schoolteacher, but of a blogger based in Brazil, CNN Business found. Twitter suspended the account soon after CNN Business asked about it.I’ll be impressed when Twitter finally goes after the big celebrity accounts who fanned the flames of hate far higher than some anonymous troll could ever have.
The account, with the username @2020fight, was set up in December 2016 and appeared to be the tweets of a woman named Talia living in California. “Teacher & Advocate. Fighting for 2020,” its Twitter bio read. Since the beginning of this year, the account had tweeted on average 130 times a day and had more than 40,000 followers.