I don’t know what to call this, but I’ll start with the title “No Credible Media”, because it seems to me that the events of this week have really shot any remaining pretense of credibility on the part of the non-conservative media.
But the manner in which they’ve done it is jaw-dropping. Let’s review.
…but before that, why not go back a step. Because it hasn’t been a good few days.
First, the media gushed over the new Gillette ad… while everyone else knows full well that they just slashed their market share.
Then, Buzzfeed told a big lie to say that Trump was going down (isn’t he always?) and the rest of the media followed suit. Only, this time they got called out.
And in between we had the usual nonsense such as this and this.
Then we arrived at the March for Life.
Naturally, it wasn’t covered. It’s a massive march that happens every year, and you never, ever read about it in the media or see it on the news. And frankly in NZ, that’s fine – it’s a US story. But when it’s not even reported in the USA where it happened and you start to see the problem.
But that wasn’t enough, oh no.
Now we have the truly outrageous, horrible story of what Kant called radical evil. A white, male, Catholic teen who had been to the pro-life march and was wearing a MAGA hat smirked at an Indian Elder who was beating a drum in his face while clad in Native garb (but white Western eyeglasses). It took place near the Lincoln Memorial Friday just after the pro-life March.
And that’s all that happened. A kid smiled in the face of an old Indian who walked right up to him. Smiled – even smirked*. That’s what the video showed. The one I first saw was 61 seconds and that’s all they did – the boy smiled awkwardly, and the Indian chanted and banged his drum.
But the media were quick to jump on board.
“The behavior shown in that video is just a snapshot of what indigenous people have faced and are continuing to face,” Buffalo said.
She said she hoped it would lead to some kind of meeting with the students to provide education on issues facing Native Americans.
The videos prompted a torrent of outrage online. Actress and activist Alyssa Milano tweeted that the footage “brought me to tears,” while actor Chris Evans tweeted that the students’ actions were “appalling” and “shameful.”
Now, that’s from the NZ Herald.
I have to say, I saw this story come up on Saturday night. I had one response – “well, I guess they finally found some”. I honestly thought the media had landed a big fish – a group of racist Trump-supporting boys beating up an elderly man of colour**. So often they claimed to have found a group of pro-Trump bullies, but real instances have proven only too rare.
But as I said, my glace at the story gave me the distinct impression that the boys had tormented this poor man, taken his had, abused him to his face, sworn at him and generally thrown racist remarks.
Boy, I should have paid more attention. And I wasn’t alone.
(This one’s a funny story actually. Because he didn’t like it when people returned the sentiment.)
Of course, the pile on was completely immoral so Kathy Griffin was in like a shot.
I was looking for more, but to be honest a lot of stuff is deleted now. Including one promoting the idea of putting the kids in a wood-chipper. (But it was a joke you know)
A lot of people tried to make it about Catholics. So the Washington Post piled on that too. Because if you’re trying to kill democracy in darkness, you have to take the church too.
This guy thought it would be funny to make the kids look like KKK members. You know, because they smiled at a guy.
So what actually happened?
This is all on video. All of it. But of course, it wasn’t on the video people saw first.
9. Leftists begin posting small video clips and crafting a narrative that a bunch of MAGA hat wearing teenagers mocked a Native American who was simply minding his own business. [excluding sound, removing more of the context remaining]
11. Media types post vile images. Certain blue check marks call for the kids to be shot on site.
Many of those are still online, though some have been withdrawn. Few have apologized, though some have.
13. Despite the narrative being completely debunked and rejected, leftist news organizations are still running with the story. “White MAGA hat racists assault Native American.”
Side note: NZ media coverage
Remember when it was all on video? Well, people started watching that video. And word got out quickly that the entire story was not what it seemed.
I first saw those stories on Monday Morning, around 8:30.
At 1pm, I logged into Facebook to see if the NZ news had withdrawn. The first two stories I saw were two different outlets, pushing the origional angle, and those stories were marked 3 hours old.
But let’s have a look at NZ Herald’s coverage.
20 Jan, 2019 12:15pm Native American drummer speaks on the teens who surrounded him wearing MAGA hats
20 Jan, 2019 5:25pm The Latest: Man says students wound up singing with him
That’s 8 stories. 3 of which were filed before the story began to fall apart.
14:15, Jan 20 2019 Students in ‘MAGA’ hats mock and jeer at Native Americans at rally …
11:31, Jan 21 2019 Students at US rally who mocked Native Americans also did the haka
13:54, Jan 21 2019 Videos show what really happened in confrontation between US …
05:00, Jan 22 2019 The smirking schoolboy and the hardly-a-haka | Stuff.co.nz
07:51, Jan 22 2019 Teen in US stare-down with Native American speaks | Stuff.co.nz
(Undated?) What happened at US rally? | Stuff.co.nz
I may analyse these further at a later date. Interestingly, I was unable to find anything on TVNZ’s search function.
Nick Sandmann, the student in the center of the hate mob, released this statement. This post is pretty long, so I’m not including it all here. But you can read the entire thing on the link.
I am the student in the video who was confronted by the Native American protestor. I arrived at the Lincoln Memorial at 4:30 p.m. I was told to be there by 5:30 p.m., when our busses were due to leave Washington for the trip back to Kentucky. We had been attending the March for Life rally, and then had split up into small groups to do sightseeing.
I’ve been told by some people that the boys did wrong by not walking away. The problem was, they were meeting there. They had nowhere to go where these crazy people would not follow them.
I believed that by remaining motionless and calm, I was helping to diffuse the situation. I realized everyone had cameras and that perhaps a group of adults was trying to provoke a group of teenagers into a larger conflict. I said a silent prayer that the situation would not get out of hand.
During the period of the drumming, a member of the protestor’s entourage began yelling at a fellow student that we “stole our land” and that we should “go back to Europe.” I heard one of my fellow students begin to respond. I motioned to my classmate and tried to get him to stop engaging with the protestor, as I was still in the mindset that we needed to calm down tensions.
I never felt like I was blocking the Native American protestor. He did not make any attempt to go around me. It was clear to me that he had singled me out for a confrontation, although I am not sure why.
The engagement ended when one of our teachers told me the busses had arrived and it was time to go. I obeyed my teacher and simply walked to the busses. At that moment, I thought I had diffused the situation by remaining calm, and I was thankful nothing physical had occurred.
I never understood why either of the two groups of protestors were engaging with us, or exactly what they were protesting at the Lincoln Memorial. We were simply there to meet a bus, not become central players in a media spectacle. This is the first time in my life I’ve ever encountered any sort of public protest, let alone this kind of confrontation or demonstration.
So what we have are some young boys who were aproached by some crazy cultists, and then a native american activist stepped in and used the chaos to… well, act strangely.
This was then picked up by activists, and the media, edited and cast as some sort of mean nasty bullying.
And an online rage mob ensured. A mob that took in large parts of the media, and even many conservatives. Then, a counter-narrative was published, with the complete video, which showed the boys to be the victims, not the aggressors.
This one has really gotten under my skin. I’ve seen some pretty bizare statements.
- “If my kids did that I’d…” – so if your kid stood and smiled when provoked, you’d disown them?!?
- “The kids should have moved away – that’s the christian thing” – no, actually it’s not. The group was too large, and there actually wasn’t that much concern at the time. Remember, they were approached. They thought they’d managed to avoid a confrontation, because they had.
- “KKK” – whatever.
- “The Native American went in to calm down the situation” – from the first Herald link above ” said he felt threatened by the teens and that they suddenly swarmed around him” I guess he changed his tune when the video came out and that was a proven lie.
I have a real problem this this. This was one of the nastiest mobs we’ve ever seen. And it wasn’t against bullies. It wasn’t even against adults. At it’s core, it was against a kid who smiled at a weird, hypocritical nutcase activist with brown skin. And it was 100% egged on by the media, and reporters. They took sides early, a position that is only emphasised by the complete lack of reporting on the original, massive protest.
I can’t emphasise how much the media have screwed up at this point. But that’s another day I guess. I’m going to do more posts, because this one has become something of a hot mess. But I want this stake in the ground to start with.
Some thoughts to end on.
First, twitter has not acquitted itself well. But that’s not new.
(George Zimmerman would like to have a conversation with you, Tim.)
Second, the crazy cultists got away with far more than the high school kids did, and their identities are still mostly unknown and unexposed.
* I’m not the greatest at reading emotions, but it always seems to me that the difference between a smile and a smirk is the opinion of the observer.
** Words cannot express how stupid it is that “coloured” has come back “in”, having been derided as racist most of my life. But I need to express the idea so I’m forced to use it.
More reading: Radical evil, and the online lynching of a kid from Kentucky
When the Press Sees Red