Mainstream media continues to dig its own grave as over the weekend sensationalised reports from the Washington March for Life rally alleged that a large group of MAGA hat-wearing high school students had “swarmed around” Native American protesters, making them “feel threatened” as they “prepared to leave”.The students were swiftly condemned by public figures, journalists and their own school which threatened potential expulsions. A Twitter mob is currently attempting to dox them. But as more contextual footage has emerged, many have retracted and even apologised for these premature condemnations, and most mainstream media outlets such as the Washington Post and New York Times have reluctantly measured themselves with follow up articles. The primary source for this story was the word of the Native American activist Nathan Phillips himself speaking to the Washington Post, accompanied by a short video in which a young boy stares unflinchingly back at Phillips who is playing his drum and singing the “American Indian Movement” song.
“It was getting ugly, and I was thinking:‘I’ve got to find myself an exit out of this situation and finish my song at the Lincoln Memorial,’” Phillips recalled. “I started going that way, and that guy in the hat stood in my way, and we were at an impasse. He just blocked my way and wouldn’t allow me to retreat.” Phillips kept drumming and singing, thinking about his wife, Shoshana, who died of bone marrow cancer nearly four years ago, and the various threats that face indigenous communities around the world, he said. “I felt like the spirit was talking through me,” Phillips said. – The Washington PostThe story, confirming various left-wing narratives about the horrors of being a non-white in Trump’s America, was quickly picked up by the propagandists at The New York Times;
The encounter became the latest touchpoint for racial tensions in America, particularly under Mr. Trump, who has painted immigrants in broad strokes as rapists and drug dealers and recently mocked Senator Elizabeth Warren with a reference to Wounded Knee and Little Bighorn, sacred ground for Native Americans whose ancestors fought and died there. Across the country, Mr. Trump’s name — and his campaign for a wall on the southern border with Mexico — have been used to goad minorities, including by high school students at sporting events. – The New York TimesThe story quickly went viral on social media (and Twitter in particular), as many other outlets such as Buzzfeed postured over the event by backing up this version. None bothered to investigate the matter further, ask the kids or any of the other groups at the location for their recollection of the situation (which, difficult as it is to believe, was once the bare minimum we expected of journalists). More contextualising video evidence was soon shared by others who attended the event, casting doubt on the way mainstream media had unquestioningly reported the Native American group’s fantastical version of events. By the end of the weekend, this full 1 hour and 45 minute clip became public which clearly shows the Native American group willingly approach and put themselves into the midst of the young boys, harassing them and attempting to provoke them with their intentionally obnoxious singing. Much of Nathan Phillip’s version is now verifiably false thanks to on-the-ground video evidence the video provides.
Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky’s Democratic secretary of state who graduated from a Catholic high school, said in statements on social media that she was alarmed to see the students from her state taunting and harassing Mr. Phillips. “In spite of these horrific scenes, I refuse to shame and solely blame these children for this type of behavior,” she said.“Instead, I turn to the adults.” – The New York Times’ original articleI could not agree more. There are many supposed ‘adults’ with much to answer for here.