You already know the story, so there’s no point rehashing it.
But what a perfect psychological study.
If you’re a member of the media, the idea of MAGA-hat-wearing teenagers mocking a lovable, old Native American man so totally fits the template, the story practically writes itself like some perverse Mad Lib:
“________ (insert name of conservative individual(s) here) and Trump supporter(s), displayed [ ] racist behavior [ ] sexist behavior [ ] homophobic and/or transphobic behavior [check all that apply] against _________ (insert name of victim(s) here) while video recorded the entire incident.”
Indeed, the story so perfectly filled out those blanks and checked the boxes that it took mere seconds to write and publish. Indeed, it took less time to publish and spread the story than it took to watch the video.
The Washington Post, doing its best to destroy democracy in the half-light of liberalism, ran the story without a single fact check, it appears. And the New York Times, our nation’s paper of record, simply cited WaPo as its source and did no research on or of its own. Nice job.
CNN, to their credit, published a follow-up story that acknowledged there was a whole lot more to the video, and that unedited video from other sources showed a totally different scenario playing out. Of course, just when CNN did the honorable thing, one of its employees recommended punching one of the boys in the face. So that sort of doesn’t work.
At the same time, liberal progressives all over America delighted in the original and fabricated story, deciding that an awkwardly confused high school student watching an old man chanting inches from his face was clearly smirking, and thinking no doubt of drinking beer and raping someone…because that’s what Catholics totally do, amirite? Like that Brett Covington guy on the Supreme Court.
And how dare the country ridicule the old Tribal Elder as a fraud and noted mischief-making lunatic? Don’t they know we need to protect and look after these noble savages and their ways, so different from us, but worth jamming into reservations so that we can take care of their every need?
And these stupid white kids with their money and sense of entitlement. They had no business being there except to cause trouble. Gosh, they and their hoi polloi parents make any decent progressive sick with their smirks, beer-drinking, and expensive clothing.
Because nothing says “liberal” like a total intolerance for anything that doesn’t conform to the GroupThink, and nothing says “progressive” like anti-Catholicism, noble savage fallacies, and a hatred for anyone who makes even a bit more money than you, right out of 1885.
The media and the liberals did two different but related things: they projected their fantasies onto the situation, ignoring the evidence, and revealing what they really think.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’ve seen the pro-Trump faction and the conservatives in our nation (not always overlapping camps, to be sure) squirm with Schadenfreude only the way the Right can. And that’s not necessarily great, either. The media screwed themselves on this story so perfectly that the only thing they can do is make the story about themselves, which they already are to the relief of the boys and their families who will no longer be threatened with violence. But the rest of us seem to be going after the Tribal Elder with a little too much glee. He’s a problem, but he’s not the problem.
Sorry, but what the Right needs to do here is organize and offer free legal counsel to the Covington Catholic families and sue the crap out of the CNN celebrities, Hollywood commentators, and even, yes, the clergy who attacked them and promoted harm.
And let’s be honest: as long as the rest of us continue to use Twitter instead of boycotting the hell out of it, there will be no punishment by Twitter.
We will learn nothing from this, because no matter what side you support, we really don’t want to learn. We just want to nail the other side again just as badly as they want to nail us.