A friend told me this morning that he thinks the Covington Catholic media scandal will be a turning point in Americans’ view of the press. Maybe so, but there have been a lot of turning points in the years since, for example, Rathergate, and no one has yet besieged the New York Times building with pitchforks.
We can’t possibly keep up with all of the Covington Catholic fallout, so here are a few items. First, the school canceled classes this morning and barred all students and parents from campus. That is what you have to do when you get large numbers of death threats from liberals, I suppose.
Second, Saturday Night Live “comedy writer” Sarah Beattie was one of the more moderate members of the liberal lynch mob. She only wanted someone to slug the principal young man who appears in the “viral” video (ie., the one that failed to show how the Native American activist, with his followers and camera man, waded into the Covington Catholic kids, who were innocently minding their own business, and started banging his drum in their faces):
This is an offer that we have seen before, e.g. from Madonna and Newsweek reporter Nina Burleigh. Also Italian actress Paola Saulino, who seems to be the only one who has actually made good on her fellatio pledge. And then, of course–on the other end, so to speak–we have Bill Clinton. No matter how strange you think liberals are, you underestimate their weirdness.
Third, Mark Steyn rightly criticizes conservative commentators who foolishly jumped on the anti-Covington bandwagon. What were they thinking, especially since even the original, brief video that showed up on Twitter and Facebook didn’t show the boys doing anything wrong? Mark writes:
What’s disturbing about this fake hate crime is not that the Twitter mob scented blood in its nostrils and went bounding after its prey, but that a big chunk of Conservative Inc piled on, as enthusiastically as the left. …
I talked on Rush last Friday about the folly, in philosophical terms, of always accepting your opponents’ premises, even unto accepting and advancing the notion that “western civilization” is hate speech. How is that in the interest of even the most milquetoast and watery version of “conservatism”?
But accepting not just your opponents’ framing of the argument but their most repulsive totalitarian rituals is even worse. The Orwellian Twitterstorm is something utterly disgusting: It reduces man to a cyber-jackal, feasting on whatever prey is tossed in his path.
Finally, the Twitter mob (or portions of it, anyway) mis-identified the innocent teenager who was accosted by the Native American activist. So the wrong guy was “doxxed,” and the wrong family got death threats:
Social media has wrongly identified a Cincinnati, Ohio teenager as the high school student who engaged in a confrontation with a Native American protester, leading to a slew of online attacks.
Michael Hodge and his family were subject to threats after being doxxed — having personal information shared online — according to his older brother, Andrew Hodge. According to a Sunday Twitter thread by Andrew Hodge, members of his family were harassed and spammed with “threats of physical violence” after their parents’ address got posted online.
“My parents, uncles, & aunts, receive messages stating they are pieces of shit parents and won’t be able to protect #MichaelHodge forever… seriously what kind of behavior is this?” Hodge wrote.
Not that it would be any better, of course, if they had identified the “right” kid.
In a saner world, we might expect liberals to be embarrassed by the Covington Catholic fiasco and perhaps to reflect on how they have gone so badly astray. But in this world? Don’t even think about it. Leftists are already trying to dig up more incidents they can use to smear the school, its students, and ultimately, I suppose, the Catholic church.