After a video of pro-Trump Catholic school students supposedly taunting a Native American peace protester surfaced, news outlets latched onto this information, framing the incident as an assault on both sides of the protest.
Garnering attention from several different political groups, an anti-abortion march led by Covington Catholic High School students was called under national ridicule after several different media sources reported varying stories on the incident. While some sources clearly framed the students of participating in abusive behavior towards the peaceful Native American-led protest, others claimed that the video’s brief clip was taken out of context, intentionally slandering the students.
With America in the height of political controversy, no one is unfamiliar with the massive surge of protests sprouting around the country against virtually any issue, political or otherwise. As the coverage on protests has grown to support the weight of this overflow of revolt, it comes as no surprise that news outlets would attempt to gain viewers and clicks by banking on the popularity of “Make America Great Again Controversy.” As an overwhelming amount of the comments have shown, though, this approach to “unbiased” coverage demonstrates underhanded tactics meant to tarnish the reputation of high school students.
The video of a young man sporting an MAGA hat staring smugly into the eyes of a protesting Native American man surfaced on Twitter from an already questionable source. It didn’t take long for the video to gain traction, but several details were not included with the clip such as the taunting from an extremist Muslim group making threats against the Catholic students.
Whether or not the boys’ chanting of “build the wall” is offensive is essentially a moot point considering they had every right to do so. However, according to sources such as The New York Times, the Catholic school boys were simply chanting their school’s motto when the Native American man began banging his drum as if to bring peace to a violent protest. Of course, the situation only escalated with onlookers and students recording the two groups, begging for violence to occur.
Later updates on the story saw CBS News essentially backpedaling on their earlier story about the video, framing the students as the villains of this incident without knowing the surrounding context. This resulted in Fox News reporting on how the students’ reputations were smeared, causing an obvious audience to lean towards Fox rather than competing news sites.
On social media, an almost immediate line was drawn upon the video’s appearance. Supports of President Trump defended the boys’ actions while anti-Trump supporters bashed the students, going so far as comparing a still from the video to young white men abusing a black restaurant customer during segregation.
Heated debates such as these only represent the dangers of mindlessly consuming controversial media without context or substance. This situation shows that it is far too easy to simply take things that are seen on timelines at face value. Rather, the execution of proper, thorough research has shown time and time again that almost nothing occurred as it may have seemed.
Despite my views on Trump and the border wall, this situation demonstrates people’s great hunger for political controversy. If a simple clip could spark so much chaos, America is truly doomed as future presidencies loom in the near future.
Only by breaking through the closed-minded tendencies that Americans have adopted can there be truly unbiased reporting. Instinctively jumping to conclusions and believing in poorly researched sources is a habit that can be easily broken through conducting personal research by relying on several reputable sources rather than simply checking Twitter News.
photo courtesy CNN