Shameful: MSNBC Panelists Place Covington Students Alongside Neo-Nazis, Segregationists

On Sunday’s Kasie DC, the MSNBC panelists did their best to have it both ways when it came to the liberal media-fueled controversy involving the Covington High School students. Over the course of their discussion, they insisted that the story symbolized the need to be careful when jumping to conclusions while plowing ahead by placing the students alongside neo-Nazis, the KKK, and segregationist cops.

Fill-in host Peter Alexander began the discussion about this “flashpoint” by noting that there’s “a lot to make sense of tonight and while how it started remains in dispute, the net result is that video and Americans again trying to figure out where race relations stand in this country.”

 

 

“This really is part of a broader sort of moment in America. Right? Where things just get ugly out of nowhere on MLK weekend, for heavens sakes. This exchange, whatever the origins of it were, happens on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial,” he added.

Former RNC chair and MSNBC political analyst Michael Steele must have forgotten to add caveat as he launched into a screed about how “[w]e’ve come a long, long way from the — of the days of dogs — police dogs and fire hoses and lynchings and those types of things but those activities take different forms today and they manifest themselves very differently.”

Doing nothing to separate out the students, Steele invoked the KKK and neo-Nazis because “they aren't running around in hoods and burning crosses” but instead “getting tiki torches and wearing Izods and pullovers...and walking in public.”

The Daily Beast’s Sam Stein provided some reasoning, asserting that “this is a really tricky story to unpack” and “[p]art of it is just how we view news through our political prisms” in addition to “our propensity to jump at the first nugget of news without waiting for surrounding context.”

But moments later, that was all out the window as Stein went down the path that Steele did:

You can't separate the larger context from the video. Much as we want to say it's one singular incident, the fact of the matter is that hate crimes are definitely on the rise. Instances of anti-Semitism are definitely on the rise. We had a marching of neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia. This is not the same as those high school kids, but there is a context in which this is happening that people are absorbing that new cycle. So, I think it’s a really complicated issue. It’s a very nuanced of an issue and certainly, it would behoove us to at least hold off again and get more video and more input before we jump to our conclusions. 

National Urban League head Marc Morial interjected to opine that there’s nothing “complicated or nuanced” about this because their actions must be “condemn[ed]” since “[t]he Native American community in America is misunderstood, is disrespected, their contributions to this country are marginalized” and “mocking people is not the American way.”

Alexander read excerpts from student Nick Sandmann’s lengthy statement defending himself, his character, and his classmates before Stein reupped his both ways strategy (click “expand”)

And let me — I just want to clarify. This is why it’s very difficult to talk about these things in this short amount of time, but clearly on the video, there is some reprehensible actions by these students. The tomhawk chopping, the taunting, even the odd, sort of smugness of the kid getting into this man’s face. That’s clearly evident and no one can deny — no one should deny it. At the same time, our initial reactions in the moment of the video last night should be different than when we see more video and we get more input, including this statement from this student. We should be able to absolve — our viewpoints should be able to evolve on this incident. I don’t think what this kid did was excusable. I do think that we should be able to say it is not necessarily as black and white as we thought last night. 

Alexander then concluded by fretting that “it says a lot about the Twitter culture we live in where 100 or however many characters or a 10 second video is enough for people to draw conclusion.” 

Thanks to the Covington students, Alexander told viewers that “[i]t’s a reminder to all of us we got to wait for answers before we really start to come to final conclusions on these type of topics.” 

Sorry, Peter, but perhaps the most important people that need to be told that are you and your colleagues in the liberal media. Unfortunately, your profession is quite inept at following its own advice.

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Kasie DC on January 20, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s Kasie DC
January 21, 2019
8:44 p.m. Eastern

PETER ALEXANDER: Back now on Kasie DC. By now it's likely that you've seen this video of a group of high school students in face-off with a Native American and a Vietnam veteran.

ALEXANDER: This short section of video part of a much longer series of exchanges has become a flashpoint. Some of the boys wearing Make America Great hats were Covington Catholic High School students. They had traveled from Kentucky to Washington to attend the March for Life rally on Friday. The man with drum is Nathan Phillips. He was part of the first-ever Indigenous Peoples March. Also on hand, a group known as the Black Hebrew Israelites. It’s a lot to make sense of tonight and while how it started remains in dispute, the net result is that video and Americans again trying to figure out where race relations stand in this country. The Diocese of Covington released a statement apologizing to Phillips saying: “This behavior is opposed to the Church's teaching on the dignity and respect of the human person. The matter is being investigated and we will take appropriate action, up to and including expulsion.” Our team is back here. Marc Morial, Michael Steele, Sam Stein. Michael, I’ll start with you very quickly just about this right now. I think, as we ended the conversation with Senator Lankford, he makes a good point. This really is part of a broader sort of moment —

MICHAEL STEELE: It is.

ALEXANDER: — in America. Right? Where things just get ugly out of nowhere on MLK weekend, for heavens sakes. This exchange, whatever the origins of it were, happens on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

STEELE: We've come a long, long way from the — of the days of dogs — police dogs and fire hoses and lynchings and those types of things but those activities take different forms today and they manifest themselves very differently. The KKK, the Nazis, they aren't running around in hoods and burning crosses. They’re getting tiki torches and wearing Izods and pullovers, right? So —

ALEXANDER: Walking in public. 

STEELE: — and walking in public, So it’s a very different environment. The scab on — on civil rights, the scab on racism, all that has been plucked, pricked, pulled, pulled off again, and we are trying to figure how to deal with it because, unfortunately, a lot of Americans thought we were past that. We elected a black man President. You know, everybody — everybody knows a black person that they like. You know and all that crazy stuff. Now we're in a space where the truth tells us something very different and I think that’s the next confrontation.

SAM STEIN: Well, this is a really tricky story to unpack, especially in such a short amount of time. Part of it is just how we view news through our political prisms. You can see the video if you’re a Republican or if you’re a Democrat and jump to two different conclusions. Part of it, though, is our propensity to jump at the first nugget of news without waiting for surrounding context and so, there’s a lot is upsetting about that video, but in the past couple hours we've seen surrounding video, we’ve seen testimonies from other key people that make it much more nuanced. So, we need keep those two things into consideration and I will just add this. You can't separate the larger context from the video. Much as we want to say it's one singular incident, the fact of the matter is that hate crimes are definitely on the rise. Instances of anti-Semitism are definitely on the rise. We had a marching of neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia. This is not the same as those high school kids, but there is a context in which this is happening that people are absorbing that new cycle. So, I think it’s a really complicated issue. It’s a very nuanced of an issue and certainly, it would behoove us to at least hold off again and get more video and more input before we jump to our conclusions. 

ALEXANDER: Well, for sure, and Mark, I’ll bring you in. 

MARC MORIAL: And I do not see it as complicated or nuanced. I don't see it as Democrats looking at it one way or Republicans looking at it another way. I think the Archdiocese of Covington, Kentucky, put it straight. These actions of our students are inconsistent with the teachings of our church, and that if we — if we — if we verify that what we've seen already has happened, we're going to discipline and we may expel these students. We have to speak up. The Native American community in America is misunderstood, is disrespected, their contributions to this country are marginalized and we can’t make politics and make — suggest that somehow from a Republican or Democrat, I think about this differently, depending on who’s the target. No. We have to condemn this. We have to — and then take it as a teaching moment for our children and our young people and help them understand, the young people, why this is inappropriate and why mocking people is not the American way. 

ALEXANDER: Yeah. So for a bit of clarity or the audience who’s joining now this evening. The young man in the video, the man who is effectively face-to-face with the native American elder, has put out a statement tonight denouncing what he describes as “outright lies” about him. His name is Nick Sandmann. He said he respected all races and was trying to diffuse the situation that took place. He puts out a long statement, among other things, he basically says that there were protesters who had come at him and his classmates and said in effect he was there with the permission of a teacher serving as a chaperone and led the students in school spirit chants to counter the hateful things that were shouted at our group. He says: “I never interacted with this protester. I did not speak to him or make any hand gesture or any other aggressive moves. To be honest, I was startled and confused as to why he had approached me.”

STEIN: And let me — I just want to clarify. This is why it’s very difficult to talk about these things in this short amount of time, but clearly on the video, there is some reprehensible actions by these students. The tomhawk chopping, the taunting, even the odd, sort of smugness of the kid getting into this man’s face. That’s clearly evident and no one can deny — no one should deny it. At the same time, our initial reactions in the moment of the video last night should be different than when we see more video and we get more input, including this statement from this student. We should be able to absolve — our viewpoints should be able to evolve on this incident. I don’t think what this kid did was excusable. I do think that we should be able to say it is not necessarily as black and white as we thought last night. 

ALEXANDER: We got to leave this conversation there. But it says a lot about the Twitter culture we live in ehere 100 or however many characters or a 10 second video is enough for people to draw conclusion. It’s a reminder to all of us we got to wait for answers before we really start to come to final conclusions on these type of topics. 

NBDaily Charlottesville violence Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Covington kids Racism Religion Catholic Church Christianity MSNBC KasieDC Video Government & Press Peter Alexander Sam Stein Marc Morial Michael Steele Donald Trump
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