NBC Blasts Catholic Students as ‘Racist’, Fails to Retract Hot Take

On Saturday, people were outraged after video surfaced appearing to show Catholic students attending the March for Life harassing Native American Vietnam veteran Nathan Phillips at the Lincoln Memorial. NBC Nightly News plastered the screen with the boys’ faces that evening while calling them “racist”. But additional video exposed that Phillips was the one who approached them and banging a drum in the face of one kid. But during NBC’s Sunday Today, they didn’t offer an update with the new development.

A troubling scene many are calling racist, played out in Washington yesterday, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Some students harassing an older Native American, of yet a Vietnam vet in the midst of a special ceremony,” anchor Jose Diaz Balart blasted.

Even though she would later admit “it's unclear how the event started” and that there was “confusion”, NBC reporter Tammy Leitner wasted little time smearing the students. “The video appears to show dozens of youths wearing Make America Great Again hats mocking Native American elder and Vietnam veteran Nathan Phillips. Many jeering and others looking on,” she reported.

In contrast, ABC’s World News Tonight didn’t touch the story Saturday evening but did offer over three minutes on Sunday morning during Good Morning America. “Overnight, new video calling into question just how this encounter began. Appearing to show Phillips approaching the crowd of boys as they chant their school letters,” noted Erielle Reshef.

 

 

ABC also managed to get a statement from a family of the student who was in the crowd:

The parent of a boy who says he was there and wants to remain anonymous sent us a statement saying in part, “an indigenous American man with a few other men approached the center of the boys and in particular one boy. The boy from my school didn't say anything or move. He just stood there. As time went on, the man with the drum got closer to his face. After a couple of minutes, the man standing there beating the drum in the boy's face, he walked away.”

While ABC did share the video proving Phillips was the instigator, it obviously pained the network to give the MAGA students the benefit. “But on this Martin Luther King weekend, the youngest daughter of the civil rights icon tweeting, ‘this is ugly, America. Truth, education and corrective action matter,’” Reshef added before playing a “tear-filled plea for a teachable moment” from Phillips.

One Native American man who was there tells the Associated Press that he initially thought this could spiral out of control, there would be a mob mentality,” she continued, “but some of those students actually joining the Native American men and women that were singing there, and it ended up defusing peacefully. That's what we don't see in some of the video.”

Of course, both ABC and NBC were eager to see if the kids would be permanently harmed by the incident, looking to see punishment dealt by the school. “Some of the youths may be from Covington Catholic, an all-male high school in Kentucky,” Leitner added. “Although, it’s not clear if everyone in the crowd was from the school. The Diocese of Covington saying in a statement, ‘the matter is being investigated and we will take appropriate action, up to and including expulsion.’

The transcripts are below, click "expand" to read:

NBC Nightly News
January 19, 2019
6:42:38 p.m. Eastern

JOSE DIAZ BALART: A troubling scene many are calling racist, played out in Washington yesterday, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Some students harassing an older Native American, of yet a Vietnam vet in the midst of a special ceremony. Tammy Leitner has more.

[Cuts to video]

TAMMIE LEITNER: It was meant to be a time for indigenous people to be seen and heard. But this viral video taken during Friday's rally in Washington has sparked outrage and confusion. The video appears to show dozens of youths wearing Make America Great Again hats mocking Native American elder and Vietnam veteran Nathan Phillips. Many jeering and others looking on.

NATHAN PHILLIPS: They're singing and I heard them saying, build that wall, build that wall. You know, this is indigenous lands. We're not supposed to have walls here, we never did, for a millennium.

LEITNER: Some of the youths may be from Covington Catholic, an all-male high school in Kentucky. Although, it’s not clear if everyone in the crowd was from the school. The Diocese of Covington saying in a statement, “the matter is being investigated and we will take appropriate action, up to and including expulsion.”

It's unclear how the event started. Tonight some wondering how this peaceful rally became a sad display of disrespect. Tammy Leitner, NBC News.

ABC’s Good Morning America
January 20, 2019
8:12:50 a.m. Eastern

DAN HARRIS: Now to the outrage over a video showing an encounter between teenagers and a Native American veteran near the Lincoln Memorial.

WHIT JOHNSON: This video sparking heated social media debates with criticism on both sides. ABC's Erielle Reshef joins us with that story. Erielle, good morning.

ERIELLE RESHEF: Good morning to you guys. This morning, new questions about the troubling incident at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial. A school investigating and promising action as some of those involved call for unity.

[Cuts to video]

New fallout and confusion this morning after this upsetting incident now going viral. A group of teenagers, some Catholic high school students, seen wearing make America Great Again Hats, appearing to face off with Nathan Phillips, a 65-year-old Native American, as he pounds his drum near the Lincoln Memorial during an indigenous peoples March.

NATHAN PHILLIPS: I heard them saying, build that wall. Build that wall. No. This is indigenous lands. We're not supposed to have walls here. We never did.

RESHEF: Videos of the encounter shared widely on social media. Swift backlash against the behavior of those Kentucky teens who traveled to Washington this past Friday on a school trip to attend the March for Life. The Diocese of Covington Catholic High School, where some of the boys attend, condemning their actions saying in a statement, “this behavior is opposed to the church's teachings of dignity and respect. The matter is being investigated and we will take appropriate action up to and including expulsion.”

Overnight, new video calling into question just how this encounter began. Appearing to show Phillips approaching the crowd of boys as they chant their school letters. ABC news has tried to identify and contact the students in the video. The parent of a boy who says he was there and wants to remain anonymous sent us a statement saying in part, “an indigenous American man with a few other men approached the center of the boys and in particular one boy. The boy from my school didn't say anything or move. He just stood there. As time went on, the man with the drum got closer to his face. After a couple of minutes, the man standing there beating the drum in the boy's face, he walked away.”

But on this Martin Luther King weekend, the youngest daughter of the civil rights icon tweeting, “this is ugly, America. Truth, education and corrective action matter.” And this from Phillips himself, this tear-filled plea for a teachable moment.

PHILLIPS: I wish I could see the young men put that energy into making this country really, really great.

[Cuts back to live]

RESHEF: It's not clear if all the young people involved were students. One Native American man who was there tells the Associated Press that he initially thought this could spiral out of control, there would be a mob mentality, but some of those students actually joining the Native American men and women that were singing there, and it ended up defusing peacefully. That's what we don't see in some of the video.

HARRIS: More complicated than it appears.

RESHEF: Definitely complicated and that's a little bit of reassurance.

NBDaily Bias by Omission Labeling Political Groups Protesters Race Issues Covington kids Racism Broadcast Television ABC Good Morning America NBC NBC Nightly News Today Video Jose Diaz-Balart Erielle Reshef

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