"Looking like Nick Sandman & Covington Catholic students were treated unfairly with early judgements proving out to be false - smeared by media," the President tweeted, spelling Sandmann's name wrong. "Not good, but making big comeback!" he added, unclearly.
Trump then appeared to quote Fox News' Tucker Carlson: “New footage shows that media was wrong about teen’s encounter with Native American.”
Looking like Nick Sandman & Covington Catholic students were treated unfairly with early judgements proving out to be false - smeared by media. Not good, but making big comeback! “New footage shows that media was wrong about teen’s encounter with Native American” @TuckerCarlson
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2019
In fact, those who are defending the male teens are mostly conservatives.
Meanwhile, many other journalists are making clear they believe the public's initial perception – which was also that of Covington Catholic and the mayor of the town that is home to Covington Catholic – is the more accurate take.
Deadspin's Laura Wagner, writing at The Concourse, Monday night penned an excellent take: "Don't Doubt What You Saw With Your Own Eyes."
Slate's Ruth Graham: "The MAGA Teens Aren’t Innocent Victims."
And as Kentucky's Courier-Journal notes, Sandmann's family retained the services of a local PR firm, RunSwitch, to produce their son Nick's statement. The founder of Little Green Footballs and others have made this connection:
Right. This is why whoever hooked this up picked RunSwitch to handle the spin - it's a very high profile PR firm that specializes in this kind of crisis management. And that's why it's important for their role to be exposed. https://t.co/5yNQ4bdrFp
— Charles Johnson (@Green_Footballs) January 22, 2019
Exactly what happened on the National Mall when several members of the extremist group known as the Black Israelites interacted with the Covington Catholic teens, and a Vietnam veteran who was on the National Mall exercising his First Amendment rights of religious freedom and free speech felt he needed to intercede may never be known.
But the narrative the teens are innocent bystanders certainly appears to be false – despite what President Trump and Fox News say.
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