Covington High: Spin Doctoring or Discrimination?

Diego Martinez, Copy Editor

On Jan. 20, students from the Catholic school, Covington High, went to protest at the March for Life rally in D.C. near the Lincoln Memorial, to spread awareness on abortion and protest their beliefs. The majority of the mainstream media (CNN, ABC, The Washington Post, New York Post etc.), adamant about outright apologizing on the situation, have further showed their true colors. The lack of sources and prejudistic assumptions have caused an uproar on social media, and has subverted the truth among the American people.


When Covington High students went to protest near the Lincoln Memorial, they became easy targets among the other protestors. The signature “MAGA” hat became a signal for harassment, especially among the Black Hebrew Israelites near their area. In the CNN article “Statement of Nick Sandmann, Covington Catholic High School junior, regarding incident at the Lincoln Memorial,” the boy in the viral video explains that the Israelites were harassing the students.

The release of the video still exemplifies without much context and spin doctoring that the students were simply harassing Nathan Phillips, Native American activist.


Phillips, an Omaha Tribe elder and activist, also tried to further stir controversy in the fiasco, feeling as if the he was in a “dangerous position” with the students. Phillips omitted the fact that he instigated a situation (and lied about being a veteran from the Vietnam war). He stated in an interview with the Detroit Free Press that the situation was intimidating: “It was racism. It was hatred. It was scary.” A Breitbart article, “Washington Post Correction: Nathan Phillips ‘Was Never Deployed to Vietnam,” concisely challenges the Washington Post’s claims that Phillips was a war veteran in Vietnam. Can we believe the other claims he has made, if ready to lie about something so sincere and serious to the thousands who fought in war?


The simple, yet intricate face value claims originally against Covington Catholic High have caused the school to shutdown, worried of extremist protestors and prejudistic backlash against the students involved. The controversy exemplifies that the mainstream media will take any chance to smear conservatives, and demean young, enthusiastic, politically-inclined teenagers.


The situation presents one major issue: the ethics of the media’s encounter in politics. Regardless of political standpoint, it is immoral and unethical to report on a premature political encounter.  Numerous times has the media – CNN, The Washington Post, ABC, New York Times, MSNBC, Wall Street Journal, NBC, CBS – continued to stain their reputation with a façade of lies on political issues, yet the American people do not have much to turn to when it comes down to information on the political scene. One news article can catalyze further hate against thousands of citizens simply because such articles and news stories are biased, ready to smear the right, or everyone in opposition.


Death threats, harassment, and accusations of racism have put the young man at the center of negative attention. In an interview with NBC News, Sandmann clarifies what truly happened.


“I am mortified that so many people have come to believe something that did not happen; that students from my school were chanting or acting in a racist fashion toward African Americans or Native Americans,” Sandmann stated.


The school’s initial response was an investigation, and stated that they would punish him to the fullest extent if necessary for his supposed actions.


“The matter is being investigated and we will take appropriate action, up to and including expulsion,” the school board and school stated in a meeting.


In the interview, it shows the consequences and how dire the situation is for Sandmann, the fiasco could simply ruin his educational, and even professional career.


While the majority of media outlets have “corrected” their stories on the Covington situation, it questions their credibility for millions. It is unacceptable and downright disgusting that the mainstream media only corrects the information not on their own accords, but when there is backlash. What if this happened to Downey High students, on campus or of f campus, and the media judged to quickly on the situation? It can potentially ruin their future careers, and it is happening to students such as Nick Sandmann.