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.”
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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:
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.
LifeNews Note: Curtis Houck writes for Newsbusters, where this column originally appeared.