- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 23, 2019

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Even Franklin Graham is calling out the media for false news now.

The Samaritan’s Purse CEO and famed evangelical son of preacher Billy Graham weighed in on the Covington Catholic High School debacle with some blunt words on Facebook simultaneously slamming the media while praising Nick Sandmann, the student at the center of the widely distributed video storm, seen standing face-to-face with the Native American.

In Graham’s own words: “There are lessons to be learned from what happened to Nick Sandmann. I thought this young man showed a lot of maturity in a very tense situation, and I applaud him for that. However, because of the media’s biases and false, slanted reporting, he received physical threats and even death threats, and their school had to be closed yesterday due to security concerns.”

Too true.

Even after the video’s context was made clear, and narratives shifted from MAGA haters to oops-not-so-hating MAGA hat wearers, some on the left have been hesitant to ‘fess up and let go their initial reactions.



Rep. Ilhan Omar, for instance, posted a tweet Tuesday evening that said Sandmann and his fellow high-schoolers were “protesting a woman’s right to choose & yelled ‘it’s not rape if you enjoy it’” and “taunting 5 Black men,” as Fox News found. The tweet was subsequently removed — but it shouldn’t have been posted at all.

It came well after the erroneous reporting about Sandmann and his friends — saying they started a confrontation with Nathan Phillips — had been exposed. It came well after the corrections that the ugly chanters at this rally were Black Hebrew Israelites protesters, not MAGA-hat wearers.

Doesn’t matter; the media’s found its new mark.

And apparently, these students’ entire lives are now open to scrutiny — even from five years ago.

“Two students from Covington High School addressed the photos and videos circulating on social media of students wearing blackface during basketball pep rallies, claiming the kids in the video ‘meant nothing by it’ because they were ‘just showing school spirit,’ ” Newsweek just reported.

The photos were taken five years ago; they’re being circulated now on social media.

“In the photo, there are students in blackface who appear to be yelling at a black basketball player during a game,” Newsweek wrote. “[One student told Fox] that the students participate in different themes during pep rallies like ‘nerd, business, white-out, blue-out and black-out’ days to show their school spirit.”

Here comes the next out-of-context imaging, no doubt.

Franklin, wisely, said it’s time for prayer, not just for Covington students — who are suffering threats of violence — but also for the country at-large, for unity and for peace.

“I lay much of the blame at the feet of the media for feeding the divisions and pushing their own agendas rather than just accurately researching and reporting the news,” Graham said.

Ouch.

But as they say — the truth hurts.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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