In an exclusive interview with Big League Politics, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) defended the students of Covington Catholic High School who were unfairly smeared by the mainstream press and subsequently attacked by the political left on social media.
“These kids got a lesson in social media mobs,” Massie said, “and the mob that forms in social media forms quickly, and it is there to bully anybody from saying what they really think and what they believe, particularly if it’s a conservative viewpoint.”
Several boys from Covington Catholic became the object of press and social media scorn after video clips emerged of their interaction with a Native American man named Nathan Phillips last Friday at the March for Life in Washington D.C. Shortened clips showed Nick Sandmann, a student at the school who was wearing a #MAGA hat, smirking at Phillips as Phillips beat his drum in Sandmann’s face. The press narrative, which has now been thoroughly debunked as full videos of the interaction have emerged, was that the students were bullying Phillips. In reality, Phillips and a few other Native men approached the boys first, in a clear attempt at provocation.
“The social media mob is a left-wing mob.” Massie said, “The right does not do this. It’s considered harassment if it comes from the right, and if it comes from the left, it’s just free speech – and there’s your double standard.”
Massie also admonished the left for moving their social media efforts into the real world, attempting to destroy the personal lives of the objects of their ridicule.
“What happens with the left, though, is they cross over into reality,” he said. “They migrate off of social media and they start calling the city of Covington to get tax records and figure out where people live. They go to their houses, and figure out where they work, and try and get the parents fired. That’s the difference. I mean, we all know Twitter’s a dumpster fire, but they try and take that fire and spread it into real life. That’s what this is. This is bullying.”
Massie said that a prosecutor in northern Kentucky named Rob Sanders has already publicly warned the political left that it is against Kentucky law to threaten schools, and that there will be prosecutions for such actions. He described Sanders’ efforts in pushing back against the hate-filled mob as “admirable.”
Massie, who reserved judgment about the students until all of the facts came to light, also cautioned against jumping to conclusions when the mainstream press makes these types of accusations.
“It’s almost like this was a big psychology experiment – like freshman psychology 101,” he said. “You were told, before you saw the video, what you were watching so that when you watched the video, you completely fell for it. So, for instance, you were told before you watched this video that these kids were chanting ‘build the wall,’ and you can’t make out the words. You assume, yeah, they’re chanting ‘build the wall.’ In fact, they were not. You were told this kid was smirking, and that he had gotten in the face of this Native American. But that’s not the case. This kid was smiling – he was trying to diffuse the situation and broadcast to his friends that he wasn’t feeling threatened, so they didn’t need to feel threatened either. And then you were told that these kids surrounded that older man, and that was not the case.”
“But if you were told all these things, and then you watched the video, it was hard not to fall for it,” Massie continued. “But after watching the longer videos I know that Nick Sandmann didn’t do anything wrong. He did what most 16-year-olds don’t have the composure to do, which is to diffuse the situation that was not of his own making and was a situation he’d never been in before. Everything he’d been taught in his life prepared him to do the right thing, and that’s what he did.”
“They’re raising our future leaders at Covington Catholic,” Massie finished. “These are kids of very high character. Many of them are going places. So I guess my main takeaway is to admonish, not just the left, because there are always going to be people on the left pandering to their base, but to admonish the Democrats who I know are reasonable, and the people in the middle who don’t associate with either party but form their own opinion, and even the people on the right who got spoofed by this, to just take a step back and wait a day before they form opinions next time, based on something in social media.”
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