In an op-ed for Newsmax on Wednesday, Donald Trump Jr. congratulated Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann for his settlement with CNN, reported to be in the neighborhood of $25 million. The president’s son said the settlement will hopefully be only the first strike back against the fake news emanating from some of our nation’s leading journalists who are focused more on creating a narrative than they are in getting their facts straight.
“Far too many journalists in this country are interested not in reporting the news or providing honest commentary, but in creating inflammatory incidents to ‘start a national conversation,’ or far worse, to sadistically humiliate private citizens they perceive to be their enemies,” he wrote.
Don Jr. said that CNN and other media organizations had a perfectly legitimate news story on their hands when it came to the incident at the Lincoln Memorial last January. But instead of reporting that a group of racist Black Hebrew Israelites were harassing Christian teenagers on the Washington mall, they chose to slander and defame the teenagers themselves. Instead of reporting how fake Vietnam veteran Nathan Phillips went out of his way to instigate a confrontation with Sandmann, the news reported on the smirk seen around the world.
“The story they wanted to tell was about white Catholic kids ‘harassing’ black activists and peace-loving Native Americans. So that’s what they did, heedlessly embracing that biased impulse. They put 16 year-old student Nick Sandmann’s face front and center of their reporting, claiming his ‘smirking face’ made him a racist thug,” Trump Jr. wrote.
“Sandmann and the Covington Catholic students did nothing wrong,” he continued. “They were the victims of a set-up by leftist activists and it fit the media’s biases so well they bought the ruse hook, line, and sinker.”
Trump Jr. emphasized the fact that while the Covington Catholic story was an egregious example of how far the American press has fallen, it was far from an isolated incident.
“This is how the modern American media operates far too much of the time, driven by ideology and hatred of people they think are different,” he wrote. “And for far too long, they’ve done so with virtual impunity. Defamation suits against the news media are expensive and difficult to win. Because of the free press’ role in preserving our democratic traditions, courts are often exceedingly deferential to reporters, even when they get the most important facts wrong.”
Thankfully, that doesn’t seem to be the case this time. And if ever there was a time to break from the tendency to give the news media the overwhelming benefit of the doubt, it was this one. We can only hope that CNN and other news outlets will learn the lesson of the “MAGA kid” debacle and improve their reporting from here —
Sorry, we couldn’t even finish that sentence without doubling over in laughter.