In the aftermath of a controversial encounter in which a Native American activist and Vietnam War veteran, Nathan Phillips, confronted a group of Covington Catholic High School boys, comedian Kathy Griffin is calling for an escalation of the matter.
Per Heavy, Griffin took to Twitter earlier today, January 20, to demand that Covington Catholic High School publicly name the boys involved, and intimated that their doxing — and public shaming — was justified.
“Ps. The reply from the school was pathetic and impotent. Name these kids. I want NAMES. Shame them. If you think these f*ckers wouldn’t dox you in a heartbeat, think again.”
Her comments follow a slew of remarks made by celebrities on the matter, with initial reporting from many mainstream media outlets characterizing the encounter in such a way as to cast Phillips as the unequivocal victim and the schoolboys as “harassers,” as illustrated by the Huffington Post.
This view was countered by later reporting, via Townhall, which provided a full-length video of the event in question. A confluence of two simultaneous events — the March for Life and the Indigenous Peoples March — brought both Phillips and the MAGA-hat clad boys into proximity. A third group of agitators, identified by Townhall columnist Timothy Meads as Black Israelites, were also present — and were very vocal, calling the schoolboys “f**gots” and remarking that they “don’t see any n**gas” amongst the students. A man speaking out in support of Phillips can be heard calling for “you white people [to] go back to Europe!”
A full-length video of the event, which does contain crude language, is available via YouTube — and may allow viewers to discern the details for themselves.
The Covington / Nathan Phillips incident is shaping up to be as misguided a rush to judgment as the Rolling Stone story. Full video footage largely exonerates the students, explicitly contradicts Phillips. https://t.co/oJFab00xIB
— Robby Soave (@robbysoave) January 20, 2019
While Kathy Griffin and a sizable constituent of the celebrity cadre may be venting about the issue today on Twitter, Reason editor Robby Soave is amongst a growing number of critics concerned with how the media portrayal of this incident may have actually mischaracterized the entire series of events.
“Far from engaging in racially motivated harassment, the group of mostly white, MAGA-hat-wearing male teenagers remained relatively calm and restrained despite being subjected to incessant racist, homophobic, and bigoted verbal abuse by members of the bizarre religious sect Black Hebrew Israelites, who were lurking nearby… Phillips put himself between the teens and the black nationalists, chanting and drumming as he marched straight into the middle of the group of young people. What followed was several minutes of confusion: The teens couldn’t quite decide whether Phillips was on their side or not, but tentatively joined in his chanting.”
Going on to elaborate upon the fact that Philipps’ account does not mesh with the evidence provided by the multiple unedited videos which have since sprung up in the aftermath of the incident having gone viral, Soave is quick to point out that the visceral and violent reaction to the clip is largely unwarranted and irrational. He also mentions that, while not ruling the possibility out, he did not hear a “single utterance” of the phrase “build the wall” in the two hours of raw footage which he watched.
MAGA hats. Donald Trump has brought the worst out in our country. https://t.co/gYSY4YEINA
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) January 19, 2019
It would seem that Kathy Griffin remains unconvinced of this opposing view of the matter at hand. Thus far, she has made 11 tweets or retweets on the subject, via Twitter.
For their part, the students of Covington Catholic High School maintain their innocence in the face of significant public anger. In a lengthy letter purportedly published by an anonymous student at the school — one which goes to great lengths to dismiss much of the popular media coverage of the event as falsified or selectively edited, per CBS affiliate WKYT — the writer says that the boys are being “disparaged for a crime we did not commit.”
The issue remains highly controversial and contentious, despite the release of multiple lengthy videos detailing the entire affair.