Pilot Editorial: Video as Rorschach Test


Red man speak with forked tongue,  yet MSM still trying to make MAGA hat kids villains.

21 thoughts on “Pilot Editorial: Video as Rorschach Test

  1. We’ve all seen the edited video but what actually happened is very different than the impression that circulated online.

    Catholic schools kids there to participate in the almost unreported March for Life were confronted by adults from what even the left wing Southern Poverty Law Center calls a hate group, the Black Hebrew Israelites, who were screaming racial epithets at the kids and making threats. The kids responded by singing their football team fight song.

    Nathan Philips claims he sought to intervene and bring peace by confronting the Catholic School kids. Reminds you of how PETA would throw paint on elderly ladies wearing fur coats but not on bikers wearing leather jackets.

    Nathan Philips is a professional activist. His job is to appear as a victim. Yet when in context videos are seen, it is clear he walked at least 50 feet to stand in that kids face beating a drum and chanting. The kids stood there and smiled, remarkable poise for someone so young, yet the media tries to make him the bad guy, as late as yesterday making a big issue of Philips “forgiving” him. For what?

    The treatment of the video is not a Rorschach test for the public, it is a revelation of the arrogance of the press. Having gotten it clearly wrong based on the edited video they failed to properly vet, instead of admitting they were wrong, they still seek to make the kid the bad guy and Philips a hero.

    This ‘hero’ describes himself as a Vietnam Veteran, but in fact he joined the marines in 1973, 2 years after the Marines left Vietnam, was trained as an electrician and never left the States, and was mustered out 4 years later still an E-1.


  2. It is not news that media, mainstream or not, gets a story wrong. Neither is it news when they admit and correct it. And face it, a correction will never please the offended parties.

    You can bet this story will be referenced regularly as “proof positive” that all media is fake news and the enemy of the people.

    I suppose it would be nice if the press were scrupulously efficient and always right about every story. But it would be nice if all lawyers were honest, doctors never cheated insurance companies and politicians never lied.

    Should we expect better of the media? Of course. Should they be criticized when they do wrong? Of course again. And we can be sure they will be in the era of “Gotcha” politics.

    Here is the scary part, however. In the very near future “deep fake” videos will be undetectable except under very expensive forensics. Creative editing will be replaced by words and actions that never happened. No retractions, explanations or apologies needed or expected. Then who do we turn to get the story right…the enemy of the people?

    You got the information about the incident from MSM. I am guessing National Review or at least that is where I saw it.

    So the press is still self-policing by virtue of competition and a broad spectrum of coverage. This despite the best efforts of our current president to sow so much mistrust about the media that Americans would no longer know what to believe. (He boasted about that so at least we know his agenda.)

    In my opinion, the free media even with all its flaws and “arrogance” is still the best protection we have against the overreach of power. If we have to resort to the 2nd Amendment we are screwed.


    1. It is a disgrace when the media gets something wrong in their rush to get to the air first with a juicy tidbit because they didn’t take the time to even give it a cursory fact-check.

      It is even more of a disgrace when after they are caught in a major error that they stand by the error or make excuses instead of admitting they blew it. Even today, NBC is interviewing Philips as a victim and seizing on some kid in the background doing a ‘tomahawk chop’ as justifying Philip’s confronting the MAGA hat kid even though from the angle he could not have seen it.

      This is a time for the media to be eating some humble pie, not pretending they were right.


      1. Later you posted:

        “…the truth was that he was intentionally provoking them hoping for violence.”

        Where did you get that information?


        1. From the video itself. You don’t walk up to someone from 50 feet away and intrude on their personal space and beat a drum in their face for any other reason than to intimidate them or incite violence.


    2. RE: “It is not news that media, mainstream or not, gets a story wrong. Neither is it news when they admit and correct it.”

      That’s like saying it was just a mistake that the women of Salem were accused of witchcraft. After all, trials were held. The matter was resolved to everyone’s satisfaction, proving that we have the best legal system in the world.

      Move on. There’s nothing to see here.


      1. No, it is not like the witch trials.

        It is more like this:

        Sometimes the stories are wrong and when they are the reputable media makes corrections.

        Press freedom can’t be based on perfection. If it were then the media would be the only institution in the world held to such a standard.

        There are so many sources for news today that if you are unhappy with one, go to another.

        Americans should be thankful they can do just that. It has never been easier to learn the truth in media than now. Access to every news story from every angle can be had with a few mouse clicks.


        1. RE: “No, it is not like the witch trials.”

          I’m comfortable with the free speech argument which says that the benefits of free speech come at the price of enduring speech we may not like. But this story is not about speech we merely dislike. It is about false and irresponsible speech.

          The media which broke this story is not guilty of making errors which are easily corrected. They are guilty of failing to vet the story, of failing to apply due diligence before turning it into a celebrated narrative. This is a breech of responsibility which violates the very principles of free speech. It is analogous to yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater when you are in a position to know there may be no fire.

          In other words, defending free speech is not an adequate response to the event.


          1. False or irresponsible speech is also protected. So are lies and smears. The National Enquirer made a very tidy sum of money for its owners over the decades doing just that.

            That aside, in an age where the word “viral” implies internet frenzy, there will undoubtedly by egregious errors not easily corrected.

            My contention is that the responsible media, when the error was discovered, did write correcting stories.

            You and Don both agree that the media did not behave properly or haven’t suffered enough or should be round up and summarily shot.

            What you did not do is offer up solutions that are in line with the First Amendment. And, to me, more dangerously, are falling into the trap of relegating all media as enemies of the people. Just like ISIS, I suppose.

            Ironically, if discussions come up about gun control and our seemingly endless rounds of mass shootings, then there is no concern whatsoever about the 2nd Amendment abuses.

            My position is still that some members of the media published a false narrative for reasons not really known, but often guessed at. That was wrong. Most major media that I have read, corrected the story, sometimes several times. That was right. The guilty parties will, and have been, roundly criticized from the president on down and across the media spectrum.

            And I will still defend freedom of the press as the infinitely more preferable right. And that includes the freedom to make mistakes, intentional or not.

            I would challenge both of you to offer a different solution that does not interfere with that.


          2. BTW, it is possible that the boys could file suit against the originating media story and video. The students were private citizens and there are restrictions about slandering those not considered “celebrities” or known newsworthy people like politicians, etc.

            I believe the benchmark is malicious intent and full knowledge that the video was false or edited knowlngly to be so.

            If it were shown to be the case, I would not object at all to remuneration in a court of law.


          3. RE: “You and Don both agree that the media did not behave properly or haven’t suffered enough or should be round up and summarily shot.”

            Can’t speak for Dr. Tabor, but the problem I have is that you don’t see the media behaved badly. To the extent you acknowledge media errors, you appear to be satisfied they have been corrected.

            I can see the point, but I don’t find it acceptable: The solution to bad media behavior is for the public to demand better media behavior, but that’s impossible when people believe that bad media behavior is actually good, or good enough.


          4. It’s not just a matter of error, it’s intentional partisan behavior.

            The MSM was just drooling over the appearance of young men in MAGA hats behaving in what could be characterized as a racist manner. When it became clear that was not the case, and that Philips was, in fact, the aggressor, the MSM did not announce “We were wrong, we apologize to the young men.” instead they persisted in changing the story and moving the goal posts to stick with their original interpretation. As late as today they(NBC) were making a big deal of Philips forgiving the young men for disrespecting him when the truth was that he was intentionally provoking them hoping for violence.

            A grudging admission that things were not as they originally portrayed them is not enough.

            Worse by far is collusion between the Media and political parties or elements of the Deep State.

            Note the arrest of Roger Stone before dawn this morning as though he were some violent revolutionary. Normally, such charges are handled by calling the accused’s lawyer(with whom the FBI was in contact) and arranging a surrender.

            But instead we had a SWAT team raid with drawn guns before dawn, and CNN was notified ahead of time to arrange for a camera crew to be there.

            Were I the judge in this case, the whole thing would be thrown out just on the basis of prejudicing potential jurors.

            The media should not be staging events to benefit any faction.


  3. Let the media, or least the ones that you don’t agree with, eat humble pie for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    Now what do suggest? End press freedom?

    I don’t watch much commercial TV, so I have not seen the interviews or coverage. But a much more even handed report was in NYT on 1/20.

    Fuller Picture Emerges of Viral Video of Native American Man and Catholic Students


    1. Well,then don’t do that.

      I suppose you are saying that I am.

      I am defending the First Amendment not any particular news organization.

      Mercedes has a campaign that quotes “the best or nothing”.

      Well, nothing is not an option unless we want a country like Russia, Turkey and any one of probably 150 nations that have no press other than the “right” ones.

      We either have a country that allows Alex Jones and WSJ and NYT and NR and Newsmax, or we will have nothing.

      Call it whitewashing if you insist. I call it protecting our best defense against tyranny.


      1. RE: “I am defending the First Amendment not any particular news organization.”

        How convenient. I don’t see any connection, myself.


        1. Maybe you have a solution to the occasional media errors that does not abridge press freedom.

          Perhaps the connection will become more apparent.

          I am always will to learn.


      2. RE: “Maybe you have a solution to the occasional media errors that does not abridge press freedom.”

        I do, in fact. One part is educating media consumers to see how poorly served they are by the products they buy. The difficulty there, of course, is that people in general don’t like to be told they have been throwing their money away.

        Apart from that, I’d be open to legislation which expands media liability for running false stories in various ways.


        1. There are already slander laws that protect private citizens from false reporting. The bar is high, but available.

          (I believe Alex Jones is facing lawsuits for his lies about the school massacre being staged.)

          I don’t know who shot the video or, more importantly, who edited it from 2+ hours to 5 minutes and then used the edited version as a basis for the false reporting.

          Expanding liability laws is fraught with peril as the cliche goes. Media are already sued regularly by the titans of power for stories they don’t like. Most are frivolous, some are settled. Which is another reason we need major media organizations. Not only is investigative reporting exceedingly expensive, so is defending the stories when the subjects get attorneys going.

          Like the 2nd Amendment advocates say, there is a price to pay for freedom. Better to allow the media more leeway than to have some arbitrary line saying that this or that story could have been better researched, or these facts are not quite right, or you are a liberal/conservative/communist/Christian with an agenda.

          Dangerous water in that river.


          1. “My position is still that some members of the media published a false narrative for reasons not really known, but often guessed at. That was wrong.”

            “…but the problem I have is that you don’t see the media behaved badly.”

            I think my statement was pretty clear.

            Wrong is wrong. Behaving badly is wrong.

            I could have added despicable, disgusting, degrading and down right evil.

            But I thought “wrong” was a good word and the rest are just subjective opinions that require more knowledge about the how the video was edited and by whom and why it was not researched before posting. Otherwise my use of those adjectives would make me guilty of the same thing the press is accused of.


        2. “The solution to bad media behavior is for the public to demand better media behavior, but that’s impossible when people believe that bad media behavior is actually good, or good enough.”

          I don’t think very many people think bad media behavior, however that may be defined, is actually good.

          But consider the definition of “bad media behavior”. Is it just something that criticizes in a manner that some disagree with. Or is it not writing enough positive stories about someone. Or is it bias? Or can we settle on purposeful posting of false information with the intent to defame and destroy?

          But here is even the sadder part. I would not be surprised that no more than a minority of citizens actually read much more than headlines on their favorite sites or watch cable or broadcast news and get glimpses of what has happened. Or hear opinions and take them as fact. Or can even name the 3 branches of government without flash cards.

          “While little more than a third of respondents (36 percent) could name all three branches of the U.S. government, just as many (35 percent) could not name a single one.”


          There in lies part of the problem. People hear that media is bad or biased or an enemy. How would they know? I mean really, if 2/3’s cannot even name the 3 branches of government, which are in the news almost every single day with decisions that affect all of us, how would they know?


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