To appreciate the significance of an event that began in front of Washington DC’s Lincoln Memorial on January 18, it is first necessary to determine which event we’re talking about.
Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann, who with his fellow high school students from Kentucky were congregated at the Lincoln Memorial waiting for a bus to return them home, suddenly became the Leftist media’s national poster boy representing hate and racism.
After two avowedly racist activist groups aggressively confronted him with their racist ideologies – Sandmann’s inaction and smile in response to the unjustifiable obscenities hurled at him was cause enough for the media and a significant portion of the public to blame the victim. More significantly, that same media dismissed or even justified the immoral and racist actions of those confronting the fifteen-year-old student.
‘Fake news’ is a far too inadequate label to describe the Covington narratives created by the media of the Left, from CNN to NBC. Even after the full context of relevant factors had surfaced, their continuing false narratives serve as a testament to what has become a new low in journalistic standards or integrity. This is the real story, the compelling story, the essential story, the encompassing story that must be preserved as a lesson for all.
The competing Covington narratives about an ‘event’ documented, recorded, and able to be viewed in full context by anyone who took the effort, tell a story all their own. On one side were writers and commentators who operate on the Platonic ‘primacy of consciousness,’ where they believe that ‘what they believe’ determines the validity of their stories. On the other side were actual journalists who operate on Aristotle’s ‘primacy of existence,’ where it is known and accepted that facts and context determine the objectivity of a story.
If nothing else, the Covington testimonies have made news consumers conscious of a critical caveat emptor: Never trust the mainstream media – especially those with views originating from the Left.
In keeping with the suggestion that there should be a ‘Covington test’ for journalistic integrity (as heard on this past Sunday’s edition of the Danielle Metz Show), we now propose two of the fundamental alternatives that might serve as the basis of such a test.
(1) Can an accurate and true narrative ever originate in the ‘eye of the beholder,’ or (2) is a true narrative possible only in full context of the varying facts and knowledge of relevant factors?
Having affirmed the second option as a proper standard for our ‘Covington test’ of objectivity, it’s much easier to determine which media narratives are the ones that are Just Right.