What the right should learn from Covington Catholic flap
The first question any conservative should have asked himself about a picture of a high school kid supposedly harassing an old Indian guy beating a drum was, "Why is this image newsworthy?"
The image was newsworthy because the left shapes the news. High school kids harass their elders on a daily basis. Even if the Covington kid was guilty as accused, other kids throughout America were doing worse things to old people during this same news cycle: mugging them, punching them, maybe even killing them. Even if caught on video, the media would not show these incidents unless the left found them politically useful. They almost never are, and so they almost never do.
This framing of the news has gone on for more than fifty years. So please tell me why – Rich Lowry, Charlie Kirk, David Brooks, Meghan McCain, Scott Adams, S.E. Cupp, and Nick Frankovich, among others – you needed to comment in the first place. Your apologies do not disguise the fact that, despite your leadership positions, you have less understanding of the left and the war they are waging than the kids at Covington Catholic.
"I deleted my original tweet and we also took down a strongly worded post by my colleague Nick Frankovich that relied on the incomplete video," wrote National Review editor Rich Lowry. "It's another reminder – even for an old hand like me – that it's best not to make snap judgments and to wait for all sides of a controversy to have a chance to be heard."
Sorry, Rich, you have pulled the wrong lesson from this incident. What you should have pointed out to your readers immediately is that the Washington Post, CNN, and the rest were prepared to ruin the lives of some adolescents, who had come to Washington to march for life, to score a cheap political point.
The National Review's coverage of the Covington flap mirrors its treatment of the Trump presidency. Its editors, like those at the erstwhile Weekly Standard, have been playing by the left's rules since the National Review denounced the John Birch Society nearly 60 years ago. Said one editor at the time in the way of explanation, "We can't afford to jeopardize the grudging status we've earned in the Liberal community."
Still worried about their "grudging status" among liberals, many of those prominent on the right insist that Trump and others honor all the left's silly totems, even if they are as contrived as the old man's beating the drum. If a conservative fails to do so, his more respectable betters will join the left's shaming posse even if the ones being shamed are 16-year-old pro-lifers.