Covington Catholic incident a black eye for pro-life leadership

by Steve Ray on January 22, 2019

The disgraceful treatment of students from Covington Catholic – and by that I mean the pell-mell rush of pro-life “leaders” to condemn innocent young men – illustrates a potentially fatal flaw in the movement. For much too long, some of the most visible spokesmen for the pro-life movement have sought desperately to be seen as respectable, to be treated fairly by the mainstream media. It’s never happened. It’s never going to happen. And it’s not a worthy goal.

Urge Covington bishop to apologize for condemning pro-life teens. Sign the petition here. [Steve Ray here: I signed this and encourage you to as well.]

Screen Shot 2019-01-22 at 9.45.51 PMThe media pounced on an opportunity to treat a few teenagers from Kentucky as symbols of bigotry, on the slimmest of evidence. That was unjust, but not unpredictable. (More on that below.) Now that the truth about the confrontation at the Lincoln Memorial has come out, the newspapers and network that vilified the Covington Catholic students are issuing perfunctory apologies. But the damage is done, and that damage is considerable.

Still worse, in my view, is the inexcusable haste with which many pro-life spokesmen leapt for the bait, joining the chorus of condemnation. Even before the fuller story came out, with videotape conclusively proving that the Covington Catholic students were victims rather than aggressors, the original footage provided no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing. Sensible reporters, and sensible commentators, should have said: “Let’s look into this; let’s get the whole story.” Why did so many people rush to judgment?

screenshot-2019-01-21-12.03.56As it turns out, the behavior of the Covington Catholic students was blameless. They were intentionally provoked, and reacted with restraint and even courtesy. Nick Sandmann, the teenager who suddenly became the focus of a nationwide hate campaign, has released an extraordinarily charitable statement about the incident. Their school, their diocese, and the March for Life should be proud of these young men.

Instead, the adults who should have protected and even applauded these students turned on them. Now some (and by no means all) of these adults are explaining that when they issued their first statements, they didn’t have all the facts. Of course they didn’t! That’s precisely the point. They were ready to condemn without waiting for the facts. And now they ask us to accept their mistakes as innocent – to give them the benefit of the doubt, which they weren’t willing to give to those teenage boys.

It was, again, a disgrace. But it’s a disgrace that begs for an explanation. Why were pro-life leaders so anxious to join in the general condemnation? Did they really think that they could gain respectability by denouncing (what was described as) intolerance? Did they think the media would treat the matter fairly? If so, then their naivete too is, at this late date, disgraceful.

“Sure, politics ain’t bean-bag,” said the memorable Mr. Dooley. The battle over abortion has been the roughest political fight of our era, and it would be almost criminally foolish to expect that our most militant adversaries, in this life-or-death battle, are motivated by goodwill. Season veterans of this political battle, seeing the first short video clips of the confrontation at the Lincoln Memorial, should have wondered whether the event had been staged.

Seasoned reporters, too, should have asked a few pointed questioned before running with the story. But if it is foolish for pro-lifers to expect fair play, it is equally foolish to expect fair treatment from the mainstream media.

Any notion that America’s largest media outlets are impartial on the abortion issue should have been dismissed after David Shaw of the Los Angeles Times – not a pro-life partisan – issued his definitive study in 1990. The mainstream outlets ignore pro-life claims, while acting as megaphones for the claims of the abortion industry. The March for Life provides an annual demonstration of the problem. Each year, without fail, mainstream outlets that routinely provide front-page coverage for leftist demonstrations fail to notice the hundreds of thousands of pro-life marchers. If they do give a brief mention to the March, the media grotesquely understate the scope of the event. This year, for example, we were informed by one major outlet that there were “over 1,000” participants. (Which is true, I suppose; and by the same token there will be “dozens” of people in the stands at the Super Bowl.)

Also, if they did offer a few column-inches to the pro-life marchers, major newspapers regularly gave equal coverage to a handful of pro-abortion counter-demonstrators. As the tenor of our nation’s political debate has become increasingly toxic, the counter-demonstrators have become more aggressive, more ambitious – and now, this year, more successful in conning the “useful idiots” in the media…

For the rest of the article, click HERE.

Another article by my good friend and attorney Bob Sullivan. You can read his article about this travesty here

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Bill912 January 23, 2019 at 8:09 AM

What is only now getting reported (and only in a few places) is that Nathan Phillips and his cohorts invaded the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception during the vigil mass on Saturday, beating drums and disrupting the mass.

Bill912 January 24, 2019 at 7:34 PM

First, the media went after Vice President Pence’s wife for teaching at a Christian school. Then, they went after the kids from Covington Catholic. Now, a reporter named Dan Levin, from the New York Times, is soliciting stories from current students and recent graduates from Christian schools, under the hashtag #exposechristian schools. Expect to see a lot more of these attacks on Christian schools. Hopefully, our leaders (I’m talking to you guys in the miters!) will pull their heads out of the ground and find their spines and their voices. This is not a time for them to go all “can’t-we-all-just-get-along?” “The war is forced upon us.”

Leslie January 25, 2019 at 11:57 AM

And now the Bishop of Lexington is berating the teenagers because they dared to wear MAGA hats, because President Trump is meeeean to illegal aliens and says vulgar things about some countries from which people want to come to the USA.

There’s an ever-shrinking number of bishops of whom I don’t feel ashamed.

Bill912 January 26, 2019 at 12:06 PM

Bishop Foys of Covington issued an apology to the Covington students and admitted he jumped the gun by making a judgment before finding out all the facts.

Still waiting for Bishop Stowe of Lexington to apologize.

Ann Jenkins January 28, 2019 at 4:23 PM

Do they teach birth control and safe sex at their school, or just send them to Washington to protest. They were wearing mega hats, so that gives guys free reign for women, that makes girls fair game. Were they hoping to meet girls there? The boys can't get pregnant. Also, where were the adults that were in charge of these children? These children should have been removed from the situation. I blame the adults in charge for letting this get out of hand.

STEVE RAY HERE: I am approving this comment for comedic and educational value. It is hard to believe that anybody could be so ignorant or out of touch with reality. Read this lady’s comment and weep that there are such people in the world today And willing to admit their ignorance.

Bill912 January 28, 2019 at 4:59 PM

Ann Jenkins: In case you have any doubt, your anti-Catholic bigotry came through loud and clear.

Bill912 March 1, 2019 at 7:32 PM

The Washington Post just issued an “editor’s note” regarding their (totally bogus) January story on the Covington kids that essentially said: “Oops!” (English translation: “We’ll be settling out of court for a whole lot of money.”)

Bill912 March 9, 2019 at 4:51 PM

Nicholas Sandmann’s attorney just announced that they will now be suing CNN for $250 million dollars.

Bill912 January 7, 2020 at 3:46 PM

Just reported: CNN has agreed to settle with Nick Sandmann. Gee, did CNN do something wrong?

Bill912 July 24, 2020 at 11:48 AM

Just reported: the Washington Post has settled with Nick Sandmann. Sandmann was quoted as saying: "Two down, six to go."

STEVE RAY HERE: Love it! They should sue his bishop as well!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: