Apparently, the few remaining non-pedophile Democrats have been feeling left out and needed a way that they, too, could ruin children’s lives. This weekend they found it. A Native American hate crime hoax targeted children from a Christian school, Covington Catholic, wrongly claiming that its students were hateful bigots taunting a defenseless old Native American elder. The truth? They’d been called “faggots” by black Hebrew protesters and were deliberately provoked by the indigenous rights activist, a longtime Democrat political operative called Nathan Phillips whose “Vietnam vet” credentials are now being called into question. Far from being smug bullies as reported, Covington students were smiling so as not to get angry at being provoked by black protesters and then by a Native American elder who approached them to taunt them—in other words, they were remaining good-natured out of Christian charity.
This is what the progressive Left in America does now: Destroy children’s lives for political gain. Am I the only one thinking I’d happily swap Hillary Clinton’s prison sentence for a few Buzzfeed and L.A. Times reporters condemned to a life of nervously passing the soap? And yet the likes of Buzzfeed were merely doing what they do. Complaining about the media telling lies to damage conservatives is like being surprised about getting stung by the proverbial scorpion. The people I can’t forgive are the conservative media figures who hurled themselves onto the bandwagon to wrongly condemn these children—and who now refuse to apologize.
We’re told Nathan Phillips, the elder in question, is a Vietnam veteran, and though it’s true that he leads services for fallen Native American troops at Arlington, other Native vets say they’ve never heard of him—and that his name doesn’t exist on lists of personnel at the time he claims he was on the front lines. Most alarmingly, the job he says he performed—“Marine recon ranger”—doesn’t exist, unless he’s just bragging about getting a Ranger badge, which anyone can do. Then there’s Phillips’s long, long, long history of political activism, his connection to big money Democrats, his side job appearing in blockbuster music videos and the oh-so-polished quotes he had already in the chamber when journalists came calling. In other words, the whole thing was a set-up and a lie—one that reporters were delighted to help spread.
Celebrities, luxuriating in performative outrage, openly called for violence against these kids. Some of these tolerant preachers of equality and fairness posted images fantasizing about the violent deaths of innocent kids. Kathy Griffin called for the release of personal information on the basis of entirely fake news. Reza Aslan asked if anyone had ever seen a more punchable face than one kid in the foreground of the video. Alyssa Milano, with the lightness of touch for which she is widely celebrated, said MAGA hats were the new Klan hood.
That’s all predictable enough. Less predictable was National Review rushing out a now-deleted op-ed accusing the wrongly-accused Covington students of “evil” behavior and claiming they “might as well have just spit on the cross. Or a virtue-signalling Ross Douthat going in on Twitter without having a clue about the facts. You will recall that these are the same people constantly lecturing the rest of us about propriety, manners and restraint.
The students, wrote National Review, “Mock a serious, frail-looking older man and gloat in their momentary role as Roman soldiers to his Christ. “Bullying” is a worn-out word and doesn’t convey the full extent of the evil on display here … The evangelists are terse in their descriptions of the humiliations heaped on Jesus in the final hours before his crucifixion, the consummate humiliation. […] The human capacity for sadism is too great.” There was no hint of the word “sorry” to the wronged children in editor Rich Lowry’s mealy-mouthed explanatory note after this piece was scrubbed from NR’s website, nor from the legions of embarrassed conservatives on Twitter, most of whom could muster up little besides a reluctant, “I correct my earlier tweet.” And with breathtaking but characteristic chutzpah, National Review is running stories this morning about how terrible the media pile-on was without admitting its own role in the calamity. This is shameless disingenuousness, and everyone is watching, tutting and shaking their heads.
American journalists aren’t just enemies of the people any more. They are enemies of truth, integrity and basic human decency, indistinguishable from the violent leftist activists whose dirty work they perform every day, excusing atrocities while telling vile lies about decent, law-abiding, God-fearing Americans. And the conservative press, which hates ordinary voting Republicans, thinking them dirty, gauche, unsophisticated morons for liking Donald Trump, is just as guilty as the rest of them. If not more so—because they ought to be our defenders, and they ought to know the games the mainstream press plays by now.
The sight of kids from a Catholic school in MAGA hats was literally too much for the establishment Right to endure. Imagine the level of emotional fragility it takes to see a kid in a red baseball cap and have your brain process that as a sea of spinning swastikas, Roman salutes and lynched NFL players. But that’s the state of Republican journalism. They pretend to like Trump because they know it will torpedo their readerships and kill their businesses if they don’t, but we all know the truth.
These people deserve harsh consequences, which is why even though I’m known as America’s most prominent free speech icon and defender of the First Amendment, I’m intensely relaxed about sterner punishments for malicious libel—that’s telling a lie on purpose in print about someone. Malicious libel is a very high bar to clear in court—it’s called “actual malice” in the U.S—because you have to persuade a judge that they knew it was probably a lie when they wrote it, but there are plenty of people in so-called conservative media with cause to worry about such a law hitting the statute books. For students of libel law, I am specifically calling for NY Times vs. Sullivan to be overturned.
When it comes to the American media establishment of 2019, both Left and Right, we are beyond professional negligence and into knowing misconduct. And it’s precisely these sorts of industry-wide systemic failures for which government oversight is designed. We put guard rails in place to make sure oil, gas, banking and tech companies don’t destroy our fragile democracy. It’s time to do the same to journalists, who are now a brazen and unapologetic threat to the safety of your children.
That’s what Trump meant, I’m convinced, when he implied that there should be legal consequences to fake news. He wants to protect the public from deliberate lies by maniacs with megaphones. But I’d go a step further than the President. American journalists are so unhinged, so dishonest, so disreputable and so downright cruel that I want the United States to lead the world in jailing reporters. And we should start with the Republicans.
I’ve said some pretty terrible things about people in the past, but I’ve never been sued, because I take the time to get my facts right, and I don’t lie. Some people think I’m a bit too mean on occasion, and others say I’m too sensationalist, but I can count the number of minor corrections I’ve made in my journalistic career on one hand. And I have never had to retract a story—ever. Unlike, for instance, the journalists who claimed—on the basis of no evidence whatsoever—that I was responsible for the deaths of journalists in Annapolis, Maryland last June.
Mainstream journalists know their audience: Liberals will believe literally anything. Yet some stories are so insane that even the media has to eventually, reluctantly admit they are total fictions. In 2015, the Daily Beast had to confess that Rick Jones, a hysterical, attention-seeking homosexual who said queer-bashing bigots threw a Molotov cocktail into his bedroom after force-feeding him bleach and carving DIE FAG into his arm in 2015 was—wait for it!—making it all up. To this day, there’s no mention made on the original report that gave Jones’s lies a platform that it was all a con to enable more straight white male-bashing and earnest pleading about “hate.” And the outlet that originally carried this breathless story of a “vicious homophobic attack”? You guessed it. The Daily Beast. This is how journalists can both start a fire and claim credit for putting it out.
But conservative journalists apparently don’t know theirs. While conservative media figures were prostrating themselves on social media to condemn innocent children whose lives will never be the same after this grotesque violation, we in the based smelled a rat. And we were right. Once again, the GOP Establishment has revealed itself as weak, useless pawns of the progressive Left and the enemies of truth, reason and America itself. It would be funny if it didn’t literally imperil the existence of the free world.
Still, I don’t foresee any voluntary retractions, and certainly no apologies, for the wrongly-named children or their equally blameless families—even though lawyers are already offering to help clear the Covington kids’ names. That’s hoping for more integrity and human decency than journalists possess. At 10 p.m. Eastern last night, Nicholas Frankovich, author of that despicable National Review article, still had a tweet up advertising it. This morning, the tweet came down, but there is no apology in its place. He’s just pretending it all never happened. The only people who have issued truly sincere apologies are Rod Dreher and Robert George—both well-known Catholics, so I guess they had no choice.
Let’s please remember all this the next time journalists, professors and talking heads on TV tell improbable tales of bigotry and hatred. Aggressive public displays of virtue are where the morally deplorable hide, which is how you know all politicians are scumbags, why social justice warriors always turn out to be perverts and felons, and why you can be confident assuming the majority of journalists are repellent, ethically sickening people. Especially the ones who claim to be Right-wing. I can take people who declare themselves my enemy. What I can’t abide is snakes, opportunists, backstabbers and liars on my own side.
Lefties in the media like to say that mean jokes by Republicans and memes by Trump fans have a silencing effect on “marginalized communities.” That’s not true, but I wouldn’t care either way, because it’s nothing compared to the terror instilled in tens of millions of Republican voters that their every innocent utterance might some day be used to destroy their careers and endanger their families. No liberal, however extreme their views, lives with that daily reality. And now we know for sure that the greatest enemies to conservative Americans are our own journalists and media personalities, who will believe anything the Washington Post tells them about fellow Republicans.
I can’t help but wonder whether the foul, intrusive, sociopathic doxing of the families of these innocent children—an inevitable consequence of mendacious lies knowingly told by journalists—morally justifies similarly close inspection of the private lives of some reporters. They can’t say they didn’t have it coming. But I’ll settle for a few prosecutions and a couple of editors in jail, to send a message that knowingly putting people in harm’s way on the basis of no evidence and when in all likelihood what you’re writing is just total B.S. designed to remind the world that you’re not a racist, well… That’s not something we should tolerate any longer.
There’s no point suing them, because they’re all bitter, broke failures who can’t pay their rent without help from mom and dad—or, in the case of Commentary, National Review and Meghan McCain, terminal mediocrities who will never emerge from their fathers’ shadows. Let’s lock the bastards up instead. How about it, Mr. President? It’s time to reward the people who put you in office and punish the Vichy Republicans who hate you, hate your voters and who secretly can’t wait to see you humiliated and impeached.
Milo Yiannopoulos is an award-winning investigative reporter and the New York Times-bestselling author of DANGEROUS.