Blog Post

Covington Video Fiasco Continues to Unravel

Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

Nearly a week after the mainstream media promulgated a highly edited video that made a group of Catholic high school boys appear to be mocking a Native American at the March for Life, a whole different story has emerged – and it’s leaving both the press and the Native American involved with a whole lot of egg on their face.

According to The Washington Examiner, Nathan Phillips, the Native American at the center of the video that rocked the nation last weekend, has quite a checkered past. The long-time activist has a criminal record that includes assault charges, escape from prison, and various alcohol-related offenses.

In addition, further investigation has found that he misrepresented his military service. In April, he told Vogue, “You know, I’m from Vietnam times. I’m what they call a recon ranger. That was my role.”

Military records tell a different story. Phillips served in the Marines between 1972 and 1976 as a refrigerator technician. He was never deployed outside the U.S. and never saw combat in Vietnam. In addition, he was listed as Absent Without Leave (AWOL) three times.

That Phillips happened upon the high school students from Covington High in Kentucky in their MAGA hats on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on January 18 was no accident. More complete videos show that it was he, and not the boys, who started the confrontation that ended up on the national news.

What was not reported – and should have been – is that Phillips was still at it long after the Covington boys returned home.

According to the Catholic News Agency, he and his band of protesters attempted to enter Washington’s Basilica of the Immaculate Conception on the following day with the intention of disrupting the 7:00 p.m. Mass that was taking place at the time.

According to video footage captured at the scene and eye-witness accounts, the group assembled across the street from the church, then began chanting and playing drums as they headed toward the main doors and attempted to enter. As they were climbing the steps, participants can be heard conspiring about how to get in by saying they were “just going to Mass” while another offers to “watch the cops.” Thankfully, quick thinking security personnel saw what was coming and quickly locked the doors. A seminarian inside at the time said the protesters started banging on the basilica doors trying to get in.

While on the basilica steps, Mr. Phillips read a statement which said: “We demand that the students of Covington Catholic High School be reprimanded not just by their school officials but, as seniors, by their upcoming universities.

“We demand that the Catholic Church hold itself responsible for the [indistinct] hundred-plus years of genocide that indigenous peoples have endured and endure persistently by implementing the following: with reparations of land and restorations to the indigenous peoples in the U.S. and across the world.

“We demand that the Catholic Church revoke the papal bulls related to the doctrine of discovery, which laid the foundation for religious prejudice and the dehumanization of indigenous peoples.”

Shrine security guards positioned themselves between the group and the basilica's entrance and told visitors it was not safe to leave at that time. It took about 30 minutes for police to arrive and contain the situation so that Mass-goers could leave in peace.

Meanwhile, the mainstream media, who continued to cover the story with the hopes of finding something, anything, to pin on the boys from Kentucky, conveniently missed this event.

This is why the media watchdog group, Media Research Center, has launched a petition demanding that the press clear the names of these boys and apologize for the erroneous coverage that left these innocent children and their families in fear for their lives.

As the petition states, “I join the Media Research Center in demanding that the media issue a public apology for its disgraceful coverage of the Covington Catholic High School controversy and its lack of basic journalistic standards.

The media's decision to join the liberal outrage mob in attacking the Covington Kids rather than investigating a misleading viral video demonstrates that they are more interested in attacking President Trump and his supporters, Christians, and pro-lifers than they are in protecting the safety of children.”

The petition demands an apology from the media and a commitment to pursue responsible journalism in the future.

It's time to stop fake news before someone gets killed. Click here to sign!

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