Thursday, 24 January 2019

NBC Digs Itself Into Deeper Hole: Blatant Double Standard on Sandmann-Phillips Interviews

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After grilling 16-year-old Nick Sandmann, NBC’s Savannah Guthrie gets all warm and chummy with professional agitator/crybully Nathan Phillips.


NBC had a chance to demonstrate that the “mainstream” media is not irredeemably wedded to Fake News. It blew it. Big time. Even worse, it piled outrage on top of outrage. NBC’s dishonest and friendly interview on the Today show with political agitator Nathan Phillips (shown) contrasts sharply with its dishonest and decidedly unfriendly interview the day before with Nick Sandmann.

And that’s not all; the network glaringly ignored the irrefutable video evidence that shows NBC — along with virtually the entire Big Media cartel — got the original story completely wrong. Not only did NBC fail to apologize for their initial false, defamatory, and inflammatory reporting, but, their subsequent one-sided interviews with Sandmann and Phillips show (in case there was any doubt) that NBC is beyond redemption. Unfortunately, much the same can be said for the rest of the Fake News industrial complex.

NBC scored the first sit-down interview with Sandmann, the 16-year-old student from Covington Catholic High School who was turned into Public Enemy Number 1 by the media flash mob (including NBC) and their social media allies. NBC and its media cohorts had falsely portrayed Sandmann and his Covington Catholic classmates as aggressive, threatening, and disrespectful toward “Native American Elder” Nathan Phillips, who was also falsely identified in many reports as a “Vietnam Veteran,” during a “confrontation” at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Video recordings clearly show that it was Phillips, a veteran agitator,  who went out of his way to march directly into the students and to pound his drum in the face of Nick Sandmann. The student, showing remarkable composure in a chaotic situation, stood peacefully and smiled during the encounter. NBC and much of the rest of the left-tilted Fourth Estate not only ignored the factual evidence and twisted it into the reverse of what actually happened, but, going further, insisted on blowing this minor incident into an indictment not only of Sandmann and Covington Catholic High School, but also of the Catholic Church, Christianity in general, the pro-life movement, President Donald Trump, and “white priviledge.”

As we reported on Wednesday, NBC’s Savannah Guthrie opened her interview of Nicholas Sandmann with the following questions: “Do you feel, from this experience, that you owe anybody an apology? Do you see your own fault in any way?” The questions and the tone are adversarial, and the rest of the “interview” went downhill from there, with the young Mr. Sandmann’s perfect-pitch performance under tremendous pressure being the only bright spot in the program.

Contrast Guthrie’s opening hardball salvo at Sandmann with her friendly, sympathetic greeting for Nathan Phillips: “And Nathan Phillips is with us now. Mr. Phillips,  good morning to you. First of all, first question, how are you doing? This has been a whirlwind few days for you. You find yourself on the front page of every newspaper. How are you doing and how are you feeling?”

Right out of the starting gate, Guthrie is all empathy for Phillips, the alleged aggrieved victim. Here is some of the dialogue:

GUTHRIE: I believe you’ve had a chance to see the interview that the student at the center of this gave. What was your reaction? What did you think of what he had to say about this encounter?

PHILLIPS: I was upset I was made to sit down and watch it.

GUTHRIE: Why is that?

PHILLIPS: Um, I read his statement and then when I got into the first — well, I started — somebody tried to show it to me before I went to my prayer ceremony and I got into about the first 30 seconds, 40 seconds of it, and I said, “Well, that’s all I needed to hear.”

GUTHRIE: And what was your reaction to it? How did it make you feel? What did you think about his words and his explanation and his version of this encounter?

PHILLIPS: Um, uh, Coached and written up for him, insincerity, lack of responsibility. You know, those are the words I came up with. But then I went to go pray about it, and then I woke up, I woke up with this forgiving heart. So I forgive him.

GUTHRIE: He said when I asked directly that he didn’t think he owed an apology, but he does wish that he had walked away. Was that enough for you, or do you think he should have apologized?

PHILLIPS: Well, if there’s an apology, there’d be an apology for his own behavior to a lot of other people besides me. I’d be, like, way down on the list of his people he needs to apologize to. But because of the tomahawk chop and the mocking and those things, and in one of his statements he did say that he was the leader of that. He got permission from his school teacher. You know, there’s a lot of times he could have walked away.

NBC and Guthrie had an opportunity to come clean, to present the truth, to show the actual video footage and confront Phillips with what are obvious, patent lies in his rendition of the Lincoln Memorial encounter. As Phillips dug himself in deeper with more lies, NBC did likewise, failing to challenge him on what they surely must have known to be false statements. Again, this is in sharp contrast to the adversarial attitude displayed by Guthrie toward Nick Sandmann the previous day.

More from the interview:

GUTHRIE: Did you hear anyone say, “Build that wall?” It isn’t audible on the video clips, I think, that are out there, but did you hear that?

PHILLIPS: You know, I did hear that. And I have seen some out there on the internets [sic] where you can hear them saying, “Build that wall.”

What if there is a video out there somewhere “on the internets” proving someone among the Covington students yelled, “Build that wall”? Would that justify Phillips’ aggressive actions toward the students? Is shouting or chanting “Build the wall” less deserving of First Amendment protections than Phillips’ drumming, chanting, and ranting? But the fact is, a great many people scouring the Internet have turned up lots of video and eyewitness testimony concerning the encounter and there is none so far to substantiate Phillips’ stubborn claim that he heard the trigger words that no one else heard. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but in a case such as this, which has been turned into a global hate fest, the media choir that has been singing to Phillips’ score should call him out on this sour note.

Far more serious — and more provably false — than his “Build the wall” assertion is Phillips’ claim that he was “surrounded” by the students and felt “threatened.”

GUTHRIE: And how did you feel in that moment? Did you, yourself, feel threatened?

PHILLIPS: ... That mass of young men surrounded me and the folks that were with me....

GUTHRIE: I asked the young man this question, I’ll ask you the same thing, do you think in that confrontation, that encounter that went on and on, should you have walked away? He said yes, he thinks now he should have walked away. Do you think, sir, you should have walked away?

PHILLIPS: That’s what I was trying to do. I was trying to walk away, there was a spot, there was a place I could take my people. Because we were surrounded. We couldn't go right, we couldn’t go left, back....

GUTHRIE: You feel you were blocked?

PHILLIPS: Oh, I was blocked.

The video clearly shows otherwise. Instead of simply passing by the students, who were standing where they had been instructed to wait for their buses, Phillips and his group made a conscious decision to turn and go through them. And while a great deal of amateur psychoanalyzing by media talking heads has characterized Nick Sandmann’s smile as some sort of nefarious “smirk,” there has been no similar effort to categorize Phillips’ more intimidating facial expressions as “scowls,” “glares,” or “frowns,” which would certainly be legitimate interpretations. And Guthrie didn’t bother to ask Phillips whether maybe his actions (walking into the students and beating the drum in Sandmann’s face) and his facial expressions may have contributed to tensions of the incident.

Then there is the inconvenient issue of Nathan Phillips's military service. As The New American’s Cort Kirkwood has reported (here, and here), Phillips is not a “Vietnam Vet,” as has been falsely reported in numerous Big Media stories. And he definitely is not a “recon-ranger” or “Marine recon,” as was widely reported. He was a refrigerator repairman in the Marine reserves. Nothing wrong with that, if honorably performed, but he didn’t serve in Vietnam, and, in fact never left the United States. However, as the link immediately above shows, Phillips himself has stated on video “I’m a Vietnam vet.” Although the establishment media and the Left in general tend to be antipathetic toward the military, they can perform an abrupt about-face and embrace the uniform when it fits their agenda. (Think Sen. John McCain, Sec. of State John Kerry, Gen. James Clapper, Gen. Michael Hayden — and other Deep State actors beloved of the media.)

Here’s how Guthrie presents the military service issue, allowing Phillips to skate around the matter and get away with falsely stating that he never claimed to be a Vietnam veteran. She also failed to ask him about his repeated AWOL (Absent Without Leave) violations during his military service.

GUTHRIE: There has also been some question about the nature of your military service, and this is a good chance to clear it up. You were a veteran. You served in the Marine Corps. Some have said that you were a Vietnam veteran. I don’t believe you have said that. What exactly is the nature of your service?

PHILLIPS: I went to boot camp. I stayed there. That Marine Corps was a reservist guy. So I stayed in the reserves for a couple years....

GUTHRIE: So to be clear, you served in the Marines at the time that Vietnam was going on, but you did not serve overseas?

PHILLIPS: What I’ve always said is I’ve never stepped foot in south Vietnam and that’s — I don’t know how much clearer can that be....

GUTHRIE: Finally, I wonder what you feel now. What do you hope happens now? Would you want to meet with these students? What are you hoping comes of this moment in our culture?

PHILLIPS: I find myself having to — even though I’m angry, I still have that forgiveness in my heart for those students. And that forgiveness even goes to those chaperones and those teachers who should have just said, “You students, this isn’t the place.” And to talk with them now, when they — when the statement — and I did hear the statement that he wrote and the video statement he put out. What it says is he has a PR firm. So those aren’t even his words, if he has a PR firm. You know? Some sincerity, some sense of responsibility for his actions. You know, these are some of the things that, if we ever did meet, it would be those adults. I would like to ask why didn’t — have those school administrators there — and ask them why didn’t they say no.

GUTHRIE: Have you feared for your safety since all of this has happened? The students have received death threats. Have you feared for your own safety?

PHILLIPS: You know, I didn’t have any problems until the students started saying they were getting death threats, and then as soon as that happened, it started happening with me.

GUTHRIE: Well, Mr. Phillips, you’ve certainly been through a lot in these last few days. Thank you, Mr. Phillips, for spending this time with us and sharing your story. It’s much appreciated.

Yes, according to NBC’s Guthrie, Phillips has “certainly been through a lot in these last few days.” Actually, he was turned into a national hero and a celebrity by the establishment press. It’s been nothing but upside for him — at least by the “mainstream” media — until the alternative media started exposing his lies and his military and criminal record. It is Nick Sandmann and the students of Covington Catholic High School who have “certainly been through a lot in these last few days.” They have been vilified, demonized, slandered, and showered with vile social media messages and death threats — all because the Fake News media promoted a lie to further a political agenda.

Nicholas Sandmann and the Covington students had at least five marks against them that made them perfect targets for the leftist media lynch mob:

1) They are pro-life. (They were in Washington, D.C. to participate in the annual March for Life.)

2) They are Christian. (They are students at Covington Catholic High School.)

3) They are males, and thus “trespassing” on feminist turf claimed by the radical Women’s March.

4) They are (some of them, at least) pro-Trump and were wearing the verboten MAGA cap.

5) They are (most of them) white, which, in today’s pc culture, is sufficient to condemn one as a racist and a recipient of white privilege.

NBC, along with the entire media hyena pack, savagely defamed Sandmann and the Covington students. They had a chance to correct and repair some of the damage they had done, but chose instead to double down and make it worse. As we noted in our report on NBC’s hostile interrogation-disguised-as-an-interview with Sandmann, Guthrie, the veteran, adult reporter, representing the huge NBC-Universal mega-corp, tried again and again to bully the teenager into saying that it was he who was at fault in the confrontation with Phillips. When it came time to interrogate Phillips, Guthrie transformed from predator into a cooing turtledove.

Following the Phillips interview, Guthrie tells her co-hosts: “So it’s interesting to have both perspectives now. People can look at the video, hear what the individuals involved had to say, and make up their own minds.” Co-host Hota Kotb responds: “I think that’s so true. I think a lot of people look at, like, seven seconds of video and think they know the whole story. And then you lay out both interviews and you get to really make a decision on what you think.”

Guthrie closes, saying, “Yeah, we’ll see what people think.”

NBC will not like “what people think” about their shameless and deceitful performance in this whole outrageous affair. They just pounded another nail in the credibility coffin of the Fake News industrial complex.

Below are the videos of both interviews, followed by relevant articles from The New American.

Photo at top: Screen-grab from NBC's Today show interview of Nathan Phillips

Related articles:

Covington’s 16-year-old Sandmann Rebuts Media Smear Artists in NBC Interview

Indian’s Pants on Fire: Video Shows Nathan Phillips Did Lie About Vietnam Service

Indian Drummer Was Violent Criminal, Escaped Jail, Tried To Disrupt Mass at Basilica

Media Shamelessly Frame Covington Kids for Scorn and Abuse

Former SEAL: Drum-Pounding Indian Not a “Vietnam Veteran,” Not a “Recon Ranger”

Media Bias: Demonizing the Right 


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