The Washington Post, a social justice smear tabloid owned by Amazon's CEO, bizarrely decided to run a piece blaming the "Trump Internet" for the media's willful misreporting of the Covington Catholic case.
"A viral story spread. The mainstream media rushed to keep up. The Trump Internet pounced" is the headline of the Paul Farhi/ Abby Ohlheiser piece.
The framing is familiar.
When the media gets caught lying or a Democrat is caught committing a crime, then it's spun as "Republicans pounce on X" or "Conservatives take advantage of the opportunity to...".
Beyond the obvious projection is the inherent admission that the media sees itself as the messaging arm of the Left.
But the Washington Post piece is particularly egregious in that it claims that its reporters were the victims of a viral story that they couldn't bother fact checking and that conservative social media fact checking media lies was some sort of entrapment.
When you lie and get caught lying, it's not entrapment. Nobody forced the Washington Post to jump on this bandwagon. It chose to do so because of its toxic politics.
"As the story picked up speed on social media, a Washington Post editor assigned reporters to cover it. At about 3 p.m. on Saturday, one reporter spoke to Phillips about what happened. Others called the Catholic school and the local diocese, looking for a statement from someone who could represent the students in the video. The reporters weren’t aware of a critical third element in the scene: the Hebrew Israelites who had been taunting the high school boys moments before the viral video began."
Why weren't they aware of it?
Are the same intrepid reporters who can seem to get inside information from the Mueller coup and the Trump administration somehow unable to do the same basic legwork that people on Twitter can?
And why did the Post run a false frame if its reporters didn't have all the facts.
The Washington Post can be sloppy or biased. But it can't claim that it made a good faith effort and then blame the people who exposed its lies.
At 5 p.m. on Saturday, still unaware of the moments preceding the viral video, The Post published its first story on what would become a days-long national argument about racism, the media and masculinity. The headline: “‘It was getting ugly’: Native American drummer speaks on his encounter with MAGA-hat-wearing teens.” The article quoted Phillips, saying he felt threatened by the teens. It also included a statement from the Catholic Diocese of Covington condemning the actions of the students seen in the video, in which they appeared to mock and taunt the Native American activist
Why didn't the Post show any interest in the additional footage or any of the material going viral on social media?
In just a few hours on Saturday, the story took off with comet-like speed, propelled in equal measures by social-media outrage and by news reporting that drafted on its wake. In a now all-too-familiar process, people chose sides, and each side fed off the other, with mainstream news accounts pushing the whole slush pile along.
As is typical in such breaking-news situations, initial news accounts — which drew howls from partisans on both sides — were unable to provide all the context and facts.
Fact check. False.
The Post bizarrely acts as if the media wasn't advancing the narrative of one side, but playing a dispassionate role.
Like many viral outrage stories, the narrative became more complicated as more facts emerged, and more people stepped forward to talk about what they saw and experienced in that moment.
When the media says that a story is more complicated, it means that its narrative has been disproven.
But when new details shifted the story into more ambiguous territory, a well-oiled machine of pro-Trump personalities and sites saw an opportunity to strike.
A well-oiled machine saw its opportunity to strike. That's media project at its best.
Pro-Trump personalities helped get the truth out there despite the media's echo chamber. And now the media echo chamber has a new narrative in which good reporters, who ran a false story and stirred up hate, were targeted by a mean Trump machine.
The media lied. And the media is the victim. Read about it in the media.