Astoundingly, the big news of Jan. 18 was not the execution of 3,000 unborn children that day (the average daily total in America) but the Lincoln Memorial standoff between an elderly Native American and a Catholic high-school student from Covington, Ky., wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap. The first wave of coverage, based on a 15-second video, slammed the student and his classmates. The second wave, based on longer videos, reported the chaotic complications and criticized the critics.
Since WORLD readers should not imitate much of the left by living only in our own bubble, I’m glad when they ask for names of secular journalists to follow. In this situation, one thoughtful analysis came from Megan McArdle, who redeems the editorial page of The Washington Post: She reported that chagrined defamers of the student, Nick Sandmann, have now downgraded their charge to “not knowing the proper response when a Native American activist bangs a drum in your face. And how many teenagers can be expected to have mastered that particular point of etiquette?”
McArdle added that the drummer, Nathan Phillips, did not “explain why he thought it would have a calming effect to bang a drum in the faces of the boys. This does not seem to be a technique generally recognized by experts in conflict resolution.” Another reasonable sojourner in a liberal publication, Atlantic writer Caitlin Flanagan, wrote, “The full video reveals that these kids had wandered into a Tom Wolfe novel and had no idea how to get out of it.”