Covington boys: Victims of long-planned ambush?

By Lt. Col. James Zumwalt

As the dust – stirred up by the Covington Catholic High School incident that occurred in Washington, D.C., Jan. 18, leaving boys from the private institution wrongly accused of disrespecting a Native American Indian – settles, an ominous link evolves: It appears the boys may well have been ambushed! While the mechanism for it was put into place two years earlier, these boys, unfortunately, were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. They became a convenient “target of opportunity” by which to spring it.

Understanding the ambush first requires re-hashing the incident.

The Covington boys fell into the national spotlight when a four-minute video was posted on the Internet, appearing to show they surrounded, and were mocking, 64-year-old Native American Nathan Phillips as he innocently beat a drum and chanted. When a longer video, over an hour in length, capturing the start of the incident, emerged, it became clear the boys had done nothing wrong.

At this point, the national spotlight shifted to show the boys effectively had been victimized twice: first, by a black extremist hate group that verbally and viciously assaulted them, simply because some wore MAGA hats; second, by Phillips who, further investigation revealed, was an ex-con who had been the one to approach and confront the boys. It was he who entered their personal space, electing to go face-to-face to intimidate them as he beat his drum.

The boys had done absolutely nothing wrong. There was no provocation by them to warrant the black extremists’ verbal venom – calling the boys “racists,” “bigots,” “faggots” and, inexplicably, “incest kids.” Nor did they provoke Phillips who, contrary to what he told reporters, confronted the boys rather than they confronting him. The boys found themselves reeling from one uncomfortable situation right into another, all in the blink of an eye.

Because Phillips falsely promoted himself as the victim of pro-Trump students, the media chose to run with that story, taking no time to verify its accuracy. To further promote this angle, a photo accompanied the story, appearing to support it. That photo captured a student, perceived to have a smirk on his face, looking as if he were confronting Phillips. But, it was not a smirk. What was on the face of the student, who deserves praise for his extraordinary tolerance under the circumstances, was a nervous smile. For this young boy, coming from the friendly countryside of Park Hills, Kentucky, visiting an intimidating big city, not knowing quite what was going on around him by those targeting him at the time, it was an “unsurety-masquerading-as-forced jocularity” moment seen on his face.

Upon reading the false story, an army of social justice warriors (SJW) sprang into action on the internet to crucify the boys for actions never taken. Knee-jerk responses, devoid not only of the facts but of reason as well, filled the internet.

As the facts began to emerge, however, it was interesting to see how quickly many of these SJWs rushed to remove their tweets. Unsurprisingly, in doing so, few made an effort to apologize to the students for making such outrageous and unjustified comments in the first place.

Interesting too is that some critics still tried to justify their initial comments. The New York Times went easy on the shouting black extremists, unbelievably suggesting they were less “alarming” than a white guy in a MAGA hat doing nothing!

While quick to promote the initial false story, liberals are, for ideological reasons, undoubtedly less likely to promote its retraction. This is evidenced by the fact Covington Catholic High School had to be shut down due to threats of violence it received and, when eventually reopened, did so with heavy police protection.

But there is another aspect to this story now emerging from the shadows. To understand it, we need reflect on the following: Who posted the short, one-sided video clip of the incident, feeding the story’s initial false slant, and why was it so quickly circulated? A congressional investigation has been launched to answer these questions.

The facts leading up to the initial posting of the edited Covington clip would make the Deep State, in view of its fictitious anti-Trump dossier shenanigans, proud. It involves a Twitter account that investigators now describe as “shadowy.” In an important lesson for the media, it demonstrates how the fourth estate can be manipulated into weaponizing tweets.

The initial clip was sent out by “Talia” under the account name “@2020fight,” appearing with the caption, “This MAGA loser gleefully bothering a Native American protester at the Indigenous Peoples March.” Posting a false photo of herself, Talia’s bio claimed she was a San Francisco “teacher & advocate. Fighting for 2020.”

Initially opened in December, 2016, the account built up a following of about 30,000 users, including media sources, as Talia supposedly represented “the opinion of an ordinary American citizen.” Thus, due to the account’s positioning, the Covington incident was set to go viral immediately after posting.

But what was interesting was that this teacher was sending out a daily average of 130 tweets in 2019. This suggests group involvement in operating a disinformation campaign to fuel America’s raging culture war. Before Twitter closed the account for false registration, it was viewed, due to its large following, 2.5 million times and retweeted at least 14,400 times. Investigators also need to determine whether “Talia” had access to the full video, only posting the edited short version to help stoke the fires of cultural rage.

While social media is here to stay, it is clear it can quickly create a lynch-mob mentality. As such, it also creates a media responsibility not to give a story legs without adequate verification. The Covington boys will undoubtedly carry with them the psychological scars created by an irresponsible press and irresponsible internet users unwilling to wait for the facts.

Hopefully, “Talia” will be unmasked and held accountable as well.

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