Franklin Graham on Covington: Media ‘feeding divisions’

By WND Staff

Evangelist Franklin Graham
Evangelist Franklin Graham

Citing the misreporting of the Kentucky Catholic schoolboy controversy, famed Christian evangelist Franklin Graham says the biased establishment media are “feeding divisions” in the country.

They should, instead, be “accurately researching and reporting the news,” he wrote Wednesday on Facebook.

“There are lessons to be learned from what happened to Nick Sandmann,” he said of the Covington Catholic High School student who was confronted Friday at the Lincoln Memorial by a Native American activist chanting and banging on a drum. “I thought this young man showed a lot of maturity in a very tense situation, and I applaud him for that.

“However, because of the media’s biases and false, slanted reporting, he received physical threats and even death threats, and their school had to be closed yesterday due to security concerns.

“Let’s pray for Nick and the other students at his school. And pray for our country which has become so divided,” Graham wrote.

“I lay much of the blame at the feet of the media for feeding the divisions and pushing their own agendas rather than just accurately researching and reporting the news,” he said.

WND columnist Andy Schlafly noted Sandmann was  participating in the 46th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., after riding the bus all night from Covington, Kentucky.

Despite the grueling 36-hour trip to D.C. and back, the boys were in high spirits, and their faces were ruddy from a day outside in the winter cold.

As they waited patiently at their designated pick-up location for the overnight bus back to Kentucky, the boys were rudely accosted by a group that even the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center has condemned as “racist” and “black supremacist.”

The aggressive protesters, who call themselves Black Hebrew Israelites, taunted the boys for nearly an hour with vile insults against them and their Catholic religion. The boys were singled out because they were white, Christian and wearing President Trump’s favorite hat.

Anti-Catholic taunts peppered the inhumane heckling, which has been under-reported but can be found online. Had those same insults been lobbed against any other ethnic or religious group, liberals would have defended the students.

The boys “turned the other cheek” throughout the unexpected encounter. Eventually, they asked their adult chaperones for permission to sing their school cheers as a break from the protesters’ profanity.

Despite the vile insults hurled at them, the young men admirably remained polite and peaceful in response. Then an Indian “elder” invaded their space and began beating his war drum right in the face of one of the high school students, who held the Indian’s gaze with a pleasant, peaceful smile.

To describe the behavior of the drum-beater as impolite would be an understatement. If he was merely trying to defuse the situation, as he claimed later, why didn’t he beat his drum in the face of one of the anti-Trump instigators?

Schlafly concluded: “The ultimate injustice was then inflicted by the liberal media, which excoriated the boys nationwide. Anti-Trumpers savaged the boys and their families on social media, to the detriment of the entire Covington Catholic High School including students who were not even there.”

Among those not fooled by the media reports was President Trump, who said, “Nick Sandmann and the students of Covington have become symbols of Fake News and how evil it can be.”

A study reported by the Daily Caller confirmed the media’s ideological bias, concluding that the major broadcast news networks continued to give Trump significantly negative coverage throughout the second year of his presidency.

“The Media Research Center analyzed news coverage of the Trump administration on ABC, CBS and NBC’s evening news broadcasts and found that the president received a stunning 90-percent negative coverage in 2018,” the Daily Caller said.

“The Trump administration was by far the media’s favorite story of the year, accounting for 28 percent of their airtime — and out of Trump-related stories, the media chose to most often focus on anything related to allegations of Russian collusion.”

The report said the establishment media’s “constant attacks on Trump in 2018 were a continuation of its incessantly negative coverage in 2017, during which the president also suffered 90-percent negative coverage versus 10-percent positive coverage.”

However, MRC pointed out, the media’s own bias appeared to have little affect on the public’s feelings about the president.

In the Review-Journal in Las Vegas, columnist Victor Joecks wrote that the bias was not subtle in coverage of the March for Life, which drew in excess of 100,000 people.

“ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, the New York Times, CNN and MSNBC didn’t have a single story about the March for Life on their homepages Friday around noon Pacific. To its credit, the Washington Post did. Broadcast news gave the March for Life a scant 58 seconds of coverage.

“Contrast that with the media coverage of the Women’s March, which advocates for a variety of leftist causes, on Saturday. Its organizers submitted a National Park Services permit estimating the crowd size at 10,000. … Actual attendance may have been ever lower.

“Each of the news sites listed above had at least one story on the Women’s March on its homepage Saturday afternoon. Most had multiple stories. The same broadcast news shows that all but ignored the March for Life spent more than 14 minutes covering the Women’s March.”

He described the media narrative of the incident involving the Covington students.

“A group of Catholic high school boys wearing MAGA hats who had attended the rally were accused of harassing a group of African-American men. Nathan Phillips, a Native American, told the media the boys were going to attack those men and that the boys had surrounded him. This was a narrative – white, Christian, pro-life Trump supporters are horrible racists – the media are very interested in. Network news spent more than 19 minutes covering that incident.”

Later, however, longer videos emerged showing that the media story “wasn’t just wrong but backward.”

“The African-American men, who belong to an obscure religious sect, had verbally harassed the boys, calling the ‘crackers,’ ‘school shooters’ and gay slurs. Video shows Phillips walking into the middle of the boys, not being swarmed.”

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