agit-prop, opinion manipulation and well-poisoning games Free Speech Media Manipulation, Agit-Prop &/or Lawfare

Agit Prop media/troll ambush at the 2019 46th March for Life — lessons on well-poisoning for us all

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Yesterday, I noticed how across 24 hours, a smear operation targetting students who participated in the 46th MfL played out. I commented in the MfL thread and think it is worth headlining with added media features:

Student letter in response to an Agit Prop media ambush

Let me embed some clips from Social Media, by fairly prominent personalities, these are HT Gateway Pundit, and give an idea of the sort of way piling on happens:

Gould is a comedian and writer

Let me insert (Sat Jan 26) — again without specific or wider endorsement — Ben Shapiro pointing out on the narrative and its implications:

Jan 26, 2019, Bishop’s letter of apology:

Student’s lawyer statement:

By Attorneys L. Lin Wood And Todd McMurtry

ATLANTA, Jan. 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — On January 18, in the span of a few hours, Nick Sandmann’s peaceful attendance with his Covington Catholic classmates at the March for Life in Washington, D.C. was turned into a personal nightmare when Nick became the focus of false and defamatory accusations published and broadcast across the nation and the world. A mob comprised of activists, church and school officials, members of the mainstream print and broadcast media, and individuals on social media, including elected public officials and celebrities, rushed to condemn and vilify this young man by burying him in an avalanche of false accusations, false portrayals, and cyberbullying that have threatened his reputation and his physical safety. Nick Sandmann is 16 years old. He is an eleventh-grade high school student. He is not the face of evil and he did absolutely nothing wrong or inappropriate in connection with the incident to deserve the heinous accusations made against him by uninformed or agenda-driven individuals and media entities.

Nick and his family have experienced one of the worst sides of our present society. As their lawyers, we intend to exercise our best efforts as advocates to show Nick and his family another side of our society – that we are a society that survives and flourishes from the fact that it is based on the rule of law. A system of justice that demands that truth prevail and the wrongdoers be held accountable for the harm they have inflicted on Nick and his family.

In the coming weeks, we will be carefully reviewing all of the false accusations and threats made against Nick. We fully expect that a multitude of civil lawsuits will be filed and aggressively pursued. We recognize that justice for Nick will not be achieved quickly, but we are dedicated to achieving it for this young man regardless of time or expense.

At this time, Nick, his family and their lawyers will not be engaging in media interviews. There is work to be done. If any member of the public has information, they believe is helpful to Nick, that information can be communicated to us by email to
Nick and his family sincerely appreciate the fair-minded individuals who respect our system of justice and refused to rush to judgment before the truth was revealed. Our efforts are not about politics, race or religion. Our efforts are only about justice for Nick.

Note a few of the relevant “blue check mark” tweets:

Gomez is actor-writer-director of the Gotham awards
Jeffrey is Editor-in-Chief of Mother Jones
K Griffin, who notoriously posed with a wax image of a beheaded President Trump
J Morrissey proposing murder by wood chipper

U/D, Jan 24: Criminal investigations are moving ahead, vid:

[KF, MfL 19, no 35:] Notice the upstaging and tainting agit prop game where students of Covington Catholic High School who had participated in the MfL and were waiting for transport, were widely portrayed as politically and/or racially motivated harassers of a Native American Vietnam veteran, when it is emerging (see the linked) that almost the reverse is more credibly true.

I link a letter of plea for correction:

The letter is backed by video evidence (see the first linked [I cannot embed a vid within a quote]).

On fair comment, it seems they were set up for a media, visual ambush — someone comes up pounding a drum in faces and pictures are taken which are evidently set in an inaccurate, loaded context — and were then in effect abandoned by School leadership, under threat of expulsion and facing threats set up by media amplification of what seems to be an agit prop stunt.
Notice, a second GP article on how this sort of Agit Prop works:
After 24 hours of savaging a group of teenage boys in MAGA hats at the March for Life rally for “harassing and abusing” a Native American veteran — the anti-Trump and far left media is backing off from their deadly assault on a group of Catholic teenage boys.
But after 24 hours of media lies and hit pieces the Catholic families are now in hiding and their children fear for their lives.
The Associated Press backed off their initial reporting this afternoon that the boys were chanting against the Native American activists.
Marcus Frejo, a member of the Pawnee and Seminole tribe says the children were singing with them.
The Latest: Marcus Frejo, a member of the Pawnee and Seminole tribes says students wound up singing with him.
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 20, 2019
CNN’s Jake Tapper retweeted Reason Mag’s claims that Nathan Phillips’s claims were trash.
.@reason: “Video footage strongly contradicts Native American veteran Nathan Phillips’ claim that Covington Catholic High School boys harassed him. The media got this one completely wrong,” writes @robbysoave
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 20, 2019
Note, too, a third GP piece pointing out the media amplification and piling on, apparently complete with prominent social media personalities making comparisons to Nazi stormtroopers and lynch mobs of the past:
Social media erupted Saturday after selectively edited videos of Covington Catholic students were posted on Twitter accusing the boys of harassing and mocking an elderly Native American man.
The left, along with their mouthpieces in the media immediately called for these teens to be tarred and feathered — no judge, no jury.
Here are the cold hard facts about what really happened at the Lincoln Memorial this weekend:
According to one of the high school boys who was present, a group of black men were taunting the Trump supporters, calling them “shooters” and “crackers” and said the white kids “had everything given to them by their parents.”
At first, the Trump supporting teens ignored the black men who were harassing them, but after the blacks continued to taunt the white kids, the white kids began to chant back at them.
According to a witness, it was at this point that a Native American man showed up “out of no where” and began drumming in the high school kid’s face.
“We weren’t even chanting at him, we were chanting at the African American guy, but obviously social media made us look bad to get views and stuff,” a witness said . . . .
These Covington Catholic students showed incredible restraint after being ambushed and taunted. No crimes were committed and no one became violent yet the media is piling on the children and calling for them to be severely punished over lies!
Despite the liberal media narrative completely collapsing far left pundits are comparing the boys to Nazi storm troopers, rapists and race-based lynchings. [see article for telling Twitter clips]
It is obvious that MfL is being targetted for agit prop media ambushes designed to portray people connected to a movement against a holocaust in progress in the worst possible light. Let us not forget, this generation, globally, has seen the slaughter of 800+ millions of our living posterity in the womb in 40+ years, now advancing at the rate of about a million further victims per week. All, under false colour of law and with enabling by media, education, political leadership and much more.
Meanwhile, there is general suppression of the MfL and its anti-holocaust message.

An online video rebuttal to the media narrative, which is included just as documenting a different perspective, without endorsing the wider views or personality:

Another video report, under similar non-endorsement terms (this coming from someone who is manifestly African American):

See a full-length video here.

We need to realise just how dirty the ongoing civilisation-wide culture war is, especially on the media front.

Later, on concern trolls, victim card trolls and more on agit prop tactics.

Okay, let me add on return from ferrying duties.

Recently, we noted on so-called concern trolls.

These typically turn up with what Intel Agencies call a Legend, an outline backstory that portrays them as sympathetic to the target. However, they continually express “concerns” that serve mainly to discredit, undermine, burden and sow dissension or the like. Seldom, if ever will there be an actual supportive argument. Some such trolls serve as cheerleaders or support figures for objectors and other trolls, helping to derail serious discussion or debate on merits. A particularly pernicious trick is to create a side conversation that creates a false sense of the warrant for the objections being made. In many cases, clusters of concern trolls turn out to be sock-puppets of one actual person, or they may be an organised group arranging their strategy and tactics elsewhere.

If someone is fitting the profile and is not contributing to the substantial discussion, that is a strong tell. Another, is when there is stubborn, willful obtuseness or evasiveness regarding well warranted points on the case being attacked. That’s why I recently noted that when an actual demonstration on a material point is on the table, “I have another opinion” avails nothing. Similarly, attempts to dismiss relevance or declare that one has no interest in such well warranted points is a key tell. Let us not forget that only fools dispute or willfully dismiss, distract attention from or studiously ignore actually established facts. (It bears noting, that mislabelling something not actually demonstrated, observed, witnessed, credibly recorded etc as a “fact” is another tactic. This one is commonly seen with the notion that the model past presented under evolutionary materialistic scientism is a “fact.”)

The victim card, identity politics troll is a closely related and often far more destructive cousin. In this case, the Legend — never assume it is true without good warrant! — is that the objector is a member of a politically correct culturally victimised group, say X; bet your farm that Christians — currently the most viciously victimised and persecuted group in the world — will not be portrayed as sympathetic victims. On the strength of this, a Cultural Marxist shield-halo is created and one who objects is automatically deemed X-phobic, this denoting an irrational fear, and through the magic of loaded projection, is turned instantly into a villain. As a result, victim card trolls are routinely used as face-cards for agendas that cannot stand on their own merits. In some cases, the actual troll is a “spokesperson” rather than the actual claimed victim. Then, once the target has been sufficiently smeared, s/he is attacked to be demonised, stereotyped, scapegoated, pushed beyond the pale of the Overton Window, censored, deplatformed, silenced in social media, defamed etc. And of course, robbed of a livelihood. Especially if the target commits the thought-crime of trying to defend him-/her- self. Likewise, an apology is taken as further proof of guilt and anyone who comes to the defence of a target will become a secondary target.

The Overton Window:

By way of a corrective, let us note again on countering spin games:

We are now at the threshold of Orwell’s Animal Farm or 1984 dystopias: “welcome” to the gates of hell on earth. END

57 Replies to “Agit Prop media/troll ambush at the 2019 46th March for Life — lessons on well-poisoning for us all

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Agit Prop media/troll ambush at the 2019 46th March for Life — lessons on well-poisoning for us all

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I updated, adding remarks on concern and victim card trolls. KF

  3. 3

    I would disagree that we are “on the threshold” – IMO, we are well past that point, and also past the point where anything can be done about it peacefully or through normal process, which is entirely corrupt.

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, I am afraid that you may be right. The threshold language I used is in the context of the cliff edge coming to you without warning* and precipitating you into the abyss of horrors. KF

    * A cliff is by definition almost, a zone where land is collapsing and falling away.

  5. 5
    News says:

    One thing I write about elsewhere is the way traditional media have vastly changed in the age of the internet.

    They are now more like those mags you could buy along with chewing gum at the checkout counter that would inform you that JFK was spotted at a donut shop with Elvis and that Hillary Clinton was secretly raising a space baby. Note that “fake news” has been around forever and has probably had minimal political impact because most people use group leaders’ responses as cues to whether to take a claim seriously or not. = If the US government did not believe that JFK was still alive…

    Phelim McAleer, a veteran journalist (immigrant from Ireland, now established in the United States) offers some thoughts on a recent BIG story that had collapsed just beforehand:

    Of course anyone can make a mistake and maybe Leopold was misled by his “multiple sources” but in another story it looks like Leopold was involved in fraud and forgery of documents bolstering a story. In a 2002 story for Salon about energy company Enron, Leopold quoted a damning email which the subject of the story denied ever writing. After much prevaricating, Leopold eventually produced a “faxed copy of the email” with no headers or other identifying details. He never produced an original. The story was eventually removed from Salon’s archive.

    I am not claiming there was ever a “good old days.” But there was certainly a time when major national media did not run trampling after a story whose provenance was as doubtful as anything retailed by John Leopold was at risk to be. Similarly, they should not retail a story based on video footage of a confrontation without insisting on seeing ALL the footage.

    I could show you phone camera footage of a tenant screaming at the landlord, “If you set foot in this place, I’ll kill you!” as evidence that the tenant is a dangerous person. But would you be wise to take my word for it if you didn’t know anything else about the story? Yet that’s the level on which many of them operate today.

    If they could just go out of business, things would be quieter and it would still be possible to get actual news. Unfortunately, Big Tech is trying to “rescue” them, which will go about as well as you expect.

  6. 6
    kairosfocus says:

    I added a second, more detailed video review that interacts with media reporting, etc.

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    News, your insights as a practising journalist and editor are always welcome. We are at a dangerous time. KF

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    I add three telling examples from social media.

    PS: P. 2 of the letter.

  9. 9
    News says:

    My compatriot Mark Steyn explains the problem like this:

    But accepting not just your opponents’ framing of the argument but their most repulsive totalitarian rituals is even worse. The Orwellian Twitterstorm is something utterly disgusting: It reduces man to a cyber-jackal, feasting on whatever prey is tossed in his path. I have argued, at some length, that you cannot have truly conservative government in a liberal culture. Culture is like air – it’s all around, and you don’t even think about it. So we live in an age of social-media feeding frenzies that can vaporize a fellow’s Oscar-hosting gig or drive an unfortunate porn actress to suicide. There is nothing in the least bit “conservative” about such a world: It’s like the young student in Milan Kundera’s great novel of Warsaw Pact totalitarianism, The Joke, facing the party committee and wondering why none of his friends will speak up for him – except that it’s now at Spaceballs Ludicrous Speed, and the respectable right cannot even bring itself to forgo the pleasure of getting played for saps. Every time.

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:


    Mark Steyn is always worth a look and a read.

    He also said earlier today:

    There was another conservative virtue-signaling stampede over the weekend. A short video from the Lincoln Memorial went “viral” (notwithstanding its ubiquity, I’m keeping the word in scare-quotes because, like any other virus, this one should be contained): it purported to show a group of Catholic schoolboys in MAGA hats harassing an elderly Native American drummer. The lads were instantly identified as students from Covington Catholic High School, which I’d never heard of but is clearly the kind of tony white-privilege joint where they book Brett Kavanaugh to spike the punch at the gang-rape prom. So naturally social media instantly convicted them and moved on to the usual doxing and death threats. The school itself leapt to dissociate itself from its own pupils and threatened to expel them.

    Midst the present fevers, my advice and practice is that, when the media are in lockstep on a particular “narrative”, proceed with caution and, if you must join the great thundering herd of independent minds, tag along at the tail end out of sight. A genuinely conservative temperament should be wary of crying “Me too!” and scampering after the media-Democrat-cultMarx bandwagon – if only because, regardless of the wrongs and rights, no true conservative should assist in furthering the nano-second due process of trial by social media, through which whole lives are destroyed by the reflex twitching drive-thru jury of Twitter. “Sentence first – verdict afterwards,” said Alice’s Queen. Hang him high – and we’ll figure out later what, if anything, he’s guilty of. That’s about as deeply unconservative a proposition as one could find. The cure is worse than whatever disease (racism, sexism, transphobia, Islamophobia) it claims to be healing.

    The use of smears to egg on Internet lynch mobs is telling.

    BTW, it seems MfL itself as well as the Diocese and the School were caught up. Apologies are patently due.

    And, as these boys were hunted down for personal and family info, were private persons, are underage, were subjected to threats of not only expulsion but ruined lives and their families were apparently forced into hiding as a result, those who joined the Agit Prop “doxxing” mob are seriously legally and financially liable; even in the US with its oh so inadequate defamation protection.

    From what I saw, people have been screen capturing and compiling a big list.

    Looks like the mother of all class action lawsuits may be in the offing, right, left and centre.

    Steyn’s counsel to keep away from mobs bent on lynching is sound.


    PS: Has CNN been seen apologising profusely, with key offenders falling on their swords? This is the second fiasco in a few days. Last I looked a few hours ago, the Twitter smear continues apace at the account for the Editor of Mother Jones — not a trace of action against clear hate speech. That in turn has serious implications for the dominant Social Media houses.

  11. 11
    harry says:

    The MSM knows that we know that their goal is to manipulate, rather than inform the public. They know that we know that their Nazi-like big lies are hogwash, but they persist in telling them, i.e., Trump colluded with the Russians in rigging the election.

    Why do they continue to lie and manipulate, knowing that we know exactly what they are doing? Because their target is naive, gullible Americans, especially young people.

    They just demonstrated to a hundred thousand young people (probably nearer a quarter million) who attended the March for Life that the MSM are liars. The kids will surely tell all their friends. And their parents will tell theirs.

    Viciously lying about Pro-Life kids will only hasten the MSM’s richly deserved demise.

  12. 12
    ScuzzaMan says:

    Steyn’s counsel to keep away from mobs bent on lynching is sound.

    One would expect so, given its provenance:

    Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil

  13. 13
    ScuzzaMan says:

    Because their target is naive, gullible Americans, especially young people.

    If only it were so.
    Sadly, their target demographic is “whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
    In other words, their lies are aimed at those they know WANT to be told lies, WANT to believe the lies, and will pretend that seeing the lies on CNN is sufficient warrant* for pretending to believe them, and acting accordingly.
    (It is the “acting accordingly” that they really want: the rest is window dressing for public consumption and maintaining the pretense of rationality, skepticism, etc, all those enlightenment intellectual virtues. Ex post facto ad hoc rationalisations.)

    * Our good hosts have had quite a lot to say recently on the subject of sufficient warrant: I highly recommend a review of their works in this regard.

  14. 14
    asauber says:

    The icing on the cake is that the diocese and school that is supposed to be guiding these guys couldn’t wait to throw them under the bus before before the ink was dry on the first headline.


  15. 15
    harry says:

    ScuzzaMan @ 13,

    I get your point; it is a good one. Yet there is no denying that many young people have been propagandized and indoctrinated.

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    The truly frightening thing is that, absent the corrective, multi-source video evidence, the slander and piling on would have had free rein. This is telling us what is happening to principles of justice, fairness, decency in our civilisation.

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    I have added two more tweets, showing just how vicious and intemperate the piling on reactions have been.

  18. 18
    Eugen says:

    I followed this story….MSM is very powerful and persuasive but it doesn’t have the monopoly on information anymore. There are lots of good news sources online, all conservatives I know follow at least one alternate, independent source. Internet may help bring back the balance.

  19. 19
    EricMH says:

    The radical left knows their over the top rhetoric is obvious, because it further radicalizes their base, while also radicalizing the target. Divide and conquer, since the extreme in both left and right lead to the same totalitarian outcome. That’s why they also pick 1984 to characterize their opponents.

  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:


    This media-trumpeted agit prop big lie tactic assault on the March for life is a watershed, definitive proof of fakery and patently slanderous and borderline murderous hostility. If we needed it, thanks to the ubiquitous smart phone and enough independent news sources we now must acknowledge utter breach of trust.

    After this demonstrated breach of trust, we cannot, must not trust:

    — the claims and credibility of the major media,
    — a lot of punditry and
    — the sort of prominent voices that get blue check marks
    — the narrative in the so-called news
    — the words that caption and frame seemingly decisive evidence
    — the pictures presented to us with narratives
    — the videos that seem to put the facts before our eyes
    — the hearts of those we are dealing with
    — the truthfulness of accusers (including seeming victims) presented to us in media
    — the truthfulness of back-stories (too often, Legends) of accusers
    — major media houses and their narrative frameworks
    — Internet dominating corporations
    — the credibility of anti-hate speech policies, etc.
    — the credibility of senior executives of media houses
    — the credibility of major media, celebrity, political, civic, institutional and even church voices
    — the willingness of our institutional leadership to stand up for due process in the face of agit prop assaults
    — the willingness of all of the above to admit when evidence has shown them wrong (or worse, when evidence does not mount up to adequate warrant to substantiate grave accusations — notice the onward use of the Kavanaugh accusations as if they were proved)
    — the de facto standard that only overwhelming video proof or the like is sufficient to overturn an agit prop narrative
    — and more

    This is a deadly pass, as the media are precisely the organs of mass communication that together with a literate public created the informed public that historically was the basis for the emergence of modern democracy.

    We are seeing a betrayal of liberty, of civil society, of our civilisation.

    This is what failed leadership looks like.

    Which thus creates very dangerous openings in a deeply polarised time.

    Let us turn back from the brink before it is devastatingly too late.


    PS: Nor, should we forget what this was being used by major media voices to do: smear and discredit the Annual March for life protest against the global abortion holocaust. Let us not forget, 800+ millions of living posterity slaughtered in the womb in 40+ years, mounting up at about another million per week.

  21. 21
    EricMH says:

    @KF we also have to be careful to not be polarized by what they do, since that makes us more predictable and controllable. The goal with these people is like a child who pushes buttons until they get desired responses.

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    EMH, yes, we must not allow them to lock us in boxes, or push us outside the Overton Window. One of the keys to this will be to understand the dynamics of cultural marxism in that light and to become aware of agit prop operations and linked trollish tactics, including use of media amplifiers, narrative framing, message domination and lawfare. In this case, one of the recommended tactics in the face of an agit prop encounter, making a calm dignified response, would have failed, absent abundant contextualising video evidence — and the undermining of the right of innocent reputation tied to imposition of unjustifiably high standards such as you must prove your innocence in the face of an agit prop media swarm attack is a BIG warning sign. We have to revisit “standard” tactics in the face of what this is, low intensity 4th generation cultural civil war. One of the factors is that we have to realise the utter irresponsibility and sometimes outright wickedness of media figures and firms (including those that dominate the Internet). It is also important for us to realise just how polarised the ideologues and the manipulated have become, in this case being triggered into wishing all sorts of harm to minors on seeing a loaded picture or artfully edited video clip taken out of its proper context. KF

  23. 23
    EricMH says:

    @KF I agree. Something much stronger than quiet dignity is required. Perhaps a lawsuit?

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    EMH, on this one it seems evidence is being gathered for the mother of all lawsuits, with a huge list of defendants. There is also prosecutor action on threats and incitement. We also have positive proof of massive, pervasive media irresponsibility, hate that is unfettered by social media companies and much more. This may well be tipping point, if people are willing to stand their ground and fight before it is too late. That is going to be the question.I now can freely counsel that we KNOW the media are profoundly irresponsible and in key parts patently untrustworthy, even corrupt through mass and persistent dereliction of duty. As for the blue check mark class, it will never live down how it pounced on minors and in too many cases ended up baying for blood, literally. Those who look on had better take due note of the outright hate revealed. KF

    PS: Looks like the suit is on, with a 48 hr grace period. Public warning has been given that the standard for this case is negligence, not proof of actual malice.

  25. 25
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Looks like, the lawyer has received a bomb threat to his office. This is getting more and more blatant.

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: It seems subpoenas and search warrants have already been issued against online abusers of the students. Vid added to OP. KF

  27. 27
    Ed George says:

    I apologize for not commenting sooner, but I wanted to review as many videos as possible. From what I can discern from this, and it is far from conclusive,

    1) The students were being harassed by a group of people.

    2) The natives perceived this (probably wrongly) as a large number of white teens hanging up on a small number of middle aged black men, and tried to calm things down.

    3) The students (some of them) turned their frustration towards the indigenous people .

    From what I can see, the indigenous people were the innocents, even trying to calm a situation that could have turned violent. The teens’ behavior was unacceptable, but still peaceful.

    Should the teens be disciplined? Yes. By their school and by their parents. But not legally. And not on social media. Is the media culpable? The media is always culpable.

    Thread Owner: Comment left to stand for record, kindly cf here on the factual basis for the emerging libel suit: KF

  28. 28
    ET says:

    From what I can see the indigenous people caused the problem. Beat on a drum near my face like that and we will see entertainment. I applaud the student for keeping his composure.

    The students were where they were supposed to be. They did not seek out anyone. They were sought out.

    CNN is pathetic

  29. 29
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, you have failed to recognise/ acknowledge an obvious agit prop media ambush amplified by clear lies by words materially distorting the realities and by deliberately misleading video edits, thence smears leading to widespread slander and libel due to long stirred up polarisation, scapegoating, stereotyping and more. There were threats and incitements to murder and bomb threats. Now, leading to a huge lawfare counter-attack that is building up, both prosecution for threats (here, felonious under KY law) and to a huge defamation lawsuit in the making. Further to this, we see exposed the destructive irresponsibility of a huge swath of both the media and the blue tick class, as well as the ideological agenda and censorship of major social media giants. After this, there is no room to doubt the utter institutional failure of the major media, with direct implication that the basis of self-government by a free, informed people is being undermined. KF

  30. 30
    ET says:

    The media is shameful. It’s becoming so that anything they say will not be believed.

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, a literate soundly informed public (so also a sound media) is foundational to sustainable democratic self-government. The gross failure we see unfolding is a betrayal of liberty. KF

  32. 32
    ET says:

    North Korea comes to mind, kairosfocus.

  33. 33
    Ed George says:

    KF@29, I have watched several different videos of this event. No matter how you look at it, the teens aren’t the innocent party here. Not the racist idiots that some have portrayed, but far from innocent. But, they are also teens. I am glad that my teenage indescretions were not videoed and played to the world on social media.

    But, I also find it interesting that the first step of the parents of the teen was to hire a media relations firm. So, at best, we are seeing media manipulation on all sides. Yes, there will be defamation lawsuits, but I would be surprised if they come to anything. What I see is parents making every attempt to salvage the reputation of their son. I don’t blame them, but there is a reason why his reputation was damaged, and he must take part of the blame.

  34. 34
    ET says:

    What did the teens do wrong, Ed?

  35. 35
  36. 36
    kairosfocus says:


    your perceptions have clearly been warped by the selective editing and reporting. The coming on two-hour vid and many others show, quite clearly, why on seeing the seriousness of the response that is building up, there have been plain retractions, half-apologies, takedowns of posts and articles and the like.

    The reasonably warranted facts include that

    – the students had attended the March for Life as a school event and (ill advisedly in retrospect) were waiting for their transport near the Lincoln Memorial. (I also suggest that it was ill advised to wear caps with a political slogan that invites attack from the unhinged. That said, absent the caps, there is little or nothing in what happened to justify a national news item. We are dealing, instead with agit prop opportunism and street theatre similar in some very ugly ways to the incident where a woman allegedly caught in the act of adultery was thrown down at Jesus’ feet to be used as a prop for a deadly dilemma accusation. And yes, this is a sign of where our civilisation is headed.)

    – They were fastened upon by cultists who for a long time plastered them with all sorts of racial and sexual accusations.

    – In response, school cheers were used to keep up morale.

    – Into the gap waltzed the agit prop activists complete with lawyer and cameras, with additional accusations and the aggressive move of invading personal space and drumming inches from one’s face.

    – The claimed racist smirk in context is an artfully selected still of a nervous smile in reaction to invasion and deliberately annoying behaviour. (And BTW, hiring a legal team AND a media relations team is a very sensible reaction to being the target of an agit prop assault that can destroy one’s life prospects, here, of a 16 yo boy who was doxxed.)

    – There was a pile-on attempt using an instance of the School Basketball team using the OK hand sign, to insinuate that this is a racist neo-nazi gesture, which was highlighted with red loops. In fact, it is a common Basketball signal, connected to a three-point score. (This further reveals irresponsible accusatory intent, polarisation and utterly over the top hostility that has been set loose through intense media narratives sustained for years. Ms Griffin is looking at a huge legal bill, especially given the prior wax dummy of a decapitated head. Where, the defamation standard in this case is negligence.)

    – There is so far no record (across several available) that backs up claims of chanting “build the wall” — which contrary to agit prop on the subject is not an inherently racist assertion, nor is wearing a hat with a 2016 campaign slogan.

    – There is record of a “tomahawk chop” which seems to have been at the time when students perceived the agit prop activists as supportive and joined in with the drumming.

    – Indeed, it is likely, they did not recognise how they were framed until after the fact.

    – There was no swarming of said agit prop activists, only standing where one always was, and there were alternative paths.

    – Various claims and behaviour patterns of the drummer show him to be unreliable and patently deceitful.

    – The media, despite having access to video evidence that shatters the narrative decided to trumpet the agit prop agenda, not only attacking Mr Trump et al but the Catholic Church, the School, also the March for Life — which is where I took notice in the OP.

    – The School and Diocese failed to investigate properly before distancing and have as of my last observation failed to apologise; there was an attempt to ban defending oneself in the arena of public opinion.

    – All sorts of slanders, libels and incitement have been spread far and wide.

    – A journalist doing interviews with the two focal people tried to intimidate a child into a public apology for simply standing his ground [which apology would have been ruinous to his life prospects, given how agit prop operators carry on], and tried to rescue a deceiver from his deceit on his claimed valorous past.

    – There has been a counter-wave of exposure (similar to Rathergate) and legal action is in train, prosecution for threats and defamation action for false and damaging accusations.

    – The matter has extended into blatant double-standards on the part of social media censors.

    – It is clear that serious legal consequences are going to follow, with huge awards or settlements likely.

    – The pivot to these will be that the defamation attacked minors, who are protected under even the grossly deficient US defamation law.

    – Likewise, in KY, threats against students — and things have risen to bomb threats — are felonies. I believe this case is a watershed event.

    – Similarly, the development where on allegations of process crimes an elderly man has been swarmed with SWAT with media cameras in tow and taken out in handcuffs, is a further point of excess.( I wonder if these people realise that if you turn every possibility of a mistake into a perjury trap you are telling law abiding citizens to be utterly uncooperative with policing investigations, to suppress all possible record and instead make public statements giving counter-accusations? There is a right to silence rather than opening oneself to answers that can be used to incriminate.)


    PS: We may wish to read: where, another sobering read is Kindly note my infographic on straight vs spin in the OP.

  37. 37
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, you linked one of the vids in the OP. KF

    PS: I added a news review vid by Ben Shapiro which seems to give a view on how Agit Prop played out. I am not endorsing his claims as a whole and I am not endorsing him. I believe the patterns he highlights are consistent with my experiences of Agit Prop dating from my student days, dealing with Havana and Moscow trained operators and strategists.

  38. 38
    ET says:

    Yes, kairosfocus. It became obvious that Ed George had not watched it so I thought I could help him out. 😎

  39. 39
    Ed George says:


    your perceptions have clearly been warped by the selective editing and reporting.

    To think that my perceptions have been warped simply because I disagree with you is a strange conclusion to come to.

    The coming on two-hour vid and many others show, quite clearly, why on seeing the seriousness of the response that is building up, there have been plain retractions, half-apologies, takedowns of posts and articles and the like.

    That two hour video is the one that provides the most context. The issue started with an African American activist group confronting the students. I suspect this was because the teens were white, many wearing MAGA hats. The students reacted in a vocal but peaceful manner. The indigenous people intervened, possibly thinking that it was the teens who had instigated the confrontation. And then the students switched their attention to the indigenous people, doing the tomahawk chop and Indian whoops. Inappropriate, but still peaceful and not illegal.

    The initial media reaction was that the students were solely at fault. When more videos surfaced, it became cleare that it wasn’t as black and white as the original reports. But to suggest that the students are blameless and that it was a leftist media agit-prop conspiracy is simply not supported by the evidence. The teens could simply have walked away. They could have stood their ground without making mocking offensive native stereotypes.

    Would it have hit the news if the teens weren’t white, many wearing MAGA hats? I don’t know, but I suspect the attention wouldn’t have been as great as it was.

    With respect, I see your characterization of this event to be as biased and misinforming as the early media reports were. And mine probably are as well. This is not to say that I see any intentional attempts to mislead the people on either side, just that we all interpret events through a filter affected by our world view.

  40. 40
    ET says:

    Ed George still refuses to say what the students did wrong. And that is very telling.

    The teens could not have walked away as they were exactly where they were supposed to be. The Natives went after them. One started pounding a drum right next to a teens face. I was surprised the drum wasn’t taken and thrown. The teens showed a composure that was totally lacking in the other people.

  41. 41
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, again, it is manifest from the OP on that the issue is objective warrant not oh if you differ you must be wrong; that is getting to be a worn-out refrain on your part, one that reeks of all too familiar cultural marxist narratives. When adequate evidence to decide a case is on the table — here, a clear agit-prop, media amplified ambush that is facing both the mother of all civil lawsuits AND prosecution for making felony grade threats so that the more prudent have backed away from intemperate remarks (of course others are trying to double down) — the issue is not mere opinions anymore. Especially, as doxing, attempts to get Colleges to reject applicants, threats to ruin, death threats and more are involved. All we need to show that something was very wrong with the media lynch mob game, is to roll the tapes as opposed to the selectively edited portion. KF

    PS: It is obvious that the students, having been subjected to all sorts of slurs for a prolonged time [many of which would count under jurisdictions that accept the fighting words doctrine], began school chants in order to drown out the smears. Second, it is manifest that they joined in with the drumming, not realising they were targetted. The principal target had violation of personal space as well as patently annoying noise in his face, where a metal drumstick is in itself an implicit threat. He obviously held ground rather than attack. A fictional accusatory narrative of swarming, surrounding etc was used to smear, backed up by selective video edits. I am fairly confident that the legal steps will soon enough begin to sort out the agit-prop.

  42. 42
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I have added the Bishop’s letter of apology and the statement of the lead lawyers for the coming civil suits to the OP. Those tempted to double down or blame the victims of an agit prop smear operation turned into a media and Internet witch hunt would be well advised to read, ponder and take serious pause. KF

  43. 43
    vividbleau says:


    You asked Ed what the students did wrong ? Here is your answer from George Orwell and as far as I am concerned Ed’s veiled answer as well.

    Tucker Carlson
    “George Orwell imagined a world like this 70 years ago, in his book “1984.” For the disfavored, Orwell wrote, “The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself. To wear an improper expression on your face was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it:face crime

    That’s the crime Sandman committed “face-crime” consequently he had to endure his “15 minutes of hate”


  44. 44
    ET says:

    LoL! It’s true, Vividbleu. When I first saw the reporting on this non-story I bought it wholesale and said the student was guilty just cuz of that face(crime). But after about 10 seconds I knew there had to be more to this than what the media was saying.

  45. 45
    vividbleau says:

    Orwell indeed is a modern day prophet. People seem to lose sight of the fact that these kids were in their teens, Sandman himself is a junior in HS!! They r waiting for their bus while disgusting racial slurs are being hurled at them when Philips,along with his posse walk right up to them and starts to beat a drum inches from Sandman’s face, which itself is an aggressive act. When you look at the faces of these kids, (some looked like freshman) they did not know how to react. I mean gimme a break Philips tried to provoke them, they responded nervously and the victims become the villains. So sick

    Honestly though what should we expect? America is sinking into a moral abyss. The state of NY now allows infanticide so should we be surprised about permanent reputational slander against a few immature teens that committed face crimes?


  46. 46
    Ed George says:


    When I first saw the reporting on this non-story I bought it wholesale and said the student was guilty…

    That is where you and I differ. I never accept any news clips wholesale. I have enough personal experience with the media to know that they almost always get parts of the story wrong. Often the errors are minor and not germane to the actual story, but too many times they can make a fundamental difference to the story.

  47. 47
    kairosfocus says:

    Who will stop applauding Comrade Stalin first (perhaps an urban myth) seems pretty similar as a story. There comes a point when political correctness runs so amok that it becomes destructive and predatory. It is time for us to ponder Havel’s justly famous essay on the power of the powerless: .

  48. 48
    vividbleau says:

    So you did not accept the news clips wholesale and now that you have all the clips you incredibly write

    “But to suggest that the students are blameless and that it was a leftist media agit-prop conspiracy is simply not supported by the evidence. The teens could simply have walked away. They could have stood their ground without making mocking offensive native stereotypes.”

    Of course there is evidence that it was a leftist agit prop you are horribly wrong, astoundingly wrong bordering on the insane. LOL Philips knew exactly what he was doing because that is what he does! Hell he invaded a church service for Gods sake!. What planet do you live on?

    You say the teens should have walked away. Why? They didn’t provoke the situation Philips did. You also seem to forget that they were at the appointed place where their bus was to pick them up. Furthermore even if that was not the case why should they have walked away to diffuse a situation they did not create? Why would you not advocate that it was Philips, supposedly the adult in the room,that should have walked away?


  49. 49
    ET says:

    Nice quote-mine, Ed. Why even bother of that is all you can do?

    It is still strange that every time acartia bogart is at the swamp, Ed George is here.

  50. 50
    john_a_designer says:

    Here is an African American perspective on white Covington Catholic school boys and their MAGA hats.

    I think he is spot on.

    Whatever happened to people being judged by the content of their character not the color of their skin?

  51. 51
  52. 52
    Ed George says:

    JaD@50. Sadly, I agree that this probably wouldn’t have been the news story it was if some of the teens weren’t wearing MAGA hats.

  53. 53
    ET says:

    Liberal liars made it a news story, Ed. Or haven’t you been paying attention?

  54. 54
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: In the context of deliberate targetting of the political slogan themed hats for scapegoating, stigmatising, loaded projection and demonising, the weekend development of a 5 – 6 AM, heavily armed FBI raid (of size and armament comparable to that on bin Laden’s compound) with a CNN News Crew in tow [for a process crime arrest . . . ], indicates an attitude of open season on the targetted. It would have been very feasible to simply phone the man’s attorney and have him come in to face the court. The choice of such massive overkill — what if something went wrong and people got killed? or, what if say his wife had a fatal heart attack? or, as she is reportedly deaf became confused? this, seems to be clear police malpractice . . . — is a wake-up call that shows the same targetting mentality the Covington HS street theatre incident and the associated mass media and online lynch mob. At minimum, there should be an inquiry into the overkill mentality. KF

  55. 55
    john_a_designer says:

    Ed @ 52,

    Sadly, I agree that this probably wouldn’t have been the news story it was if some of the teens weren’t wearing MAGA hats.

    Notice the double standard and hypocrisy.

    Nathan Phillips, the elderly “native American” was exercising his constitutional first amendment right of freedom of speech and assembly (he was there with others.) He then intentionally wades into a crowd of predominantly white catholic school boys (waiting to catch a bus) banging his drum and chanting a traditional tribal chant, goes directly up to one of the boys, Nicholas Sandmann, where he continues to bang his drum and chanting his chant. Sandmann stands his ground and smiles but the MSM denounces Sandmann as the aggressor for standing his ground, smiling and wearing a MAGA hat. That’s clearly a double standard and unadulterated hypocrisy.

  56. 56
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: The suit moves ahead, apparently with a long list of corporate and individual respondents. KF

  57. 57

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