When an edited clip of Catholic teenagers surrounding a Native American man first emerged, it was billed as evidence of racist high school students harassing an Indigenous person.
Journalists, celebrities, and others with blue checkmarks on Twitter rushed to condemn the kids as racists, even though it was clear from the beginning that something was amiss.
As The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti previously reported, the original video does not show what it was alleged to have shown and was clearly taken out of some larger context. Still, this did not stop the verified Twitter users from condemning and threatening kids based on no more evidence than the media’s say so and the fact that they were white boys wearing Make America Great Again hats.
On Monday morning, Mediate posted an article collecting some of the various tweets that have since been deleted after more information became available and exonerated the students who were waiting for a bus when they were taunted with racial slurs from some Black Hebrew Israelites and confronted by the Native Americans.
As Mediate’s Pardes Seleh notes, many public figures are apologizing for earlier statements or providing more information for the story, but others are simply deleting their awful tweets.
“New York Times opinion writer Kara Swisher, for instance, deleted one tweet saying she was thinking of ‘finding every one of these shitty kids and giving them a very large piece of my mind,’ and other tweets throwing slurs like ‘Nazi’ and ‘nationalist.’ Sinclair chief political correspondent Scott Thurman deleted a tweet alleging students in MAGA hats were ‘mocking’ and ‘taunting’ a Native American in front of the Lincoln Memorial in D.C., asking in a new tweet if the new video changed minds about the kids,” Seleh wrote, linking to screencaps of the tweets from Screenshot Bot (@sshotbot) on Twitter.
Ed and Brian Krassenstein, both opponents of President Donald Trump, each deleted tweets condemning the teens.
The New Republic’s Jeet Heer also deleted a tweet responding to Reason’s Robby Soave’s analysis of the video evidence surrounding the event, in which he suggested Soave thinks “doing the tomahawk chant to mock a Native isn’t racist.”
Matt Wolking, Communications Director for Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), captured a now-deleted tweet from CNN’s Bakari Sellers calling one of the Catholic students “deplorable” and suggesting some people “can also be punched in the face.”
A tweet from author Reza Aslan asking if anyone has “ever seen a more punchable face” than the same teenager is still up.
Comedian Patton Oswald deleted a tweet that linked to a thread from someone who revealed personal information about the student most targeted by the online hate mob without identifying the student by name.
Seleh notes that Oswalt “left up subsequent retweets maintaining his opinion that they were at fault.”
Alleged Republican commentator Ana Navarro also deleted a tweet calling the students “racist.”
She has since provided the full video.
Others who should probably delete their tweets haven’t, including Buzzfeed’s Anne Helen Petersen who, fresh off her employer’s embarrassing Trump collusion article, jumped headfirst into another wildly misreported story.
“One theme of the conversations over the past 24 hours = how deeply familiar this look is. It’s the look of white patriarchy, of course, but that familiarity – that banality – is part of what prompts the visceral reaction. This isn’t spectacular. It’s life in America,” she tweeted over another tweet depicting the smiling student in the MAGA hat next to a photo of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh also smiling.