I recently quoted the old saying, “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” Add NBC News to the list of media outlets that’s apparently never heard that one.
After soiling their reputation like Baby Huey’s diaper in the rush to condemn the students of Covington Catholic High School, and rather than abjectly apologizing and promising to be more professional, NBC seems determined to keep digging until they find a pony in the pile of horse manure they generated themselves.
The network’s latest attempt to trash the reputations of some innocent Catholic teenagers came with an article headlined, “Gay valedictorian banned from speaking at Covington graduation ‘not surprised’ by D.C. controversy.” Gee, sounds like that school must be a haven for censorious homophobes!
Except there are a few minor problems with NBC's headline. First, the gay student didn’t even attend Covington Catholic High School. He went to a different school in the Covington Diocese. Also, there’s no evidence that he was barred from speaking because he’s gay. The diocese says that both he and the student council president’s speeches were rejected because they submitted them too late to be added to the program. Also, they were political and inappropriate to the occasion. So other than the facts that the interviewee never attended that school and wasn’t banned from speaking for being gay, the headline is 100% accurate.
The student also passed along some negative comments he claims to have heard about the school he never attended which were somehow deemed newsworthy by NBC (Incidentally, I’ve never been in NBC’s executive suite, but if I claim to have heard rumors that it’s infested with rats, would that be considered newsworthy, too?)
To make it even worse, NBC wasn’t fooled into unthinking hysteria this time by a misleading video on Twitter. They spent several days digging up and writing this non-story and concocting a misleading headline for it. They don’t have the excuse of temporary insanity. This is malice aforethought.
To NBC and all the other media outlets that refuse to admit that their own partisanship and lack of professionalism made them leap before doing due diligence and slander these kids: Stop it! Stop trying to tear innocent kids down to prove you were right when you weren’t.
I didn’t think it was possible for the public to hold you in any lower regard, but you insist on digging the hole deeper. Now, the mud you’re unearthing to throw at those kids is only sticking to you.