Video footage of MAGA hat-wearing Trump supporters set off a firestorm of debate and controversy over the last week, and the media pile-on continues at The New York Times.
Hoping to piggy back over the controversy surrounding Catholic high school boys confronting a Native American man, NYT reporter Dan Levin used Twitter to describe his next story: he is writing a story about religious schools and wants to interview former students about their experience.
He also used the trending Twitter hash tag "#exposechristianschools" in the tweet, suggesting the motive of the future story.
Larry Lincoln of the Association of Christian Schools International tells OneNewsNow that the goal of Christian schools is to provide a "well-rounded education" anchored in "historic orthodox faith" that prepares students to be future citizens with character, compassion, and excellence.
ACSI, he adds, was saddened but not surprised at the misrepresentation of Christian schools.
The incident occurred Jan. 18 in Washington, DC, where the students were waiting near the Lincoln Memorial for a bus ride after participating in the annual March for Life. Media outlets were quick to pounce on video of what appeared to be boisterous Trump-supporting white teens taunting a hapless, elderly, drum-banging Native American -- who is also a Vietnam veteran.
Days later, however, the media coverage began to change as other videos began to surface -- but only after the students faced death threats, their Kentucky school closed due to threats, and their own diocese condemned their actions. And it turns out he never served in Vietnam.
"The longer version of the incident is more complex," USA Today reported two days later, "and now that it has surfaced, the rush to judge the teenagers, who were in the nation’s capital for the anti-abortion March for Life, is coming under attack."
"Our news media lies to us the same way they lied to Nazi Germany," complains Project 21 member Richard Holt.
Day Gardner, a fellow Project 21 member, says the media ignored the racist taunts by a group of Black Hebrew Israelites, a radical group of black men who hurled racist expletives at the teen students, including a black student who was part of the group.
The reason the Hebrew Israelites were ignored -- but the students were vilified -- says Gardner was the hat they were wearing.
Yet the radical group was not entirely ignored: The New York Times wrote a story describing how the Black Hebrew Israelites saw "divine intervention" in the now-infamous Lincoln Memorial encounter.
Concerned with the public vitriol and skewed press coverage, the American Family Association contributed $10,000 to a legal fight launched by the teens to clear their names.
AFA also launched a petition to show public support, which has garnered more than 49,400 signatures.
"What we wanted to do," says AFA spokesman Ed Vitagliano, "is to make sure these young people understood clearly that the American Family Association, and our supporters, stand with them against the secular progressive onslaught."
Editor's Note: American Family Association is the parent organization of American Family News Network, which operates OneNewsNow.com.