Concha on Student-Protester Standoff: Media's Slogan Became 'Let's Be First Instead of Accurate'
Media analyst Joe Concha said Monday that the confrontation between a Kentucky high school student and Native American protester is a classic example of the media rushing to judgment.
The student, Nick Sandmann, was seen in a now-viral video standing face-to-face with the protester, Nathan Phillips, at a rally in Washington, D.C.
Sandmann and the students surrounding him were initially accused of mocking Phillips, however, an extended video emerged on social media that appeared to show some of the students being harassed earlier.
Here is a video clearly showing that Nathan Phillips approached the students. On the basis of the evidence we now have, I believe that people who issued categorical and one-sided condemnations of the students should retract and apologize. pic.twitter.com/GxmXcMuQgC
— Matthew Schmitz (@matthewschmitz) January 20, 2019
Sandmann, who was wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat, spoke out Sunday, claiming that he and his classmates were also confronted and taunted by African-American protesters.
"[Ronald] Reagan used to say 'trust, but verify.' And now, it seems like the media seems to have a slogan that says 'let's be first, instead of accurate,'" Concha said on Fox & Friends.
Concha pointed out how media pundits and news outlets were quick to condemn the students without seeing the bigger picture.
1/3 The young men trying to intimidate Native American veteran Nathan Phillips rightly outrage. But who taught them the chants, fostered the intolerance, stirred up racial division for political gain? Adults and political leaders hold the greatest responsibility for our times.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) January 20, 2019
"Not only do they get it wrong, there's never any apologies. There's never any contrition or corrections," Concha said. "Let's see them here, because these kids who were there for good reason are now being painted as racist as a result of wearing hats in a video that if you just took 10 minutes to watch, you would see is completely the opposite of what the media is portraying."
The longer video that appeared to show the students being taunted also prompted some conservatives to rescind their earlier criticisms.
Concha also noted how in today's digital age, social media can be a "big push-back" in terms of checking facts and seeing the bigger picture when the public rushes to judgement.
However, he also referred to a 2018 poll by Axios, which found that 92 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents surveyed believe news outlets "knowingly report false or misleading stories at least sometimes."
"The media gets it wrong, but people more and more don't trust the messenger," Concha said. "So hopefully this doesn't have an impact on this kid. ... He's only a junior in high school. This is so unfair."
Watch more from Fox & Friends above.