Fox News media analyst Howard Kurtz said Tuesday that the viral confrontation between a Native American protester and Kentucky high school students over the weekend shows how social media has become a "toxic stew."

Many online were quick to criticize the students from Covington High School, who were initially believed to be harassing the protester, Nathan Phillips, following the March for Life rally in Washington, D.C.

Subsequent video footage, however, revealed that the students were accosted and yelled at before Phillips and other Native American activists approached them. Another group -- the so-called Black Hebrew Israelites -- were heard shouting abuse at the students for wearing “Make America Great Again” hats.

Many people called for the students to have their private information revealed on social media, and a freelance journalist even wished death on the students, which resulted in his termination.


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Kurtz, host of Fox News Channel's MediaBuzz, said on Outnumbered Overtime that the rush to judgment by so many over the situation was "deeply troubling."

"It shows you what a toxic stew the social media -- and particularly a place like Twitter -- has become, where hatred can be unleashed in a moment's notice," he said.

Kurtz pointed out the "common element" in the case of the students, as well as in the now-disputed BuzzFeed News report on President Trump.

"Everybody's an instant expert. You look at one video, you look at one tweet, everybody's got a way in. That's how you get clicks. That's how you get attention," he said. "But I think it's a really embarrassing moment, particularly for journalists whose job it is to check the facts, be measured, and that's why you're seeing so many of these apologies."

Harris Faulkner then asked Kurtz how to "right this ship," adding that people are losing trust in the media because of such situations.

Kurtz answered by saying people should learn to wait before passing judgment and tone down their instant attacks.

Watch the discussion above from Outnumbered Overtime.



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