January 21, 2019

CHERYL MAGNESS: All The Adults Involved Failed The Covington Catholic School Boys, And Should Be Ashamed.

No sooner had the boys gotten on their bus than they were thrown under it by their school and the Covington diocese, who issued a joint statement condemning the students’ actions and saying the matter was under investigation that appropriate action would be taken. Um, if the matter is under investigation, doesn’t that suggest it might be good to wait before condemning the behavior? Could it be that there’s more to the story than a short, viral video?

The school and the diocese owed these boys a full hearing before coming to any conclusion. They now owe them an apology.

And then there’s the media, which likes to look at itself as the arbiter of truth but too often shows itself to be the opposite: a mindless, blind, and lumbering monster that sustains itself on a diet of half-truths, innuendo, and lies. In a time when the technology at our fingertips should make it easier than ever to track down a story, that technology is instead used to rapidly spread a half-baked and incomplete version of events before all the details have come in.

It’s time to think seriously about overturning New York Times v. Sullivan. We had a first amendment without it for nearly two centuries and nobody suggested that a lack of press impunity meant we didn’t have free speech.

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