Mediekritikk

Glisende guttehvalper

Denne hatten er et klart tegn på at bæreren tar feil.

Hvite katolske gutter med Trump-hatter i konfrontasjon med urfolk. Ingen tvil om hvem som har rett da, ifølge NRK, TV2 og VG.

En mye omtalt sak i amerikansk presse lørdag og søndag var konfrontasjonen mellom en gruppe hvite ungdommer og indianeraktivisten Nathan Phillips ved Lincoln-monumentet i Washington D.C. En kort video gikk viralt.

Saken er også plukket opp i Norge, og her er VGs fremstilling (Jørn E. Kolstad):

«En video som viser amerikanske skoleungdommer med Donald Trump-capser som omringer og spotter urfolk i Washington D.C. har gått viralt i helgen. (…)

I videoen står en skolegutt med «Make America Great Again»-caps, tett opp i ansiktet til en eldre mann som slår på tromme og synger. Gutten stirrer intenst på mannen mens hans skolekamerater står rundt og håner demonstrantene ved at de etteraper den rituelle sangen og dansingen. Guttene deltok forøvrig i en anti-abort-demonstrasjon før hendelsen. (…)

– Den unge mannen blokkerte veien for meg. Jeg ville forlate stedet og tenkte «»hvordan kommer jeg meg ut av dette» Jeg ville komme meg unna, sa Phillips til CNN. (…)

– Jeg følte meg ikke trygg i den mengden av ungdommer, sier Kaya Taitano, en student ved The University of the District of Columbia som deltok i marsjen og filmet hendelsen, til CNN. Hun fortalte at tenåringene ropte slagord som «Build the wall» og «Trump 2020».

Her er nettversjonen til NRK Urix:

«Veteran hetset av skoleelever i USA.

En gruppe elever fra et katolsk skole i Kentucky får skarp kritikk i USA etter at de hetset en amerikansk urinnvåner og aktivist da de var på skoletur til Washington.

Guttene omringet den eldre mannen som markerte en urinnvånerfestival foran Lincoln-monument i den amerikanske hovedstaden. De bar «Make America Great Again»-capser og ropte «Build the Wall» (bygg muren) mens de sto rundt ham, lo og stirret ham tett opp i ansiktet.»

Legg merke til de kategoriske beskrivelsene her – dette er det som faktisk hendte – det er ingen rom for tvil eller påpekning av at dette er den ene partens versjon. Det finnes ingen annen versjon hos VG og NRK.

TV2-nyhetene (Øystein Bogen og Fredrik Græsvik) hadde også et innslag kl. 18.30 som ligner på de to ovenfor og er like ensidig.

Provokasjon fra svarte jøder

Men i amerikanske medier ble denne fremstillingen sterkt utfordret i går. Nøkkelen her er at det ikke bare handlet om en markering for urinnvånerne og ungdommer som kom fra en anti-abort-marsj, men at en liten obskur gruppe som kaller seg Black Hebrew Israelites i over en time hadde holdt på med det ungdommene oppfattet som provoserende oppførsel. Denne gruppen filmet nesten to timer av demonstrasjonen, og etterfølgende konfrontasjoner. Robby Soave skriver hos libertarianske Reason:

“Far from engaging in racially motivated harassment, the group of mostly white, MAGA-hat-wearing male teenagers remained relatively calm and restrained despite being subjected to incessant racist, homophobic, and bigoted verbal abuse by members of the bizarre religious sect Black Hebrew Israelites, who were lurking nearby. The BHI has existed since the late 19th century, and is best describes as a black nationalist cult movement; its members believe they are descendants of the ancient Israelites, and often express condemnation of white people, Christians, and gays. (…)

They call them crackers, faggots, and pedophiles. At the 1:20 mark (which comes after the Phillips incident) they call one of the few black students the n-word and tell him that his friends are going to murder him and steal his organs.  (…)

Phillips put himself between the teens and the black nationalists, chanting and drumming as he marched straight into the middle of the group of young people. What followed was several minutes of confusion: The teens couldn’t quite decide whether Phillips was on their side or not, but tentatively joined in his chanting. It’s not at all clear this was intended as an act of mockery rather than solidarity.»

Phillips ville gå imellom

(Du kan se Phillips gå frem til ungdommene her). Soave fortsetter:

«One student did not get out of Phillips way as he marched, and gave the man a hard stare and a smile that many have described as creepy. (…)

Phillips would later tell The Detroit Free Press that the teenagers «were in the process of attacking these four black individuals» and he decided to attempt to de-escalate the situation. He seems profoundly mistaken: The video footage taken by the black nationalists shows no evidence the white teenagers had any intention of attacking. Nevertheless, Phillips characterized the kids as «beasts» and the hate-group members as «their prey».

Phillips, og også noen andre som deltok i urfolk-marsjen, påstår at de hørte ungdommene rope “build that wall”. Dette gjentas også som et faktum av de tre norske mediene nevnt ovenfor. Soave skriver:

“While I cannot rule out the possibility that some of the kids indeed chanted this—those who were wearing MAGA hats are presumably Trump supporters—I did not hear a single utterance of the phrase in the nearly two hours of video footage I watched. Admittedly, the kids do a lot of chanting and it’s not always possible to tell what they are saying.”

Soave konkluderer:

“It would be impossible to definitively state that none of the young men did anything wrong, offensive, or problematic, at some point, and maybe the smiling student was attempting to intimidate Phillips. But there’s shockingly little evidence of wrongdoing, unless donning a Trump hat and standing in a group of other people doing the same is now an act of harassment or violence. Phillips’ account, meanwhile, is at best flawed, and arguably deliberately misleading.”

Incest kids

Jake Tapper hos CNN har senere tvitret en erklæring fra Nick Sandmann, den unge mannen i sentrum for kontroversen. Sandman skriver blant annet:

“When we arrived, we noticed four African American protestors who were also on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I am not sure what they were protesting, and I did not interact with them. I did hear them direct derogatory insults at our school group.

The protestors said hateful things. They called us «racists,» «bigots,» «white crackers,» «faggots,» and «incest kids.» They also taunted an African American student from my school by telling him that we would «harvest his organs.» I have no idea what that insult means, but it was startling to hear. (…)

The protestor everyone has seen in the video began playing his drum as he waded into the crowd, which parted for him. I did not see anyone try to block his path. He locked eyes with me and approached me, coming within inches of my face. He played his drum the entire time he was in my face.

I never interacted with this protestor. I did not speak to him. I did not make any hand gestures or other aggressive moves. To be honest, I was startled and confused as to why he had approached me. We had already been yelled at by another group of protestors, and when the second group approached I was worried that a situation was getting out of control where adults were attempting to provoke teenagers.”

En rimelig tolkning er at Phillips forsøkte å gå imellom, og at ungdommene ikke helt forsto hva han holdt på med.

Her er New York Times:

“Early video excerpts from the encounter obscured the larger context, inflaming outrage.

Leading up to the encounter on Friday, a rally for Native Americans and other Indigenous people was wrapping up. Dozens of students from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky, who had been in Washington for the anti-abortion March for Life rally, were standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, many of them white and wearing apparel bearing the slogan of President Trump.

There were also black men who identified themselves as Hebrew Israelites, preaching their beliefs and shouting racially combative comments at the Native Americans and the students, according to witnesses and video on social media. (…)

On Sunday, Mr. Phillips clarified that it was he who had approached the crowd and that he had intervened because racial tensions — primarily between the white students and the black men — were “coming to a boiling point.”

“I stepped in between to pray,” Mr. Phillips said.(…)

In separate interviews, Mr. Frejo and Mr. Phillips said they heard the students making noises that seemed to mock Native American chanting. (Some students also appear to make the tomahawk chop gesture popularized at certain sporting events.) But Mr. Frejo also said he heard some of the students sing along. “Regardless of their ignorance and bigotry,” he said, the “spirits moved through them.”

Aftenposten nyanserer saken noe i sin omtale og Resett kritiserer fremstillingen.

Det er opplagt at det her finnes ulike versjoner og tolkninger av hva som skjedde. Det er derfor kritikkverdig at NRK, TV2 og VG bare presenterer den ene, og uten konteksten med konfrontasjonen med den obskure jødiske gruppen.

Mediekritikkspalten er støttet av Fritt Ord.

Oppdatering 22.01.19: NRK, TV2 og VG har nå kommet med rettelser, slik det fremkommer i Medier24s intervju med meg.

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