One of the overarching talking points from those on the left about the Parkland teens (and those involved in the March For Our Lives protests in general) is their passion, and civic engagement overrides anything they say that is not grounded in fact.
It’s hard to imagine a more irresponsible thing to do than to allow kids to tell untruths merely because they’re “passionate” about a particular issue. It is worse when adults lazily claim fair criticism is nothing but an “attack” on the kids in question. If they’re old enough to take part in the political process, they’re old enough to have their claims questioned and corrected.
Members of the mainstream media who allow these kids — David Hogg, in particular — to just say whatever they want without any pushback is a dereliction of their duty as journalists. It’s worse when some of the journalists are flat out dishonest in their reporting.
Alex Horton of The Washington Post does this in a recent piece. Most of the article is devoted to calling out alt-right outlets such as Gab and others on the right sharing a doctored video of Parkland survivor Emma Gonzalez tearing up a copy of the Constitution, when she was in fact, tearing up a paper target used at gun ranges.
But Horton gets to a point where he writes the following:
Generally, one form of criticism of González and fellow students such as David Hogg, 17, has focused on their ages.
They are too naive and young to grasp the extent of how money, politics and policy intersect, the argument goes. It was cemented in the right’s criticism of Hogg’s insistence that clear backpacks would infringe on civil rights.
The online effort to defuse Hogg has paid off. The first “top news” video that appears in a YouTube search for “David Hogg” is a takedown from conservative outlet the Blaze. “It’s hard to not just go after this kid,” host Pat Gray said in the video published Saturday, describing Hogg.
Horton links to a piece at The Blaze where the author, Chris Enloe, merely talks about Hogg’s lack of awareness when he’s saying wearing see-through backpacks are a violation of constitutional rights when he’s actively looking to restrict the constitutional rights of others. Nowhere does Enloe focus on Hogg’s age — he doesn’t mention it — nor is it said in the tweets about Hogg’s objection to see-through backpacks.
Horton claims the effort to “defuse” Hogg comes about in a Blaze video. Notice that Horton doesn’t describe the video. He only aims host Pat Gray saying, “It’s hard to not just go after this kid.” Gray only says that after watching Hogg spout a bunch of nonsense and punctuating it with profanity:
Gray mentions Hogg’s age, not as a means of dismissing what he says, but to point how disrespectful Hogg is towards his parents and elders as well as revealing Hogg’s ignorance of the law. Yes, Gray makes mention of the hubris of the young, but that’s pretty much universal. Gray does not say, “Hogg is wrong because he’s only 17.”
Why is this beyond the pale? I can’t imagine Gray wouldn’t say the same thing if Hogg were 25 as opposed to 17.
It’s one thing to write about people using a doctored video to say something about Emma Gonzalez. It is quite another to falsely accuse The Blaze of focusing on their ages as a means of refuting what they say.