The National Media Bungled the "MAGA Hat Kids" Story, But One Media Outlet Is Doubling Down

MAGA hat by R. Nial Bradshaw, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Original

Make America Great Again hat

MAGA hat by R. Nial Bradshaw, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Original

Although it has been well-documented that the “MAGA hat kids bully peaceful Native American protester” narrative pushed by the mainstream media over the weekend was wildly off the mark, it appears that one national media outlet didn’t get the memo.


The New York Daily News published what could have been an explosive story yesterday about a 2015 Covington Catholic High School basketball game that appeared to show “students in blackface.”

From the story:

This won’t help Kentucky student Nick Sandmann’s case.

A photo said to be featuring Covington Catholic High School students clad in blackface during a 2015 basketball game made the rounds on Twitter Monday morning amid last week’s Indigenous Peoples March controversy.

The photo depicts several white students, some in blackface, shouting at an opposing black player.

While the photo’s origins couldn’t be verified, the official Covington Catholic High School YouTube account published a video last January boasting its basketball school spirit, and several clips, including one from 2012, showcase attendees chanting in black face, a mockery of the opposing players. The school took down the video later on Monday.

There’s only one problem here. The “blackface” isn’t blackface at all.

Ryan Toler, a Covington Catholic High School alum, responded to the report in a couple of now-viral tweets:


A quick Google and Twitter search shows that blackout themes are common in sports, especially basketball:

Even if news outlets like the Daily News are too busy to fish around on social media for other examples of “blackout” themes, they should have at least taken a moment to research what’s been written about this topic at other nationally known news empires like the New York Times. From a 2008 piece:

For sports fans, black is the new white.

In the past few weeks, several teams have promoted “blackouts,” urging fans to dress a bit like Johnny Cash in an attempt to create an intimidating atmosphere, build camaraderie and, basically, look cool for television viewers.


The blackout slowly made its way outdoors. Whiteouts — or yellow-outs, or red-outs — are not always practical for sports played outdoors in cold weather, like football or baseball in the fall, since most fans do not wear jackets in those colors. But black never goes out of style.

Colorado (against West Virginia), Vanderbilt (against South Carolina) and Purdue (against Penn State on Saturday) are among other high-profile programs that have promoted blackouts this year.


The Daily News article is shown as being written by the “Daily News Sports Staff”, so while there is no one individual author who readers could contact via social media or email to update the story, it appears that Tweets to their official Twitter account to request they clarify their reporting have gone unanswered.

Perhaps Kyle Wagner, who runs the sports page at the NYDN, will be more receptive to requests for a correction.  He can be reached here.

— Connect with Sister Toldjah on Twitter.–



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