NBC’s Savannah Guthrie Rebuked For Interview With Covington Student

NBC’s Savannah Guthrie Rebuked For Interview With Covington Student
Journalist Savannah Guthrie attends NBC's 'Today' at Rockefeller Plaza in New York, on April 9, 2014. (Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)
Miguel Moreno
Television Co-Anchor Savannah Guthrie has copped sharp criticism after interviewing Nick Sandmann, 16, on the TODAY show on Jan. 23.
The Covington Catholic school student openly answered questions for the first time since other mainstream media circulated a sensationalized protest video, which was recorded at the Lincoln Memorial during a March for Life rally in Washington D.C., on Jan. 18.

In the comment section, many Twitter users left harsh and bitter remarks about Guthrie’s leading questions, and the decision to interview Sandmann. Some supported the young man’s decision to stand still and patiently listen to Native American activist Nathan Philips, 64, while others accused Sandmann of disrespecting Philips by smiling as Philips beat a drum in his face.

For the past few days various media outlets have targeted Sandmann, claiming that he mocked Philips. In the interview, Sandmann claimed he received death threats simply for exercising his first amendment right to freedom of assembly.

Conservatives Mad at Leading Question

Two of Guthrie’s questions in the video include, “Do you feel from this experience that you owe anybody an apology? Do you see your own fault, in any way?” with the last one being a leading question.

Sandmann answered: “My position is said, I was not disrespectful to Mr. Philips; I respect him, I'd like to talk to him. I mean, in hindsight, I wish we could’ve walked away and avoided the whole thing but I can’t say that I’m sorry for listening to him and standing there.”

Phillips claimed in an earlier interview the Covington Catholic students were yelling, “Build that wall.” Guthrie asked Sandmann if any of his classmates said this and he answered, “We’re a Catholic school. It’s not tolerated, they don’t tolerate racism, and none of my friends are racist people.”

NBC said they reviewed the video, and found no evidence to support the students said anything about building a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border. Philips also raised eyebrows by claiming he is a Vietnam War veteran but this was later reported to be a false statement.
On the contrary, the group of Black Hebrew Israelites—a “radical black supremacist wing of the Hebrew Israelite movement,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center—harassed the group of students, calling them “incest babies” and other derogatory terms.

Trump Shows Solidarity

The incident has caught the attention of the president, who said in a Twitter post dated January 21 Nick Sandmann and the group of Covington Catholic students were treated unfairly, and smeared by the media.

Trump is hopeful media coverage of the Covington students will eventually result in positive change, even though the beginning has been unpleasant.

Guther finally asked Sandmann about his stare-down with Phillip, to which he replied Philips had every right to come up to him, and he also had the right to stay there. Sandmann invited the opportunity to speak with Phillips but, in a TMZ video, Phillips said he preferred not to have a one-on-one conversation with Sandmann unless the Vatican hosts the meeting.

Miguel Moreno has worked for years as an NTD reporter, and now mainly works as a producer. Moreno has produced and co-produced multiple programs, including NTD Evening News, The Presidential Roller Coaster: 2024, and Mysteries of Life. Besides being a show producer, Moreno has produced for films, the latest one being "The Unseen Crisis," a documentary on vaccine injuries.
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