View the tense situation through multiple lenses and perspectives, as Christian students, Black Hebrew Israelites and Native Americans get entangled on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Savannah Guthrie’s “Today” show interview with Nicholas Sandmann, the Kentucky high school student featured in a controversial video, did not go over well with viewers.
They knocked her and the program for giving the teen a platform and conducting a “softball interview.”
The Covington Catholic High School student showed his support for President Donald Trump wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat next to Native American elder Nathan Phillips in Washington D.C.
A viral 3-minute, 44-second clip showed the teenagers – several donning MAGA caps – surrounding Phillips. The clip drew widespread condemnation and prompted the school and the Diocese of Covington to issue an apology. However, after the longer version of the incident surfaced, the rush to judge the teenagers, who were in the nation’s capital for the anti-abortion March for Life, is coming under attack. The fuller video would seem to assign more blame for the encounter on a group of four or five Black Hebrew Israelites.
Twitter users were outraged as NBC’s morning show tweeted clips of Guthrie’s interview Wednesday.
“@SavannahGuthrie and @TODAYshow I have been a loyal viewer for the past 2 decades,” shared a user. “I remember watching your coverage of the twin towers on that fateful day in September. But no more. Not after the sham that was this interview.”
“Savannah Guthrie owes America an apology,” another declared.
“Savanah (sic), I think this is your ‘Jimmy Fallon ruffles Donald trumps’s hair’ moment,” someone posted. “I can’t ever feel the same about you, and don’t want to support you or your show anymore.”
“This is not journalism, it’s normalization of something that should not be.” tweeted another.
“Probably should have let Craig taken this interview,” one user suggested, referring to “Today” anchor Craig Melvin, a person of color.
Bringing up another person of color, a user wondered: “Why didn’t @MorganRadford have the opportunity?”
Criticism for Guthrie began before the interview aired, in response to a promo for the segment shared Tuesday.
Filmmaker and “Teen Mom” executive producer Morgan J. Freeman tweeted directly to the anchor.
“Hey @SavannahGuthrie — check out the book WHITE FRAGILITY by Robin DiAngelo,” Freeman wrote. “You are complicit in white washing systemic racism represented by #MAGA caps, and the white boys of privilege who sport them. You’re too concerned with how painful it is for Nick to be called a racist.”
“White supremacy in journalism is hearing about the Indigenous Peoples March and choosing to interview the racist white kids rather than their target, Omaha elder Nathan Phillips,” expressed another.
“This is appalling. @TODAYshow, @SavannahGuthrie, and all involved need to be ashamed,” “The Hate U Give” author Angie Thomas wrote. “I’m still waiting for the day kids of color are given this much sympathy. DO BETTER.”
“White women will always do the most to protect and humanize the white supremacist patriarchy,” “Wear Your Voice” editor Lara Witt tweeted.
For those wondering when Phillips would speak out, Guthrie told “Today” viewers, she predicted she would hear from him very soon.
“We’ve interviewed Mr. Phillips a few times, but we invited him again now in light of this conversation,” she said. “I think we’re going to hear from him tomorrow on ‘Today.’ “
Contributing: Jorge L. Ortiz and Maeve McDermott
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