While the airwaves and internet have been flooded with discussion of the interaction in D.C. between Covington Catholic High School students and an activist who is Native American, there has been very little focus on what I consider a critical fact.

The activist approached and waded into the crowd of students accompanied by numerous supporters carrying video cameras.

Why does that matter? I explained in my post, Leftist Activism 101: Get in someone’s face and then play victim for the cameras:

The recent interaction in DC between high school students (one in particular) and an older activist who is Native American reminded me of a warning I once received from a colleague as to how I needed to prepare myself if I ever was in a hostile crowd or confronted.

A classic leftist/occupy activist tactic, I was warned, was to confront a target and immediately start screaming that the target was being aggressive even though that was not true.

Unsuspecting people in the vicinity would not start recording the incident until there was this commotion. The videographers accompanying the provocateur also would edit the video to start when the provocateur started screaming. The target, not knowing what was about to happen, would not be prepared for it, and might even take the bait, such as in pushing the person away physically.

Regardless of what the target did or didn’t do, you would have video of the innocent target being portrayed as the aggressor, and the provocateur portrayed as the victim….

The DC incident seemed to fit this classic tactic.

The activist approached the students, who were waiting for a bus, the students did not approach the activist. The activist, accompanied by his own videographers, kept walking into the crowd of students until he ended up in front of that now-famous student. Why bring videographers with you unless you are expecting something to happen?

Yet the still photos and tightly clipped videos that spread like wildfire made it seem as if the students had approached and confronted the activist. That was the narrative spun by the activist.

The D.C. confrontation had all the hallmarks of a set up. A deliberate provocation for the cameras. It’s certainly common for there to be passersby and people in a crowd who pull out their cell phones to record, but the activist here showed up ready to film the encounter he created.

A video posted by WaPo shows pretty well the numerous video cameras held by supporters of the activist filming the confrontation from numerous angles. (See also featured image.)


I discussed my post and this tactic on The Larry O’Connor radio show yesterday. In addition to reciting how this tactic was used against me and also pro-Israel students at Cornell, I concluded with the lesson we need to learn:

“The lesson that anybody on the right needs to learn, is that you need to have your own video cameras running. Because if I didn’t have my video camera running in that vestibule of that building when this woman came running up to me accusing me of essentially assaulting her, it would have been my word against hers and it would have been their video not mine, and I think that’s the lesson. And of course, in this incident in D.C. recently, when more complete video came out, the whole narrative fell apart. This is a tactic that gets used, and people need to be aware of it.”

* * *

“… it’s a very common tactic, and like I said, it’s one I was specifically warned about, that they will come up to you. They will start screaming that you’ve attacked them, and that’s essentially what happened in D.C. The activist waded into the crowd, went right up to a student who was doing nothing but standing still, beat the drum near his face, and that student was very smart, he had a lot more composure than most people would have had. If he had swatted that away, who knows what would have happened.”

(if player doesn’t load, listen here)


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