Actress Patricia Heaton went on a scathing Twitter tirade on Monday, blasting journalists and media personalities for their baseless attacks on Covington Catholic High School students.
Controversy erupted after media reports claimed the students, many of whom were wearing MAGA hats, were caught on video harassing a Native American protester. When a longer video emerged, it became clear that the boys were themselves harassed by the extremist group known as the Black Hebrew Israelites. The Native American was also seen putting himself in the center of the students, contrary to the narrative that the boys swarmed him.
“I'm seeing what I believe to be sincere apologies from some journalists and verified media persons regarding their lack of professionalism in rushing to judgement re the #CovingtonCatholic situation,” Heaton began.
She added: “ “These apologies are welcome and necessary, but they don't address the damage that cannot be undone which was inflicted upon young people who are about to embark on adulthood - applying to colleges, looking for employment, etc.”
Heaton explained that the media’s attacks on the kids will follow them into their professional careers.
“These young people will forever have these smears follow them through their life every time they proffer their resume with the word ‘Covington’ on it,” she tweeted. “It will also affect anyone who ever has or ever will attend that school. The damage is incalculable.”
While the controversy will surely have a negative impact on the Covington students, the journalists who spread the fake news about them will likely go unpunished.
“And yet those who perpetrated this destruction, no matter how unintended, are still at their jobs, with nary a consequence for their reckless behavior,” the actress added.
That's why apologies just aren’t good enough this time, according to Heaton.
“It seems to me that an apology without some kind of accompanying action which speaks to the seriousness of their transgression - a suspension from work, some loss of pay - renders any apology empty,” she tweeted.
She continued: “Some kind of compensatory action would go a long way in signaling their recognition of the seriousness of their transgression and help to restore what's left of the public's very fragile trust in their reputations as trustworthy journalists.”
However, Heaton does not think that will ever happen.