On Wednesday, during a segment on the Covington Catholic High School controversy, hosts of Fox News’ The Five posited that judging people wearing Make America Great Again hats was just like judging a rape victim for what they were wearing when they were attacked.
The comparison came during a discussion about the teenage boys from Covington high school surrounding a Native American elder named Nathan Phillips at the Indigenous Peoples March over the weekend. Videos of the incident show the group mocking Phillips. Their behavior was widely condemned when the footage first went viral, though conservatives are now rallying around the boys, claiming the jeering mob had been misunderstood and misrepresented in the media.
One student in particular, later identified as Nick Sandmann, stood directly in front of Phillips, smirking and wearing a MAGA hat. As the story continued to go viral, Sandmann became the face of the story, and was eventually interviewed by Savannah Guthrie on the Today show, where Sandmann claimed total innocence, and talked about how hard the experience has been for him.
The Fox Five hosts, predictably, echoed this logic, arguing that Sandmann was targeted by “liberal media” because he was wearing a MAGA hat. “What kills me, Jed, is the idea that if you’re wearing something you had it coming,” said host Greg Gutfeld. “We’ve learned that that’s not what you say to people.”
His co-hosts all nodded in agreement. “Yeah, the nerve to say that to a kid too,” added another host. “Imagine if you said that to a woman. That’s that line: ‘Oh you’re wearing a skirt like that, now you deserve it.’ I mean, it’s crazy.”
The Fox News hosts aren’t the first to use a bad-faith argument when discussing the group of teenage boys’ behavior. Even the Today show segment offered Sandmann a platform to explain away his actions. “As far as standing there, I had every right to do so,” Sandmann told Guthrie. “My position is that I was not disrespectful to Mr. Phillips, I respect him.”