This is akin to one of those situations – maybe it happened to you in school or in another setting – where you’ve been mistreated through absolutely no fault of your own. But someone in a position of authority is determined, for whatever reason, to cling to the idea that “there’s plenty of fault to go around.”
So they sit there and grill you:
Don’t you see how that look on your face could be interpreted?
Don’t you think standing there like that seems aggressive?
Why didn’t you just walk away? Why did you wear that hat?
The kid did absolutely nothing wrong, and yet Guthrie keeps coming at him with her condescending glare and admonishing tone, trying again and again to get across to him that surely he contributed to the problem.
And Nick Sandmann, all of 16, comes off as the adult here, conceding absolutely nothing while expressing respect and concern for everyone involved.
Savannah Guthrie is garbage:
“In hindsight, I wish we could’ve walked away and avoided the whole thing.”
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) January 23, 2019
I guess she’s motivated by a couple of things here. One is the desperate desire to vindicate the media’s initial narrative. The media are taking quite a beating over this, and Guthrie would be a hero if she could somehow get Sandmann to cop to having been partly at fault.
She failed, but she tried really hard.
Another motivation would be the need to re-assert that yet, this white Christian male who attends a private school and wears a MAGA hat simply has to be a racist jerk. He has to be. Every popular notion of identity politics gets blown up if Nathan Phillips is really the instigator here, and worse, is lying about what happened.
By the way, if NBC has already interviewed Phillips twice, why do they have to have him back a third time to respond to Sandmann? Unless they’re prepared to really challenge him on his claims that he heard “build the wall” or on his claims about his military service, I think we’ve heard plenty from Nathan Phillips at this point.
As for Sandmann, a lot of liberals jumped all over his case for getting help from a PR firm in writing his initial statement. I found that astonishing. The entire Internet attacks a 16-year-old kid, but he’s not allowed to have any help in speaking up for himself?
But there was no PR rep sitting next to Sandmann during this interview. They might have helped to prepare him – in fact, I’m sure they did – but he still had to handle the interview one-on-one with the sneering, accusatory Savannah Guthrie.
He aced it.
I have no idea if Nick Sandmann is interested in politics at all. For his sake I sort of hope he’s not. But the country could use more young people with his integrity and sense of calm entering the arena.
The country could also use fewer jerks like Savannah Guthrie conducting interrogations like this disguised as interviews.
By the way, don’t tell me for a minute she didn’t know everything Matt Lauer was doing. Nick Sandmann deserves better than to have to sit across from the likes of her.