After its narrative of white, “MAGA”-hatted, Catholic schoolboys harassing a Native American elder collapsed, some newsrooms are scrambling to find justification for their reporting.

The New York Daily News, for example, has dug up a video it claims is evidence of students at Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky wearing blackface and shouting at a black basketball player, noted Becket Adams in an opinion piece in the Washington Examiner.

But the New York Post points out that the students were taking part in a “blackout” event in which fans wear one color. Nearly all of the students shown in the 2011 video are wearing black clothing of some kind.

As WND reported Monday, students from the Kentucky high school were waiting for their buses Friday afternoon after participating in the March for Life pro-life event when they were confronted by members of a group called the Black Hebrew Israelites and a number of Native Americans, led by Nathan Phillips. Media, based on a short viral video and Phillips’ claims, reported the students surrounded the activist and chanted racial insults. But longer videos emerged that showed Phillips was the initiator and the African Americans were shouting racial epithets at the students.

Covington Catholic school officials canceled classes Tuesday, the first school day after the incident, citing student safety, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

Adams commented that the Daily News “is looking for something after the fact to justify its earlier rush to paint the Covington teens as monsters.”

Rather than admit error, he wrote, “some are making the not-so-subtle attempt to prove that Covington is a bad school, and that therefore the MAGA hat-wearing teens from this weekend are also bad people, and so therefore it’s OK to gang up on and bully them.”

Meanwhile, Los Angeles-based trial lawyer Robert Barnes has offered to represent the Covington families for free should they decide to sue the New York Times for its reporting, according to PJ Media.

Barnes told PJ Media that “anyone who doesn’t correct and retract” their false smears would be subject to a lawsuit. He said updated stories showing “a more complex picture has emerged” would not necessarily be enough.

Adams cited comedian Jeremy McLellan’s tweet contending some who spoke too soon about the incident “have now reached the ‘Bargaining’ phase of the ‘5 Stages of Grief That You Shared An Internet Hoax,’ which is when you pivot to smaller allegations in an attempt to justify the original mob.”

“The smartest ones drop truth altogether and pivot to ‘the larger context,” McLellan wrote.

Psychologically, he said, pivoting to smaller allegations “makes you feel better about having unjustly attacked someone. ‘Well if he was bad anyway, or he did something else that was bad, or was simply from a bad group, what’s the harm?’ Most people think this way. It feels good. Meanwhile our souls rot.”

‘A weapon used for Satanic purposes’

The man known at “The Bishop of the Internet” condemned the nationwide response to the incident on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, calling it “Satanic.”

Bishop Robert Barron, the Catholic auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles, wrote that the internet “can be a marvelous tool, and it can be a weapon used for Satanic purposes.”

“Applying the test of love can very effectively undermine the scapegoating mechanism and drive the devil out,” he said.

President Trump tweeted Monday night that the Covington students have become “symbols of Fake News” and media bias against him and his supporters.

“Nick Sandmann and the students of Covington have become symbols of Fake News and how evil it can be,” the president wrote, referring to the student confronted by Phillips in the initial viral video. “They have captivated the attention of the world, and I know they will use it for the good – maybe even to bring people together. It started off unpleasant, but can end in a dream!”

That “dream” apparently will include a visit with President Trump at the White House as early as Wednesday, according to Fox News host Laura Ingraham.

Bloomberg disputed Ingraham’s report, however, saying the teens have not officially received an invitation.

A mother of one of the students who was smeared on social media told the Gateway Pundit that she has not heard anything about a White House invitation.

On Tuesday, Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin said he had “hoped to avoid weighing in on the ongoing drama” but many have asked for his thoughts.

“Frankly, I am saddened by the whole thing,” he wrote on Twitter.

“It was amazing how quick those who preach tolerance and non-judgment of others were to judge and label some high school students based on partial information.”

The governor said there are “none more intolerant than liberals who don’t like your options, values, faith beliefs, political stance, etc.”

Facts, truth and context matter, he said.

“A little more genuine caring for one another and a little less digital vitriol would be good for all,” wrote Bevin.

Actor James Wood tweeted: “To libel or slander an innocent child and/or his family, and especially promote violence against them, is a serious cause of action. These heinously irresponsible media outlets have deep pockets.”

He then recommended an attorney.

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