During the recent Washington March for Life, the mainstream media broadcast a video snippet of a smiling white teenager wearing a MAGA hat standing almost nose to nose with a much older Native American man who was chanting and beating on a drum. CNN and other media outlets reported that the MAGA hat wearer and his white male friends were pro-life marchers from Kentucky’s Covington Catholic High School who had surrounded the old man in a threatening manner and that he had bravely stood his ground.

Interviewed on CNN, the Native American man, Nathaniel Phillips, claimed that the smiling student had blocked his path “and wouldn’t move.” He added that, if he had touched the youth, “that would have been the thing that the group of people would have needed to spring on me.” He said that he feared for these youths and “for what they are going to do to this country.”

Without asking the smiling young man or his friends for their side of the story, CNN aired its report and the media pig pile was underway. For the mainstream media, it was a perfect story. The kid was a Catholic wearing a MAGA hat! He and his white male friends, while opposing a woman’s right to choose, had threatened a Native American who was, as luck would have it, a Vietnam vet!

As the mainstream media spread the story, celebrities, politicians, and others hastened to publicly condemn the students. Howard Dean, former leader of the Democratic Party, denounced Covington Catholic as “a hate factory.” Author and television host Reza Aslan tweeted that the smiling young man in the MAGA hat had a “punchable face.” And Saturday Night Live writer Sarah Beattie tweeted that she would perform fellatio on “whoever manages to punch that maga kid in the face.”

Referring to the Covington students, journalist Nathaniel Friedman tweeted “Doxx “em all,” which means to dig up and publish their names, addresses, telephone numbers, and other personal information. So-called activists began searching local tax records and other online sources to “doxx” the Covington Catholic students and their families. Anonymous threats of violence have been made, which led the school to cancel classes until security measures could be arranged.

The tsunami of anger, condemnation, and threats had reached its high-water mark when the facts started to emerge in the form of a two-hour video that undercut almost all of the media’s narrative. Unlike the snippet initially shown by the media, the full video proves that the Covington Catholic students never surrounded or confronted Phillips and that the smiling kid didn’t block his path. Instead, Phillips had walked up to the kid in the MAGA hat, got in his face, and began chanting and banging on a drum.

As if that weren’t bad enough, it came out that Vietnam vet Phillips, a self-described “recon ranger,” was never deployed abroad. Instead, he mostly repaired refrigerators for the Marine Corps stateside.

And then, as reported almost solely by the Catholic News Agency, the night after the March for Life, Phillips and a group of chanting, drum-banging protesters tried to enter Washington’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception during evening Mass. When barred by security guards, the protesters began banging on the doors.

Standing on the basilica steps, Phillips then read a statement denouncing the Covington Catholic students and demanding that the Catholic Church hold itself responsible for a “hundred-plus years of genocide” and that it pay “reparations of land and restorations to the indigenous peoples in the U.S. and across the world.”

If the mainstream media and their elitist pals had expended even a modicum of effort to get to the truth before attacking the Covington Catholic pro-life marchers, it would quickly have become apparent that Phillips, their purported victim, had a deep, abiding issue with the Catholic Church and that his version of events was materially contradicted by the full video record. But hey, why let the facts get in the way of some good, old-fashioned Catholic-bashing?

Now the same people who publicly trashed the Covington Catholic kids, urged their doxxing, or worse are scrambling to delete their online comments and scrub the public record. But what are we to conclude from the reckless bordering on mindless reporting by the mainstream media and the angry left’s rabid response? It’s quite simple.

Anti-Catholic bigotry — including Democratic senators attacking legal professionals for their Catholic beliefs, and the media showing consistent hostility toward pro-life viewpoints — remains a bedrock guiding principle of the left and its mainstream media adjunct. And that’s why a bunch of Catholic kids were smeared and, along with their families, were threatened with serious bodily injury.

That’ll teach them to go to Washington to march for life.

George Parry is a former federal and state prosecutor who practices law in Philadelphia. He is a regular contributor to the American Spectator and blogs at knowledgeisgood.net. kignet1@gmail.com