Chris White on January 21, 2019
Twitter said Monday that former CNN contributor Reza Aslan did not violate the platform’s policies when he posted a tweet Saturday suggesting one of the boys involved in a dust-up during the March for Life rally had a “punchable face.”
“We have investigated the reported content and could not identify any violations of the Twitter Rules or applicable law,” Twitter wrote in a letter Aslan included in a tweet. “Accordingly,” the letter adds, “we have not taken any action at this time.”
— Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) January 21, 2019
Aslan, who until 2017 worked as a host at CNN, was responding to a New York Times article titled “Boys in ‘Make America Great Again’ Hats Mob Native American Elder at Indigenous People’s March,” which reported several boys wearing MAGA hats were harassing an American Indian shortly after Friday’s March for Life rally.
Aslan was fired from CNN after he called President Donald Trump a “piece of sh*t” in a tweet in 2017.
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Recent reports appear to raise doubts about TheNYT’s depiction of events. The boys were identified as students from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky. A full video of the interaction suggests the boys were unwitting participants in a large demonstration and counter-demonstration between Black Israelites and American Indian protesters. One of the groups hurled insults at the boys while they were waiting for a bus back to Kentucky.
Aslan was one of many commentators and journalists who shamed the boys as “MAGA brats” who are “being radicalized by Trump in front of our very eyes.” TheNYT’s Maggie Habberman tweeted out her disproval of what she believed was the boys’ bad behavior.
“There are dozens of students laughing and egging on the behavior. Will be interesting to see if anyone is actually expelled, as officials suggest is possible,” she wrote in a tweet Saturday. Other commentators removed similar tweets after getting a fuller understanding of what transpired.
National Review pulled the article on Sunday that relied on an incomplete video of the incident and published an explanation by editor Rich Lowry.
“Anyway, if not a hoax, this at the very least was not what it initially seemed,” Lowry wrote. “I deleted my original tweet and we also took down a strongly worded post by my colleague Nick Frankovich that relied on the incomplete video.”
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