I wish to respond to the Independent’s reporting of the TPUSA event at Campbell Hall on March 1. Mine is not a defense of Charlie Kirk. Instead, I’d like to discuss the Independent’s encroachment of editorial writing into straight news reporting. The trend has been ongoing for about a decade, escalating to the point where most citizens no longer trust American journalism.
I will focus on one assertion presented in the article: the claim that Charlie Kirk is anti-Semitic. The reporter does so twice and with no evidence to support the charge.
I watched the event livestreamed at home. I didn’t recall Charlie Kirk, Turning Point’s founder, saying anything anti-Semitic. I’ve since watched the YouTube video a second time, scrutinizing for something, anything, to support the reporter’s accusation.
Nothing. There is, however, an exchange during the Q&A. A student refers to recent anti-Israeli writings on campus and off, including the Hamas-attributed rallying cry: “From the river to the sea.” The university had asked students to report the person responsible.
In his response, Charlie Kirk affirms his support of Israel and also of “the Jews.” He was emphatic, that he stands with the Jewish people. He then completes the Hamas chant, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”: explaining the quotation as the terrorists’ call for the eradication of the Jewish state and its people.
It was the student who raised the issue of anti-Semitism with her defense of the chant as innocuous and protected under the First Amendment: not Charlie Kirk, as reported here. That’s where the masking of the editorial over straight news becomes dangerous.
Sadly, news outlets no longer trust their audience to reflect on issues of concern to us all, including the reporting of a high-profile, controversial figure like Turning Point’s Kirk.