Covington Catholic High School’s increasing notoriety has only pushed it further into the mud.
As students tag-teamed their way through the morning shows Wednesday, one student found himself defending blackface as “showing school spirit” on Fox & Friends.
Co-host Steve Doocy asked the Kentucky private-school senior Sam Schroder: “Five years ago, there was a pep rally where one of the members of the school body appeared to have blackface on. People have even asked you to explain that. How do you explain that?”
Schroder, wearing a white button-down shirt and a blue striped tie, said: “I just explain it as showing school spirit. We have many themes. Like nerd, business, whiteout, blueout, blackout—as you’ve seen in the video. Ever since I’ve gone to CovCath, we haven’t been able to wear black paint because of the video, but I know the kids meant nothing by it, it’s just showing school spirit.”
A video of the “school spirit” surfaced Monday after Covington Catholic students came under fire when junior Nicholas Sandmann appeared in a now-viral stand-off with a Native American leader in Washington, D.C. last weekend. At least one other video from the event showed students doing the “tomahawk chop,” a gesture used by fans of the Atlanta Braves and Florida State, which has long drawn outrage from Native Americans.
Robert Barnes, a lawyer for the school, also appeared on Fox & Friends on Wednesday, and threatened lawsuits against those in the media who decried Sandmann’s actions in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
“What defendants are you most disappointed in that have not retracted or not apologized?” co-host Ainsley Earhardt asked him.
Barnes replied: “People like Maggie ‘Haberstam’ at The New York Times. She’s a news reporter, she’s the leading reporter for what is perceived as the leading newspaper in the country. She falsely made statements about these kids. She basically invited their expulsion from school and the ruining of their reputations, and she did so based on inadequate review of the information and a failure to look at the evidence—despite knowing from her own newspaper how false those original statements are, she has yet to retract, yet to correct, yet to apologize, and she’ll be one of the people sued if she doesn’t do it in the next 48 hours.”
Barnes appeared to be referencing a Jan. 19 tweet from White House correspondent Maggie Haberman, in which she shared a Times article. Haberman wrote: “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.”