How could a leftist Twitter troll not salivate over a New York Daily News story headlined, “Tourists assault NYC restaurant hostess after she asked for proof of vaccination.”
The opening of the story promised even more ammunition: “A trio of Texas women beat up a hostess at an Upper West Side restaurant after she asked for their COVID-19 vaccination cards, police said Friday.”
This Sept.17 story seemed to have all the elements of a woke morality play. Texas anti-vaxxers, surely MAGA, gang up on innocent New York City hostess just trying to protect the public from the killer virus.
So important was the story the Daily News assigned four reporters to cover it. “The enraged tourists pounded the 24-year-old restaurant hostess like a piece of veal,” they wrote, “and ripped off her necklace, cops said.”
Not until the fifth paragraph would the savvy troll have sensed the story was not going in the direction he/she/zhe hoped it would.
That paragraph read: “The tourists – Kaeita Nkeenge Rankin, 44, and Tyonnie Keshay Rankin, 21, both from Humble, along with Sally Rechelle Lewis, 49, of Houston – were given desk appearance tickets for assault, and released.”
Those weren’t exactly MAGA names, but one gets to be a leftist troll by ignoring the obvious. The Daily News photos helped preserve their cluelessness by showing only the black hostesses at Carmine’s, the restaurant under attack. There was no mention of race in this or in almost any initial media account.
On the morning of Sept. 18, #AsATexan was trending on Twitter. It gave Texas Dems a platform to distance themselves from their redneck MAGA neighbors. Many took advantage. One with the moniker “Damned Proud Democrat” was typical.
“Please accept our apologies,” the proud Democrat tweeted, “for the actions of few fringe lunatics just happened to be inbred here in Texas where their type seems to be indigenous. They are ‘Abbott Texans’, and there no lower form of a Texan than an Abbott Texan!”
In its initial reporting the New York Times seemed to agree. Its Sept. 17 story was headlined, “Tourists Attack N.Y.C. Restaurant Hostess Over Vaccine Proof, Police Say.”
Although the article has since been “updated,” its unamended core showed no sympathy for the attackers. “The tourists began to punch the hostess, who is 24, leaving her bruised and scratched and breaking her necklace. She was evaluated at a hospital and is now resting at home,” the restaurant CEO told the trio of reporters covering the story.
“It’s obviously upsetting,” he added. “She knows that she didn’t do anything wrong.”
Had these women been “Abbot Texans” – Abbot being the Republican governor – the Times would have become increasingly merciless in its criticism of the women and sanctimonious in its defense of vaccine mandates.
But being the paper of record, the Times could not afford to ignore the obvious, not at least once the women started lawyering up.
On Sept. 18, the Times did a 180. “Footage Reveals New Details in Tourist Melee at N.Y.C. Restaurant,” read the headline, and the subhead spelled out the detail: “Three Black women from Texas were arrested, but a lawyer for one called it ‘mutual combat’ after they were called a racial slur.”
Reporter Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura was forced to recast the morality play. The Texans were no longer the villains. They were very possibly the victims, not only of the racist hostess but also of the systemically racist vaccine mandates.
“The hostess begins spouting out derogatory comments, and speaking with two of the women; they claim that the N-word is being spewed out,” the women’s lawyer told Freytas-Tamura. True to Times form, she refused to challenge this, the hoariest gambit in the victimology playbook.
In this retelling of the story, the restaurant people were thrown on the defensive. “The restaurant denied the allegations that racism played a role in the conflict,” reported Freytas-Tamura.
More confusing for the Times was the injection of Black Lives Matter into the mix. “Restaurants are using vaccine mandates to enforce their racist beliefs and excluding Black patrons,” a BLM spokesman insisted.
By Sept. 21, the worm had fully turned. The word “attack” had morphed into “fight.” Black Lives Matter activists were skulking outside the restaurant and making life miserable for its owners.
Local New York TV news was giving full voice to the Texas women’s attorney who insisted, “It is unfortunate that Carmine’s and their hostess were able to lie to the police to avoid being held accountable for this hostess’s racism. She physically and verbally provoked confrontation, and then played the victim to criminalize these three Black women.”
Meanwhile, the Twitter trolls were climbing into their holes wondering which lie they were supposed to believe today.
Jack Cashill’s latest book, “Barack Obama’s Promised Land: Deplorables Need Not Apply,” is now widely available. See www.cashill.com for more information.
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