As time passed and as the full footage of the Covington confrontation was released to the public, we soon realized that narrative being presented on every single news channel and podcast had every element of the story wrong…except that Sandmann wore a MAGA hat. Phillips wasn’t even a Viet Nam veteran, as reported. In his defense, the media said he was a Viet Nam veteran, and Phillips never corrected them.
As an investigative documentary, Rush To Judgment does what documentaries should do, and that’s present the facts. Admittedly, the film’s thesis was to clearly call out the media’s “rush to judgment” and questions the state of journalistic integrity regarding the truth…whether it fits your desired narrative or not. Filmmakers layout the entire story with copious amounts of news footage piecing together the whole narrative along with interviews with the key players, including Nicholas Sandmann and a few political pundits—mostly on the right—offering commentary.
“…effectively presents the details of the fateful event…”
In the end, the film not only effectively presents the details of the fateful event and tracks how the story spun out of control in the public eye. It also serves as an indictment of how divided we are as a nation. Highly charged political stories like this burn like wildfire—all from knee-jerk reactions and the media landscape chomps at the bit for salacious stories to tell, just for ratings, clicks, and views.
Whatever side of the aisle you find yourself on, Rush to Judgment is a remarkable and important documentary and presents a case study about the broken state of journalism and the volatile state of the national debate (Newsflash, no one debates anymore). One of the tenets from my old college critical thinking classes urged me to “rigorously question ideas and assumptions rather than accepting them at face value.”
If you’re going to ruin a child’s life, make sure you have the facts before you do. In the end, what’s the cost of destroying a person’s reputation simply because we don’t agree with them? So far, $500 million. Now, everyone’s gonna want a MAGA hat.
Rush To Judgment was scheduled to premiere at the 2020 Anthem Film Festival—a Libertarian event.
"…he's on track to receive $2 billion when it's all said and done."