Topic: Media Research Center
In a June 20 post, Nicholas Fondacaro asserted that NBC's Chuck Todd "tried to lie to viewers by claiming that parental opposition and outrage to Critical Race Theory was 'manufactured at Fox [News].'" He claimed that Republican activist Brad Todd disproved the idea simply by saying (without offering proof) that the controversy was "a parent-led backlash at the grassroots level."
Fondacaro won't tell you because he's not being paid to tell the truth, but Todd is correct: In the three and a half months before Fondacaro's item was published, Fox News referenced critical race theory more than 1,200 times. That right-wing monomania extends the the MRC itself: According to a ConWebWatch search of the NewsBusters archive, critical race theory was referenced in a whopping 132 posts between April 1 and Aug. 31. Fondacaro went to highlight a reporter noting a controvesy over CRT in schools in Loudon County, Virginia -- where the MRC later sent its followers to inflame emotions at a school board meeting a couple days later. Fondacaro claimed the reporter's account of "dozens and dozens and dozens of parents" attending a school board meeting there as further evidencethat Tood was lying, though no apparently no proof was offered that those protesters actually had children in that school district.
Despite all that, the MRC continued to feel the need to melt down every time it was (accurately) pointed out that Republicans are ginning up anti-CRT outrage. On July 7, Tim Graham complained that Politico reported that "Republicans are hoping to turn that discord [over CRT] into political capital," offering whataboutism in response: "This carries the usual Democrat spin: it somehow leaves out that the Democrats and their race-based interest groups like the NAACP somehow aren’t waging 'culture wars,' and somehow the Democrats aren’t driving a narrative on race to beat the Republicans." Graham further grumbled:
This links to another Politico story on how "Trumpworld bets big on critical race theory," and "Republicans aren’t coy about what they are trying to do. It’s not just about changing curricula. It’s about taking back Congress." That story doesn't prove conservatives have no evidence. Instead, it notes that black journalists and entertainers are pushing "systemic racism" education.
The focus of the Politico story was in Loudoun County -- and Graham failed to disclose that the MRC encouraged agitators to make noise at the meeting.
Fondacaro returned on July 9 to melt down over CNN's Chris Cuomo calling right-wing attacks on CRT "fake outrage":
As the saying goes, you know you’re over the target when you start getting flak. And that’s exactly what’s been happening with the liberal media franticly trying to protect critical race theory. On Thursday, it was CNN Prime Time host Chris “Fredo” Cuomo’s turn to flat-out lie, gaslight, and try to rehabilitate the image of the racist and socialist propaganda. Fredo even teamed up with American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten to claim CRT wasn’t being taught but yet it was.
But see, here’s the game that Cuomo was playing: full-blown critical race theory might not be tough as its own course but it influences lesson plans and approved reading material. As CRT critic Christopher Rufo of the Manhattan Institute has documented, “At least 25 public school districts in 12 states are now teaching ‘Not My Idea,’ a book that claims ‘whiteness’ is the devil, luring children with the promise of ‘stolen land [and] stolen riches.’”
And the left was trying to proliferate it. But the media knew full well that’s what was happening.
Graham's column the same day groused that "'Critical race theory' has become the latest 'Republicans pounce' story, "going on to darkly warn: "The new courses are coming. The new targets are white Americans who are presumed guilty of exploiting racism for 'their own political and financial gain.' And the new media misinformation is that none of this is happening at all, it’s just right-wing panic and propaganda." Graham didn't prove that right-wingers weren't spreading panic and propaganda.
In a July 13 video, Bill D'Agostino used clips of media folks blame Fox News and right-winger for manufacturing outrage over CRT -- which he didn't disprove -- then went on offer what CRT means to "the average person," which conveniently conforms to the right-wing narrative about it. He concluded with the usual right-wing fearmongering: "Consider doing your own research into what a bunch of suits on TV try to tell you about the world. And, hey, maybe consider skimming through your kids' textbooks when they get home from school."