Topic: Media Research Center
We've documented how the Media Research Center aggressively hyped an alleged sexual assault between students in a Virginia high school with the explicit goal of getting a Republican elected Virginia governor -- all the while censoring facts about the case that make it much more complicated than its preferred anti-transgender narrative. At the same time, it was whining about a series by NBC News about an increasingly extremist battle about critical race theory and other educational ideas between parents and a Texas school district. Nicholas Fondacaro whined in an Oct. 14 post:
For months now, NBC News has been assailing the concerned parents of Southlake, Texas because they’ve been standing up to the tide of critical race theory being crammed down the throats of their children. And on Thursday, despite new details in the already outrageous Loudoun County high school rapes story, NBC Nightly News continued their assault on the community that has had enough of liberal propaganda. They even deceptively edited audio to make it seem as though the parents were support of the Holocaust.
Continuing their smears suggesting the town was made up of rabid racists looking to drive minorities out of their community, anchor Lester “fairness is overrated” Holt chided the town for being the “center of a firestorm over diversity and inclusion efforts. Now, secretly recorded comments from a top administrator about books on the Holocaust are sparking new outrage.”
That’s right. NBC wanted to claim the town was now either made up of Holocaust deniers or Nazi sympathizers.
But it's not until after the 8th paragraph of his item -- buried in a transcript excerpt -- that Fondacaro got around to noting the background of that not-inaccurate descriptor: The school district's director of curriculum told teachers to "Make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust, make sure that you have one that has other perspectives." Foondacaro then tried to soften that statement by blaming NBC for editing audio:
Notice where NBC and Hylton decided to cut off the audio. In a more complete, but still highly-edited version on their website, Peddy responded by saying, “[B]elieve me, that’s come up.” But who’s bringing that up? The audio ended without an answer but it seemed as though it was a question brought up in an attempt to sink opposition to critical race theory.
Earlier this year, NewsBusters has caught NBC deceptively editing 911 audio to make a police officer look like a murderer.
Still, Fondacaro doesn't explain why it's a good idea to teach "the other side" of the Holocaust and give it equal weight. Nor did he explain that it was a logical, if severely misguided attempt to follow a new Texas law requiring teachers to present multiple perspectives when discussing “widely debated and currently controversial” issues, a law that was a direct response to ginned-up fears about critical race theory. Finally, Fondacaro didn't dismiss out of hand the idea that there is another side to the Holocaust that should be taught in schools. He did, however, sneer at an "anti-racism" book as "CRT propaganda" and dismissed the NBC Southlake series as "nonsense."
Fondacaro continued whining about the NBC series in an Oct. 19 post, complaining that it was pushing that story instead of one that forwards a false right-wing narrative that "radical Attorney General Merrick Garland" was "unjustly suggesting parents protesting at school board meetings were committing 'domestic terrorism'":
Meanwhile, NBC continued its months-long crusade against the Texas town of Southlake, which ousted the liberal members of the school board in an special election earlier this year. And for the second week in a row, they used one person’s gross misinterpretation of Texas law to suggest the anti-CRT board was trying to downplay the Holocaust.
Hylton once again played a highly edited soundbite of one administrator’s misinterpretation of the Texas law to suggest it was designed to downplay the Holocaust. And she once again refused to have a comment from a member of the board or a parent that opposed CRT. And they would likely declare the Loudoun County rapes story (which the networks were still ignoring) was just local news.
Then again, “fairness is overrated” for NBC.
Note that Fondacaro is still trying to blame NBC for editing the clip while also condeding ithe clip isn't inaccurate and just a "misinterpretation" of the law.
Fondacaro repeated his attacks on NBC in an Oct. 21 post with Geoffrey Dickens that otherwise whined that its pet Virginia school assault story was being ignored by non-right-wing media: "While NBC Nightly New has YET to report on the Loudoun County, VA sexual assault scandal, they DID find time to devote five stories (totaling 14 minutes, 8 seconds) to (mostly) deriding parents in local school districts in Southlake, Texas and Rockwood, Missouri for their resistance to leftist teaching materials. In fact, NBC News has devoted an entire podcast to the Southlake story."
When NBC's reporting resulted in a federal civil rights investigation, the MRC complained about that too.Kyle Drennen huffed in a Nov. 18 post:
After spending months relentlessly attacking the Carroll Independent School District in Southlake, Texas for not implementing radical Critical Race Theory curriculum, on Wednesday, NBC Nightly News eagerly touted how the network’s smear campaign had been rewarded. Earlier in the day, the Biden Department of Education announced that it would be launching multiple civil rights investigations into the not-sufficiently-woke school district.
“The Texas schools in a firestorm over race. The new civil rights investigation,” anchor Lester Holt teased at the top of the evening newscast. Minutes later, he breathlessly proclaimed: “Tonight, there’s developing news in Southlake, Texas following the in-depth reporting NBC News has done there on the issue of race and education. A new federal investigation is now underway.”
While NBC has been happy to spend nearly a year stoking racial tensions in a single school district, it willfully ignored multiple scandals – including two student sexual assaults – rocking the entire Loudoun County, Virginia school system, which had a major impact on the commonwealth’s closely-watched governor’s race.
Actually, as a transcript excerpt showed, the civil rights investigations involve "allegations of discrimination based on race, nationality, and gender," not about being insufficiently "woke."And only the MRC would describe reporting that doesn't slavishly reinforce right-wing partisan narratives as an "attack."