Topic: Media Research Center
The DeSantis Defense Brigade at the Media Research Center continues to run at full speed, rushing to defend Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' efforts to censor what is taught in schools, picking a fight over an advanced placement course on African-American history. Alex Christy complained in a Jan. 19 post:
MSNBC and CNN are not pleased with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ latest attempts to stop woke-ism in Florida with Alex Wagner sarcastically congratulating him for “keeping hockey white” on Wednesday while Wagner and Friday’s CNN This Morning both acted as if Florida will no longer be teaching history.
Wagner then moved onto DeSantis’s decision to not allow AP African-American Studies to be taught in the state. Courses ending in “studies” are notoriously political, but Wagner did not see it that way, “All of this is bad enough for the people of Florida, but it may concern all of us outside of Florida if DeSantis really is on his way to a presidential run.”
She then introduced Columbia Journalism School dean and The New Yorker staff writer Jelani Cobb, “Can you give us your thoughts on the moves that the DeSantis administration is making to censor the teaching of history and race in this country?”
For Cobb, it was if DeSantis just banned history class, “they’re trying to eradicate the history of the Civil Rights Movement.”
That’s objectively not true and ridiculous, but Cobb was just getting started, “And so in this march backward to make this heavy-handed diktat about what can be taught and what can't be taught, you’re literally pushing these institutions back into the past.”
As it was on CNN This Morning when Sara Sidner, discussing the same AP African-American Studies controversy and is relates to the wider movement against Critical Race Theory, uttered, “so that's a real problem when you look back at all this because people were oppressed in this country and should that not be taught?”
Sidner then assumed that because Critical Race Theory has “critical” in its name, it must promote critical thinking, “I think we can teach that and people can learn from that and you're supposed to be thinking critically. There's this whole argument that is being made, but this is an Advanced Placement course. So, what if Critical Race Theory is in it? Who cares? Teach kids to think, not what to think.”
Thinking critically means challenging your own assumptions whereas CRT starts with the assumption racism is the answer and then shoehorns evidence to fit a pre-determined conclusion. It is the exact opposite of critical thinking.
Christy offered no evidence to back up any of his attacks on CRT or critical thinking in general.
Kevin tober ranted in another post that day:
On Thursday night's The ReidOut on MSNBC, the vile and venomous Joy Reid threw a temper tantrum over Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis allegedly banning an AP class called "African American Studies" from being taught in Florida public high schools. Instead of making a coherent argument for why a class like that should be taught, Reid accused DeSantis of approving a course that would teach students that former slaves in America were happy and treated well by their "good slave masters."
"It’s the Daughters of the American revolution, the pro-confederate groups who insisted that we can only teach slavery as happy slaves, good slave masters," Reid claimed.
Continuing to lash out, Reid shrieked: "I promise you an A.P. class that taught that slavery was good because it seemed at least per his former students, Dr. Gallon that he wanted to teach history of slavery as sort of gallant slave owners who were kind to their happy slaves. He's cool with that. And if the A.P. course said that, he’d be fine with it."
IN a Jan. 21 post, Christy insisted that a right-winger "debunked" concerns about DeSantis' actions:
CNN’s voice of reason Scott Jennings displayed amazing patience on Friday’s CNN Tonight as he calmly debunked self-righteous senior political correspondent John Avlon and condescending former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner on the issue of what exactly Florida requires as part of its history curriculum.
As part of a discussion of Gov. Ron DeSantis disallowing AP African-American Studies, Avlon declared “Well, I think, first of all, what DeSantis is doing with this AP history course is about identifying a political tactic they think is a winner for the Republican base in particular, this war on woke. I think it shows that a lot of the conversations around free speech really fall apart when it's pushing their own ideological agenda.”
Every state, liberal, conservative, and everything in-between has laws regarding curriculum, but only when conservatives enact them is it a threat to “free speech.”
Jennings then calmly took apart this rant, “Yes. Well, Nina, you ought to be very happy with Governor DeSantis because not only is African-American history under Florida law required to be taught to school children, it has actually been expanded during his governorship… it is an absolute state requirement in Florida that they teach African- American history. And it's gotten more expansive since he came in. So, you sound upset with me, but the fact is Governor DeSantis –”
Turner then interrupted, “The way he wants it taught, Scott, right… The party of free speech is taking away people’s speech.”
Repeating talking points is hardly a "debunking."
Miark Finkelstein took a turn at complaining that DeSantis' activism was being criticized, and dutifully spouting talking points in response, in a Jan. 24 post:
CNN has never been "Facts First." Don Lemon hosted a segment on today's CNN This Morning to discuss Ron DeSantis's decision to uphold the Florida State Department of Education's decision to deny the College Board the opportunity to run a pilot AP (Advanced Placement) course on African American Studies pushing themes like "Intersectionality and Activism."
At one point, CNN's Audie Cornish said "I don't know where he wants to draw the line. Slavery was political at one point."
Wrong! Don Lemon surely knows that DeSantis is not proposing to ban the teaching of slavery. DeSantis does object, however, to African American history being taught from a hard-left perspective. And examining the curriculum in question, that is exactly what is being proposed. Students wouldn't be taught: they'd be indoctrinated in CRT, BLM, and history according to avowed Communist Party die-hards like Angela Davis.
Tober served up even more whining at Reid for daring to criticize DeSantis:
On Tuesday, MSNBC's ReidOut host Joy Reid launched into a vicious attack again Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis due to his committing the grave sin of protecting public school children in his state from racial and sexual indoctrination. Reid was so incensed that she compared it to the "cultural genocide" that took place in the 1800s against Native Americans. If you needed proof of how demonic and historically illiterate Reid is, this is all the evidence you need.
A Jan. 25 post by Tober smeared a civil rights attorney suing DeSantis over the forced curriculum changes as a "racial ambulance chaser":
Wednesday's NBC Nightly News dedicated an entire segment to a pending lawsuit by racial ambulance chaser Ben Crump and a number of left-wing activist students over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Board of Education banning an AP African American studies course that would've taught public school students content steeped leftist ideology like Critical Race Theory, black queer studies, intersectionality, and other topics that violate state laws. Most of the segment was framed against the educational reforms DeSantis was making, with correspondent Zinhle Essamuah framing the racial indoctrination as simply "African American history."
"Protest and pushback in Florida with a new potential legal battle over race education," Essamuah announced before cutting to a student named Elijah Edward who whined about DeSantis: "I can't believe that this is 2023, and America is talking about censuring education."
"Civil rights attorney Ben Crump announcing his plan to sue Republican Governor Ron DeSantis and the state after DeSantis blocked a pilot AP African American studies course in Florida," Essamuah sympathetically reported.
Curtis Houck similarly attacked Crump in a Jan. 26 post:
Thursday’s CBS Mornings opened its “What to Watch” segment with a little over two minutes touting far-left activist and Al Sharpton-wannabe Benjamin Crump’s threat to sue Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) over the Florida Department of Education’s decision to reject an AP course on African-American culture and history because it was deemed “a vehicle for a political agenda” with topics such as critical race theory, intersectionality, and queer studies.
“Civil rights attorney Ben Crump is threatening to sue the state of Florida — rather, Governor Ron DeSantis. Here’s the reason: Last week, Florida’s Education Department rejected a proposed Advanced Placement high school course on African-American studies. That is a college prep class,” co-host Vladimir Duthiers began.
Co-host and Democratic donor Gayle King reacted by defending the class, saying “it’s important to point out it’s an elective class” with other choices out there and thus students “don’t have to take it.”
Houck baselessly attacked another "CNS Mornings" co-host, Tony Dokoupil, as a "socialist" without providing evidence to back it up.
Christy returned to complain in a Jan. 27 post:
If someone really wanted to get the conservative perspective on the news, one of the last places they would turn would be CNN, but that didn’t stop a Thursday CNN Tonight panel from declaring that GOP efforts to stop Critical Race Theory are not conservative.
Later in the segment, Avlon lamented that they were even having this conversation, “it's just the performative nonsense that we're playing into to some extent. I mean, yeah, Trump is trying to outdo Ron DeSantis and this is all about, you know, play the base and it's not about serious policy. It's not about helping kids. It's not about, you know, uniting the nation.”
Because The 1619 Project and gender theory are about uniting the nation?
Christy went on to insist that "Trump, DeSantis, and others are reacting to a left-wing culture war" and not creating one, even though CRT is nothing if not a right-wing culture war.
The lashing out at any criticism of DeSantis continued:
- Lemon MELTS DOWN Over 'Outrageous' DeSantis, Claims He Wants Children 'Ignorant'
- Behar Claims GOP Wants to Ban Holocaust from History Classes
- MSNBC's Hasan: 'Florida's Gone From Don't Say Gay to Don't Say Black'
- NBC Bemoans Removal of Racial & Sexual Content from Florida AP Course
- CNN Claims 'White Supremacy' Is Why DeSantis Opposes AP Class
- Univision Shamelessly Airs Anti-DeSantis Propaganda
HOuck used a Feb. 1 post to remind us that this was all about advancing right-wing narratives and buzzwords and boosting DeSantis and nothing about education:
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) scored yet another K.O. to wokeism Wednesday when College Board, the company behind Advanced Placement courses for high schoolers, released its revised curriculum for AP African American Studies after the Sunshine State rejected it for its litany of woke principles, including Critical Race Theory, intersectionality, and queer theory. But when the head of College Board and the lead adviser joined CBS Mornings, none of that was brought up.
Instead, the course was treated as completely innocuous.
Houck never explained why it wasn't beyond dropping right-wing buzzwords like "woke" and "Critical Race Theory." He followed that up with a Feb. 3 post touting DeSantis' "latest victory over wokeness" and whining that someone else criticized DeSantis.
Tim Graham cranked out his own DeSantis defense in a Feb. 3 column:
Anyone watching leftist cable news channels knows that it’s considered fair commentary to categorize Republicans, individually, or collectively, as “white nationalists” or “white supremacists.” Anyone standing in the way of the Black Lives Matter/Critical Race Theory crusade is dealt the Racist card.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis scored a political win in pressuring the College Board to tone down their proposed Advanced Placement curriculum on “African-American Studies.” Every conservative knows from experience that when you place “studies” in front of a minority group – black studies, queer studies, Native American studies, women’s studies – you can expect a highly ideological journey.
Graham refused to admit that DeSantis is simply imposing his own ideology by force on Florida's educational system. Instead, he gushed that electoral might makes right: "Ron DeSantis was just re-elected with 59 percent of the vote, but CNN and their left-wing guests want to suggest that he’s the one that’s 'outside the mainstream.'" By contrast, the MRC never concedes that Democrats who win elections have a mandate for change according to their views.