The Media Struggle Session Over Elections and Education Is Withering Under the Arrival of Facts

AP Photo/Cliff Owen

Sit back and watch our media elites embarrassing themselves as they attempt to humiliate while ignoring facts.

Few things are as illuminating about the rigged system within our media complex as an election cycle. The coverage of the candidates and the favoritism displayed is one aspect, and then there are the results. There is a clear dichotomy on display depending on who wins; a Democrat being elected is a sign of a wise populace who has given free rein to the winner via a mandate. When a Republican wins they need to understand they narrowly achieved victory and still have to heed the voices of the disenfranchised.

There is one other difference. Democrats win and prove the uncritical perfection of our system, while a GOP win results in the press turning introspective and trying to figure out what went wrong. It is how we arrive at Donald Trump spending months denying he lost being called an open threat to democracy, while Stacey Abrams can live for years in abject denial of her election loss and become elevated in her party. The press tells us how they resent Democrat losses and immediately look for a fix.

Note how we are currently enduring long segments of game-film analysis and lengthy think pieces about the accursed racism of Tuesday’s winners. We never hear pundits delivering somber post-mortems on Republican defeats; we usually hear how the voters repudiated outmoded and intolerant policies and the GOP needs to get with the times. But give them a Republican show of strength and there is a problem, and as a result, the journalists have tied themselves into knots this week.

The first issue is both the most obvious, and the laziest — Republicans campaigned on fear and motivated their racist base. This has led to the hilarious conclusion that in Virginia, a black lieutenant governor and a Hispanic attorney general winning for the first time ever proves Republicans are racist because they did not elect the nearly translucent image of political privilege, Terry McAuliffe. 

But what has the media dizzy in confusion is how the Republicans won on messaging regarding schools, the topic thought to be owned by Democrats. School boards acting authoritarian, parents being told to pipe down and shut up, and Terry McAuliffe telling them they had no say in the education of their own children created a fierce backlash. This is obvious to many of us, but the deeply intelligent thinkers in the press are struggling with this.

At the New York Times, they attempt to get their arms around this issue but become tripped up by their entrenched bias. They telegraphed their problems in just their headline, resorting to the tired explanation of “Republicans Pounce,” before changing it out not once but twice.

But to listen to these geniuses try to explain what happened you get the distinctive tang of resentment in the explanation. It is as if the candidates were just throwing stuff out there, hoping for something to take root, and managed to get just lucky enough that something latched on in the minds of enough bewildered voters.

Seizing on education as a newly potent wedge issue, Republicans have moved to galvanize crucial groups of voters around what the party calls “parental rights” issues in public schools, a hodgepodge of conservative causes ranging from eradicating mask mandates to demanding changes to the way children are taught about racism. Yet it is the free-floating sense of rage from parents, many of whom felt abandoned by the government during the worst months of the pandemic, that arose from the off-year elections as one of the most powerful drivers for Republican candidates.

Since they are really grappling with finding the cause of things here, allow me to futilely attempt to explain it for them. From the start of the pandemic lockdowns, conservatives have criticized the governmental overreach, and when it came to the school closures, and then teachers unions in some states holding the reopening of schools hostage it was criticized even more. The candidates arriving are fighting those exact same battles.

It does not concern “what the party calls parental rights,” it is their actual rights as parents. Here you have New York Times reporters that cannot even entertain the concept that parents have the authority to make decisions regarding their own child. Then calling the issues a “hodgepodge” only illustrates the lack of curiosity they had in exploring things. Whether it was the curriculum, school closings, mask mandates — all of it tied into the school boards and teachers’ unions exerting too much control over the wishes of parents.

The denial in this piece is grand because at first, they take great pains to lay out how this is all contrived outrage. They claim that Republicans sensed an opening, “While the conservative news media and Republican candidates stirred the stew of anxieties and racial resentments that animate the party’s base,” in order to get a political foothold with voters. But then, very deep in the article, do they only begin to reveal some fundamental realities.

But the election results suggested that Republicans had spoken about education in ways that resonated with a broader cross-section of voters. In Virginia, the Youngkin campaign appealed to Asian parents worried about progressive efforts to make admissions processes in gifted programs less restrictive; Black parents upset over the opposition of teachers’ unions to charter schools; and suburban mothers of all races who were generally on edge about having to juggle so much at home over the last year and a half.

Just look at what is on display here. After about 800 words spent demonizing the allegedly scattershot and racist-driven agenda of the Republicans, they admit to them addressing directly the issues which concerned parents, and those being from a number of minority groups. The Times writers first claim this was all a cooked-up hysteria by the party and right-wing outlets, but then admit they were addressing legitimate concerns felt by those all across the political spectrum.

This bifurcated wisdom is seen elsewhere in the press. After Tuesday’s results, Critical Race Theory is all the focus, with the press desperately trying to reclassify what it is — or even if it exists. You see countless pundits making the blatantly false claim that it is not even being taught in schools. It is a lie, and it is one I will be addressing in an upcoming piece. But just look at the paradox the journalists have created for themselves.

So flustered are they by this repudiation of CRT that inspired parents from various demographics to oppose it, many in the press are trying to deny its very existence.

Nicolle Wallace:

Andrea Mitchell:

So, a question, you galaxy brains–

How can Republicans/right-wing media/parents be racist for blocking something that does not exist? If CRT is not real, and/or this whole issue is a contrivance — a conspiracy theory over non-existent content — why is it such a hot-button issue that it has caused people to move across party lines to fight it? This would have been stopped from day-1 by simply illustrating that it is not anything tangible.

Then we are back to that devilish five-letter word — proof. We know it exists, we have seen the documents and heard the lobbying on behalf of installing the curriculum. If this was a phantom issue there is no way it would be fought over this long, and up to today. 

Plus you cannot tell parents they are racists for trying to prevent something from being taught in schools if the thing that makes them a racist also does not exist. It would be like alleging Jim Crow laws exist today because businesses are banishing your imaginary friend from using a particular water fountain. And this underscores so much of the problem we see in the press today — they refuse to make friends with reality.