It has to be seen as one of the deepest ironies in the media complex. Fox News is perpetually assailed as a source of lies, misinformation, and fraudulent narratives, but the mainstream media complex is awash in the spread of lies for the sake of pushing narratives. I do not mean that there are selective examples to pull out by way of exception, but that the press industry works collectively to deliver a false storyline.
Look back last year how nearly every news organization was on the same page in describing the Florida Parental Rights In Education legislation as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill.” It is a falsehood that continues to this day. To see how pernicious this became, the erroneously-described school policy was taken to be a statewide ban of the word for all citizens. This is hardly a lone example.
From the years of Russian collusion up to the current craze of saying children should not be sexualized is tantamount to gay bashing, the press works as a pack of prevaricators. There is also the lie-of-omission, from stories like Hunter’s laptop to the Nashville trans shooter being smothered. Sure, Fox News is the problem…
The Lie Of The Year is already shaping up to be “Florida’s book bans.” This is a storyline that pops up with regularity, and the thread running through all of these reports is that no books are banned – at all. Limiting reading lists for certain age groups based on the appropriateness of the content is not a ban, any more than a movie Rated-R that prevents underage ticket buyers is a “banned film.”
But the press trumpets these claims with abandon, and this week it took on a widespread farcical nature.
It began with the Miami Herald – already a bad sign. The paper reported on a school removing four books from an elementary media center, as well as a display of a poem by Amanda Gorman that she had read at Joe Biden’s inauguration. The carefully-worded headline is the first clue of problems: Miami-Dade K-8 bars elementary students from 4 library titles following parent complaint. One parent expressed concern about the content for elementary school grades, so the school took action.
A parent of two students at Bob Graham Education Center in Miami Lakes, challenged The ABCs of Black History, Cuban Kids, Countries in the News Cuba, the poem The Hill We Climb, which was recited by poet Amanda Gorman at the Jan. 20, 2021, inauguration of President Joe Biden, and Love to Langston for what she said included references of critical race theory, “indirect hate messages,” gender ideology and indoctrination, according to records obtained by the Florida Freedom to Read Project and shared with the Miami Herald.
Upon seeing this Gorman put out a post expressing dismay at the move to ban her work.
— Amanda Gorman (@TheAmandaGorman) May 23, 2023
This was all that was needed for the press to lurch. Or pounce, or seize, or whichever critical verb normally gets applied to Republicans by the press. The reports of a book ban and the poem being censored swept across the media landscape.
Abby Philips CNN:
Amanda Gorman responds to her poem being banned by a Florida school because of one parent's complaint. https://t.co/txGXa6rJ1l
— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) May 23, 2023
Nicolle Wallace at MSNBC:
"Young people are consistently speaking up asking adults in power to focus on the real issues, to focus on the real problems. And if these people actually cared about protecting children, they would focus on the real problems facing children today" – @Chasten w/ @NicolleDWallace pic.twitter.com/7TkbvVcc2P
— Deadline White House (@DeadlineWH) May 24, 2023
Amanda Gorman says she is "gutted" about the opposition to "The Hill We Climb" from a parent at a school in Florida. Read the poem in full here. https://t.co/pHKsZQddP6
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) May 24, 2023
“I’m gutted. Because of one parent’s complaint, my inaugural poem, ‘The Hill We Climb,’ has been banned from an elementary school in Miami-Dade County, Florida,” Amanda Gorman said. https://t.co/B1FoVblKSp
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) May 24, 2023
A school near Miami, Florida, has barred elementary students from accessing several works in its library—including “The Hills We Climb,” the poem written and read aloud by Amanda Gorman at President Joe Biden’s inauguration.https://t.co/Pnzu4OBqKE
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) May 23, 2023
Two books about #Cuba, one about Black history and the Biden inauguration poem are now forbidden for elementary students at a #Florida school following one parent’s complaint. “They’re banned for the students they were intended for.” … https://t.co/xYVCYfSjyE
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) May 24, 2023
An elementary school in Florida has limited access to Amanda Gorman's presidential inauguration poem after a parent complained it contained indirect "hate messages." https://t.co/1Uz3UKlt2A
Here's Gorman reciting the poem, The Hill We Climb, at Biden's inauguration: pic.twitter.com/t93RCqDeW9
— POLITICO (@politico) May 24, 2023
In reading the Politico piece we get a modestly-placed correction at the bottom, nearly missed if you are not looking for it. The site informs us that, “CORRECTION: This story and headline have been changed to reflect that the Miami-Dade school district did not outright ban the poem from its school.” Wait now, what’s this? They did NOT ban these books? Whatever does this mean???
It means the gathered media failed to properly look into the story and glean the actual facts, appearing in the original report from the Herald. (This was buried deeper in the piece, of course.) This was not a case of a solitary parent complaining and the books becoming removed from the library by rote. There was a review process, and after this, a decision was made – a decision that is far less hysterical than the press wants us to know.
The four other titles were deemed “better suited” or “more appropriate” for middle school students, despite acknowledging that at least one book, The ABCs of Black History, was written for ages 5 and up. The books would be kept in the middle school section of the media center, the review concluded.
And there it is. The books and poem were never removed, limited, or banned. They were simply moved to a section with works for older students – inside the very same library! There are only two reasons for this dereliction of journalism; rank incompetence, or outright lying for the sake of a narrative. Neither of which is approaching acceptable.
And these same journalists wonder why it was that Ron DeSantis avoided them entirely and went on Twitter instead to announce his candidacy for president.
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