50 Shades of ‘Gay’: Twitter Community Notes Dings NBC for Pushing Fake News

May 18th, 2023 12:11 PM

NBC News used deceptive imagery in an apparent attempt to gloss over an outrageous sexually explicit book being pushed on children. Twitter’s Community Notes participants were having none of it.

NBC News tweeted out its story of how “[a]n Illinois teacher offered her middle schoolers a bestselling LGBTQ-themed book. Parents filed a police report over her book choice.” But the featured photo for the article included the teacher in question holding up a book titled: “Igniting Social Action in the ELA Classroom: Inquiry as Disruption.”

Except, that wasn’t the book parents reportedly complained about, as Community Notes exposed. The book was none other than the disgusting piece of pulp nonfiction book, “This Book is Gay,” which is listed amongst the most banned books in America. That book — as MRC Culture has pointed out — was replete with smut content involving “‘Orgies, kinks, fetishes, sex apps, bath houses, [a] casual hookup app, [and] detailed information on how to have anal sex, as well as other sexual activities.’"

But readers wouldn’t know “This Book Is Gay” was the book in question unless they clicked into the NBC News story and read down to the fifth paragraph. 

Juno Dawson, author of “This Book is Gay,” even admitted to Rolling Stone in April: “‘We’re all very clear This Book is Gay is not for children. This is a book kept in the young adult section, like a lot of the books that are on those banned book lists.’” NBC neglected to mention any of the explicit content Dawson’s trashy book entails, and instead tried to make the work seem like simply a “bestselling nonfiction book that’s billed by its publisher as an entertaining and informative ‘instruction manual’ for anyone coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans.” The headline was equally vague: “Parents file a police report after teacher offers LGBTQ-themed book to her middle schoolers.”

It’s a wonder why NBC chose to leave out what was actually in that so-called “‘manual’” that made parents so upset. Perhaps that’s because doing so would showcase just how disturbing the content being made available to children truly is. 

NBC tried to paint the Illinois teacher who exposed this book to children — Sarah Bonner — as some kind of a victim who's only guilty for supposedly having good intentions:

The following Thursday, the school district held a special board meeting and voted unanimously to accept Bonner’s resignation. ‘My first instinct was the kids,’ Bonner says, adding that many of her current and former students spoke during the board meeting to say that her classroom was ‘a safe place.’

Conservatives are under attack! Contact NBC News (212) 664-6192 and demand they update its article to properly report on the grotesque content “This Book is Gay” entails.