Starting Friday morning and running through Monday morning, the major broadcast networks spend nearly 20 minutes (19:43) on their flagship morning and evening newscasts cheering lies peddled by Vice President Kamala Harris over the “controversial” new Florida Department of Education standards on African-American history that they insist “rewrite[s] history” and slavery as a good thing.
ABC, CBS, and NBC were shameless in their childish, fact-free partisanship and swooning over Florida facing “growing outrage,” “sharp criticism,” and being “slammed,” “under fire,” and “under scrutiny.” But an actual inspection of the standards in the 216-page document (which National Review’s Charles C.W. Cooke did masterfully) reveals Harris and the liberal media willingly peddled an odious lie.
Cooke wrote that Harris’s claims that Florida was promoting slavery “is an astonishing,” “brazen,” and “evil lie” that’s “so deliberately and cynically misleading — that, in a sensible political culture, Harris would be obligated to issue an apology.”
In the piece, he “copied and pasted every single reference to slavery, slaves, abolitionism, civil rights, and African Americans” with the line about teaching students “how slaves developed skills, which in some instances could be applied for their personal benefit” as only one of 191 bullet points.
He went on (click “expand”):
Among many, many other things, it includes sections on “the conditions for Africans during their passage to America”; “the living conditions of slaves in British North American colonies, the Caribbean, Central America and South America, including infant mortality rates”; “the harsh conditions and their consequences on British American plantations (e.g., undernourishment, climate conditions, infant and child mortality rates of the enslaved vs. the free)”; “the harsh conditions in the Caribbean plantations (i.e., poor nutrition, rigorous labor, disease)”; “how the South tried to prevent slaves from escaping and their efforts to end the Underground Railroad”; the “overwhelming death rates” caused by the practice; the many ways in which “Africans resisted slavery”; “the ramifications of prejudice, racism and stereotyping on individual freedoms”; and “the struggles faced by African American women in the 19th century as it relates to issues of suffrage, business and access to education.” Many of these modules apply to Florida specifically.
Here’s the list. It’s 191 items strong. It contains the word “slave” 96 times, “slaves” 23 times, and “slavery” 45 times. I’ve pulled each line out in the order in which they appear, which is largely chronological. It starts with “the earliest slaves” and ends with “the integration of the University of Florida”[.]
Townhall’s Guy Benson even pointed out the sentence about “skills” was not only “a minuscule fraction of what the curriculum calls for,” but “factually true” with the line in question mirroring “an encyclopedia published with the impriumatur of Oxford and Columbia universities' scholarship.”
Friday’s CBS Mornings was the first on the case.
The wife of far-left Urban League president Marc Morial, CBS Saturday Morning co-host Michelle Miller huffed about “controversy today over new standards for teaching Black history in the state of Florida” in which students should “learn ‘how slaves developed skills, which in some instances could be applied for their personal benefit.’”
“That language with some sharp criticism, including from Vice President Kamala Harris who is heading to Florida today...The state’s largest teachers union called the new standards a step backward and said students deserve the full truth of American history,” she added.
Once Harris pitched her hissy fit in Florida, ABC’s World News Tonight anchor David Muir huffed about “the controversial move” while chief Biden regime apple polisher Mary Bruce proclaimed: “Harris traveling to Florida to condemn the state’s new education standards which critics say water down the horrors of slavery.”
“Without saying his name, the Vice President accusing DeSantis of trying to create unnecessary scary debates to divide our country,” Bruce added.
At the same time on the CBS Evening News, fill-in anchor Margaret Brennan hyped Harris's “last-minute trip” “[a]fter Florida approves controversial new guidelines for teaching black history” with the “Board of Education...under scrutiny.”
Correspondent Manuel Bojorquez ran to former FIU professor Marvin Dunn, who called the single bullet point “nothing short of just pure evil” and something she didn’t think “Black parents are going to stand” for.
Spoiler alert, Manny: Many of those who compiled the standards are...Black.
NBC Nightly News wrapped it into a broader 2024 segment trashing DeSantis with fill-in anchor Tom Llamas hyping the “new controversy” for the Florida governor, whom correspondent Gabe Gutierrez said was being “slammed” by Harris.
Saturday’s Good Morning America was the most incensed. Co-host Whit Johnson cheered “Harris slamming Florida’s controversial new education standards on black history and growing reaction now across the country.”
White House correspondent MaryAlice Parks cheered the growing cadre of “schools, parents, civil rights leaders and now the White House too speaking out against these new curriculum changes in Florida calling them revisionist and a disservice to students.”
Parks continued by turning to the teacher’s union as a crutch and falsely claiming DeSantis had banned an AP course (click “expand”):
PARKS: This morning, Florida’s Board of Education under fire after passing new curriculum standards that educators in the state and across the country say try to gloss over the horrors of slavery in the United States. Included in the new guidelines? A requirement that middle school students be taught, “how slaves developed skills, which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.” As some teachers and civil rights leaders blasted the new standards, the Vice President traveling to the state to rally against them too.
HARRIS: Adults know what slavery really involved. [SCREEN WIPE] It involved some of the worst examples of — of depriving people of humanity in our world.
PARKS: Florida’s Education Association, a major teachers union, writing in a statement that “at the high school level these standards conflate the 1920 Ocoee massacre, where at least 30 African Americans were killed for attempting to vote with acts of violence, ‘perpetuated by African Americans.’” Florida’s Governor and Republican 2024 presidential candidate Ron DeSantis praising the new standards.
PARKS: But at the Board of Education meeting earlier this week, community members and parents begged the group to not go through with these changes.
PARKS: And, of course, these latest changes come after earlier this year Governor Ron DeSantis also banned the teaching of an AP course on African American studies. And it’s not just in Florida. We’ve seen other Republican-led states around the country weighing potential new restrictions on how teachers can talk about race in the classroom and key aspects of U.S. history.
Co-host Janai Norman was beside herself: “Really incredible what we are watching unfold there.”
Johnson and Parks returned hours later for World News Tonight with Johnson telling of the “growing debate” and “Black history education battle in Florida, and the new middle school curriculum that suggests that enslaved people got skilled, which could be applied for their personal benefit. Vice President Kamala Harris blasting the change.”
Parks didn’t return to a land of facts, instead sticking by the teacher’s union and claiming there’s “growing backlash against...DeSantis” and the phrase about slavery being beneficial “[a]n idea Vice President Kamala Harris in Florida Friday lambasted.”
Parks also used 2024 GOP presidential gadfly Will Hurd’s tweet against DeSantis in which he said “Slavery wasn’t a jobs program that taught beneficial skills.”
She only slightly dialed back the AP lie:
Earlier this year, we saw DeSantis threatening to ban that Advanced Placement course on African-American studies and he also signed his Stop Woke act into law that tried to ban any instruction where people feel guilt or anguish based on history around race.
NBC Nightly News Saturday anchor Jose Diaz-Balart opened his coverage by warning of “growing political outrage over Florida’s new standards for teaching Black history” that Harris “is blasting”
Correspondent Allie Raffa touted the White House as relishing the fight: “Bidenworld is leaning into this and other cultural flashpoints embraced by GOP candidates arguing they can protect freedoms they say are under attack.”
Ah, so liberals engaging in “culture flashpoints” (as opposed to “culture wars”) is politically shrewd, but conservatives are divisive?
Finally, Monday’s CBS Mornings had fill-in co-host John Dickerson smugly smearing Florida with chief White House correspondent Nancy Cordes cheering DeSantis facing heat from both his 2024 GOP rivals and the Biden regime (click “expand”):
DICKERSON: Now to the growing controversy over Florida's new education standards after Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill called the Stop Woke Act last year. The changes include teaching middle schoolers that some enslaved people actually benefited from slavery because it taught them skills.
CORDES: Florida's Republican Governor, Ron DeSantis, tried to distance himself from the curriculum controversy, but it didn’t work.
CHRIS CHRISTIE [on CBS’s Face the Nation, 07/23/23]: I didn't do it, and I'm not involved in it are not the words of leadership.
CORDES: Florida's new history teaching guidelines, approved last week, stem from a 2022 law Governor DeSantis called the Stop Woke Act.
CHRISTIE [on CBS’s Face the Nation, 07/23/23]: Governor DeSantis started this fire with the bill that he signed.
CORDES: The new standards say Florida students should be taught about the harsh conditions slaves endured but also about “how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”
CORDES: That comment drew a swift rebuke from fellow Republican presidential candidate Will Hurd who tweeted, “slavery wasn't a jobs program that taught beneficial skills, it was literally dehumanizing.” NAACP president Derek Johnson.
NAACP PRESIDENT DEREK JOHNSON: We all must stand together as a nation to ensure we don't find ourselves going backwards, that we stand united as a country and not try to remake history.
In the show’s second-hour “Eye Opener,” fill-in co-host Nancy Chen pointed to DeSantis “fac[ing] growing outrage over the state's revised curriculum on slavery.”
This days-long disinformation campaign peddling lies to destroy DeSantis and elevate an unpopular Vice president was done thanks to the endorsement of advertisers such as Ensure (on CBS), Jergens (on ABC), Nature Made (on ABC), and Progressive (on NBC). Follow the links to see their contact information on the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.