Texas Board of Education: Liberal Media Bias on Full Display

Filed in Social IssuesTags: Academia, Conservatism, Education, Liberalism, Media Bias

The unabashed liberal bias of the mainstream media is on full display in their reporting of the recent Texas Board of Education curriculum-change vote.

This Associated Press article (h/t Lucianne) practically hyperventilates before it even gets to the byline, with the following headline:

Texas ed board vote reflects far-right influences

One immediately wonders what sort of radical beliefs the Texas Board of Education had just voted to include in the state curriculum. "Far right influences"? The headline virtually drips with alarm. On to the body of the article, then. First:

Teachers in Texas will be required to cover the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation's Founding Fathers, but not highlight the philosophical rationale for the separation of church and state. Curriculum standards also will describe the U.S. government as a "constitutional republic," rather than "democratic," and students will be required to study the decline in value of the U.S. dollar, including the abandonment of the gold standard.

Then:

By late Thursday night, three other Democrats seemed to sense their futility and left, leaving Republicans to easily push through amendments heralding "American exceptionalism" and the U.S. free enterprise system, suggesting it thrives best absent excessive government intervention.

Then:

Board members argued about the classification of historic periods (still B.C. and A.D., rather than B.C.E. and C.E.); whether students should be required to explain the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its impact on global politics (they will); and whether former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir should be required learning (she will).

In addition to learning the Bill of Rights, the board specified a reference to the Second Amendment right to bear arms in a section about citizenship in a U.S. government class.

Conservatives beat back multiple attempts to include hip-hop as an example of a significant cultural movement.

Numerous attempts to add the names or references to important Hispanics throughout history also were denied, inducing one amendment that would specify that Tejanos died at the Alamo alongside Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie. Another amendment deleted a requirement that sociology students "explain how institutional racism is evident in American society."

Oh, but it gets even worse (at least as far as the liberal media are concerned). From this NY Times article:

They also included a plank to ensure that students learn about “the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, including Phyllis Schlafly, the Contract With America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority and the National Rifle Association.”

Dr. McLeroy, a dentist by training, pushed through a change to the teaching of the civil rights movement to ensure that students study the violent philosophy of the Black Panthers in addition to the nonviolent approach of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He also made sure that textbooks would mention the votes in Congress on civil rights legislation, which Republicans supported.

And then:

Mr. Bradley won approval for an amendment saying students should study “the unintended consequences” of the Great Society legislation, affirmative action and Title IX legislation. He also won approval for an amendment stressing that Germans and Italians as well as Japanese were interned in the United States during World War II, to counter the idea that the internment of Japanese was motivated by racism.

Other changes seem aimed at tamping down criticism of the right. Conservatives passed one amendment, for instance, requiring that the history of McCarthyism include “how the later release of the Venona papers confirmed suspicions of communist infiltration in U.S. government.” The Venona papers were transcripts of some 3,000 communications between the Soviet Union and its agents in the United States.

Mavis B. Knight, a Democrat from Dallas, introduced an amendment requiring that students study the reasons “the founding fathers protected religious freedom in America by barring the government from promoting or disfavoring any particular religion above all others.”

Then:

In economics, the revisions add Milton Friedman and Friedrich von Hayek, two champions of free-market economic theory, among the usual list of economists to be studied, like Adam Smith, Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes. They also replaced the word “capitalism” throughout their texts with the “free-enterprise system.”

Then:

In the field of sociology, another conservative member, Barbara Cargill, won passage of an amendment requiring the teaching of “the importance of personal responsibility for life choices” in a section on teenage suicide, dating violence, sexuality, drug use and eating disorders.

And finally:

Cynthia Dunbar, a lawyer from Richmond who is a strict constitutionalist and thinks the nation was founded on Christian beliefs, managed to cut Thomas Jefferson from a list of figures whose writings inspired revolutions in the late 18th century and 19th century, replacing him with St. Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin and William Blackstone. (Jefferson is not well liked among conservatives on the board because he coined the term “separation between church and state.”)

So, to summarize, the following points are considered "far right" by AP:

  • The Judeo-Christian influences of the nation's Founding Fathers
  • Not highlighting the philosophical rationale for the separation of church and state
  • Describing the US system of government as a "constitutional republic", rather than as "democratic"
  • Studying the decline of the US dollar, including the abandonment of the gold standard
  • Heralding "American exceptionalism" and the free-enterprise system
  • Suggesting that the free-enterprise system thrives best absent excessive government intervention
  • Classification of historic periods as BC and AD, rather than as BCE and CE
  • Requiring students to explain the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its impact on global politics
  • Requiring students to learn about Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir
  • Learning the Bill of Rights
  • Emphasis on the Second Amendment in a citizenship section in US Government class
  • Rejection of hip-hop as an example of a significant cultural movement
  • Not specifying that Tejanos died alongside Davy Crockett and David Bowie at the Alamo
  • Removal of a requirement that sociology students "explain how institutional racism is evident in American society"
  • Teaching the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, including Phyllis Schlafly, the Contract With America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority, and the NRA
  • Including the violence of the Black Panthers along with the nonviolence of Martin Luther King, Jr. in teaching about the Civil Rights movement
  • Including the Congressional votes on civil rights legislation, largely supported and passed by Republicans
  • Studying the unintended consequences of Great Society legislation, affirmative action, and Title IX
  • Teaching that Germans and Italians were interned during WWII, and not only Japanese, to counter the alleged racial motive of internment policy
  • Requiring the inclusion of the Verona papers, which confirmed Soviet infiltration into US government, in discussions of McCarthyism
  • Rejecting the requirement that students study the reasons "the founding fathers protected religious freedom in America by barring the government from promoting or disfavoring any particular religion above all others"
  • Studying economists Milton Friedman and Friedrich von Hayek along with Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and Maynard Keynes
  • In Sociology, teaching “the importance of personal responsibility for life choices” in a section on teenage suicide, dating violence, sexuality, drug use and eating disorders"
  • The removal of Thomas Jefferson from the list of figures whose writings influenced late-18th and 19th century revolutions, and instead including Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, and William Blackstone

As NewsBusters expressed: "Oh, the humanity!"

That the AP article would list the above points is far more indicative of its own bias. Such points - and opposition to them with respect to high school curriculum - can only be described as "far right" from a worldview that is so removed from the mainstream as to be itself properly described as far-left.

Apparently, to the far-left liberal media, any mention of the free-enterprise system, the Christian influence on the founding of our country; any less-than-utopian mention of liberalism; or any positive mention of the Constitution, conservatism, or Israel constitutes "far right" influence.

That the mainstream media holds such radically biased views so far removed from the mainstream is not a surprise; however, that this bias would be so blatantly on display is somewhat surprising. The AP makes absolutely no attempt whatsoever to hide is radical bias.