Conservatives hope that Republican Glenn Youngkin’s upset in last fall’s gubernatorial election in Virginia is a harbinger of good times to come for Republicans next November.
But Youngkin also offered a recent reminder that the liberal media is out for blood, and won’t let a little thing like the truth get in the way.
The Washington Post last week sought to gin up a controversy to show that Youngkin’s assault on leftist policies in schools, including those driven by sexual issues and Critical Race Theory, are wildly unpopular with “professional” educators.
The controversy began when the Post, picking up on a Richmond Times-Dispatch article, ran a headline on Friday that said, “All 133 Virginia school superintendents urge Youngkin to scrap tip line and content policy.”
As the Times-Dispatch reported, “all 133” of those education officials issued a “blunt letter” accusing the new governor of undermining efforts to reverse “racial and socioeconomic disparities in education,” and downplaying the role of “systemic racism in fostering those disparities.”
At issue was a special email account Youngkin’s administration set up. As Youngkin told a talk-radio host, the “tip line” existed so parents could report cases of when “their fundamental rights are being violated, where their children are not being respected, where there are inherently divisive practices in their schools.”
In their letter, as reported by the Times-Dispatch, the Virginia Association of School Superintendents said they disagreed with Youngkin’s “assumption that discriminatory and divisive concepts have become widespread in Virginia school divisions without your having involved educators in formulating that position or without having provided evidence to support that position.”
The officials asserted Youngkin would “set public education in Virginia back many years.”
The Post picked up the story of the letter and magnified Youngkin’s brawl with the people running Virginia’s schools to its national audience. Thus, its own headline about “all 133” superintendents.
Explosive stuff – except for one-minute detail.
It wasn’t true.
In fact, the Post showed that its own story was crap just three paragraphs after announcing “all 133” opposed Youngkin.
The Post noted that the letter was sent to a top Youngkin adviser and “was approved by the [superintendents’] board but not signed by every member of the group.”
According to the conservative Media Research Center, the Post compounded its hit piece on the same day when another reporter, penning an “analysis” piece, repeated that “133 school superintendents are taking a strong stand against Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s move to end most education equity initiatives.”
Although the letter was framed by the group as representative of the members, the MRC noted that the ABC affiliate in Washington found two superintendents who did not even know the letter existed until they read the Post. The ABC affiliate in Richmond reported that the group’s director admitted the letter “doesn’t necessarily reflect a consensus among all of its members.”
Yet the Post still claimed, “all 133” reject Youngkin’s policies.
On Wednesday, Stacey Matthews, columnist for the conservative website RedState, encouraged Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and other conservatives up in 2022 to heed what awaits them.
“The fact that the Washington Post had to be shamed into correcting the record,” she wrote, “should be considered a big victory for Gov. Youngkin who, like DeSantis, has already faced an onslaught of bashing from the usual corners that they need to be prepared to soundly counter with receipts galore before the media/Dem-driven fake narratives can take root.”