August 24, 2022

Teachers Union Prez Falls for Book Ban Hoax

Randi Weingarten gets an “A” in partisanship and an “F” in social media literacy.

Where’s a Disinformation Governance Board when we need one?

Randi Weingarten, 64, is the president of the American Federation of Teachers, a post she’s held since 2008. She’s also an attorney and a former public school teacher. And that’s a scary thought because she’s clearly not very bright. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have fallen for and subsequently shared via Twitter to her nearly 119,000 followers a fake, phony, fraudulent list of books that are supposedly banned in the Free State of Florida.

As Fox News reports, “The list, posted by an account called ‘Freesus Patriot,’ claimed that Florida has banned books such as ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ and ‘A Wrinkle in Time.’ The account also tweeted that they would not reveal the source of the list.”

That should’ve been Weingarten’s first clue. Weren’t we all told to cite our sources when we were putting together our very first research papers back in junior high?

“I’m not going to say where this list came from due to protecting sources,” said the mysterious Freesus Patriot, “but if this list is wrong then I invite @RonDeSantisFL to publicly state the books on this list will not be banned in Florida schools and he intends to protect student’s rights. I will take it down if he does.”

Uh, yeah.

Folks, it seems like we’ve been saying it for decades now, but it still bears repeating for the benefit of hard-left dullards like Randi Weingarten: Just because you read something on the Internet doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. Indeed, if Weingarten can be suckered by such a stupid, sophomoric social media hoax, perhaps the membership of the massive union she leads should rethink their decision to have reelected her to an eighth term as their president.

“Books we have taught for generations!!!!” Weingarten shrieked as she shared the fake tweet.

“This list is fake, Randi,” tweeted communications consultant Frank Luntz back to her, one of many to do so. “Notice there’s no link to a source for it.”

“I should have double checked before I retweeted this list,” Weingarten tweeted in an embarrassing walk-back. “My bad. Looks like some of the books weren’t banned. Book bans are very real and dangerous.”

Her bad.

Actually, though, at least one of the books on Freesus Patriot’s list was banned, but not in Florida. As Brian Griffin, Governor Ron DeSantis’s press secretary, replied, “False. The State of Florida has not banned To Kill a Mockingbird. In fact, Florida RECOMMENDS the book in 8th grade. (FL Standards linked, page 160). However, the book was banned by a progressive district in California, along with other classics, in 2020).”

When it comes to disinformation, Weingarten isn’t just gullible, she’s complicit. As The Federalist’s Tristan Justice reports:

Under her tenure, the [American Federation of Teachers] partnered with NewsGuard, a popular pro-censorship browser extension to be implemented in classrooms dictating to students what news sources are acceptable. The cooperative, announced in January, was branded in a press release as a campaign to “combat misinformation online.” NewsGuard’s ratings, however, continue to score legacy outlets which sought to dismiss the Hunter Biden laptop story as disinformation with perfect credibility while the New York Post and The Federalist are given dismal grades. The left-wing disinformation group also downgraded Fox News in July with claims the network “fails to adhere to several basic journalistic standards” and “published numerous false and misleading claims, including about politics and COVID-19.”

All of which leads us to wonder: With media “watchdogs” like NewsGuard, who needs disinformational dunces like Weingarten?

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