After Texas teachers were told to give “other perspectives” on the Holocaust, Fox News is quiet about a “critical race theory” story

The network’s culture war has borne a toxic fruit

For the past year, Fox News has waged a steady and relentless campaign against “critical race theory,” using the term as a catch-all phrase for any right-wing culture war grievances against racial diversity and civil rights. Now, the stream of Republican-backed state legislation it supported has been shown to potentially chill teaching of the Holocaust — and unlike other networks, Fox News isn’t reporting on the story.

NBC News reported Thursday that a group of teachers in Southlake, Texas, had secretly recorded audio from a meeting with a school district administrator, regarding pressure over which books could be available in their classrooms as a result of a new state law requiring the inclusion of multiple perspectives on “widely debated and currently controversial” issues.

“As you go through, just try to remember the concepts of [state House Bill] 3979,” the administrator said. “And make sure that if — if you have a book on the Holocaust, that you have one that has an opposing, that has other perspectives.”

After teachers responded in disbelief, the official replied, “Believe me, that’s come up.”

The district superintendent later gave a statement to NBC News, assuring the public that “we recognize there are not two sides of the Holocaust.”

This district was also a “critical race theory” focal point for Fox News earlier in the year, before the Texas law was passed.

In addition to NBC’s reporting (which has been highlighted on MSNBC as well), other national news outlets have also picked up on the story, but so far Fox News has not covered it on either its TV channels or its website.

As another positive example of news coverage, CNN New Day co-anchor John Berman on Friday morning interviewed Lois Lowry, author of the historical novel Number the Stars that has been used to educate children about the Holocaust for over 30 years. (The book was also mentioned by one teacher in the Texas audio.)

Video file

Citation From the October 15, 2021, edition of CNN’s New Day with John Berman and Brianna Keilar

JOHN BERMAN (ANCHOR): And just so people understand, this is all based on how this new Texas law, House Bill 3979, is being interpreted, which requires schools to provide opposing views to what they call “widely debated and currently controversial issues.”

What does it even say that that could somehow be considered widely debated and currently controversial?

LOIS LOWRY (AUTHOR, NUMBER THE STARS): You know, if I had written a book called The New England Patriots: The World's Best Football Team, I would understand if school libraries in Texas in particular would like to have a book that says the Dallas Cowboys are the world's best team.

That's — that's a subject on which there are different viewpoints. There are no different viewpoints about human integrity.

BERMAN: No different viewpoints about human integrity.

The — this bill, this law came into effect as a reaction to what some people call “critical race theory.” Other people just call the U.S. racial history being taught in classrooms. In general, do you feel as if this pressures teachers or pressures the education system to offer opposing views to things that maybe don't have them?

LOWRY: I just think this whole thing is inherently, potentially evil. I think it's a very dangerous situation. And people should step forward and put a stop to it.