Demos' Heather McGhee explains how right-wing media made Republicans hate higher education

McGhee: What conservatives call a “nefarious liberal bias on campus” is actually people seeing how America has “fallen short on values of justice and equality”

From the August 6 edition of NBC's Meet the Press:

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CHUCK TODD (HOST): Fifty-eight percent of Republicans believe colleges and universities have a negative effect on the way things are going in this country. That is a -- I mean, it was a startling -- wait a minute, I thought we all agreed college is good. We can have a debate about openness in ideologies at universities, but when did we go all the way there? 

HEATHER MCGHEE: Well, I think you really have to sort of follow the thread of this narrative. Republican strategists began to really recognize how much more highly educated folks were trending towards being more liberal. And we can talk about why that might be. I mean Republicans would say it's a nefarious liberal bias on campus, others might say that it's actually the more that you study America's history and the world, you understand how much we've fallen short on values of justice and equality, and you want to tend to work more veraciously towards those goals. But if you look at right-wing media, a narrative has really taken root, it's like the liberal-outrage-on-campus of the day. And that's where that's coming from. There's been a real spotlight, a distortion, I think, of the news of what is coming out of college campuses, that it's just very clear. You start to see it prop up on Breitbart, you start to see it prop up on Fox News, and then it moves into the Republican voter. 


DAVID FRENCH: But I will say this about the college and university piece, and this -- I'm sure we'll get to this later. Nobody made up the Berkeley riots, nobody made up the attacks on -- on Charles Murray at Middlebury, the craziness at Evergreen State College. I mean these things are actually happening. And they do really cast a pall.

MCGHEE: They're actually happening, but also young people who are first generation college students are going to college and having more opportunities than they ever would have had, but it's just that the right wing media is focusing on making a national story out of a speaker coming to campus. And so -- we're just -- it's a distortion of what's happening on college campuses today.


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