Fox News host confronted over election lies by defiant union boss live on air

Emma Powys Maurice May 12, 2021
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Randi Weingarten sparring with Martha MacCallum on Fox News (Tiwtter/@FoxNews)

A teacher’s union boss appeared on Fox News to discuss racism in schools, but she wasn’t afraid to call out another threat: the network’s alleged spread of misinformation.

Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, had initially planned to defend the anti-racism 1619 Project being added to the American curriculum.

The lessons are based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times essay on the legacy of slavery, which Fox host Martha MacCullum had predictably strong views against.

As the two sparred on whether American independence sprang from a desire to perpetuate slavery, Weingarten pivoted to address the problem standing right in front of her: Fox News’ unique interpretation of “the facts”.

“If you’re really talking about misinformation now, Martha, and I hope you are, I really would hope that Fox would really look at what happened in this election and how we can – because every social studies teacher is wrestling with this – discern fact from fiction,” she said.

“We have to do that as social studies teachers.”

MacCallum quickly cut her off, telling her: “Well, we have a president, president Biden, who was elected in 2020, I think all of that is quite clear so I’m not sure why you are so concerned about that.”

At this point the host appeared visibly angry and defensive, which may or may not have something to do with the fact that Fox News is getting sued over their allegedly false coverage of voter fraud and election conspiracy theories. It claims it covered the election responsibly.

Weingarten held her ground, continuing: “I would hope that Fox would be just as focused on, ‘Let’s get rid of the misinformation about what happened in this election.’ This election was freely – ”

“Oh come on, Randi, this is not the topic that we’re here to talk about,” MacCullum jumped in, her voice raised in frustration. “That’s a dodge! Okay?”

“Children in this country… We rank 36th in math… that’s about midway!”

Despite MacCullum’s attempt to divert the interview away from Fox News’ alleged spread of misinformation, Weingarten returned to the subject elsewhere in the interview as the host quizzed her on the reopening of schools.

“Will you require that every student who comes into the school is vaccinated?” she asked the educator.

“No, but that’s why you have to still have some mitigation,” Weingarten replied. “But I would hope that Fox would do what everyone in public health is doing, which is [telling people] ‘We have to get our kids vaccinated once the vaccination is OK’.

“I would hope that Fox says to all these people that don’t want the vaccines, that think there’s a problem, ‘Why don’t you and I do things together to get our kids back to school?’ This what we need to do, we have to stop the misinformation.”

Judging by MacCullum’s stony face, it really wasn’t the answer she wanted to hear.

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