Watching the hysteria on MSNBC and CNN as the election returns rolled in last night was almost as fun as election night 2016. The pundits in the corporate media like Nicole Wallace and Joy Reid suffer from several erroneous assumptions. First, no one is sharing their ratings with them. They pull almost as many eyeballs as a moderately successful YouTube commentator. Joe Rogan makes them look like amateurs.
Next, the corporate media lives in an insular bubble where everyone thinks as they do. Chances are the commentators go to the elite social events where the ideas discussed all lean at a 90-degree angle to the left. The attendees speak the language of social justice, and people in these circles take offense on behalf of others. They advocate renaming the Washington Redskins, using phrases like “Latinx” and “birthing person,” and adding pronouns to their Twitter profiles. They are the ambassadors for the oppressed, even when the oppressed couldn’t care less about the issues they whine about.
Also, for the corporate media and those in the bubble around them, history started yesterday. They never contrast statements made by political leaders like Joe Biden today with their rhetoric from even five years ago. The party they support has been dragged to the left, and they can’t even see it. Their producers book Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) because they believe she represents the mainstream of the Democrat Party. In reality, that mainstream probably looks more like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) outside of Washington D.C. and the Upper West Side.
That is why the conversation on CNN and MSNBC last night was all about racist dog whistles and disinformation about critical race theory. It completely ignored the election of Lt. Governor Winsome Sears, a black female, and Attorney General Jason Miyares, the son of Cuban immigrants. Many people on social media were calling the corporate media shills out for the oversight as if these commentators would recognize diversity in the Republican Party under any circumstances.
They won’t, and they never will. Because the Democrat Party runs on identity politics, the corporate media must behave as if people fall neatly into specific ideologies based on the color of their skin. Sadly, many of them believe it. These commentators can’t feel what most Americans feel. We know that Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Kamala Harris have more in common with each other than he does with working-class people in Kentucky or than she does with a little girl in South Central Los Angeles.
So while it feels like gaslighting, it is not clear that people like Wallace, Reid, Kirsten Powers, or Brianna Keilar understand what the education issues are. It seems the corporate media listens to their own cultural icons less than conservatives do. Bill Maher has told them exactly what parents are seeing based on the pedagogy of critical race theory, and they aren’t listening:
Share this the next time someone says that CRT isn’t taught in schools:
“What you cannot do and what is happening is you can’t set school policy by the findings of critical race theory, you can’t rewrite a curriculum because of it…that is what you cannot do and it’s happening” pic.twitter.com/dzvy94le1o
— Gummi Bear (@gummibear737) October 31, 2021
Once Maher understood what the phrase “critical race theory” meant to parents after his guest explained how educators applied the concepts, he responded, “If that’s what critical race theory means, if it means separating five-year-olds by race and telling some you’re oppressors and the others you’re the oppressed. And giving up on a colorblind society. And resegregation. And racism is the essence of America. Then I’m out.”
Give credit to Maher for trying to understand the issue that parents observed in the school curriculum during the pandemic. His reaction was exactly what parents across the country felt when they understood the activities, lessons, and ideas that the school curriculum exposed their children to. The issue of the K-12 curriculum is cultural, not political. The party that seeks to understand the cultural problem will win the political battle.
And what parents object to in the curriculum is adjacent to why they listened to Sears and Miyares and supported them. Their stories are emblematic of everything great about America. Sears came to America with her father from Jamaica and served as a Marine before becoming a citizen. Miyares escaped communism in Cuba and understands the public safety issues caused by progressive prosecutors.
The American dream is aspirational. When candidates appeal to our aspirations for ourselves and our children and talk about Americans and America in the best possible terms, we vote for them. Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin exceeded expectations in rural Virginia. So did Miyares and Sears. Yet the corporate media will never cover it. The corporate media commentators are convinced that Americans care more about what someone looks like than who they are. They also lack the curiosity and humility to look for another explanation. So we should not expect them to.
And we should be delighted that fewer and fewer people are listening to what they have to say.