AMAC Exclusive – By Seamus Brennan
In the latest instance of mainstream media manipulation, American journalists have once again linked arms with the Democrat Party to push a series of falsehoods and exaggerations about a piece of socially conservative legislation. This time, they have taken aim at a parental rights bill in Florida.
The Parental Rights Bill in Education (H.B. 1557), which the press has deceptively dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, was passed by the Florida Senate on March 8 and is expected to be signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis in the near future. The legislation prohibits classroom instructors from teaching children in kindergarten through third-grade content related to sexual orientation and gender identity, a response to a disturbing trend of left-wing gender ideology making its way into elementary school classrooms in recent years.
“A school district may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students,” the bill states. The legislation also bars “school district personnel from discouraging or prohibiting parental notification and involvement in critical decisions affecting a student’s mental, emotional, or physical well-being” and takes additional measures to increase curriculum transparency and parental oversight of their children’s education.
However, you wouldn’t know any of that from listening to the media’s breathless coverage of the bill as an all-out assault on anyone who isn’t a straight white male. While advocates of the legislation are quick to point out that the bill merely prohibits teachers from exposing children to highly inappropriate sexual discussions at a young age, the left has launched a full-scale attack against what it falsely claims is a homophobic assault on the gay and transgender communities. Gender theory activists have insisted the legislation amounts to a “Don’t Say Gay” bill that forbids the use of the word “gay” in any context—a ridiculous charge that was quickly echoed by leaders of the Democratic Party and further advanced by the mainstream media. Media headlines rarely refer to the legislation by its actual name and have instead adopted the “Don’t Say Gay” moniker invented by left-wing activists.
President Joe Biden even denounced the bill as “hateful” after it was passed by the Florida Senate Education Committee in February. Following the Florida Senate’s passage of the legislation this month, Biden retweeted a post from the White House claiming that the bill is designed to “attack LGBTQI+ kids” and make “growing up harder for young people.” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki similarly disparaged the legislation as “discriminatory” and “horrific.”
Countless other politicians, celebrities, and corporations did not hesitate to weigh on the matter either, castigating the not-yet-signed bill as a revolting assault on gay and transgender Americans. Hillary Clinton joined the chorus and criticized the bill as an instance of “performative cruelty” that “will only serve to hurt children and families.” Democrat members of Florida’s state legislature protested in the Florida Capitol by linking arms and walking down the hallway repeating the word “gay” while activists brandished signs suggesting the law is a source of brutal marginalization and oppression.
DeSantis, however, has not fallen for the media’s trap. When asked about the legislation during a press conference, he immediately pushed back against reporters’ usage of the “Don’t Say Gay” tagline: “Does it say that in the bill? Does it say that in the bill? I’m asking you to tell me what’s in the bill because you are pushing false narratives,” he said. In a later public appearance, he further emphasized his support for the legislation, vowing, “We are not going to allow” anyone “to inject transgenderism into kindergarten.”
“The chance that I am going to back down from my commitment to students and back down from my commitment to parents’ rights simply because of fraudulent media narratives or pressure from woke corporations—the chances of that are zero,” DeSantis said, in a likely reference to the Disney CEO’s statements in opposition to the law.
The media’s maniacal response to the Florida bill is nothing unique. For years, American journalists have allied themselves with left-wing causes and gone out of their way to paint what in another era would have been considered common-sense legislation in the most negative light possible. As conservative commentator Ryan Anderson noted, the media’s perennial dishonesty in response to state-level laws like the Texas heartbeat bill and Georgia’s election integrity law should have cast the media’s credibility into doubt long ago. “Do not trust any mainstream media reports on social conservative legislation until you’ve verified yourself,” Anderson said.
But when it comes to Democrats’ over-the-top reactions to the Florida bill, they may soon find that they have once again overplayed their hand. Just months after Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin’s victory in Virginia on a strong parental rights platform, it is becoming increasingly clear that opposition to parental rights in education could be a political death wish for the Democratic Party. And in a midterm election year in which the left is already positioned to suffer at the ballot box, their vocal opposition to measures such as curriculum transparency and their eager embrace of ideologies like Critical Race Theory and gender theory will likely only increase the potential for a red wave in November.