While you’ve been preoccupied with Thanksgiving, or following international conflicts or rising inflation, California governor Gavin Newsom quietly signed Assembly Bill 873 last month.
Assembly Billy 873 is an “act to add Section 33548 to the Education Code, relating to pupil instruction” on media literacy. In short, government-mandated standards on “ethical media” have now become required teaching for all K-12 students in California public schools. Included in the curriculum outline are several talking points, including that “the proliferation of online misinformation has posed risks to international peace, interfered with democratic decision-making and threatened public health.” This assertion explains the intent of the legislature, which is “to ensure that all pupils in California are prepared with media literacy skills necessary to safely, responsibly and critically consume and use social media and other forms of media.”
All the buzzwords we’ve come to expect from the federal government, the Biden administration, the CDC, Nina Jankowicz and international bodies such as the WHO and the WEF are all there and are being integrated into California public schools. AB 873 was sponsored by Democrat assemblymember Marc Berman, who said in a statement, “From climate denial to vaccine conspiracy theories to the January 6 attack on our nation’s Capitol, the spread of online misinformation has had global and deadly consequences.”
The larger problem at hand here is one political party disseminating what “media literacy” is and attaching all their political motives and causes to it. It’s not like we have to worry about an entire generation being indoctrinated into a new batch of unreliable journalists — that’s something that is happening all on its own. This is more about an attempt once again to control the flow of information to students, as opposed to encouraging them to think critically about the world around them.
NewsGuard, a web news delivery platform, has already been integrated into classrooms nationwide and presents itself as a non-biased, fact-based service that allows teachers to filter information for their students from various media outlets. NewsGuard CEO Steven Brill and NewsGuard GC Cynthia Brill have donated more than $110,000 to Democrats and regularly grades liberal news websites like Media Matters, the Guardian, NPR higher than sites they claim lean right, such as the Daily Caller.
This is little more than an attempt to integrate progressive points of view and Democratic Party pet causes directly into the classroom through already biased news sources and present it as fact — the definition of fake news. Much like how CRT or gender ideology just somehow found its way into elementary schools, this is another attempt to subvert public notice, and parents, once again, will find themselves on the discovery end of this after it’s too late.
Similar movements by Democratic governors in other states are charging ahead, including in New York, where Governor Kathy Hochul announced “media literacy tools” for public school students. Democratic state governors are instituting curricula under what ABC News has called “a worrying rise in distrust in the media.”
Distrust in media outlets, remember, doesn’t stem from online memes or posts as much as it does from the lack of reliability inherent in most media outlets combined with more Americans exposed to more information and narratives outside of progressively biased news organizations. These government acts are not in service of raising media literacy; they are in service of attempting to reign in young impressionistic minds. That in and of itself is the very definition of anti-literacy with media.
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