Leftist Media Freaks Out, Falsely Claiming Betsy DeVos Told Ed Staffers To ‘Resist’ Biden Like They Did Trump

Leftist Media Freaks Out, Falsely Claiming Betsy DeVos Told Ed Staffers To ‘Resist’ Biden Like They Did Trump

The left-wing media is attacking Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos by falsely claiming she “pleaded” with the department’s staff to resist the incoming Biden administration. In fact, she simply encouraged her department to resist implementing policies that harm students.

In a department-wide virtual meeting discussing the upcoming presidential transition, DeVos noted much of her department’s staff would be staying.  She then asked these staffers to “Be the resistance against forces that will derail you from doing what’s right for students. In everything you do, please put students first – always.”

She also concluded by noting why the department existed in the first place: “Ultimately, our aim in everything we accomplished was to do what’s right for students. That’s a notion that, from the beginning, I hoped would unite everyone in education. And it should. Four years later, it’s still my focus and it’s still my hope for all of you.”

The left-wing media sphere swarmed. The articles cherry-picked the word “resistance” out of her full statement and used it to falsely claim that DeVos was orchestrating some kind of insurgency against Joe Biden. The irony, of course, is that numerous U.S. Department of Education staffers have participated in the organized leftist “resistance” against the policies of the duly elected President Trump.

The headline and claim were quickly repeated across the corporate media, including Politico, USA Today, The Hill, Business Insider, Daily Beast, Yahoo News, the New York Magazine, and many more smaller outlets.

Commentators were also quick to note near-identical phrasing of the outlets’ attacks. Almost all referred to DeVos as “pleading” and identified the target of her encouraged resistance as Joe Biden, rather than the target she actually identified: policies that harm children.

The articles (all labeled as news, not opinion) claimed that to encourage this was somehow the same as forming a deep state organized to fight Biden tooth and nail. As MSNBC put it, “The Republican president and many of his conspiratorial allies have railed against a nefarious force they describe as the “deep state”…it’s against this backdrop that Betsy DeVos, out loud, told a group of executive branch officials to “be the resistance” following Joe Biden’s inauguration — which sounds quite a bit like an ironic call for some kind of “deep state,” as defined by Team Trump.”

These accusations were entirely crafted out of the secretary making a plea for putting students first.

Ironically enough, an actual resistance inside the Department of Education does in fact exist — and it’s certainly not one working to undermine Joe Biden. As was exposed by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Higher Education Adam Kissel in a piece for The Federalist in October, the department is beset by not only Trump hating “deep-staters,” but a herd of personnel doing their absolute best to avoid doing work.

As he revealed, the department is full of redundant workers, many of whom were selected via questionable hiring processes designed to privilege family and friends. Once in power, these officials are able to obtain merit bonuses for doing just 85 percent of their assigned work.

As Kissel describes it, “my top 20 performers could have done all the work, the middle 60 were there for redundancy, and the bottom 20 were worth less than zero, not because they were “resisters” (although many were) but because they knew they could get away with it.”

As DeVos herself put it when describing the U.S. Department of Education in an interview with Reason, “This building has caused more problems than it has solved.”

In light of this, and by reading her entire statement rather than simply cherry-picking the word “resist” then rushing out a swarm of attacks, DeVos’ comments can be understood accurately. They were a call for the department to reverse its long history of failing American children.

Jonah Gottschalk is an intern at the Federalist. He studies Modern History and International Relations at the University of St Andrews.
Related Posts