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‘60 Minutes’ Wages Propaganda War On Moms For Liberty With ‘Book Ban’ Lies

CBS News aired a version of an interview with the founders of Moms for Liberty that was shamelessly edited to push a leftist narrative.

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Nearly five months ago, “60 Minutes” host Scott Pelley interviewed Moms for Liberty co-founders Tiffany Justice and Tina Descovich about their ostensible crusade to “ban books” in public school libraries. And then a few days ago, CBS News finally aired a version of the interview that depicted Justice, Descovich, and Moms for Liberty as a group of unhinged, inarticulate Karens who stand against tolerance, education, and moderation.

Sure enough, the reason for the long delay between the interview and when it appeared on television became clear when Justice posted the full transcript of the interview, showing that Pelley and his team shamelessly edited the whole segment to push a leftist narrative about book bans and parental rights groups like Moms for Liberty. Justice read portions of books that were included in elementary school libraries, but this was cut from the aired version of the interview. Pelley twice accused the two mothers of “evading the question,” said he caught them flat-footed when asking what “ideology” was present in these books, and asserted that Moms for Liberty was an anti-mask organization.

In truth, the books in question really are this bad, the leftist indoctrination in schools really does happen, students’ reading skills really are declining, and Moms for Liberty is an important voice for parents who are frequently railroaded in districts that have been captured by leftist activists. The “60 Minutes” producers obviously wanted to project the opposite, pretending none of this was happening and casting these parents as ignorant bigots.

With all that’s happening in the world, one might wonder why any of this matters. It’s so tempting to dismiss the issue of library books as yet another culture war debate that mainly takes place on social media, not in the real world. However, this would be a mistake. This whole conversation touches on a much bigger crisis that affects communities, education systems, and our shared values.

No ‘Book Ban’

Of course, it’s difficult to see it this way when the left frames this as a matter of “book banning.” As Justice explained in the (unedited) interview, this terminology is misleading since it suggests that access to these books is somehow blocked, which isn’t true. Removing a book from a school library or taking it off a class’s required reading list does not prevent families from buying the book, looking it up online, or checking it out at a public library. If parents want to introduce pornography and gender ideology to their children, they can unfortunately do so with relative ease.

Rather, this is a matter of intellectual formation. When librarians include certain books in their collection, they are effectively endorsing and recommending those books to the community. For instance, at an elementary school, the collection normally consists of books suitable for younger readers, not only helping them with decoding and comprehension but also introducing important concepts and moral values to help them mature and become more responsible people. These books are also supposed to help cultivate a lifelong love of reading.

Thus, Pelley and those who agree with him are essentially arguing that sexually explicit books with LGBT themes are better for children than age-appropriate books that are educational and fun to read. In the past, kids would read series such as Encyclopedia Brown, Goosebumps, or books about Harry Potter. But now, they’re encouraged to read Genderqueer, All Boys Aren’t Blue, and Flamer. All the while, parents have no clue that any of this is happening, since they’ve always trusted librarians and teachers to do right by their children.

Consequences

The consequences of school libraries stocked with smut and propaganda combined with teachers assigning such books are predictable. Most children are now conditioned to view reading as an unpleasant, pointless experience and will simply stop reading altogether. As for the minority of students who do read the books (i.e., the good kids who want to do well in school), there’s a good chance they will now be thoroughly sexualized and indoctrinated as a result. Over time, the K-12 student population of these schools will come to resemble that of most college campuses: a small group of brainwashed high-achievers and a large mass of anti-intellectual mediocrities.

As an English teacher and father, I completely agree with the mission of Moms for Liberty. I want my students and children at home to be readers, and I want to be able to trust their teachers and librarians with giving them engaging and appropriate texts. But this means I have to review their English curriculum closely and steer clear of certain areas of the bookstore and public library. Even then, I still encounter books adopting gender nonsense and have to seek out alternatives.

Much like the “60 Minutes” interview, the left’s position on removing inappropriate books from libraries and classrooms is completely distorted and dishonest. Too many of the adults charged with educating our children have done real harm to young people, and it’s well past time they be held accountable. It does no one any good — least of all, our children — to continually deny the problem and ridicule the people who happen to notice what’s going on.


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