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NBC Cries Racism in San Fran School Board Recall, ABC Flips for Dems

As NewsBusters documented last fall, both ABC”;s World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News attacked the politically engaged and angry parents in Virginia by claiming they were motivated by Republican Glenn Youngkin”;s racist siren song. But in the wake of parents recalling the school board (by a landslide) in extremely liberal San Francisco on Wednesday, NBC kept to the false narrative while ABC suddenly had a change of heart when it came to this Democratic political action.

Leading into the segment, NBC anchor Lester Holt seemed displeased with this brand of local politics. “;In San Francisco, a stunning landslide vote in the hyper, local politics playing out in that city and beyond. Three school board commissioners voted out. The latest example of this local political activism sweeping the nation,”; he whined.

The report was delivered by tech correspondent Jake Ward who called the recall a “;historic vote”; and “;once-in-a-generation.”;

But despite noting that the “;city sued the board last year over lack of clear reopening plan following pandemic closures,”; Ward leaned on school board backers to claim the REAL reason the board was recalled was racism:

WARD: In San Francisco, opponents of the recall say it”;s the commissioners’ fight for social justice that got them in trouble.

JAMES SWORD (district parent): I think that these three have been pushing a change to make San Francisco unified, a better, more equitable place, which is uncomfortable. Right?

He also tried to tie the parents to Youngkin. “;Across the country, schools have become a political battleground. Last fall, Glenn Youngkin rode concerns over Critical Race Theory to the Virginia governor”;s mansion,”; he said.

And as Ward was wrapping up his report, he rebuked a parent who said a school board shouldn”;t mix education and politics. “;[T]he two seem more entwined than ever,”; he chided.

Over on ABC, anchor David Muir boasted about “;local politics in these times”; as he highlighted the “;[p]arents and their anger over their children’s education in this pandemic.”;

Adding: “;In San Francisco, of course, a liberal city, some parents there and three school board members who have now been forced out. Those parents arguing, they spent more time on other issues including renaming schools than on getting their children back into the classroom.”;

Correspondent Kaylee Hartung spoke with multiple parents happy that the school board was recalled. “;Voters convinced the board was spending time on the wrong issues,”; she reported.

Hartung concluded by noting that each board member got over 70 percent against them and boasted that it was “;A sign of the power of parents and how their frustration over schools and COVID is reshaping politics.”;

But the night after Election Day 2021, ABC congressional correspondent Rachel Scott hinted that Virginia parents were appeased by racist dog whistles in Youngkin”;s calls to ban the influence of Critical Race Theory in schools. “;[Youngkin] also tapped into frustration with COVID regulations and vowed to ban critical race theory, though it’s not actually taught in Virginia public schools,”; she proclaimed.

This double standard from ABC and NBC”;s attack on parents looking out for their kids were made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from Progressive on ABC and DirecTV on NBC. Their contact information is linked.

The transcripts are below, click “expand” to read:

ABC”;s World News Tonight
February 16, 2022
6:46:00 p.m. Eastern

DAVID MUIR: And tonight, to local politics in these times. Parents and their anger over their children’s education in this pandemic. In San Francisco, of course, a liberal city, some parents there and three school board members who have now been forced out. Those parents arguing, they spent more time on other issues including renaming schools than on getting their children back into the classroom.

Here’s ABC’s Kaylee Hartung from California.

[Cuts to video]

KAYLEE HARTUNG: In San Francisco, parents’ anger boiling over at the ballot box — voters ousting three members of the school board, furious they did not do enough to reopen the city’s schools.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: They should have been focused on reopening schools like most districts were thinking and doing.

HARTUNG: An unprecedented recount election in America’s most liberal city. The COVID crisis pitting Democrat against Democrat, as parents saw kids in other places go back to the classroom, while students in San Francisco were stuck in remote learning.

JENNIE LUCAS (parent): These kids only had about six weeks of in-class instruction last year. I mean, before summer break, so — that is a huge loss when it comes to kids who are coming from difficult socioeconomic situations.

HARTUNG: Voters convinced the board was spending time on the wrong issues. Instead of tackling COVID policy, they focused on renaming 44 schools, originally named for historical figures like Abraham Lincoln and Paul Revere.

ASHEESHA BIRLA (parent): I saw the school board prioritize renaming schools over getting kids back in school.

[Cuts back to live]

HARTUNG: And David, this was not a close election. More than 70 percent of voters supported removing those three school board members. A sign of the power of parents and how their frustration over schools and COVID is reshaping politics. David?

MUIR: Kaylee Hartung in California tonight. Thank you.

NBC Nightly News
February 16, 2022
7:08:08 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: In San Francisco, a stunning landslide vote in the hyper, local politics playing out in that city and beyond. Three school board commissioners voted out. The latest example of this local political activism sweeping the nation. With more, here”;s Jake Ward.

[Cuts to video]

JAKE WARD: Students in San Francisco arriving the morning after a historic vote. Three school board commissioners ousted in a once-in-a-generation city recall.

The city sued the board last year over lack of clear reopening plan following pandemic closures, and parents say their frustration grew when the board chose to focus on renaming a third of the city schools, including this one. [Shows Abraham Lincoln]

But the flashpoint for many was when the board decided to change the admissions process at this, the city’s most prestigious high school from a merit-based system to a lottery-based system. The majority of students here are Asian American, that seems to have drawn in many first time voters.

ANN HSU (Chinese/AAPI Voter Out Reach Task Force organizer): We signed up 560 new voters, Chinese American, Asian American voters in the last six weeks.

WARD: Across the country, schools have become a political battleground. Last fall, Glenn Youngkin rode concerns over Critical Race Theory to the Virginia governor”;s mansion.

GLENN YOUNGKIN: It is my distinct privilege and honor.

WARD: Today, he signed a bill outlawing school mask mandates.

In San Francisco, opponents of the recall say it”;s the commissioners’ fight for social justice that got them in trouble.

JAMES SWORD (district parent): I think that these three have been pushing a change to make San Francisco unified, a better, more equitable place, which is uncomfortable. Right?

WARD: In the end, more than 72 percent of the vote went against commissioners.

MAYOR LONDON BREED (D): When selecting new school board members, we’re going to be asking a lot of very hard questions.

WARD: Organizers here say the message to whoever the mayor appoints next is clear.

HSU: Pay attention to education first and only. No politics.

WARD: Though tonight, the two seem more entwined than ever. Jake Ward, NBC News, San Francisco.

Read more: newsbusters.org

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