Fox News Backtracks

Fox News attempted to clarify this morning its coverage of the State Board of Education’s debate over social-studies curriculum.

(The State Board is still meeting today. Steven Schafersman is back live-blogging all the mind-boggling action.)

I wrote yesterday about the misleading segments on Fox & Friends this week about the SBOE. Yesterday, the Texas Education Agency ripped the network’s coverage. 

On Fox & Friends this morning, anchor Steve Doocy made the following clarification:

“I just want to clarify some stuff, a couple of points. First off all, they were upset that what we said that what they are doing down in Texas is they are developing standards for new textbooks. Technically, what they are doing, is they are developing curriculum standards that will set what is taught in classes, and then those standards will become part of a framework that textbooks are based on. We were just trying to make it simpler…Also, we talked about a suggestion that was made that history is, American history starts in the year 1877. That was a suggestion, made first of all, in North Carolina, and we thought we were pretty clear that these were just suggestions, and there have been a lot of suggestions, regarding the founding fathers, and some different dates that may or may not be included in the text. We thought we were clear that they were simply suggestions, so we want to make sure you understand, they were just suggestions, and that is our clarification.”

Not the most earth-shattering correction, if you can even call it a correction. 

A few minutes later, during an interview with Texas-based conservative activist Kelly Shackelford, the hosts were more reserved than they were in segments earlier this week. Shackelford, meanwhile, let fly with some accusations that, according to the TEA, aren’t entirely true. 

Shackelford claims the SBOE replaced Christmas with a study of the Hindu festival of Diwali. 

That doesn’t square with the Texas Education Agency account:

Fox: References to Christmas have been deleted.

The truth: A TEKS review committee briefly recommended removing Christmas from a list that mentioned one major holiday for each of the world’s religions. The committee recommended leaving Easter in the document. The State Board immediately rejected this idea and a reference to Christmas was restored in the standards months ago and can be found in sixth grade in standard 19(b).

Here’s the video of Shackelford’s interview.

Dave Mann is a former editor of the Observer.

Published at 5:35 pm CST