Salon misleads in headline ripping DeSantis education policy

July 7, 2022

By Tim Worstall

Salon uses this headline to entirely mislead about what Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is doing in his state with the education system:

DeSantis signs bill requiring survey of Florida students, professors on their political views

No, he hasn’t. What has actually been done is this, according to the piece: “Public universities in Florida will be required to survey both faculty and students on their political beliefs and viewpoints, with the institutions at risk of losing their funding if the responses are not satisfactory to the state’s Republican-led legislature.”

Even that’s a hugely biased statement of what is being done. What actually is being done is that private universities can continue to do as they wish, as they’re private. But publicly funded colleges must show that diversity of opinion is possible on campus.

Now maybe that’s not something desired, real diversity rather than just people of different backgrounds sharing the same political prejudices. But it’s a fair enough thing for a legislature to concern itself with, no? Money is being taken from the people to be spent, the political process should be able to see – possibly even control – how it is spent? That is the original justification for the taxes, that politics will then make sure it’s spent well. Or at least that’s how we understand the system.

We’ve noted before how Salon uses the old and well-known journalists’ trick. Given that a substantial portion of the readership never gets beyond the headline that’s where the inflammatory accusation is put. The article itself might walk it back but many will never get that far and will end up believing just the headline. It’s the deliberate creation of a biased article to do that.

Salon ranks around No. 60 in the listings for media outlets concerned with law and government. They gain some 9 million visits a month from that position.

The complaint here seems to be that it’s an outrage that a legislature checks how the money it allocates is spent. Well, it might be a progressive demand that we just give them the money and then shut up about how it’s spent but that doesn’t seem very democratic to us.


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