NowThis puts out book-ban propaganda lightly disguised as journalism

August 8, 2023

By Tim Worstall

NowThis News tells us that “Book bans have been a favorite move of the supposedly freedom-loving right for a long time.”

This is not true, but maybe that’s just journalism for you.

The thing is, NowThis isn’t even producing journalism. It’s producing propaganda disguised as journalism. If some statement has a great big screaming “D” or even “R” on it then we can and do apply the appropriate discount to what is being said. OK, but that’s just politics, and who expects the truth there?

But when it’s a supposedly journalistic output – those defenders of the truth and educators of the population protected by the First Amendment – then we can and should demand a higher level of accuracy.

Because the truth here is that book bans have not been a favorite of the “right for a long time.” They’ve been a long-running progressive, woke and left idea. It’s only just recently that the right has even started to think about the books in libraries in schools and so on. It was lockdown that made parents realize what their kids were being taught, what was on the shelves of the class and school libraries. This past couple of years has been the reaction to finding out what that progressive control had led to. The arguments over what is being taught, over school board elections, over books, they’re all new for the right.

On the specific book-banning idea. We’ve observed this and commented on it for some time now. Sure, All Boys Aren’t Blue and the like, they’re being complained about now. But as we noted 18 months back, “To Kill A Mockingbird” and  “Of Mice and Men” were among the top 10 banned books. It really hasn’t been the Right trying to ban those. As we’ve also noted, Mockingbird has been subject to bans because it contains the “white savior complex” which really, really, isn’t a right-wing, Republican or even possibly adult complaint.

Woke progressives have been book-banning for years, and now their ideological opponents have woken up to it. Returning it, too, at least as far as school libraries are concerned. One major difference is that no one is saying that All Boys Aren’t Blue cannot be on general sale – unlike those who have been shouting for decades that Huck Finn is “problematic” unless edited.

But our real problem here is that a place – NowThis – supposedly doing journalism isn’t, in fact, explaining the truth. Rather, shading to twisting reality in order to push an ideological view. Rather a betrayal of that mission that deserves that First and most important Amendment, no?


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