Sometimes newspapers put their best stories on the front page of Sunday’s edition.
Other times, it is just their ignorance on display.
Such was the case on Sept. 19 when the Mason City Globe Gazette published a story by Jaci Smith called “New organization at Mason City High School has roots in extremism.”
Keep in mind, we’re talking about high school students. High school students who choose to become part of an organization based on their own personal beliefs and values.
It just so happens this one group is a conservative group. I know, I know, educators and journalists hate the idea students in school may be exposed to alternative views such as conservatism — or perhaps, reality.
But Smith highlights Turning Point USA’s “professor watchlist.” Which really isn’t extreme.
Seven or eight paragraphs in, there’s a “school board watchlist.” Again, nothing extreme.
The School Board Watchlist exposes board leadership that supports anti-American, radical, hateful, immoral and racist teachings in their district — such as Critical Race Theory, the 1619 Project, sexual/gender ideology and more.
Again, nothing extreme.
Turning Point USA has been encouraging youth to stand against vaccine mandates recently. Perhaps extreme to those who cannot think for themselves, but still, nothing extreme.
Now, typically, when slapping a headline about a group being rooted in extremism, you wouldn’t wait 10 or 11 or 12 paragraphs to expose the extremism. And the extremism would be somewhat blatant and obvious.
But the “extremism” of Turning Point USA is really just a viewpoint that runs counter to most journalists, educators and Leftists.
Those folks call these things “extreme.” Most Iowans call it common sense.
The article then notes high school principal Dan Long approved the group’s use of the building. It then noted teacher, coach and city councilor John Lee is supervising the group.
Finally, at the end of the story, we learn the reason for the headline. We learn about TPUSA’s extremism.
“Both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center agree, noting the national organization promotes sexist and racist ideals,” the story concludes.
That’s it. No examples. No context. Just an unfounded, biased statement from a biased newspaper with a biased reporter and an obvious agenda.
According to Influence Watch, the Anti-Defamation League has been sharply criticized for acting more as a “left-leaning pressure group” than a non-partisan anti-Semitism watchdog since 2015, under the leadership of liberal former Obama administration staffer Jonathan Greenblatt.
A right-leaning Jewish columnist called Bethany Mandel suggested the ADL should remove the words “anti-Semitism” from its mission statement under Greenblatt.
The group has been criticized for aligning with BLM, which has leadership that has certainly expressed anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric.
Southern Poverty Law Center is ironically used as an organization to identify hate groups. It could be considered a hate group itself, however.
Again, according to Influence Watch, SPLC has been criticized for characterizing non-violent conventional conservative organizations as equivalent to violent extremists.
“The SPLC uses its former credibility to smear its political foes,” Influence Watch says. “Despite this, SPLC is cited by left-leaning mainstream media outlets as a credible source for information about the mainstream right, to widespread criticism.”
In 2012, an individual attacked Family Research Council and said in his guilty plea agreement SPLC’s labeling of FRC as a hate group inspired his behavior.
So…about that “extremism.”
The only thing extreme about that article written by Smith in the Globe Gazette is the extreme amount of arrogance and ignorance necessary to write and publish it.