A number of classrooms in Greenwich Public Schools have used the Ad Fontes Interactive Media Bias Chart in order to tell students what to think about the quality and reliability of media sources, instead of teaching children how to think about the quality and reliability of media sources.
When this happened in a 7th grade classroom at Eastern Middle School in 2020, it took more than two weeks for Principal Jason Goldstein to respond to the complaint.
It seems a social studies teacher had told students to use the Interactive Media Bias Chart to help them figure out what sources to use when doing their homework.
The students weren’t taught how to evaluate sources using critical thinking skills, but instead they were told to accept the Ad Fontes chart as “fact” despite its clear bias against conservative and alternative sources, even though those sources actually provided more factual reporting than the mainstream media provided.
A concerned parent complained about the obvious bias and propaganda nature of the chart, and how it chills free speech, and asked the school and teacher to stop using it.
The parent said her child "indicated he was supposed to use 'mainstream sources' based on his understanding of what she [the teacher] wanted and what she responded to "in a positive manner". His belief is that if he doesn't use a mainstream source, he will get a bad grade based on that chart she shared at the beginning of school."
Clearly, the students had already understood what they needed to do in order to get a good grade.
By the time the teacher “clarified” how to think about the Media Bias Chart after the parent’s complaint, the damage had already been done.
Why are we bringing this up now?
1) The Interactive Media Bias Chart is still being used in Greenwich Middle School and High School classrooms.
2) It has just been revealed by Honest Reporting that mainstream media sources with favorable positions on the Media Bias Chart actually had embedded photojournalists with Hamas terrorists BEFORE the brutal attack on Israel. A former freelance journalist for AP, Hassan Eslaiah, appeared in a photo with Yahya Sinwar, the leader of the Hamas massacre. Two of the journalists were even positioned to get pictures of the horrific and gruesome abductions of Israelis into Gaza.
Were the embedded photojournalists part of the plan? Or did they conveniently show up on the morning of the attack, just in time to snap those pictures?
In the wake of the Honest Reporting article, the AP denied advance knowledge of the attacks and cut ties with the reporter. Reuters denied advance knowledge of the attack, too and CNN also cut ties with the reporter.
But the NYTimes, which has been complicit in the rise of antisemitism, stood by its decision and "praised his work claiming that he was doing what photojournalists always do during major news events.”
Israel’s Public Diplomacy Directorate at the Prime Minister’s office vehemently disagreed, and issued a statement indicating that it viewed the photojournalists as “accomplices to crimes against humanity.”
Is it time to re-evaluate how our schools view sources like the NYTimes after something like this?