Among two other (easier to understand) moderators, Noticiero Univision anchor Ilia Calderon presided over the second Republican primary debate on Fox News Wednesday night. Her contributions included repeating two Democratic Party talking points. Yes, really.
To Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), she posed the question, “Florida’s new black history curriculum says ‘Slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.’ You have said slaves developed skills in spite of slavery, not because of it. But many are still hurt. For the descendants of slaves, this is personal. What is your message to them?”
Her question references a controversy from this summer. Vice President Kamala Harris claimed that Florida schools teach “that enslaved people benefited from slavery.”
The claim comes from a single sentence, “Instruction includes how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit,” which, first of all, does not say that slaves benefit from slavery and, secondly, was purportedly meant to celebrate the “highly specialized trades” developed by African Americans.
DeSantis was right to call out the moderator’s framing as a talking point straight from Harris — and to deny any framing that paints him or his state as racist.
Calderon seems like she’s trying to split the difference, admitting that DeSantis didn’t say what he was accused of but simultaneously assuming that the Left’s bogus framing deserves his response, or else people’s feelings might get hurt. DeSantis’s face at the end of the clip really says it all.
Not content to stick with one Democratic talking point, Calderon later asked former Vice President Mike Pence, “The Department of Homeland Security warns that violence against LGBTQ+ people is on the rise and intensifying. According to a recent study, members of that community are nine times more likely to be victims of violent hate crimes. As president, how would you protect this community from violent attacks and discrimination?”
You know what else is on the rise? Attacks against pro-life pregnancy centers and the weaponization of the Department of Justice against pro-lifers under the Biden administration. In public schools, universities, and seemingly every other institution in the U.S., the self-identified “LGBTQ+ community” is an esteemed and protected class. (There’s a reason an unprecedented number of young people are choosing to identify with the alphabet soup.)
DeSantis, Pence, and others will have plenty of time to respond to Democratic talking points when they speak to virtually all legacy media outlets. Wednesday night was a unique chance for them to speak to issues that GOP voters care about. And Fox blew it.