Fox News Billed 11 GOP Activists as Average-Joe 'Parents' Who Don't Want Critical Race Theory Taught in Schools

A Media Matters for America Investigation found almost a dozen of the parents opposing critical race theory on Fox News also work in GOP politics

Lindsey Ellefson

Fox News/MMFA

At least 11 of the guests presented on Fox News as parents concerned about critical race theory being taught in American schools are also Republican activists, according to a new investigation from Media Matters for America.

MMFA, an activist group that monitors conservative media and regularly discourages advertisers from working with Fox News, named the guests and their affiliations Thursday. Those named included: Ian Prior, Quisha King, Patti Hidalgo Menders, Lilet Vanetsyan, Barry Bennett, Nicole Neily, Elizabeth Schultz, Carrie Lukas, Bridget Ziegler, Deborah Flora and Joe Mobley.

Their affiliations with Republican groups weren’t completely hidden, but were highlighted in on-screen text instead of by anchors. Schultz, for instance, was identified as a “former Fairfax County school board member” and her affiliation with Parents Defending Education was also noted on-screen. Another woman, Carrie Lukas, was introduced verbally as “a Virginia mom of five.” Her on-screen descriptors included “VA mother,” “parent” and “Virginia mother of five,” as well as, briefly, “Independent Women’s Forum President.”

Prior has, according to MMFA, appeared on the network to discuss critical race theory at least 15 times. He’s been identified as “a Loudoun County, Virginia, parent,” but he’s also a long-time GOP political operative. Similarly, King was introduced as an “everyday American” and “the Northeast Florida co-chair of Moms for Liberty,” but also served as the regional engagement coordinator for the Republican National Committee in 2020.

Critical race theory has been a hot topic across cable news lately. Essentially, it refers to an educational framework that examines the impacts of racism on America and the country’s history. On Fox News, guests and opinion hosts have fretted it will teach children to hate the United States.

A representative for Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In the past, the network has rebuked Media Matters. In May, when the activist group released a letter signed by 40 progressive groups urging advertisers against working with Fox News, a spokesperson told TheWrap, “Fox News is about to close out its fourth consecutive year delivering new records in advertising revenue, so clearly Media Matters’ predictable ongoing partisan attacks have zero impact outside of their irrelevant echo chamber on social media.”

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