Maybe you’ve seen this click-baity headline on your social media feed, and perhaps, like one of our editors (who will remain nameless), you might have had a knee-jerk reaction:
“Samantha Bee’s Husband Fights To Keep Poor, Black Kids Out Of His Children’s School”
The story—published by The Daily Wire on May 1, 2017—claims Jason Jones, former Daily Show correspondent and husband of Samantha Bee—who’s lauded as one of the most outspoken commentators of the Trump era (we could probably formulate a hefty list of points to challenge that idea, but I digress)—doesn’t want his kids going to school with Black children.
Its reference point is last year’s school segregation debacle that erupted among rich New York City white folks regarding P.S. 452 and the city’s proposal to move the school a few blocks south. To quickly paint the picture, the school first opened in 2010 as a means to alleviate overcrowding in other nearby schools. The issue? It was now overcrowded itself. As The New York Times notes, moving the school would have meant an easy catchall solution, but it would have also meant close proximity to housing projects—and y’all *know!* said rich white folks weren’t having that.
But again. This all happened in 2016. So why is this news recirculating now?
If we were to leave it to the story I read today, Jones would have been the leader of this anti-integration movement, preaching to fellow parents in opposition that “we are not divided,” and urging them not to speak to media about the issue. But upon a quick search for the original source from which the quotes used in TDW’s article were pulled (and which was published on June 15, 2016)——it was revealed to me that Jones’ quotes were used out of context. Dropped the story link into Snopes’ search bar, and alas: the story is fake.
Also worth noting: The Daily Wire is a right wing website, so yeah, there was an agenda at hand when this story was published.
The point of us calling this out isn’t to defend Jones as saint—as we still don’t know his intentions for the children in his area that aren’t as privileged as his own—but to use this as a gut check for us all. With easy-to-believe headlines appearing on sites that do a good job at presenting themselves as credible sources of unbiased and well-reported news, media literacy is really (like, really) important. So check article sources. Hit up Google.
Just don’t get caught up in fake news like we almost did.