Fox News’ Pete Hegseth on Thursday accused teachers’ union leader Randi Weingarten of advocating against inclusivity in schools — after rolling a clip of her advocating for inclusivity in schools. He later corrected his error, but not before dedicating a segment of “Fox & Friends” to his misinterpretation of her statement.
During the morning show — which averaged 1.2 million total viewers last quarter and regularly commands a large audience — Hegseth and his co-hosts first played the footage of the American Federation of Teachers president discussing critical race theory and saying, “We are committed to helping educators understand how to engage with diverse student populations, to focus on promoting racial literacy, to enable educators to advocate for racial inclusivity.”
She went on, “There are legislators, mostly from the Republican Party, who are currently bullying teachers and trying to stop us from teaching kids honest history. Maybe they’re just trying to raise the temperature on race relations because of the next election, but whatever it is, it’s not good right now. They are not giving us a chance to engage with our kids in a way that we know we need to and we know that kids need.”
Hegseth jumped back in after that, announcing to his colleagues and their many viewers that he was going to “break out the decoder pen.” His decoder must have malfunctioned because he insisted Weingarten had advocated “for racial exclusivity, not inclusivity.”
He went on to define “inclusivity” and “exclusivity” and rail against the difference between the two. Later in the show, Hegseth corrected his mistake.
“Earlier in the program, I was preparing for this segment and I misread the quote from Randi Weingarten as enabling educators as advocating for racial exclusivity. She clearly says ‘inclusivity,'” he admitted. “But some could be forgiven for confusing some of the language being used on the other side as they racialize our education.”