Earlier today Jeb Bush tweeted out a story from Reason which recaps Elizabeth Warren’s intentional lies about sending her kids to public schools. NBC reporter Jonathan Allen was quick to jump on Bush’s tweet, claiming he was attacking Warren’s children. We’ll get back to that in a moment but this won’t make much sense if you missed the backstory.
Elizabeth Warren has an education plan which reads like an attempt to win over public school unions. She proclaims her staunch support for public schools and also criticizes charter schools (which unions don’t like). Warren has repeatedly pointed out that she attended public schools herself and also briefly worked as a schoolteacher. What Warren did not mention, any of the times she’s talked about this topic, is that she sent her son Alex to a private school. We only know that because a school choice advocate discovered a record that Warren’s son had attended a private school in Texas.
But Elizabeth Warren was so set on her narrative as a public school champion that when she was asked about sending her kids to private schools she lied. I wrote about the situation here. A charter school advocate/parent named Sarah Carpenter said to Warren, “I read that your children went to private schools.” Without hesitation, Warren replied, “No my children went to public schools.” Warren’s campaign later clarified that her son Alex actually attended private schools for most of his K-12 years. In addition to the school in Texas, Warren’s son also attended an elite private school in Philadelphia.
Factcheck.org looked at the situation nearly a week ago and concluded Warren had been misleading. So when Jeb Bush tweeted the Reason story out this morning, he wasn’t breaking any new ground. In fact, he wasn’t really commenting on it at all. His tweet is the default language you get if you click the tweet icon above the story. He literally just clicked a button:
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) December 3, 2019
Enter NBC reporter Jonathan Allen. Two minutes after Bush’s tweet, Allen accused him of attacking Warren’s children:
But we live in different times.
— Jonathan Allen (@jonallendc) December 3, 2019
Obviously this is absurd for any number of reasons. To start with, Bush didn’t write this tweet himself. If Allen had bothered to look at the story he might have noticed that. Second, this tweet clearly isn’t about Alex Warren, it’s about Elizabeth Warren’s hypocrisy and deceit about her own biography, something which has been a problem for her before. Third, Alex Warren is an adult in his forties so even if Bush were going after him, he isn’t a child anymore. The rule about not attacking other people’s kids (which is a good one) is designed to shield minor children, like Obama’s daughters or Barron Trump, not 40+ year old men.
It’s frankly astonishing that someone who gets paid to be a political reporter by a major network is this clueless. Again, maybe if Allen had paused to read the story before jumping on Bush’s tweet he’d catch up a bit. Honestly, I don’t care about defending Jeb Bush, but I do find it frustrating that the knee-jerk reaction here isn’t to criticize Warren for lying about her biography but to criticize those who have figured out she was lying. This is exactly what the media did when it turned out Warren’s claims of Native American ancestry couldn’t be verified. The story wasn’t that Warren had falsely proclaimed herself a minority on job applications and on EEOC forms, it was that Republicans were being mean.
Have you seen The Mandalorian aka the baby Yoda show? If not I won’t spoil anything too important but there’s a scene in one of the episodes where we learn there are actually several Mandalorians who all meet together in a kind of underground lair where they practice their martial religion and forge armor for themselves. They have a saying which sort of unifies them through tough times: “This is the way.” I wonder if network reporters have a lair where they meet and quietly agree about everything. It’s not hard to imagine some of Allen’s peers looking at this tweet and thinking “This is the way.”
Fortunately, not everyone is clueless. Allen is getting ratioed by people who know better:
She lied specifically so she wouldn't face this accusation of hypocrisy. That seems relevant.
— Rory Cooper (@rorycooper) December 3, 2019
Completely stupid take
It used to be journalists called out politicians like Warren for lying about sending their kids to public schools when they actually attended a private school. Now you people are biased activists.
— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) December 3, 2019
Don't hurt yourself carrying all that water for Elizabeth Warren.
— Michael Ahrens (@michaelahrens) December 3, 2019