On September 26, Popular Information reported that librarians in Charlotte County, Florida, public schools were instructed to remove books with LGBTQ characters from school and classroom libraries. This report was based on the following: 1. A document provided by Charlotte County public schools in response to a public records request, which memorialized guidance given to school librarians by Charlotte County Superintendent Mark Vianello and the school board's attorney, Michael McKinley. According to the document, librarians were told to remove books in K-12 libraries that had any LGBTQ characters.
I worked for Hearst Television in two different markets. I found they employed reporters who would never let facts stand in the way of good story. Judd, thanks for your dedication to truthful reporting. I’m sure there’s a juicy back story as to why a reporter in Fort Myers, FL decided to take a hatchet to a Popular Information story. Maybe she’s looking to leave television for a position in state government? You have a stellar reputation for honest, straightforward reporting of the facts. I know they would love an early Christmas card from your attorney!
This is a direct assault on the First Amendment. Book banning is wrong. And to have the school system continue to purposely misdirect the public is authoritarianism at its best.
Congratulations Judd! You've hit upon another hot button issue that is now being discussed on MSNBC shows, and CBS will be having Levar Burton addressing Banned Books week. Your painstaking work and follow up are exposing another crazy and unpopular Ron DeSantis view. First Amendment rights must prevail, and Hearst Communications must answer for their complicity in lying to cover for thesebook banning Puritans [are they "Christian Nationalists"?]
So much racism and hate and so much lying and covering up. It can’t be erased. We see it, thanks to you and others like you who shine a light on it. Thank you for your hard work and persistence!!
Isn’t Judd’s high quality investigative reporting just wonderful in today’s dysfunctional media landscape? My first read in the morning - before I even make coffee (and that’s saying something).
I posted this article in the comments on Samantha Serbin's FB page.
There are those who like to play pretend-journalist, and then there’s Judd Legum. The contrast between the two could not be more clear.
I hope there’s a parent group in that school district getting this story out to parents, door to door if need be.
Meanwhile, back in Kansas, that shake-up by police who literally terrorized a newspaper co-owner to death, continues . . . It needs your coverage. I think police heads are falling, but this is Charles KKKoch territory with a deeper, uglier center. “Mainstream Media” will only give highlights on a chicken recipe.
I worked for the web desk for a TV news station for the better part of a decade and we only deleted stories when someone was arrested for a crime and then could prove that the charges were dismissed. Deleting a story that the news director publicly "stands behind" would have been unheard of.
It is unfortunate and true that many times over the past 30 plus years that false stories have been reported by various media. Corrections or retractions were completed but didn’t dent the original impact of the false story. And that’s been the plan all along. The bad actors are aware a falsely reported story may be contradicted or corrected, but that fact the story is out there is always more damaging than the correction is to fix the damage. The bad actors know it - Fox, Sinclair, Breitbart, talk radio, social media - have it as part of their policy, because it works to spread the disinformation they are trying to spread. And people take it up and continue to spread it even though it’s been contradicted and corrected. Social media and immediacy to information makes it that much worse. And foreign powers through bots and hackers help spread disinformation and sometimes start it. How do we live with that?
Well done. Keep fighting the good fight!! 👊🏻
Grateful for your tenacity and pursuit of truth.
I notice tha never admitting a mistake is considered to be a sign of strength by some, whereas the exact opposite is true. Believing one's self to always be right is a sign of a weak mind. And covering over a mistake is dishonest to boot.
I guess we just have to keep repeating over and over again the truth about Republicans— that they don’t like the truth — and they say they’ll stand behind their false stories but purging false information doesn't jive with that claim.
The most important way to keep a democracy alive and have an informed public, is to ensure news is truthful & that it can be validated or invalidated with fact checking. It is one of our biggest downfalls in the US currently. We are lucky to have Judd Legum & others out there exposing lies and distractions from the right. One of the quickest ways to introduce Fascism is to let all of the deceptions go on without questioning & confronting.
Excellent reporting Judd.