According to Fox News, a number of media outlets misled their readers and viewers this week in attempts to claim that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) defended Nazi salutes by parents to school board members.
The accusation stemmed from an exchange between Cruz and Attorney General Merrick Garland about parents giving mock Nazi salutes to school board members to protest their authoritarian COVID-19 rules and decisions regarding their kids’ schools, including whether parents could speak at the meetings concerning the school boards’ decisions about curriculum and gender issues.
Cruz said that the mock salutes were protected speech and that the National School Boards Association (NSBA) should not cite them as examples of violence, and Garland agreed.
“General Garland, is doing a Nazi salute at an elected official, is that protected by the First Amendment?” Cruz asked.
“Yes, it is,” Garland answered.
Several media outlets that reported the story, however, beginning with liberal writer Aaron Rupar, who reported only that “Ted Cruz defends Nazi salutes at school board meetings.”
Not surprisingly, Garland’s agreement, or the fact that the salutes were to mock the members’ authoritarianism, not support it, were not mentioned by Rupar, The Daily Beast, HuffPo, CNN, or MSNBC.
“If you’re defending Nazi salutes at school board meetings, you’re already losing,” CNN’s John Avlon said.
The media have become masters at ignoring nuance and context when it benefits their narrative, and it is not surprising that they tried that tired tactic once again against Cruz, who has been one of the most outspoken political voices against President Joe Biden and the Democrats since the beginning of this year.
Cruz sets the record straight
Cruz took to Twitter to set the record straight about his so-called “defense” of the Nazi salutes and left no room for doubt that he was on the right side of the issue, constitutionally speaking.
Responding to a tweet by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) that took things even further out of context, including a blatantly false claim that the Texas Republican was “defending Nazis,” Cruz pointed out that she was the last one to speak out against anti-Semitism, adding that she got things “180 degrees false” in her characterization.
You are frequently a liar (and often spewing anti-Semitism).
But here, you’re lie is exactly 180 degrees false. I was defending the right of citizens to denounce authoritarian policies. In other words, to OPPOSE Nazis (or petty tyrants), not to support them. https://t.co/BrDSjYIKyT
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) October 27, 2021