A number of Republican-led states have pushed back in recent years against an effort to expose children to inappropriate and even pornographic content as part of ideologically driven curricula.
While many concerned parents applaud bills that remove explicit books from classrooms, critics have denounced the trend as a de facto book ban.
In response to Monday’s mass shooting at a private Christian school in Tennessee, “Today Show” co-host Jenna Bush Hager echoed the sentiment that conservatives are too focused on limiting children’s exposure to inappropriate content.
“I have a friend in Nashville, so I knew of one of the little girls who was 9, who went to school yesterday and who didn’t get to come home,” she said. “We are worried about giving our kids Judy Blume and other books that are important to the history, to the fabric of our country, and we aren’t worried about sending our kids to schools where they’re not safe? Like I just don’t understand what has happened to a country that I know you love, that I love.”
Countless viewers found her argument to be shallow and unconvincing, but she did receive support from one prominent figure.
Former U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), who frequently espoused conservative ideas before derailing her political career with a targeted attack on former President Donald Trump, chimed in on Twitter with a fierce defense of Hager’s rhetoric.
Thank you @JennaBushHager for making this point today – if we really want to keep our children safe, we need to spend less time banning books and more time stopping the horrific gun violence in our schools.
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) March 28, 2023
Of course, Cheney did not propose a solution to the problem nor did she address the fact that the shooter has been identified as a transgender individual who apparently planned out the violent attack on a Christian school.
Her tweet elicited widespread derision, including a series of posts from conservative commentator Dana Loesch, who bolstered her point by including a graphic sexual image from one of the books being removed from schools.
“This remark is indistinguishable from something a Democrat would say,” she said in response to Cheney’s tweet. “The books you’re defending — like the ones with graphic illustrations of adolescents engaged in oral sex — weren’t banned, parents simply wanted to consent before they appeared in Jr High libraries.”
Loesch went on to ask: “If I can’t show the images on simulcast or read it on air for fear of a [Federal Communications Commission] indecent complaint, why are they in school libraries?”