Investigative journalist Christopher Rufo exposed the Washington Post's "flat-out lies" about his critical race theory research printed in the publication's hit piece.
Rufo lays out five lies in a Twitter thread that the outlet printed Saturday.
The first claim the Washington Post states: "Critical race theory holds that racism is systemic in the United States, not just a collection of individuals prejudices [...] Conservatives say analyzing [education, policing, and economics] issues through a racial lens is, in and of itself, racist."
According to Rufo, "This is a deeply misleading definition of critical race theory, which is, in fact, a neo-Marxist ideology that promotes extreme concepts such as 'spirit murder,' 'anti-capitalism,' 'all white people are racist,' 'abolish the white race,' and the 'decolonization' of American society."
"I provided the Post with extensive background about the nature of critical race theory and more than a dozen reports about the abusive practices of critical race theory in public schools," Rufo continues in the online fact-checking rebuttal. "The Post chose to ignore this evidence, so it can push the false narrative that conservatives want to suppress the discussion of racism."
The second lie Rufo claims "fabricates the timeline of events surrounding my involvement in President Trump's executive order on critical race theory in the federal government." In an executive cease and desist order last September, the Trump administration cut off taxpayer dollars that fund "critical race theory" and "white privilege" training of federal employees that "seeks to undercut our core values as Americans and drive division within our workforce."
"The reaction to Rufo's appearance that evening on Fox News [discussing critical race theory in the federal government] was swift. The next day, Trump demanded action and, Rufo was soon in the White House for a meeting. Two days later, his budget chief issued a memo laying the groundwork for the federal government to cancel all diversity trainings. An executive order followed," the Post writes.
Rufo states that "the Washington Post's account is false. I appeared on Fox News September 1st, the memo was released September 4th, and the executive order was released September 22nd. I didn't visit the White House until October 30th."
"The reporter distorted the basic timeline of events, despite the fact that this the information was easily available to the public. If this was deliberate, it suggests malice; if it was accidental, it suggests incompetence—both of which undermine the credibility of the report," Rufo continues in the Twitter response.
In the third lie, Rufo claims that "the Washington Post falsifies a direct quotation…"
"In March, [Rufo] wrote on Twitter that his goal was to conflate any number of topics into a new bucket called critical race theory ... Rufo said in an interview that he understands why his opponents often point to this tweet, but said that the approach described is 'so obvious,'" states the Washington Post.
According to Rufo, "the Washington Post is directly falsifying this quotation. I never said it was 'so obvious' that I wanted to 'conflate any number of topics into a new bucket called critical race theory.' In fact, during my telephone interview with the reporter, Laura Meckler, I directly refuted this interpretation. I challenge the Post to release the audio recording of my interview in its entirety. If they cannot support their claim with direct evidence, we can only conclude that it is a deliberate falsification—and a flagrant violation of journalistic ethics."
The fourth lie that Rufo outlines states that, according to the Washington Post, the Treasury Department never said "that all white people are racist during a diversity training seminar," despite Rufo obtaining internal documents that state otherwise.
"The Post's claim is false. The Treasury department training problem states explicitly that 'virtually all White people, regardless of how "woke" they are, contribute to racism' and that 'Whiteness' itself 'includes white privilege and white supremacy.' To say that all white people contribute to racism and that white identity is inherently linked to white supremacy is to say that all white people are racist. I have attached screenshots from the original documents here," writes Rufo, with the said documents attached to the tweet.
In the fifth and final "flat-out lie," Rufo challenges the Washington Post's claims that his "reporting about a 'power and privilege' training at a Cupertino elementary school never happened."
"[Rufo] said the lesson [at Meyerholz Elementary School] was delivered as laid out in the slides, alleging that students 'were forced to deconstruct their racial and sexual identities.' However, Jerry Liu, president of the Cupertino Union School Board, said the program was canceled after parents raised concerns. 'The lesson provided to the 3rd-grade students was not age-appropriate and not part of the district's curriculum,' Liu said in an email. 'Classroom instruction with these materials never went forward,'" writes the Washington Post.
"This is a flat-out lie. As I originally reported for City Journal, Meyerholz Elementary taught the 'power and privilege' training session, then, after parents complained, the principal agreed to suspend future lessons.
"To support my claim that the training did occur, I have first-hand testimony from a parent, who said the lesson on 'power and privilege' took place during a math class 'right before Thanksgiving.' The school's principal also confirmed in an email to me that the lesson, although not part of the 'formal curricula,' was conducted as part of 'daily learning facilitated by a certificated teacher.' I have attached supporting documents here," Rufo continues.
Rufo concludes in his Twitter thread that "the Washington Post has attempted to smear me with five verifiably false claims. I call on the editors to issue an immediate correction and retract all of the false statements."
"Democracy dies when the media lies," he adds.
New York Post columnist Karol Markowicz commented that "This kind of coverage is what I meant in this tweet. They have to turn Rufo into a rightwing enemy in order to get the liberals and moderates, who are suspicious of CRT too, back on the team," referring to another tweet of hers posted last week.
"If it were only conservatives who cared about critical race theory the media wouldn’t be covering it like this. It's specifically because a majority of parents, left, right and center think it’s absurd that the media is hysterically trying to paint opposition as right wing," the prior tweet reads.