“An issue is not necessarily completely invalid just because Fox News mentions it,” he said.
In an interview, Mr. Teixeira said his logic applied to questions far beyond critical race theory. “I can’t tell you how many times I analyze a particular issue, saying this is a real concern,” he said. “And the first thing I hear is, ‘Hey, this is a right-wing talking point. You’re playing into the hands of the enemy.’”
What to Know About the 2021 Virginia Election
Fox News is not the only institution capable of producing this kind of reaction from some on the left — it was just the one Mr. Teixeira chose to make his point as vividly as possible.
The conservative news media is full of stories that can make it sound as if the country is living through a nightmare. Rising prices and supply chain difficulties are cast as economic threats on par with the “stagflation” crisis of the 1970s, a comparison that is oversimplified because neither inflation nor unemployment is as high now. Stories of violent crime in large cities are given prominent placement and frequent airing; the same is true of coverage about the record number of migrants being apprehended at the southern border.
The Biden administration has struggled to address concerns about all of these issues. Critics pounced when the White House chief of staff, Ron Klain, posted a tweet that cast inflation and supply chain disruptions as “high class problems,” seeming to dismiss the anxiety that Americans say they have about their own finances.
And despite border crossings hitting the highest number on record since at least 1960, when the government began tracking them, the Biden administration has resisted referring to the issue as a “crisis.” President Biden has faced persistent questions about why he has not visited the border.
Takeaways From the 2021 Elections
Then there’s crime. After a year and a half of calls from the progressive left for drastic policing reform, voters across the country last week rejected candidates and policies aligned with the “defund the police” movement. In two of the most striking examples, Minneapolis voters said no to a referendum to dismantle their city’s troubled police department. And New Yorkers elected as mayor a former police captain, Eric Adams, who strongly opposes “defund” efforts.
One liberal who apparently recognized the broader problems that Democrats have had explaining their platforms to voters was Maya Wiley, who ran against Mr. Adams in the mayoral primary as a proponent of sweeping police reforms. In an opinion essay for The New Republic this week, Ms. Wiley, a civil rights lawyer, wrote that while Republicans distorted the debate over critical race theory in Virginia, they also offered a more compelling message on education.
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