Show Your Work: It’s not like they didn’t know the schools were falling down

Show Your Work is a regular feature on Donald Media highlighting stories where journalists uncovered badness, shining the light in darkness; and where we have debunked the total bullshit you see online.

• The Idaho Journal-Statesman partnered with ProPublica to investigate how restrictive school funding led to massive disrepair in hundreds of schools. The state actually stopped inspecting the schools, so it fell to the journalists and the students themselves to evaluate the state of their schools for the first time in 30 years. Bad roofs, freezing cold classrooms, lack of disability access, poor security, dilapidated bathrooms, holes in the walls with exposed wiring, flooding and more.

This week, the Idaho governor announced $2 billion in funding over the next 10 years to repair the schools, citing the journalists’ investigation as the impetus for the biggest investment in school infrastructure in the state’s history. Of course, it was pretty clear everyone involved knew the schools were falling down. But once the light shines on it, they can’t ignore it anymore.

• Also in the category of “it took a journalist to make it happen,” Illinois has closed a juvenile detention center exposed by Capital News and ProPublica for multiple violations of its own standards: leaving kids locked up for 24 hours or more, ignoring medical needs, etc. In the key incident, the undertrained and underpaid staff called in deputies when two inmates yelled at each other, and they broke one of the boys’ arms. He was then left in his cell to suffer, his arm untreated and handcuffed, for hours. Kids were denied access to medication, tased and beaten, and given little to no education despite laws requiring it. The country tried throwing money at it, but a judge has ordered closure of the facility. Note: staff was being paid $28,000 a year. No wonder they were understaffed. A lawsuit is pending from the ACLU.

The Trace and ProPublica obtained audio recordings of the NRA’s CEO discussing a plan to conceal his luxury expenses, including private jets and stays at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The New York Attorney General was unaware of the recording, though they are currently investigating the NRA for financial malfeasance.

• Technically they’re not journalists, but PEN America is a First Amendment advocacy group that has often stood with journalists and as we have often said, an act of journalism can come from anyone. PEN America found that when Florida removed 1,600 books from its schools, they also removed five variations of the dictionary as well as the World Book Encyclopedia. As soon as they posted the list, of course, Florida hastened to say that the dictionary wasn’t banned, no, of course not, and then it disappeared from the list.

And a few weeks ago, the Washington Post reviewed 1,000 book challenges and found what was blindingly obvious but people still won’t believe it until there’s a study: They’re banning mostly sexual, LGBTQ or racial content while claiming it’s not about racism or homophobia; the majority of 1,000 challenges were filed by 11 people; and LGBTQ books are not only likely to be challenged, but most likely to be banned after review. even more than books by or about people of color.

And now, for This Week in Total Bullshit:

• The Fort Worth hotel explosion was caused by a gas leak, according to the actual officials investigating it. That Facebook post circulating blaming it on “Sahil Omar” is TB. The same name has circulated blaming him the Rainbow Bridge catastrophe in Canada and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas shooting.

• I can’t believe it’s circulating again, but no, Facebook/Zuckerberg have not forbidden posting The Lord’s Prayer on the site. It’s been shared more than 500,000 times from a 2022 post of a 2020 rumor and it’s still not frigging true.

• Tucker Carlson interviewed a podcaster who declared that the COVID-19 vaccine has killed 17 million people. It should be blindingly obvious that this is TB, but just in case, Annenberg debunked it. Sadly, they’ve found that the Americans who believe the vaccine is deadline is now up to 34 percent, up from 22 percent two years ago.

• That video of people fleeing is not Chinese migrants fleeing Russia to avoid being forced into the war. Reuters dug into what it’s really about.

• Annenberg also went into all the claims from former President Trump’s town hall and the last GOP debate.

And, oddly, what was NOT total bullshit: The circulating meme on kids leaving bottles with drano and aluminum foil that can explode. Yes, that’s actually a thing. Snopes checked it years ago.

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