On Thursday’s A New Day CNN senior national correspondent Evan McMorris-Santoro, with the help of an anonymous teenager, accused adults of throwing temper tantrums as they seek to attack “non-binary” youth when they seek to remove books about left-wing gender ideology from schools.
After McMorris-Santoro interviewed young adult author Melissa Hart, he turned to her daughter, “Like most teenagers, she’s plugged into the social media culture war, where adults are increasingly warning that teenage lives are becoming dangerously confused about identity. What do you say to those people?”
CNN didn’t identify her and set up the camera so the shot would only get the back of her head. She argued that critics of just don’t get it, “I say, obviously, you’ve grown up in a different world than we have. Although I identify as nonbinary, my love for all genders is evident. Because they were not raised during our generation, I believe they lack the ability to comprehend us. They don’t know exactly what we’re going through.”
In a voiceover, McMorris-Santoro equated criticism of gender theory with personal attacks, “This teenager is thinking of becoming a writer, not a surprise in a house like this one. When she hears adults attack books, she hears an attack on kids like her.”
The unidentified teen then argued that books exist to affirm her view of herself, “What else am I supposed to read? The unidentified teen said that they were supposed to read but should also read about themselves. They should see themselves in the books that they read, and not just white people or straight people or cisgendered people, like look at yourself in a book.”
A sympathetic McMorris-Santoro agreed “It seems like a pretty easy concept… Why do you think it is so hard right now?”
The teen had a simple answer, “Adults. Adults throwing temper tantrums.” McMorris-Santoro began to wrap up the video segment by warning, “The adults are not slowing down. More books are being challenged, and states are passing laws to make challenging books even easier.”
Back in studio, host Brianna Keilar agreed with Hart’s daughter on the purpose of books, “Just making me think about how much I love books. And the whole point of books is that you can go places, and meet people, and see people who represent the community you live in or not, right, or not.”
Fellow host John Berman agreed, “I was thinking the exact same thing, how much do I love books and what they represent in our society and our culture? And I just want people to think as this discussion goes on about the historical moments where books have been banned, or burnt, in our past, and what it all means.”
Given CNN’s robust defense of putting every book in the school library in the name of education, it surely will only be a matter of time before they advocate for Matt Walsh’s book. Actually, it is probably best not to hold one’s breath on that.
This segment was sponsored and produced by Farmers Insurance
The transcript from the show, April 28, is available here:
CNN John Berman, Briana Keilar and New Day
8.51 am ET
EVAN MCMORRIS SANTORO: Hart, her husband and their daughter live together with a lot books, animals, and their teenage girl. We decided not to capture her face.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don’t want to talk about it.
MCMORRIS-SANTORO : She’s like most teens, she has plugged in to the social media culture battle, where adults are warning that teenagers are becoming increasingly confused about their identity.
How do you address these people?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (I say that you have grown up in an entirely different world from ours). Although I identify as nonbinary, I truly love all genders. They don’t understand what we’re going through because they weren’t raised in the same time as us. They have no idea what we are going through.
MCMORRIS-SANTORO : The teenager wants to be a writer. It’s not surprising that she is considering it. Her reaction to adults attacking books is one of an attack on children her age.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE As they are supposed to read they must also read about themselves. The books they read should reflect their own views, not those of white or straight people.
MCMORRIS SANTORO, It sounds like a simple idea.
MCMORRIS-SANTORO : What makes it so difficult right now for you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE – Adults. Adults can throw tantrums.
MCMORRIS-SANTORO : There is no sign of a slowdown in the pace at which adults move. Books are getting challenged more often, with states passing laws that make reading difficult books easier.
MELISSA HART: No, I won’t give up. I will not surrender. The good fight is mine. I will don an inflatable T-Rex suit and stock the libraries of my neighborhood with books that are diverse until the cows return.
BRIANNA KEILAR : This is just to remind me how much books are dear to my heart. You can travel, meet people and find people that represent your community. That’s the point of books.
JOHN BERMAN – I thought the same thing. How much do you love books? As the discussion continues I would like people to consider what this all means as we discuss historical times when books were burned or banned in our history.
KEILAR: Yeah. They are not to be afraid of. This is a fact about books. Either you read them, or you choose to not. You have the option to choose not to. These items don’t necessarily have to be prohibited.