September 19, 2023

Maurice Cunningham: Keri Rodrigues Lolling in Fox Love

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Maurice Cunningham, expert in tracking the dark money in education politics, calls out a noted faux liberal.

Fox News favorite “liberal” “Democrat” Keri Rodrigues is once again swaddling in love from America’s most penalized media outlet. This time Fox gets to use Rodrigues’ criticism of the Biden administration from the “liberal” position, allowing Rupert Murdoch’s $787,500,000-poorer outfit to get huffy from the left.

Unless of course you know and acknowledge absolutely anything—a scintilla, a shred, a wisp, a shadow, a trace, a crumb–about Rodrigues’ Walton front the National Parents Union. Readers of this blog do know about NPU,  but the Washington Post, the source of Fox’s story appears to know nothing (equal treatment: WaPo is equally befuddled by Moms for Liberty) and locally, the Boston Globe pretends not to know about NPU. Give Fox News full credit: they understand that NPU is a Walton created facade to undermine teachers’ unions and hasten the demise of public education.

This is called “the inside game” using a phrase employed by the Rupert Murdoch–funded Democrats for Education Reform, where Rodrigues has been an “advisory board member” since 2015. The inside game is to take money from America’s richest oligarchs and use it to attack teachers unions and promotes school privatization. Some Democrats.

NPU’s largest donor in its founding year was the Vela Education Fund, a joint venture of the Walton Family Foundation and Charles Koch Institute–$700,000 in 2021 for home schooling ventures, even though NPU had no apparent expertise in grant administration, no experience in home schooling, and never mentioned home schooling in its funding pitch to the Waltons. One of the other three donees to receive an inaugural grant from Vela was the Home Schooling Legal Defense Association, co-founded by Michael Farris. He is a radical right white Christian nationalist who was just written up by the Washington Post as the driving force behind the “parents rights” movement. Rodrigues’ other Walton front, Massachusetts Parents United, has financially supported another far right Christian organization, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and its leader Pastor Samuel Rodriguez.

Fox knows exactly what it is doing. So do Rodrigues, NPU, MPU, and DFER. And of course, Murdoch, the Waltons, and Koch.

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