Samantha Bee: Republicans and Fox News don't understand or actually care about 'Critical Race Theory'

It's already mid-June, and "Republicans are celebrating their fun in the sun by melting down over yet another bulls--t made-up controversy," Samatha Bee said on Wednesday's Full Frontal. Outrage from stories on "Critical Race Theory" is "Fox's main source of income after ads for reverse mortgages and a life-sized theme park of Noah's Ark."

"While conservatives have recently appropriated critical race theory as a catch-all scare term for basically any conversation about teaching the history of race in America, the actual concept of it has been around for decades, and — big surprise — it's really not scandalous at all," Bee said. "The current debate and conservative hand-wringing about critical race theory started in 2019, when The New York Times published 'The 1619 Project,'" hurting "the feelings of one truly oppressed group," racist jerks.

"All this nonsensical outrage does have real consequences," Bee said. GOP state legislatures have passed or are considering laws limiting discussion of race in schools, but because Republicans can't be bothered to learn what critical race theory actually is, their bills are "so vague that teaching the Civil War, Trail of Tears, and even civil rights could be considered a violation," she said. "Naturally, none of this has anything to really do with education, history, or saving the children," it's just the latest in a long series of "scare tactic wedge issues" Republicans have perfected for political gain over the past 50 years.

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Republicans have help. "Fox News, OAN, and Newsmax transform even the thinnest controversies into headline news to gin up ratings," Bee said. "Republicans don't just love these non-scandals, they need them, especially right now when the GOP is having a genuinely hard time demonizing Joe Biden." Seriously, she said, "you know it's hard for Republicans when the biggest scandal so far in Biden's administration is whether or not his dog Major is a good boy." Republicans and their media allies don't actually care about critical race theory, trans athletes, or any other "controversy" that gets wall-to-wall coverage on Fox News, Bee argued. "They only care about making their mostly white base feel attacked and depressed." There is some NSFW language.

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.