CNN anchor Brianna Keilar was rendered inarticulate during a recent interview after being confronted with direct evidence regarding the implementation of critical race theory in Virginia classrooms, forced only to regurgitate the Democratic talking point that the teaching doesn't exist.
Keilar was speaking with Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott, who serves as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, on Monday when the exchange occurred.
The two were discussing Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin's successful bid for the governorship and whether his issues-focused campaign would be the "playbook" for Republican candidates in the 2022 midterms when Scott used Youngkin's opposition to critical race theory as an example of a winning strategy.
"Glenn Youngkin won his race because he talked about issues," Scott said, noting that Youngkin addressed what his opponent, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, refused to acknowledge — that the theory was being promoted by the state's education department and being taught in its classrooms.
"Parents know their kids are being indoctrinated with critical race theory in Virginia, and the Democrats wanted to deny it," Scott explained.
That's when Keilar jumped in to say, "Well, it's not in the curriculum" — a claim she would repeat verbatim several more times over the next 30 seconds.
Scott responded to Keilar's denial in amazement. He began reading from a report that detailed specific instances in which McAuliffe himself, when he was governor of Virginia, specifically implemented critical race theory and embraced race-based teaching in the commonwealth.
"In 2015, while Terry McAuliffe was governor, the Virginia Department of Education promoted incorporating a critical race theory lens in education. You can still find it on the Department of Education's website, it's still there," Scott read. "In 2019, a superintendent memo for the Virginia Department of Education promoted critical race theory and the idea of white fragility."
The anchor, apparently unable to offer any substantive retort, reverted time and time again to her refrain that critical race theory "is not in the curriculum" in Virginia.
"I looked at it yesterday! It's still there, Brianna," Scott shot back as Keilar shifted uncomfortably and tried to change the subject.
"Brianna, wait a minute. Let's all agree: They were trying to indoctrinate kids, Terry McAuliffe denied it, it's still on the website," the senator continued as the segment closed.
"This is happening," he added to silence from the CNN host.
MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace similarly argued last week that the rise of critical race theory in schools is merely Republican propaganda, even going so far as to say that the theory "isn't real," despite mounds of evidence to the contrary.
As conservative journalist and filmmaker Christopher Rufo pointed out in a Twitter thread recently, Virginia public education officials have endorsed in recent years the explicit use of critical race theory as an "important analytic tool" to "further spur developments in education."
"Right now, on its website, the Virginia Department of Education recommends 'Critical Race Theory in Education' as a 'best practice' and derives its definitions of 'racism,' 'white supremacy,' and 'education equity' explicitly from 'critical race theory,'" Rufo wrote late last month.