‘Just take the L’: Tensions escalate on ‘The Five’ when co-hosts engage in real-time fact check

Fox News Channel’s “The Five” became heated on Tuesday when two co-hosts got into a spat over a proposed bill that allegedly mandates certain topics would be banned from Iowa’s public school curricula.

Richard Fowler, a co-host on the show said that the bill in question would “ban the teaching of the following topics: sexism, slavery, racial segregation.”

Jesse Watters, another co-host on the show interjected, “That’s not true.” Watters even bet that there was nothing in the bill preventing slavery from being taught in Iowa. 

Watch and read the terse exchange below: 

“WATTERS: That’s not true.

FOWLER: Did you read it?

WATTERS: That is not true.

FOWLER: Did you read it?

WATTERS: I haven’t read the bill.

FOWLER: Ok then.

WATTERS: I will bet that you cannot find anything in the bill that says we will not teach slavery in school in Iowa. I guarantee you, Richard, that they have not prohibited the teaching of slavery in history class in the state of Iowa. I guarantee that’s wrong. And I say that with no knowledge of the bill.”

Fowler defended his position during the segment, while Watters committed to finding clarity on the proposal, “We will find out the truth about the bill in Iowa, and then we will tell you as soon as we find out.”

Later in the show, Watters announced a “Fox News Alert” and proclaimed, “I was right. Richard was wrong.”

Watters continued, “The definitive answer is that Iowa Republicans did not – I repeat, did not – submit a bill banning the teaching of slavery in schools in Iowa.”

The bill in question banned the teaching of sexism, slavery and racial segregation from being included in training for employees. It made no mention of school curriculum for students. 

Fowler tried to defend the flub, asking “Did they not ban the teaching of slavery?…to be clear, this bill bans the teaching — and let me go back to my notes — of slavery, sexism and racial segregation in training for employees and students in a school setting.” 

To clarify however, that is not what Fowler initially said and Watters points this out.

Fowler just couldn’t let it go and asserted that the bill was “poorly written” to which Watters retorted “Poorly read too. Just take the L”. 

The pair shook hands at the end of the segment, but Fowler just couldn’t seem to fold as he continued to justify his argument while the show went to commercial break. 

Schools across the nation are bowing to social and political pressures to integrate critical race theory into their curriculum. The bill mentioned in the segment, House File 802 is intended to combat the politically charged narrative surrounding national conversation on race and sex. 

It would ban instruction that contends that Iowa is a “fundamentally or systemically racist or sexist” state during diversity and inclusion training for teachers and education professionals.


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