Fox News asked to revise a teacher union ad criticizing Trump, McConnell on reopening schools

FOX News pulls ad criticizing the Trump Administration's handling of schools reopening this year. Source: American Federation of Teachers' Youtube

UPDATE: The Florida Phoenix reached out to Fox on Wednesday afternoon. Fox responded at 10:48 p.m. Wednesday in a statement related to the AFT ad. The statement said, in part: “Fox News did not reject the ad. The network asked for AFT to revise the ad for accuracy and instead of receiving a revised spot, AFT decided to cancel the buy.”

A 30-second political ad criticizing President Donald Trump and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on the reopening of schools was supposed to air on the Fox News Channel during the Republican National Convention.

But the ad by the American Federation of Teachers didn’t air, after Fox asked the AFT to revise the ad “for accuracy,” according to the news network.

Fox News, at least in the past, had been a Trump favorite, though it has soured recently and described Fox as “fake news,” according to the Mediaite outlet.

The AFT, a national teacher union, submitted the ad to both FOX News and CNN, to run prime time on Wednesday and Thursday of the convention.

The ad highlights the difficulties of reopening schools in the midst of COVID-19, criticizing Trump and McConnell for having “no plan” to address how to reopen schools safely amid a pandemic, and urging viewers to “say ‘no’ to Trump and McConnell’s chaos.”

It will still run on CNN Wednesday and Thursday.

“There are great journalists who work at Fox News,” AFT President Randi Weingarten said in a written statement, “but it seems executives want to pick and choose how to apply the First Amendment when it comes to brave teachers telling the truth about who’s to blame for the current chaos of school reopenings.”

The Florida Phoenix reached out to FOX News for a statement on the ad. The news organization has not responded.

In addition to speaking on the national level, the AFT has been vocal about how schools should safely reopen in Florida.

The AFT and several of their affiliate Florida unions support a lawsuit against  Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, and other officials over an emergency order that compels school districts to reopen brick-and-mortar schools by the end of August.

The Florida Education Association’s lawsuit says not all schools are safe and that local school boards, under the Florida Constitution, should be making decisions on reopenings.

The emergency order is now under appeal at the First District Court of Appeals in Tallahassee.

CLARIFICATION: In an earlier version of the story, the Phoenix wrote that the AFT ad was “pulled.” The ad was not “pulled,” but it did not air, after Fox asked the AFT to revise the ad “for accuracy.”