California State Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) has introduced a bill that would require the state to teach children how to spot “fake news.”
— Jimmy Gomez (@JimmyGomezCA) January 13, 2017
Gomez, who is also a candidate in the upcoming special election for U.S. Congress in the 34th district — to replace Rep. Xavier Becerra, who has been appointed California Attorney General — is exploiting Democrats’ obsession with “fake news” to make the most of the media’s sudden post-election interest in accurate reporting on current affairs.
The text of the bill, AB 155, is as follows (original emphasis):
SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) For every challenge facing this nation, there are numerous Internet sources pretending to be something they are not. With so much information shared on the Internet, it can be difficult to tell the difference between real news and fake news.
(b) Ordinary people once relied on publishers, editors, and subject matter experts to vet the information they consumed, but information shared on the Internet is disseminated rapidly and often without editorial oversight, making it easier for fake news to reach a large audience.
(c) A recent study has shown that the inability to distinguish between real news and fake news is particularly pronounced among young people.
(d) Young people tend to accept information as presented, even without supporting evidence or citations, and rarely ask where it came from or try to verify it.
(e) Young people also struggle to tell the difference between native advertising, an increasingly common type of advertising that tries to sell or promote a product while posing as a news article, and real news stories.
(f) The inability of young people to distinguish between real news and fake news makes them less informed about important civic issues and poses a direct threat to our democracy.
SEC. 2. Section 51226.8 is added to the Education Code, to read:
51226.8. (a) The Instructional Quality Commission shall develop, and the state board shall adopt, revised curriculum standards and frameworks for English language arts, mathematics, history-social science, and science that incorporate civic online reasoning.
(b) For purposes of this section, “civic online reasoning” means the ability to judge the credibility and quality of information found on Internet Web sites, including social media.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.