Christopher Rufo says he's outmaneuvering 'hostile media' on critical race theory: Most people 'on our side'

Chris Rufo says Joy Reid interview with him ‘backfired’ on MSNBC

Christopher Rufo, a Manhattan Institute senior fellow, on his interview with Joy Reid and 1619 Project founder Nikole Hannah-Jones being granted tenure at UNC.

Manhattan Institute senior fellow Christopher Rufo slammed the “hostile media” over its coverage of the nationwide debate over critical race theory, as he has emerged as a prominent critic of the movement. 

Appearing on Tuesday’s installment of the Ruthless podcast, Rufo began by mocking the media’s efforts to attack his reporting while also conceding the “bad” things about CRT. 

“They have this really funny, simultaneous motion where they’re attacking me with one hand but they’re also retreating on the other hand,” Rufo told Ruthless co-host Josh Holmes. “And I think consequently, they haven’t landed any punches against me and I just keep beating them up over and over every time I release a new story.” 

Rufo then ridiculed the narrative that CRT isn’t being taught in schools and how the media will treat it like “Bigfoot” or “the Loch Ness Monster,” but stressed that “the evidence is really clear” that it exists. 

“So we’ve collected hundreds of examples,” Rufo said of journalists reporting on CRT. “My own personal database of leaked sources is about 5,000 people would suggest that this is very widespread given that I’m only one person and, you know, people are sending this to me.”

Rufo rejected the notion that he “invented” CRT as MSNBC host Joy Reid suggested during their contentious on-air exchange, telling Holmes he “explained” CRT to people in a comprehensive way

“Parents intuitively understood something was happening in their kids’ classrooms, in their workplace, in their churches, in their local institutions, but they didn’t have the vocabulary to speak about it,” Rugo explained.

“And it gave a lot of people confidence because these are racial issues, very hard for people to discuss, very frightening for people to discuss. And I think what I did is that I framed it, I explained it, and then I provided language for people to speak about it with confidence.”

When asked what he thought is the “bumper sticker slogan” of CRT, Rufo responded by first explaining that it’s an “academic discipline” that declares that the US was founded on “White supremacy” which is “still rooted” in today’s society and that every institution is a mechanism of “racial oppression,” but concluded that its most simplistic three-word summary of CRT is that it’s “race-based Marxism.”

Rufo told Holmes that he was “optimistic” about the tides turning against CRT by the “grassroots revolt” from a “broad coalition” that has developed over the past year.

He continued, “This is my first time going through the national media gauntlet, but it’s been fun to train. I mean… it’s like intellectual street fighting. I mean, you really are training for it and you’re really getting out there. And I’m sure eventually I’ll take some hits, I’ll take some blows, but so far, I’ve been able to out-maneuver these folks and I think conservatives should have confidence that- especially on an issue like this, most people are on our side- that the facts and evidence and truth are also on our side. And the key virtue that’s required is courage. And if you have that, you can really make a difference in today’s politics.”

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