‘Take The L’: Jesse Watters Delivers Live Fact-Check On Co-Host’s Claim That Iowa Schools Banned Teaching About Slavery

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Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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Fox News host Jesse Watters delivered an on-air fact check after co-host Richard Fowler claimed Iowa schools had banned teaching about slavery.

Fowler claimed on “The Five” that there was a bill in the Iowa legislature that would outlaw the teaching of a number of subjects, including “sexism, slavery, racial segregation” — and Watters argued that it wasn’t true. (RELATED: ‘No One Has Been To Europe. We’re Not Allowed’: Jesse Watters Mocks Kamala Harris’ Deflection On Border Absence)


“That’s not true,” Watters objected.

“Did you read it?” Fowler asked.

“That is not true,” Watters repeated

“Did you read it?” Fowler asked again.

“I haven’t read the bill,” Watters conceded.

“Ok then,” Fowler said, but Watters continued.

“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,” Watters added. “And I say that with no knowledge of the bill.”

Fowler stood firm on his claim, arguing that the bill did say the topics he had listed were “prohibited from the curriculum.”

“We will find out the truth about the bill in Iowa, and then we will tell you as soon as we find out,” Watters said, promising to look up the bill during the break and find out for sure what was in it — and he made good on that promise.


“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,” Watters said after declaring a “Fox News Alert” and saying that he had been right and Fowler had been wrong.

Fowler continued to push, saying that the bill did ban the teaching of slavery and sexism — and Watters pointed out that it only banned those topics in employee training scenarios but not in the classroom.

“That’s not what you said. That’s not what you said, Richard,” Watters laughed.

“This is the funniest thing ever,” co-host Greg Gutfeld added.

“Teaching slavery is not prohibited in Iowa in this bill,” Watters said again.

“Not to mention the fact that the bill — it’s poorly written,” Fowler protested.

“Poorly read, too,” Watters shot back, prompting laughs from the other co-hosts.

The bill in question, which appeared to be House File 802, applied to diversity training for employees and would ban lesson plans that asserted the state of Iowa was “fundamentally or systemically racist or sexist.”