MSNBC host Joy Reid opened Tuesday night’s show with a condemnation of Gov. Ron DeSantis’, R-Fla., education law by citing a Washington Post report that was previously corrected with comments from the Florida Board of Education.

"The ReidOut" host attacked the law using reporter Hannah Natanson’s article by insisting that teachers who display any books that are not allowed by the governor could face a felony charge with up to five years in prison. 

"Washington Post is reporting today that school officials in at least two Florida counties, Manatee and Duval, have directed teachers this month to remove or wrap up their own classroom libraries until the books are vetted for appropriateness under state law. Teachers who display or give a student a book deemed unallowed could face up to five years in prison," Reid said.

She insisted, "You heard that right. Five years in prison for handing a child a book. And in case you’re wondering what falls under the umbrella of inappropriate for school children by Florida standards, activist Brandon Wolf points out that one of the books rejected by Duval County schools is ‘The Life of Rosa Parks.'"

Joy Reid and the Washington Post

MSNBC host Joy Reid used an uncorrected version of a Washington Post article to attack Gov. Ron DeSantis. (MSNBC)


Reid neglected to reference how the same article she cited was later corrected after a comment from the Florida Department of Education.

The article now features a correction reading, "After this story was published, a Florida Department of Education spokeswoman responded to questions, sharing some details about which violations would incur which penalties. Those details have been added."

One quote that was edited included Natanson’s argument that any violation of the education bill would lead to a felony charge.

"Breaking the law is a third-degree felony, meaning that a teacher could face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine for displaying or giving students a disallowed book," the original article read.

This previously uncorrected quote was spotlighted on Reid’s show.

The new quote read, "The new law comes atop an older one that makes distributing ‘harmful materials’ to minors, including obscene and pornographic materials, a third-degree felony — meaning that a teacher could face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine, a spokeswoman from the Florida Department of Education said Tuesday. She suggested violating House Bill 1467 might yield ‘penalties against’ an educator’s teaching certificate."

"Still, because of uncertainties around enforcement and around what titles might become outlawed, school officials have warned teachers that their classroom libraries may expose them to the stiffest punishments," Natanson wrote.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at inauguration

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks after being sworn in to begin his second term during an inauguration ceremony outside the Old Capitol on Jan. 3, 2023, in Tallahassee, Florida. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)


Florida Department of Education communications director Alex Lanfranconi explained to Fox News Digital that the felony charge is based on a pre-existing statute prohibiting the distribution of pornographic material to minors and would not apply to less obscene books such as "The Life of Rosa Parks." He further attacked the Post along with other anti-DeSantis activists who appeared to be intentionally confusing the laws to stir discord.

"Teachers’ unions and media activists at the Washington Post and other outlets are pretending to be confused about the penalties for violating HB 1467, spreading lies and causing fear in classrooms. The most egregious lie they tell is that teachers can face a felony simply for providing a ‘disallowed book’ to a student. This is blatantly untrue. To be clear, any adult, not just a teacher, who knowingly provides a minor with pornographic or sexually explicit material could be prosecuted for a third-degree felony. This law is not new nor is it specific to educators," Lanfranconi said.

He added, "Ironically, The Washington Post cites ‘uncertainties around enforcement’ as a basis to their false reporting on classroom libraries, yet intentionally contributes to the uncertainty themselves." 

DeSantis and Joy Reid

MSNBC host Joy Reid has frequently used her show to attack Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images Ms. Foundation for Women | Joe Raedle/Getty Images)


Reid has frequently used her show to attack DeSantis’ conservative policies, such as his Parental Rights in Education bill, which she repeatedly mislabeled as the "Don’t Say Gay" law. She further attacked the governor after DeSantis revoked Disney’s special privileges over its public opposition to the bill in April.

"Baby MAGA is mad that Disney opposes his ‘Don’t Say Gay' bill, so, today, the Florida senate voted to revoke the privileges that have allowed Disney World to govern itself since the theme park opened its glittery doors," Reid said.