New low: Beck and right-wing media minions fearmongering about kids to attack progressives
Research ››› ››› DIANNA PARKER
Glenn Beck and other right-wing media figures have recently fearmongered about how President Obama and progressive policies will harm children; among other things, Beck and these other media figures have repeatedly accused Obama of "indoctrinating" school children, aired unauthorized videos of children singing Obama's praises, and attacked Obama's "school saftey czar." On his September 25 television show, Beck plans to continue the trend by hosting 9-12 Project mothers, along with their children, who are "concerned" about "their kids' futures."
Beck invites 9-12 Project "moms" who are "worried about their kids' futures" to his show
Beck plans to "bring in moms and their kids to see what they're worried are about." On his Fox News show, Beck has repeatedly teased plans to "bring in moms and their kids to see what they're worried about" for his September 25 broadcast, claiming he has "noticed that more and more women are calling into my radio program," and that "[i]t's moms that are concerned into their kids' futures." Beck detailed: "Moms -- they're joining the 9/12 Project. So this Friday, I thought we'll have a studio audience. We'll bring in moms and their kids to see what they're worried are about."
Beck started 9-12 Project, whose members helped to organize 9-12 protests. On March 13, Beck announced the launch of his 9-12 Project, whose members helped organize and turn out participants to the 9-12 "March on Washington," which was heavily promoted by Fox News.
Conservative media fearmonger about unauthorized YouTube video of school kids "praising" Obama
The Drudge Report: "SHOCK VIDEO: School kids taught to praise Obama ..." On September 23, Internet gossip Matt Drudge linked to a YouTube video purportedly showing "[s]chool kids taught to praise Obama." The video, showing young schoolchildren in New Jersey singing a song about Obama, provides no evidence that the children or their parents consented to having the video posted on YouTube.
America's Newsroom: "Many parents ... just don't want this sort of political cheerleading, if you will, in the classroom." On Fox News' America's Newsroom, hosts Bill Hemmer and Megyn Kelly aired the video and asserted that "many parents" don't want kids "singing praises" to Obama. Before showing the video, Hemmer said: "It is one thing to have kids say the Pledge of Allegiance, but we're not sure what's going on with the videotape now online when students are singing praises to the president and why some parents are saying, not with my kid." Later, Kelly teased the video by saying, it's "getting attention on The Drudge Report website this morning. It shows young children singing the praises, quite literally, of the president." She continued:
KELLY: Well, information posted with the clip says that it is from the Bernice Young School in Burlington Township, New Jersey, but the school won't exactly confirm that for us. In fact, they won't confirm anything for us. We have made multiple attempts to ask them about these students, about this tape and how this came about. We are hoping that they can get back to us shortly, so that we can clear this up.
Already we're getting a lot of emails from our viewers. It went on from there -- you saw a clip of the children singing. Then came a bit of a chant by the children where they praised President Obama for all his great accomplishments, saying, quote, "You're number one. Hooray, Mr. President, we're really proud of you." And on and on it goes.
You know, many would have no problem with this. Many parents would, and just don't want this sort of political cheerleading, if you will, in the classroom. We just don't know the details behind the tape, but it certainly caught our attention and we're trying to find out from, again, from this school, which we have multiple calls into. The B. Bernice Young Elementary School, Bernice Young Elementary School in Burlington, New Jersey. And as soon as we have it, you'll have it. [America's Newsroom, 9/24/09]
The Fox Nation: "School Children Sing Songs of Obama's Glory." On September 25, the allegedly fair and balanced TheFoxNation.com posted the video with the headline "School Children Sing Songs of Obama's Glory."
Beck: Song sounds like "a hymnal for a dictator." On the September 24 edition of his radio show, Beck said: "I want to show you, and tonight I'm going to play the tape for you, of indoctrination that is going on. We've been going through all of this indoctrination for the last few days. Tomorrow, I do a full hour live with moms, and their children, and we're going to talk a little bit about things they're concerned with -- and indoctrination I know will come up. Play this, this is -- do we know where this is from? Elementary School in Burlington, New Jersey. The B. Bernice Young Elementary School. The woman who did this is, I believe, an activist, she's the principal, or the teacher. I don't have her name here. But listen to -- this is -- these are elementary school children, and they are singing a song for Barack Obama." After Beck played audio of the video and read the words out loud, he said it sounded like "a hymnal for a dictator. ... Does anybody see what's going on? Does anybody see what's going on?" Later, Beck said: "This is indoctrination. This should horrify the American people." [Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Show, 9/25/09]
Burlington Township School District superintendent: Song is from Black History Month activity, and the "recording and distribution of the classroom activity was unauthorized." The school board's superintendent wrote in a letter to parents that "[t]he video is of a class of students singing a song about President Obama. The activity took place during Black History Month in 2009, which is recognized each February to honor the contributions of African Americans to our country. Our curriculum studies, honors and recognizes those who serve our country. The recording and distribution of the class activity were unauthorized."
Fox & Friends on "school safety czar": "Given his past, is he the guy for the job?" On Fox News' Fox & Friends, hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade, and guest host Alisyn Camerota targeted Kevin Jennings, Obama's purported "school safety czar," following weeks of Fox News' witch hunt against Obama administration "czars." After Doocy stated that "there are some who are questioning whether or not this is a guy who should have a job given his history," Camerota noted that he "wrote a memoir in which he talked about his own past drug use," but "doesn't really disavow it." Kilmeade also said that Jennings is a "[f]ormer schoolteacher who has promoted homosexuality in schools. Also, he has a -- he details a report on how he did not report an incident with an underage student who had sex with an older man, and also has expressed contempt for religion. So, as you expand the resume, it might not be the perfect candidate."
From the September 24 edition of Fox & Friends:
DOOCY: We've been talking here at Fox because nobody else is talking about -- who exactly are these czars who have been appointed by the president to various high jobs. Let's take a look at a fellow named Kevin Jenkins, he is the president's --
DOOCY: Jennings, that is to say. The president's director of the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. And there are some who are questioning whether or not this is a guy who should have the job given his history.
CAMEROTA: Right. He wrote a memoir in which he talked about his own past drug use. Now, I think there are two sides to this point -- if somebody has had experience with drugs, I think that perhaps they are very qualified to then talk about the perils of it. The downside, of course, is if they somehow glorify it or romanticize it, and in his memoir he doesn't really disavow it. He talks about how, you know, you can go to the airport when you are really stoned and watch the planes take off, and it's really quite fascinating when you are drunk and stoned. So, he is not telling -- he is not talking about the potholes associated with this.
DOOCY: Right. But -- and you point out his memoir. I think the memoir came out in 2007, so it's a relatively recent recounting of his life growing up as a young man in Hawaii doing a lot of drugs. Suddenly that sounds like another memoir. But nonetheless, he expressed no regret. And so people are going, "Well, he had the chance two years ago to regret -- to put that down on paper." But he did not.
KILMEADE: And the safe school czar position was actually from George Bush's administration in 2002. President Bush said we need something like this. But maybe this wasn't the job -- this wasn't the resume he thought he'd get: Former schoolteacher who has promoted homosexuality in schools. Also, he has a -- he details a report on how he did not report an incident with an underage student who had sex with an older man, and also has expressed contempt for religion. So, as you expand the resume, it might not be the perfect candidate.
CAMEROTA: Yeah, the reason he was chosen was because he has a longtime record of working to end bullying and discrimination against gay students. He had that credential.
KILMEADE: So he's against bullying? That's good.
DOOCY: And apparently he's been very successful at that, but only half the job revolves around that; the other half is about usage of drugs in school. And given his past, is he the guy for the job? Of course, there was no Senate vetting. He didn't go through the Senate meat grinder. So we haven't heard him actually testify about his past.
Beck led the way on Fox News' witch hunt for Obama's "czars." Fox News personalities have led the charge against the Obama administration's advisers, including Van Jones, John Holdren, Cass Sunstein, and other officials and nominees it has described as "czars" -- often by unearthing and criticizing statements the officials had made in the past rather than critiquing their job performance or credentials for those positions. Sean Hannity, for example, declared that "my job starting tomorrow night is to get rid of every other ['czar']." Beck has been widely credited for the resignation of Jones as "green jobs czar," and on September 3, Beck urged "watchdogs" through his Twitter feed to "find everything you can on Cass Sunstein, Mark Lloyd, and Carol Browner. Do not link before burning to disc." Beck has also attacked FCC "diversity czar" Mark Lloyd.
Conservative media freaked out over Obama back-to-school speech, accused him of "indoctrinating" kids
Conservative media: Obama "indoctrinating" kids. Numerous conservative media figures -- including Hannity, Beck, and CNN host Lou Dobbs -- baselessly accused Obama of trying to "indoctrinate" America's children with his September 8 back-to-school speech encouraging students to succeed and persist in their studies. Hannity claimed that "it seems very close to indoctrination," while Fox News commentator Monica Crowley said "just when you think this administration can't get any more surreal and Orwellian, here they come to indoctrinate our kids"; similarly, Michelle Malkin claimed that "the left has always used kids in public schools as guinea pigs and as junior lobbyists for their social liberal agenda." Discussing a bas-relief supposedly representing Benito Mussolini, Beck said: "Gee, who is having indoctrination next week? Oh, yeah, that's right, the president, completely unrelated." Dobbs also said on his radio show that Obama was "trying to indoctrinate our kids."
Conservatives also claim "brainwashing," invoke communist China, Hitler Youth. Numerous conservatives -- including Fox News commentator Michelle Malkin and WorldNetDaily.com -- claimed that Obama's speech about "persisting and succeeding in school," along with classroom activities about the "importance of education," will "indoctrinate" and "brainwash" schoolchildren. Conservatives have compared Obama's address to Chinese communism and the Hitler Youth, while also calling for parents to "keep your kids home" from the "fascist in chief." On his September 2 radio show, Beck said that he planned to air "a special one-hour broadcast next Tuesday on television on the indoctrination of your children," explaining that he decided to air "it on that Tuesday because of Barack Obama speaking [to students] on that Tuesday."
From the September 21 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:
BECK: On Friday, we're planning another special show. I have been saying it for a while now that I have noticed that more and more women are calling into my radio program. It's moms that are concerned about their kids' futures. They sense it in their gut.
Moms -- they're joining the 9-12 Project. So this Friday, I thought we'll have a studio audience. We'll bring in moms and their kids to see what they're worried about. Don't miss it.
From the September 22 edition of Glenn Beck:
BECK: You know, the media is trying to paint people who go to the tea parties and 9-12 events as terrorists or angry white men or whatever. I have noticed on my radio show for a very, very long time that it's more and more it is women, women calling the radio program, moms concerned about their kids' futures. Well, moms are going to join the 9-12 project this Friday with a studio audience. All moms and their kids. What are they worried about? Why are they going out of their house to stand with a sign?
From the September 23 edition of Glenn Beck:
BECK: This Friday, we're also planning a very special show, 9-12ers, except these ones are all moms. What are moms worried about? Why would moms get so angry that they would join together and stand in crowds?