Media conservatives have a history of criticizing of teachers, teachers unions, and public schools. Among their attacks are bizarre assertions that many teachers harbor Napoleon complexes or "peculiar attractions" to children, and claims that teachers unions are "communist" or the "single most dangerous entity ... in this country."
Media conservatives attack teachers as pedophiles, "losers"
Liddy producer Raff says many teachers are "drawn to the position" by "peculiar attractions" to children. On The G. Gordon Liddy Show, a caller suggested that teachers are "brainwashing" students into accepting immoral behavior. Producer Franklin Raff disagreed with that assessment, stating of teachers that "many of them, not all -- some may have been drawn to the profession to begin with because they have peculiar tastes, peculiar attractions." Raff further stated, "I think they've got the sex bug that grows, and for many, the target of their affection may be children anyway, or young people." From the August 2 edition of Radio America's The G. Gordon Liddy Show:
RAFF: I think these jobs are largely held by bored people -- not all of them, but bored people. They get in on a lesson plan, they've got many, many months off a year -- sometimes four, five months a year. And then they're bored and they got in on a lesson plan, and many of them -- many of them, not all -- some may have been drawn to the profession to begin with because they have peculiar tastes, peculiar attractions.
CALLER: So you think they got to do something with these?
RAFF: I think they've got the sex bug that grows, and for many, the target of their affection may be children anyway, or young people. I think that's got to play a part in it somewhere. Because there's so many other ways to destroy America.
LIDDY: It doesn't make any difference. Any way to destroy America is a good way from their point of view.
Severin: "A lot of" teachers are "losers" and "little Napoleons." On the June 25 edition of his WTKK show, Jay Severin said of teachers: "These little Napoleons -- think about these teachers and how they act, a lot of them. This is their little, tiny kingdom. A lot of them are losers, and they're little, tiny Napoleons, and you go into the school and this is their only chance in life, is to boss around parents."
O'Reilly claims studies indicate that "most" high school and college teachers "bring in a anti-American viewpoint." On the October 24, 2007, edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly asserted: "[I]t seems to me, and the studies indicate, that most teachers -- high school and college in the United States -- are left-wingers. That they bring in a anti-American viewpoint to the sense that they don't preach about the nobility of America, they teach about the deficits. Now, I think you have to teach both." O'Reilly introduced the segment by saying, "[W]ith many public schools teaching diversity, tolerance, and self-esteem rather than history, civics, and geography, lots of American kids know little or nothing about their country, including what they owe their country." O'Reilly did not indicate which studies show that most teachers "are left-wingers."
Quinn insists the public school system is filled with feminists who would "make male behavior illegal." On the November 6, 2008, edition of Clear Channel's The War Room with Quinn & Rose, co-host Jim Quinn read from a blog post describing a Georgia teacher who reported to her principal and campus police that one student's artwork might contain gang symbols. Quinn called the incident evidence of "the chickification of schools, the feminization of society, and the war on masculinity." He then stated that "the goal of the public school system -- the feminists in the public school system -- is to make male behavior illegal, a crime."
Beck, other right-wingers target teachers unions
Beck calls teachers union a "leech" and celebrates firing of teachers. On the February 19 edition of his Fox News television show, Beck applauded Frances Gallo, the Rhode Island superintendent who fired all the teachers at a high school when an agreement with their union could not be reached. Celebrating the decision, Beck said, "Fire them. If the unions won't do it, fire them all. Break the back of the leech that's on our neck."
Beck accuses government and teachers unions of colluding to ruin education and of teaching false history. On the April 17, 2009, edition of his Fox News show, Beck asked, "Why is the government and the teachers union working together to wreck our children's education?" Beck went on to say, "Educational bureaucrats reward failure. ... Once kids are stuck in the public school system, they don't either learn anything, or much of anything. Or, worse, they're indoctrinated with history lessons that don't resemble the real truth about America, and, oh yeah, the Constitution."
Beck has repeatedly questioned the merit of public schools and accused them of indoctrination. On the May 6 edition of his radio program, Beck warned listeners, "Get your kids out of these schools. Teach them the truth." On June 22, Beck told listeners, "The problem in America is we are being indoctrinated from dawn until dusk every single day, seven days a week. We're being indoctrinated by Washington, we're being indoctrinated by our unions, we're being indoctrinated in our schools." He concluded: "You're darn right we should abolish public schools."
Horowitz calls teachers unions "communist unions." As a guest on the March 5 edition of Beck's radio show, right-wing activist David Horowitz said, "The two communist unions, aside from the teacher unions, would be the SEIU and AFSCME."
Boortz says teachers unions are "the single most dangerous entity, group of people, in this country right now." On the April 16, 2008, broadcast of his radio show, Neal Boortz said, "I think the most dangerous -- the single most dangerous entity, group of people in this country right now are the teachers unions." He continued: "I think teachers unions do more damage to this country than the Los Angeles Lakers. They do more damage to this country than all the drug pushers together. ... If I had a button right now, two buttons -- push this button and it gets rid of all the drug dealers; push this button, it gets rid of the teachers unions -- I'm getting rid of the teachers unions."