The right-wing media have seized on a video of students protesting against Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker as evidence of children being "indoctrinate[d]" to support progressive causes. As Media Matters has noted, right-wing media have repeatedly seized on YouTube videos of children to accuse progressives of "indoctrination" of children.
Right-Wing Blogs Criticize Child Participation In Union Protests
HotAir: "Kids Being Taught To Chant" Against Walker. A March 14 HotAir post claimed that "kids [were] being taught to chant without comprehension." The post further stated: "Comprehension would entail knowing that Wisconsin public employees still have more collective bargaining rights on pay and benefits than our federal work force has, and if kids knew that, well, they might conclude that it's Obama who should be the one to go." [Hot Air, 3/14/11]
The Blaze: Protesters Teach Kids To Chant Against Gov. Walker. A March 15 post to The Blaze stated: "Hey, teachers! You've got them chanting 'Hey hey, ho ho, Scott Walker has got to go' - but what do they know about Scott Walker?" [The Blaze, 3/15/11]
Hoft: "It's Never Too Early To Indoctrinate The Children." In a March 14 post to his blog, Jim Hoft wrote that "[f]ar left Wisconsin loons are now teaching kids how to chant against authority and Scott Walker. Of course, the kids have no idea what they're chanting about." In the post, Hoft also included the following doctored photo with a caption that read, "It's never too early to indoctrinate the children":
[Gateway Pundit, 3/14/11]
Right-Wing Media Have Previously Freaked Out Over Supposed Progressive "Indoctrination"
Right-Wing Media Seize On "SHOCK VIDEO" Showing Children Praising Obama. A YouTube video of schoolchildren singing about President Obama as part of a Black History Month celebration was picked up by several right-wing blogs and news organizations including the Drudge Report, Fox News, and Fox Nation. Several sites labeled the video evidence of "Obama indoctrination going on in schools." [Media Matters, 9/24/09]
Hoft: "Students Instructed To Chant 'I Am An Obama Scholar.'" In a June 13, 2010, post, Hoft asked, "What is wrong with these leftists?" This was in response to a video of African-American schoolchildren saying a motivational chant inspired by Obama's life, achievements, and the racial barriers he broke. [Media Matters, 6/13/10]
Beck: Drudge-Hyped School Kids Video Is "Indoctrination." During the September 24, 2010, broadcast of his radio program, Glenn Beck stated of a video of schoolchildren celebrating Black History Month by singing a song which mentioned Obama:
BECK: This is indoctrination. This should horrify the American people. And you can separate yourself from it all you want, you can say, "Well that is not the Democrats that are doing it, that's not Barack Obama." You know what, let me tell you something, how many, how many, how many not just signs of smoke, how many fires must we have before we have to say, OK, wait a minute. Look, if there was nobody in Barack Obama's administration that was into indoctrination, if, if, if Valerie Jarrett was not involved in the NEA indoctrination, in the propaganda, if we didn't have Van Jones in the administration, if we didn't have Tides putting out what we showed you earlier this week that is anti-capitalist, if we didn't have all of these things that are not smoke, they're fire, I'd agree with you. This is a just a crazy teacher, this is a crazy teacher. We've dismissed the people that, you know, are making those kids, you know, march in the military fatigues going, "For Barack Obama I --" OK alright, don't know, we don't know who these people are. But haven't we seen enough yet to say, "Whoa, wait a minute. I may have voted for the guy, but this is not what I had in mind." [Media Matters, 9/24/10]
Dobbs: "Is This Evidence Of Left-Wing Propaganda And Indoctrination, Or What?" In response to the video of schoolchildren singing about Obama as part of a Black History Month celebration, Lou Dobbs stated on his then CNN program, "Is this evidence of left-wing propaganda and indoctrination, or what?" [CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, 9/24/09]
Right-Wing Media Flog YouTube Video Of Children Singing About Obama, Ignore Singing Praises Of President Bush. The right-wing media also criticized a video of North Carolina schoolchildren singing a song which included praise of Obama during a PTA meeting. However, while these outlets condemned the "praise" of President Obama, they ignored that children also sang songs about President George W. Bush during his presidency. [Media Matters, 9/29/09]
But Child Participation In Tea Party Rallies Goes Unmentioned By Right-Wing Media
Kansas Kids Offered Day Off Of School In Exchange For Participation In Pro-Life Rally. In a January 21 broadcast to Kansas television station KSNT, it was reported that at a Kansas pro-life rally, kids "dominated" the event, "greatly outnumbering adults in the crowd." The report explained that although it was a school day, children were allowed to skip school to attend an "optional" field trip to the rally. [YouTube, 1/21/11]
Tea Party Tots: America's Youngest Politicos Protest Taxes. An April 17, 2009, Huffington Post article, titled "Tea Party Tots: America's Youngest Politicos Protest Taxes," showed a series of photographs in which children participated in tea party protests. From the post:
The tax-paying public weren't the only ones protesting on Wednesday. Those who still keep their savings in a piggy bank were also out in force.
From the Huffington Post:
[Huffington Post, 4/16/09]
Tea Partiers Rally With Kids In Glendale, CA. An April 16, 2009, post to laist.com showed a tea party protest in Glendale, CA in which parents reportedly participated with "a few hundred with their kids in tow." In the post, the children of protesters can be seen holding political signs, including one that read "I'm only 11 I can't pay for this crap." [laist.com, 4/16/09]