Fox News White House correspondent Wendell Goler reported that the “controversy” over President Obama's September 8 speech to students on the importance of education “spread quickly over the Internet and on conservative talk shows, and some parents are now threatening to keep their kids home next Tuesday.” But Goler ignored that Fox News has repeatedly hyped the “controversy,” with hosts and guests describing Obama's speech as an “indoctrination;” advancing comparisons of Obama to dictators; and, highlighting the plans of some to “keep kids home” on the day of Obama's address.
Goler reported that controversy spread “over the Internet and on conservative talk shows”
From the September 3 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:
GOLER: Supporters say it was nothing more than a tempest in a teapot.
ANDREW ROTHERHAM (former aide to President Clinton): This is really innocuous stuff. It was ideas for ways to engage kids with the president's speech. I mean there wasn't anything that was sort of political.
GOLER: And even some critics say it was more of a dumb idea than a bad one.
CHRISTINA ERLAND CULVER (former deputy assistant secretary of Education): You know, hey, this isn't that big of a deal, but they really should be not sticking their necks out on projects like this that really take the attention away from the good things that they're doing.
GOLER: But the controversy spread quickly over the Internet and conservative talk shows, and some parents are now threatening to keep their kids home next Tuesday. Jim Greer has a different demand.
GREER: I do believe the White House has an obligation to release the president's text before Tuesday and tell parents across this country what he intends to say.
GOLER: Mr. Obama won't be the first president to talk to the nation's students.
But Goler ignored Fox News' role in hyping “controversy”
Hannity: “It seems very close to indoctrination.” During an interview with conservative columnist Michelle Malkin, Sean Hannity said on his show that the president's speech “seems very close to indoctrination.” Malkin replied in part: [T]his is not merely a morale-boosting speech that he's giving. He's giving it in the context of his Obamacare plan completely under siege. We know that the left has always used kids in public schools as guinea pigs and as junior lobbyists for their social liberal agenda." Later, Malkin said Obama will “actually deliver a very innocuous speech. I can guarantee you that. But in these classrooms, which are living laboratories for left-wing activism, what you're going to get are overzealous teachers, teachers' union brass who are in the hip pockets of the Democrat Party, urge their kids to write letters, to demonize Obamacare opponents, and to call them opponents of change.” [Fox News' Hannity, 9/2/09]
Crowley: “This is what Chairman Mao did.” On Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Laura Ingraham said the speech is "just another slick attempt to brand Barack Obama" and that “it's a message being sent out by the Department of Education with these questions that without a doubt lead to the further branding of Barack Obama as a savior of our school children.” Also during the segment, Fox News commentator Monica Crowley said, "[J]ust when you think that this administration can't get any more surreal and Orwellian, here he comes to indoctrinate our children," and, "[T]his is what Chairman Mao did, Laura. This is like Max Headroom, this is going into every single classroom. There is no escape from him." [Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, 9/2/09]
Beck connects Mussolini to purported Obama “indoctrination next week.” Discussing a bas-relief supposedly representing Benito Mussolini, Fox News host Glenn Beck said: “Gee, who is having indoctrination next week? Oh, yeah, that's right, the president, completely unrelated. This represents, at the time this was made, Mussolini. This was Mussolini. By the way, the artist that made this -- his son, ironically and tragically died fighting the army of Mussolini years after this was made.” [Fox News' Glenn Beck, 9/2/09]
Tantaros: “They do this type of thing in North Korea and the former Soviet Union ... very cultish.” Fox News contributor Andrea Tantaros responded to host Martha MaCullum's comparison of the treatment of Ronald Reagan's funeral and Obama's inauguration in schools by stating: “This isn't a historic moment. I mean it's historic in the sense that it's unprecedented. They do this type of thing in North Korea and the former Soviet Union.” Tantaros later added: “I would argue it's a very fine line. You argue it's propaganda. It seems very cultish, very sort of get in the minds of the kids.” [Fox News' The Live Desk, 9/3/09]
Fox & Friends hosted parents who plan to “keep kids home” from Obama stay-in-school “indoctrination” speech. On September 3, Fox & Friends hosted two parents who, in the words of host Steve Doocy, “are concerned [Obama's] message is less about education and could be more about teaching the ideals of a liberal presidential administration.” Onscreen text during the segment read: “Education or indoctrination?”[Fox News' Fox & Friends, 9/3/09]
Fox Nation asked: “Will You Keep Your Kids Home the Day Obama Speaks to Schools?” On September 3, the Fox Nation website featured a headline asking, “Will You Keep Your Kids Home the Day Obama Speaks to Schools?”: