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Hannity And Horowitz Distort Facts Of British School Curriculum, Then Attack Liberals For Trying To Keep People Ignorant

Reported by Ellen - July 23, 2007 -

“Patriotic” Sean Hannity and David Horowitz distorted the facts of a news report about a revamping of the British secondary school curriculum, then used the distortions to blame liberals and Democrats for trying to keep students ignorant, all as part of a grand plan to undermine western civilization. The discussion was unusually hate-filled and vitriolic, even by Hannity & Colmes standards. With video.

The segment, which came near the end of the July 17, 2007 Hannity & Colmes, was purportedly about the news that England's new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, had eliminated the mandatory study of Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin and substituted global warming in their place.

In fact, as Britain’s Daily Express reported, World War II will still be in the curriculum and, as junior Schools Minister Lord Adonis said, “Nobody with any sense could believe that we could teach the Second World War – a statutory requirement – without covering Churchill and Hitler.”

The Daily Express continued,

Ministers claimed the shake-up gave teachers more scope to set their own timetables, freeing up around a quarter of the school day from Whitehall-imposed compulsory lessons. Schools Secretary Ed Balls insisted: “By cutting duplication and clutter in the curriculum, teachers will have more time to concentrate on what is vital. “Youngsters will continue to study the likes of Shakespeare, Chaucer, Wordsworth, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte and Dickens.”

Nevertheless, Hannity and Horowitz either didn’t bother to study up on the curriculum they were decrying or else they didn’t care what it truly included as they wrongfully put forth the notion that England had decided to “just push aside (Churchill) and move global warming in its place,” as Hannity put it. He also claimed that English school officials “are literally choosing to rewrite history.”

Horowitz, introduced by Hannity as "our good friend," didn't indicate he knew a thing about the English plan or why it had been instituted. But he didn’t let the lack of facts get in the way of demonizing the left and Democrats as an enemy of western civilization. In his condescending voice, Horowitz said, "This is part of the left's, the international left's, campaign to delegitimize the west and democracies, weaken us in the face of our enemies. It's going on in England. It's going on in the United States.” He went on to complain that the schools in the US are named after terrorists, communists, socialists and “of course, a lot of Kennedy’s, too” while there are no schools named after Republicans later than Calvin Coolidge. "This is a very dangerous movement," he said.

From there, Horowitz segued, with Hannity’s approval, into an attack on that "communist propaganda movie," Sicko. “We have the war within the war, the war against the west," Horowitz claimed.

With his Hanctimonious face, Hannity built on that by "innocently" asking about the ramifications of supposedly leaving Hitler out of the curriculum (which is not England's plan). "Doesn't it create a vulnerability, David?"

Horowitz grabbed the bait. "That's totally correct,” he said. "This is totally relevant to what's going on in Iraq where we have a Democratic Party that wants us to capitulate and retreat." In fact, it's the American people who overwhelmingly disapprove of the war. Another fact the supposedly education-oriented Horowitz either didn’t know or deliberately overlooked.

Alan Colmes opened his portion of the discussion with the very good question, what does Iraq, naming of American schools, or Democrats have to do with the English school curriculum?

"It's the same thing," Horowitz grandiosely declared, equating the Labour Party with Democrats, as if they were in cahoots with each other. Then, turning back to his off-topic rant, he snidely asked, "Who do you think names the schools in New York, Alan?"

"What does that have to do with what we're talking about?" Colmes asked. He went on to debate the substance of the issue (though he didn’t note that Horowitz had gotten the facts wrong) and he did a fine job of exposing Horowitz’ blowhard bias.

But Colmes did not directly address the larger issue, that Hannity and Horowitz were using a story for their own political opportunism. Thus, he never directly challenged Horowitz on his hate speech. In fact, Horowitz went on to claim (without offering any basis for such a conclusion), "They took Stalin off (the curriculum) because the left doesn't like to be reminded that it supported Stalin."

And nobody noted that Horowitz sounded a lot like the pot calling the kettle black as he conflated England with the US and complained, "I don't like what's happening to our schools because the ideologues have gotten control of the curriculum."

College drop-out Hannity, who never bothered to offer the “we report, you decide” network’s viewers the full story on what he was disparaging, butted in with another canard at the end. "Not teaching the world about Winston Churchill, one of the greatest leaders of our time (Colmes quickly said he agreed), it is MALPRACTICE."