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Teens Will Be Clean In Hannity’s America

Reported by Chrish - December 18, 2007 -

Note: Guest blogged by Priscilla

I have often noted that college drop-out Sean Hannity has no journalistic training. If he did, he might produce reports that attempt to provide “fair and balanced” coverage of the story which is being reported. But as a “conservative commentator,” Hannity probably feels that he is entitled to produce one sided reports which serve a right wing propaganda purpose and the hell with “fair and balanced.” Sunday night’s (December 16th) “Hannity’s America” was yet another example of how Hannity’s America is not your standard journalistic approach to contemporary issues.

The subject was “abstinence education” and sweet and pure Ainsley Earhardt, last seen demonizing Planned Parenthood, was chastely following the story. (Comment: Ainsley’s mini skirt and black leather boots don’t go well with her rather puritanical views; but this is Fox News where the dress code, for women, is less is more.)

According to Earhardt, South Carolina is “center stage” in a battle pitting those who encourage contraceptive education against those who want to include abstinence as an option. She informed us that “America’s children are the most sexualized generation since the sexual revolution of the 70’s.” For the viewing pleasure of the family values guys in the audience, as she was speaking, images of scantily clad women, writhing around poles, were shown. As we were treated, yet again, to Paris Hilton washing the car with herself, Earhardt claimed that youth were constantly targeted by advertisers who rely on explicit sexualization of young men and women. (Comment: just like Neil Cavuto’s audience?) The “price,” she claims, is overtly sexually active youth and this is generating the “debate” on “how to best educate children on a crisis out of control.”

Earhardt took us to Charleston, South Carolina where students are offered the option of taking either standard sex education which includes information on contraception or abstinence only education. Not surprisingly, the students interviewed by Earhardt, were very happy about saving themselves for their future heterosexual marriage. The report continued with nothing but praise for Heritage Keepers Community Service which receives Title V money to teach this program in the Charleston schools. So one would assume that everybody is basking in non coital bliss? Wrong and here’s the rub. Title V funds, for abstinence education, are set to come to a screeching halt at the end of the month if congress doesn’t approve them. Both Hannity and Eardhart said that this would be a shame because only a “small amount of money goes to abstinence education.” (Comment: Excuse me, but $176 million isn’t chump change.) She never did demonstrate that South Carolina was a “battleground” as the school committee member who was interviewed agreed that both programs should be available

If Earhardt were reporting the whole story, and not serving a “higher power,” she might have mentioned that the claims of the Heritage Keepers, that students who take the abstinence program initiate sex at a rate half that of non students” has been refuted by a study by Mathematica Policy Research which indicates that students did not differ in the age they first had sex or their numbers of sexual partners. She might have mentioned that in South Carolina, the former governor gave the contract to Heritage without competitive bidding. She probably could have mentioned that Heritage’s president, Anne Badgley is a GOP activist with ties to George Bush whose administration has awarded the group millions of tax dollars. And she could have noted that at least 14 states are refusing Title V funds for abstinence only education for a variety of reasons, including the perception that the programs are ineffective.

Comment: Once again, the Fox audience is given just the right wing propaganda version of a subject. One would think that conservatives would be concerned about programs that appear to be a waste of government money; but that information was not included in the report. But even more important is the concept that America’s youth should be given all the available scientific information needed to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies, STD’s, and AIDS. However, in Hannity’s America science and education take back seat to an agenda that puts religious zealotry and faux family values ahead of practical reality.