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Fox&Friends Resident Book Burner, Larry Schweikart Suggests That Publishers And Authors* Don’t Like America – Oh, The Irony!

Reported by Priscilla - March 10, 2009 -

On a network that takes pride of place in bashing all those who are anathema to the conservative right wing – a large chunk of their fellow Americans – Fox “historian” University of Dayton professor Larry Schweikart (who stands before a blue backdrop with the name of the University on it) adds his nasal inflected whine to the chorus of the Fox liberal America bashing. Last week’s (March 4th) edition of the Larry Schweikart Propaganda 101 course demonstrated, not surprisingly, that Schweikart and Fox News are soulmates in that Schweikart went from criticizing books to attacking the publishers and authors as possibly un-American. The right wing does love its wedge issue “culture war” and Schweikart provides lots of ammunition to keep that hatred of the designated “other” churning and burning.

MENSA member Steve Doocy cited what he and Schweikart thought was a college textbook, “A History of the United States” in which there are photos which show unemployed farmers “during the a period that the was the biggest boom since the 1920’s and there’s nothing that talks about job growth” (nothing that we could see; as we just have to take Larry’s word for it). The picture’s caption read “in the 1980’s conditions for farmers were worst since the great depression.” (Comment: the collapse of the farm economy in the 80’s is well documented in the book, “Broken Heartlands” by Gray Davidson. It was aptly described, as detailed in a Nebraska Studies article, “the farm crisis.” The statement that this crisis was the worst since the Great Depression is the consensus of the reality based community including the American Farm Bureau.) Schweikart responded that’s he now being very vigilant about the pictures and during the era of Larry’s God made man, Ronald Reagan, this book has photos of economic hardship and none which show the 14 million net new jobs. The next example was a phrase, from the same book, which said (regarding the 2000 election recount) that the “US supreme court ruled that the recount process could not continue.” Doocy provided a nice right wing revisionist history talking point when he claimed that it was really a “selective recount” in “Democrat districts” that “would have deprived all Floridians of their vote. Amazing.” Schweikart validated Doocy’s talking point that it was a “selective recount.” The publisher’s name and contact information was posted and this week they got it right! A chyron about “creeping bias in the classroom” ran under the info. Former weather guy Doocy, asked, in his best nasal inflected whine, “are publishers stupid or is this political spin?” (Is Doocy stupid or is this whole series “political spin?”) The professor splained that there is a “common mindset that suggest that they really don’t like America and these are very liberal individuals who write these textbooks.” Former weather guy Doocy said, “I want my kids to know what actually happened and not somebody’s point of view.”

Comment: Steve Doocy, loyal foot soldier in a culture war waged by a network that specializes in one right wing point of view, talks about wanting kids to know what’s happening – oh, the irony.

*One of the authors of the text being smeared, during this edition, of the Fox/Schweikart crusade is Daniel Boorstin whose “CV” was far more auspicious than Schweikart’s. Boorstin (1914 -2004), whose excellent texts were required reading in my college American History courses, “graduated with highest honors from Harvard, studied at Balliol College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and earned his PhD at Yale University. He was a lawyer and a university professor at the University of Chicago for 25 years. He also served as director of the National Museum of History and Technology of the Smithsonian Institution. Boorstin wrote more than 20 books, including a trilogy on the American experience and one on world intellectual history. The Americans: The Democratic Experience, the final book in the first trilogy, received the 1974 Pulitzer Prize in history. Boorstin also wrote the books The Discoverers, The Creators and The Seekers, a trilogy of books that attempt to survey the scientific, artistic and philosophic histories of humanity, respectively.” So for Schweikart to infer that Boorstin hates America is a bit disengenuous. I do wish Boorstin could return from the grave (in which he’s spinning) to debate Schweikart who gets to do his thing without any counterpoint.

Meanwhile, man the pitchforks – full speed ahead.