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Day 4 - Fox & Friends War On Texas Education Gets Props For Propaganda

Reported by Priscilla - March 12, 2010 -

As was noted by the Texas “Star Telegram,” Fox & Friends got a failing grade, from an official Texas education department (not, as Steve Doocy said, an "outfit" in Texas) for coverage of the “Texas Textbook Wars” – a series, starting on Monday, which promotes right wing propaganda, with no opposing views, regarding the proposed changes to the Texas curriculum. The Texas Education Association criticized Fox & Friends for repeatedly broadcasting “highly inaccurate information.” (Nothing unusual for Fox & Friends). As a result of getting “schooled,” Steve Doocy, yesterday, responded to the criticism in the form of a “clarification.” In addition to not addressing all the TEA concerns, Doocy actually lied about what was said on Fox & Friends. So rather than a “clarification,” this commentary actually obfuscated reality. (Nothing unusual for Fox & Friends). Despite their conservative political orientation, Fox & Friends doesn’t appear to want to take responsibility for their actions. That they didn’t learn their lesson was underscored by their subsequent interview which was, as another right wing propaganda piece, business as usual. But their guest, a right wing attorney who repeated a Fox & Friends claim which has been refuted by the TEA, praised their right wing activism – so it’s all good!

Yesterday’s installment of the daily agitprop was brought to us by Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade. Brian, looking at a piece of paper, began: “Trying to preserve American history, that’s what this is all about.” (No Brian, it’s all promoting biased, conservative Christian propaganda and vilifying those who don’t support it.) As Brian spoke about how parents, teachers, and activists are all “weighing in” before a preliminary vote on curriculum changes (in response to TEA criticism, he did not use “textbooks”) Doocy grinned. Kilmeade said that “any changes could impact the students are taught that how they’re taught across the country.” (Huh? Was this a telepromter problem or Brian being inarticulate?) Joining them was yet another right wing spokesperson, Kelly Shackleford from the right wing Liberty Legal Institute. Shackleford is a Fox & Friends fave who was last seen talking, about the evil libruls who want to take down a cross on government land, thus paving the way for destruction of veteran’s cemeteries. Doocy claimed that “he just clarified some stuff so people will know what’s going on down there.” (Oh, no you didn’t!) Doocy noted that this has “implications for millions of parents across the country.” (Be scared of evil, librul “indoctrination”) Shackleford then provided, in my opinion, the high point of the interview. Ready? “First, I want to say the TEA statement, I thought, was really silly. Fox has done an excellent job. I think most Americans wouldn’t even know about this and something that is gonna affect them” He added that future curriculum standards will be formed around those in Texas because Texas textbooks are used all over the country.(Not true, as noted by the TEA) Kilmeade wanted to know what ideas have been bandied about. Shackleford responded with the requisite propaganda about Neil Armstrong, Columbus, and Independence Day had been taken out; but that the conservatives fought against that and these things were put back. Of course, he didn’t say what the conservatives wanted to remove and include. He noted that Edison was, yesterday, put back in (he hadn’t been taken out!); but didn’t mention that Thomas Jefferson’s connection to the “Enlightenment” was taken out. He also didn’t mention that the word “capitalism” was stricken because the conservatives think it has a negative connotation. It was replaced with “free enterprise”. He talked about “really good people” on the Board who are fighting for the Founders. (Who were never taken out of the curriculum) and great inventers, and “people we should be studying.” Doocy said that “it’s no secret that social conservatives have been trying to get rid of what they say is liberal bias in the curriculum…” Shackleford ran with the ball when he referenced all the liberal recommendations and liberal “attacks” at the last meeting. He claimed that the amount of “left wing attacks” was why the plan was not approved at that time. He, again, talked about the “really excellent people” on the board, who are fighting these issues for years and are “winning.” He referenced how one of the non conservatives on the board asked why the references to the religious founding of the country shouldn’t be taken out. (Why, indeed, Kelly!) Good Christian Steve, said “there you go.” When Shackleford said that there’s still some fighting to go, Kilmeade said “and you’re there doing the fighting.”

Comment – This is the sixth Texas curriculum segment on Fox & Friends and so far there have not been any guests who espoused anything other than a conservative Christian view. There has been no discussion of the radical changes proposed by Christian conservatives. Despite the claim, by conservatives, that Texas has been in the thrall of liberals, that is clearly a “crock.” The Texas Board of Education was, until the recent election, dominated by conservatives who, in January, won the inclusion of the “moral majority” in the curriculum and the exclusion of Ted Kennedy and SCOTUS Judge Sonia Sotomayor. The Fox & Friends misinformation, cited by the Texas Education Agency, has, despite a “clarification,” not been corrected. For Fox & Friends – another day, another round of propaganda involving Fox & Friends war on reason.

Addendum – Conservative, Republican Board member, Terri Leo brought cookies over to a Fox reporter and Fox’s Brian Williams to “make up for the ‘nasty’ TEA statement. Her homophobic comments can be found here. Fox knows its demographics very, very well.