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Fox & Friends "Texas Textbook Wars" Grande Finale? Not So Much!

Reported by Priscilla - March 13, 2010 -

After an intensive week of relentless conservative Fox & Friends propaganda (is there any other kind?), regarding changes to the Texas curriculum, I really expected that the last day’s installment would be, as Steve Doocy would say, “huuuuge.” Turns out that rather than going out with a bang, they went out with a whimper; although they did work in the requiste right wing agit prop and another Steve Doocy dubious statement.

Yesterday, Peter Johnson, subbing for Brian Kilmeade, and a new non blonde woman, subbing for Gretchen Carlson, interviewed a teabagging ex Marine who, according to the hosts, wrote and published his own United States history because of the Texas textbook “battle.” According to the hosts, this book “sets the record straight” and “tells us why we should be proud of our founding principals.” Forget famous American historians like Daniel Boorstin, Carl Sandburg, and David McCullough, Micheal Niemis has a new book, “Opus Americana” which, according to the Fox chyron, is “the truth behind American history.” Johnson said that the book was written because Niemiss was “disgusted” with the way history was being taught. The rest of the segment was taken up by Niemiss’ description of his book. No more mention of Texas.

Later in the show, the new non blonde said that “Ronald Reagan was getting the shaft in textbooks” to which Steve Doocy said “WHAATTT!!!!” Doocy must have had a “senior moment” because that’s what Professor Larry Schweikart said in almost all of his many appearances on last year’s Fox & Friends right wing propaganda series, “The Trouble With Textbooks.” Wasn’t Doocy listening? And speaking of the “nutty professor” (oh, wait, that’s Eddie Murphy) the new non blonde commented that “one professor, Larry Schweikart, (the guy who gets imput from “freepers”) said that “the proof was in the textbooks. All you have to do is go to one of our American textbooks and apparently it doesn’t even give him credit for ending the cold war.” (Actually, the end of the cold war was far more nuanced, but we’re not dealing with reality based history here!) She didn’t cite which text contained this egregious omission. The chyron was straight out of the old Schweikart series: “Taking the Reagan Test. Coverage of Former President Exposes Textbook Flaws.” When Peter Johnson claimed that if the Gipper were alive today, he’d say “tear up those textbooks,” Doocy giggled. Without citing any specific books, Johnson said that judging from his kid’s texts, Reagan does get short shrift, generally.” He added that Reagan is “marginalized” and that one book (no name) talks about his television career and his movie career. Johnson continued to blither about Reagan’s “critical role” in the twentieth century. The chyron, classic “Cavuto Mark” asked “A Lesson in Liberal Bias? History Textbooks Appear Politically Slanted.” Johnson said, according to the professor, Gorbachev was given all the credit. Doocy said “sure.” (Reagan is God?) Doocy noted how “this week here on Fox we’ve been talking about what going on down in Texas as the Texas Board of Education considers new curriculum standards which will be used in Texas for the next 10 years to show teachers how to teach things. Effectively they use those standards as a framework for the new textbooks...” He finished with a strange statement about how Texas only uses texts which were published prior to 2001. The Texas textbook adoption process seems to suggest that there have been textbook adoptions post 2001 which would imply that there are post 2001 texts - as shown by google references to the Glencoe World History Texas Edition 2003. Obviously, if teachers need to provide recent information on topics, there's always the internet!

Comment: The Fox & Friends week in review – 5 straight days of right wing propaganda about Texas education and not one actual educator was interviewed. “We don’t need no education…”