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Steve Doocy And Texas Board Of Education Right Winger, Cynthia Dunbar, Advance “Textbook” Propaganda!

Reported by Priscilla - March 15, 2010 -

Last week, Fox & Friends reported on the efforts, by the Texas Board of Education, to determine what will be part of the Texas educational curriculum. Their “coverage” consisted of a number of pieces which featured conservative, Christian proponents of the conservative, Christian agenda which seeks to fight against the evil libruls who are trying to corrupt Texas youth with evil librul ideas. At no time did Fox & Friends interview anybody from the other side (read reality based community). When Fox & Friends did allude to vague, undefined concerns, by those on the road to perdition, it only provided an opportunity for their conservative guest to just reinforce the right wing propaganda. Flash forward a week and because the non conservatives on the Board, in protest, walked out of the deliberations, a preliminary vote was taken (final vote in May) and the conservative zealots prevailed. (Or put another way, ignorance won and students will lose). So given the right wing bias of last week’s Fox & Friends, it wasn’t surprising to see Steve Doocy interview Texas School Board member Cynthia Dunbar, a woman whose views dovetail nicely with Michele Bachmann’s. But as the American Taliban (whoops Christian conservatives) “won,” we know that Fox & Friends & Jesus are all very happy.

This morning, Steve Doocy interviewed uber right wing member of the Texas School Board, Cynthia Dunbar. Doocy, acting very perky, asked Ms. Dunbar about the changes and the next step. Doocy’s first question couldn’t have been any more scripted: “Were you one of the law makers who felt that, after the last decade or so, the Texas curriculum and the Texas textbooks had taken a liberal turn to the left?” Not surprisingly, Dunbar agreed. She referenced a “subtle shifting” and how they needed to do a “cleanup” to make sure that they have an “accurate presentation” of history. Doocy then described some of the changes which include teaching American “Exceptionalism” (a concept, promoted by Christian conservatives, that believes that America is favored by God and is above reproach). She talked about how “free enterprise” has supplanted “capitalism” because it conveys a more “positive” impression of the free market –unlike the term “capitalist pig.” (Uh, Cindy, that’s a bit old school?) Doocy wanted to know if she felt that her side made these textbooks more “pro-American.” (Uh, Steve, you were told that the debate was about curriculum, not textbooks) She said that “they are pro-American; but not to the extent that the other side says that we’re whitewashing history.” She claimed that they did an “accurate review” (aided by creationists like evangelical David Barton of Wall Builders!) and they wanted to make sure that “there was a patriotic position that was promoted because America is still the greatest nation on earth.” (I was expecting a rousing chorus of Kate Smith’s “God Bless America!”) Doocy said “there you go” and “Thomas Jefferson is still in and you still talk about the Fourth of July, right” (As Steve was told by the TEA, July 4th and Jefferson were not "out") She said that Jefferson is “still in.” (Along with lots more goodies which weren't mentioned)

Comment: Republican Cynthia Dunbar represents the extreme views of the conservatives on the Texas Board of Education. Her contention that liberals have unduly influenced the curriculum is a Texas sized cow chip because last year’s changes to the Texas science curriculum were done as a result of the conservatives who control the Board of Education. The National Center for Science Education deemed them a “setback for science education.” She homeschooled her children because she believes that education is “tyrannical” and “unconstitutional” and "a subtly deceptive tool of perversion." On the other hand, she believes that government should be guided by a “biblical litmus test.” She believes that Obama sympathizes with terrorists. She also doesn’t believe that the Founders wanted the separation of church and state. One of the new changes, approved by Dunbar and her Christian conservatives (not noted by Doocy) is to “question whether the Founders sought a separation of church and state.” Ergo, students will be taught that the government can show preference for one religion over the other. (That neither the Constitution nor the Federalist papers mentioned God is lost on these Texas Christians!) As noted by Brian Thevenot, of the Texas Tribune, Friday’s Texas School Board vote is a “hijacking of history.” The overwhelming reaction, by the non Texas reality based community (read educators – not creationist theocrats) has been swift and sharp. As noted by the NY Times (not mentioned by Doocy) one of the approved amendments says “that students should study “the unintended consequences” of the Great Society legislation, affirmative action and Title IX legislation.” Joe McCarthy has been rehabilitated and the Bible will be part of the hisotry curriculum. And let’s talk “white wash” – literally – of history. Texas has a large Hispanic population; but references to Hispanics are now being kept at a minimum. There will be no teaching about Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America, because Dunbar’s pals say she is a socialist. Jeff Schneider has written an excellent debunking of the whole thing here.

But maybe tomorrow Doocy will interview a dissenting member of the School Board. Perhaps he could talk to Democrat Mary Berlenga, a Catholic (as is Doocy) who is concerned that the new curriculum might be forcing a particular religious world view upon the students. Or maybe another non conservative board member could offer their view – then again….