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Martha MacCallum Smears California In Defense Of Conservative Texas Texts

Reported by Priscilla - May 21, 2010 -

It’s apparent that Fox News is fully on board with the conservative effort to change the Texas curriculum in order to mold it to their Christian right revisionist view of history. Yesterday, despite having originally booked somebody from the “other” side (“People From The American Way") Martha MacCallum hosted only a far right, Texas conservative Christian supporter of the conservative changes whose views went unrebutted by MacCallum who agreed with her. Turns out that People for the American Way were, according to their commentary, told that the segment had been scratched. (Guess Fox had its fingers crossed when they said that!) Today, Martha continued the fair and balanced (not) coverage of the Texas textbook wars. In order to show just how reasonable Texas is, MacCallum hosted a segment that engaged in a version of the old “Tu Quoque” thing – i.e. but what about (fill in the blank) – they do it too. MacCallum tried to demonstrate that if you think Texas is whacked, just look at silly California – a state which will now scrutinize any Texas edition texts being sold in California. Take that California, nyah, nyah, nyah….

MacCallum began the smearfest with her discussion of how California is considering legislation that would keep Texas changes out of the state. Bad California, baaad. Adam Housley, in Los Angeles, provided some ejukation for the Fox viewers. He noted that “California has problems of its own” because back between 2003 and 2005 there was an issue with California textbooks which Fox covered. After he discussed “controversial changes” such as “snowman” being changed to “snow person,” Martha shouted “you’re kidding me” and loudly guffawed. He claimed that texts don’t allow the name Mt. Rushmore to be used because it offends native Americans and that “Senior Citizen” is changed to “Senior Person.” After this great hardeharha moment, he added that these changes “are not in every California textbook and it’s not a broad swath across the board” and referenced different book companies and school districts. He said that “these are the suggestions.” (In Texas, whatever “suggestions” the conservatives wanted seem to be making their way into the curriculum despite the “suggestions” of Texas educators who are concerned about the right wing manipulation of the curriculum).

Martha wanted to know what is going to happen because what happens California is going to ripple through the whole country. Obviously she didn’t see this morning’s Fox & Friends where Education Secretary Arne Duncan told an unbelieving Gretchen Carlson that there are Texas and non Texas editions of books and that’s it’s up the school districts as to which books they adopt. A video of the California State Senator, who sponsored the anti-Texas legislation, was played in which he discussed how it’s important to have texts that represent historical accuracy and American diversity (not a favorite with the Texas conservatives on The BOE). He said that in Texas they’re “taking steps backward.” An unidentified woman talked about this is “dueling political correctness.” (I think it was conservative San Francisco Chronicle journalist, Debra Saunders). Housley made a strange comment about how, in California, “some people are upset about the budget deficit” - a bizarre comment considering that California will still be buying texts whether or not they’re from Texas. He and Martha yukked it up over Housley’s claim that “yacht” is not used in some textbooks because “it’s too elitist.”

Comment - Oh, snap. Perfect propaganda. See folks, the Texas changes are no worse than what happened in librul California. Right – rehabilitation of Joe McCarthy is no different from some words that were changed in a few school districts. Taking Thurgood Marshall out of the curriculum and replacing him with Phyllis Schlafley and the NRA is much better than bowing to those ungrateful native Americans. But as they say on on SNL, really? The supposed changes that Housely talked about were bandied about on right wing sites – back in 2003 which was – ah – seven years ago. But the effectiveness of this piece of propagandistic dreck was that there was nobody, from the Califorinia education establishment, to counter what Housley said. Thus, it becomes part of the right wing gospel when it really belongs in the annals of urban legends. But the best agitprop message was saved for last – “it’s too elitist” – that’s the magic word that the right wing uses to describe those cultural “elites,” expecially those in California, who don’t understand what real America wants. And Fox News, as the network of “real Americans,” gives the people what they want. I’ve said that MacCallum’s show is “opinion” and doesn’t deserve to part of the news lineup. It actually doesn’t deserve to be on local cable access!

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