Steve Doocy Uses Student In More ACLU Bashing
Reported by Priscilla - May 20, 2011 -
Irony Alert! Remember when Fox's Peter Johnson, on Fox & Friends, was appalled that Wisconsin school students participated in demonstrations in support of the teachers. He said that he had never seen kids "used" in that fashion. I provided examples of how the right wing routinely "uses" young people. I do hope that Johnson watched this morning's Fox & Friends during which Steve Doocy provided some propaganda follow-up (standard Fox technique) for an earlier report (Wednesday) about how the evil, secular ACLU is "threatening" a public high school graduation ceremony in Ocean Grove, New Jersey when the reality is that the ACLU is requesting that the graduation venue cover the great, big Christian cross (carried ad nauseum by the Christian soldiers on Fox & Friends) and the bible verses inside the venue because their presence could be a church/state issue. Not surprisingly, the Christian right is engaging in a collective freak out. In their initial report, Steve Doocy and Peter Johnson agreed that the ACLU has no case. Doocy and Johnson stressed how the graduation was a tradition and that the folks in Ocean Grove all oppose the ACLU's position. And to support Fox's position, Steve Doocy, this morning, interviewed an Ocean Grove student and his mother who (surprise, surprise) have no problems with the religious iconography in the hall. Obviously, Fox "News" has no problem using students to push a right wing issue; i.e. the ACLU is a great, big meanie. Ain't no war like a culture war, and Fox "News" bringing it.
In opening, Doocy stressed the longstanding tradition of the graduation being held in the "Great Hall" which is owned by a Methodist association. Good Christian Doocy told a little fib when he claimed that the ACLU "wants graduation moved." Fact Check - they have requested that the symbols be covered. If that happens, graduation can take place. The religious association is refusing to comply with the request. The chyron graphic was "the Trouble With Schools" which is bizarre because this has nothing to do with the school. Doocy's nose got longer when he asked the student how he felt about the ACLU, in reference to the graduation, said "you can't have it here." Darren Steverson said that he and other students would be disappointed. Steve got very emotional when he described the cross and bible verses and shouted "this is not a church." While the chyron reinforced the "tradition" message: "Commencement Controversy, ACLU Could End 70 Year Tradition," Doocy and Steverson's mother agreed that this is a "mixed use building." Doocy's nose got even longer: "Right now the ACLU says that you can't to it." The chyron pushed the agitprop: "Protesting a Place of Worship? The ACLU Wants School To Cover Cross." Doocy said that "to their credit," the school isn't backing down. Doocy asked Darren about "the fact that it was one person" who dared to criticize the venue. (Popular Fox & Friends meme for these types of cases - one, or a few, meanies are spoiling everybody's good time.) Darren fed the meme with his comment about not understanding why this person would want to "mess up a tradition." (Does Fox coach it's guests before hand?) As he spoke, the camera zoomed in on the sign saying "holiness to the Lord" and "so be ye holy."
Doocy repeated the meme: "Doesn't it bother you that one person can screw it up for everybody? (Hopefully, this person's name won't be made public because they'll be getting death threats from the nice, "Christians" who watch Fox & Friends!) Doocy agreed when Mrs. Steverson spoke highly of the hall especially when the lights behind the great, big flag are lit. (Hmmm - an appeal to patriotism - another coached talking point?) Doocy ended by emphasizing (he slapped his knees while speaking) Fox News' position: "It's a mixed use building." He rolled his eyes as he said "it's an auditorium, it's not a church."
Comment: Hopefully, in the spirit of "fair & balanced" (Yeah, I know, it's an "opinion show") somebody from the ACLU will be interviewed; but I'm not holding my breath. But don't ya love how Fox & Friends takes local issues (read sex ed curriculum in Helena Mt.) and makes them national? That the graduation is "traditional," is not relevant. What is relevant is that this is a building owned by a religious association and which is adorned with religious images. The ACLU bases its case on the fact that this "use" of the building is a public school graduation and having the ceremony in a building that promotes Christianity would suggest that it's a First Amendment violation in that it links government with the promotion of Christianity. This is up to the court to decide. But Fox & Friends, which has never seen a Christian cross that it won't defend, has already issued a verdict in the court of right wing public opinion so I guess it's settled!