Bill O’Reilly added to the Fox News pile on against the Brooklyn principal who decided to pull Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” from her school’s kindergarten graduation. Rather than do any real investigation into the reasons for the decision, O’Reilly announced, “This woman obviously doesn’t like the country, that’s what I think.” Later, he said he’d send ambush producer Jesse Watters to the graduation if she didn’t explain her decision. Never mind that she already has.
O’Reilly accused principal Greta Hawkins of “hiding under her desk” because she wouldn’t talk to the media (as O’Reilly made the case for that decision before our eyes). So he turned to author and digital media expert, Jim Steyer. Steyer had no personal knowledge about Hawkins’ decision. But he did say, “To me it doesn’t really sound like a patriotism issue” because the students recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing America the Beautiful every morning. “It just sounds like a choice that a principal made,” he added.
“But why?” O’Reilly asked. And yet, he made no attempt to get the answer from anyone who actually knew. In fact, if O’Reilly had done a simple Google search, he might have come across, as I did, this report from WNBC saying that Hawkins and the New York City Department of Education, which supports her decision, “both say the words in Proud to be an American (sic) are too grown up for kindergarteners.” WNBC also noted Hawkins “was concerned that some might consider that choice offensive to other cultures.”
Moments later, O’Reilly said, “This woman obviously doesn’t like the country. That’s what I think… I think she just doesn’t like the country. And she doesn’t want her five-year olds singing God Bless the U.S.A.” I guess having the students recite the Pledge and sing America the Beautiful was just a clever ruse on her part - that O'Reilly was too savvy to fall for.
But that wasn’t enough smearing for O’Reilly. He continued, “Maybe she doesn’t like God. Maybe she doesn’t like the country. But she owes the public an explanation, Jim, because we pay her salary.”
O’Reilly finished the segment by saying, “We want and demand an explanation or I’m going to send Watters down to that graduation.”
NOTE TO GRETA HAWKINS
Fox “News” plans to disrupt your class graduation ceremony. Hire security guards and don’t allow Fox “News” on the grounds. Tell security to arrest them if they trespass.
As pointed out by Ellen, a reason has ALREADY been given so all his huffing, puffing and demanding an explanation just shows that BOR is: 1) either too lazy to google for the facts or 2) he’s not interested in facts or an explanation because whipping up the outrage is what it’s all about for him. He needs his sheeple all worked up because outrage and bullying are his his bread & butter.
And getting his sheeple worked up is actually putting it rather mildly – has anyone seen this headline from the Daily Mail: “‘You are a filthy, dirty, ugly subhuman gorilla’: The shocking hate mail sent to New York principal who banned God Bless the USA from kindergarten graduation”
You know, the more I think about it, BOR doesn’t need to send Watters out to do the ambush for him. The school is right there in Coney Island so surely BOR can rearrange his schedule so that he can be there in person, right? I mean, if it’s such an important issue that an ambush must be arranged, why doesn’t Billy do it himself? Nah, he’s too cowardly and Watters is his ever ready toadie. It’s so easy just to let someone else do the dirty work for you, eh, BOR?
Btw, why on earth would BOR even want to do an ambush on these little kids’ commencement? I don’t care if the ambush is before, during or after the ceremony – these kids and their families don’t need such a disruptive intrusion into their school/family life. BOR doesn’t need to be trying to score any insipid “T-warrior” points for the glorification of his own ego and for some over-the-top sense of patriotism connected to a freakin’ song.
After all, this the very same BOR who made a huge stink when he was ambused while HE was with 3 kids. He was incensed because the guy who ambused him didn’t seem to care that children were present. So then, why is it okay for HIM to insert himself into a situation where children will be present but it’s NOT okay when someone does it to him?! Yeah, the BOR hypocrisy on this one reeks to the high heavens.
If he was any sort of a journalist at all he would pursue the more interesting backstory, which is that there has been trouble between this principal and the teachers going back to at least 2010. From what I’ve been able to find out this sudden decision by Hawkins may have more to do with micromanagement or other aspects of internal conflict than it has to do with “patriotism” or “hating America” blah blah blah. It might be as simple as trying to make some teacher’s job harder, as she has been known to do.