Is it just me, or is that headline just a bit rhetorically over the top? (No, the last link doesn't make a moral analogy, just an analogy in the rhetoric.) "New low"; "right-wing media minions" (why not "nattering nabobs of negativism"?); "fearmongering" -- just a bit much for a credible debunking, it seems to me.
This is especially so when part of the fearmongering that is supposedly debunked is actually not bunk at all; here's the response the site (Media Matters) gives as to the Obama praise song incident:
Conservative media fearmonger about unauthorized YouTube video of school kids "praising" Obama
The Drudge Report: "SHOCK VIDEO: School kids taught to praise Obama ..." On September 23, Internet gossip Matt Drudge linked to a YouTube video purportedly showing "[s]chool kids taught to praise Obama." The video, showing young schoolchildren in New Jersey singing a song about Obama, provides no evidence that the children or their parents consented to having the video posted on YouTube.
America's Newsroom: "Many parents ... just don't want this sort of political cheerleading, if you will, in the classroom." On Fox News' America's Newsroom, hosts Bill Hemmer and Megyn Kelly aired the video and asserted that "many parents" don't want kids "singing praises" to Obama. Before showing the video, Hemmer said: "It is one thing to have kids say the Pledge of Allegiance, but we're not sure what's going on with the videotape now online when students are singing praises to the president and why some parents are saying, not with my kid." Later, Kelly teased the video by saying, it's "getting attention on The Drudge Report website this morning. It shows young children singing the praises, quite literally, of the president." She continued:
KELLY: Well, information posted with the clip says that it is from the Bernice Young School in Burlington Township, New Jersey, but the school won't exactly confirm that for us. In fact, they won't confirm anything for us. We have made multiple attempts to ask them about these students, about this tape and how this came about. We are hoping that they can get back to us shortly, so that we can clear this up.
Already we're getting a lot of emails from our viewers. It went on from there -- you saw a clip of the children singing. Then came a bit of a chant by the children where they praised President Obama for all his great accomplishments, saying, quote, "You're number one. Hooray, Mr. President, we're really proud of you." And on and on it goes.
You know, many would have no problem with this. Many parents would, and just don't want this sort of political cheerleading, if you will, in the classroom. We just don't know the details behind the tape, but it certainly caught our attention and we're trying to find out from, again, from this school, which we have multiple calls into. The B. Bernice Young Elementary School, Bernice Young Elementary School in Burlington, New Jersey. And as soon as we have it, you'll have it. [America's Newsroom, 9/24/09]
The Fox Nation: "School Children Sing Songs of Obama's Glory." On September 25, the allegedly fair and balanced TheFoxNation.com posted the video with the headline "School Children Sing Songs of Obama's Glory." fearmongerkids2
Beck: Song sounds like "a hymnal for a dictator." On the September 24 edition of his radio show, Beck said: "I want to show you, and tonight I'm going to play the tape for you, of indoctrination that is going on. We've been going through all of this indoctrination for the last few days. Tomorrow, I do a full hour live with moms, and their children, and we're going to talk a little bit about things they're concerned with -- and indoctrination I know will come up. Play this, this is -- do we know where this is from? Elementary School in Burlington, New Jersey. The B. Bernice Young Elementary School. The woman who did this is, I believe, an activist, she's the principal, or the teacher. I don't have her name here. But listen to -- this is -- these are elementary school children, and they are singing a song for Barack Obama." After Beck played audio of the video and read the words out loud, he said it sounded like "a hymnal for a dictator. ... Does anybody see what's going on? Does anybody see what's going on?" Later, Beck said: "This is indoctrination. This should horrify the American people." [Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Show, 9/25/09]
Beck also promoted the video September 24 on his Twitter feed: RT @keepthemhonest: How young does Obama target (more indoctrination video) http://is.gd/3C1Qc @glennbeck #tcot
Burlington Township School District superintendent: Song is from Black History Month activity, and the "recording and distribution of the classroom activity was unauthorized." The school board's superintendent wrote in a letter to parents that "[t]he video is of a class of students singing a song about President Obama. The activity took place during Black History Month in 2009, which is recognized each February to honor the contributions of African Americans to our country. Our curriculum studies, honors and recognizes those who serve our country. The recording and distribution of the class activity were unauthorized."
Really, that's it for the site's explanation for why this story is supposedly "fearmongering": The event took place during Black History Month; it "honors and recognizes those who serve our country"; and the video was "unauthorized" (note that the "unauthorized" meme makes its way even into the section header). Move along, folks, nothing to see here, nothing to fear, just regular honoring and recognition of public servants, plus the video of the event was unauthorized, which is somehow very important.
Related Posts (on one page):
- Some Thoughts on Multiple Blog Posts:
- "The Principal of a New Jersey Elementary School "
- "New Low: Beck and Right-Wing Media Minions Fearmongering About Kids to Attack Progressives":
- "School Children Singing the Praises of President Obama" (Apparently as a Public School Class Project):