Editor's Note: The following was originally published December 1, 2009 at Big Hollywood, where Nolte is editor-in-chief.
Don’t believe for a second that the History Channel — which should now be called The Revisionist History Channel — will be the end of Matt Damon and Howard Zinn’s cinematic ode to trashing America. The obvious next step for the adaptation of Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States,” will be taken up by nitwit, pseudo-intellectual, America-loathing teachers and professors everywhere – many of them paid by the taxpayers of GodDamnAmerica – who are no doubt panting in anticipation for their first chance to screen this toxic mix of guilt and victimization in classrooms everywhere stocked with young, captive, impressionable minds.
And the film’s producers are showing academia the way with “The People Speak College Tour,” which launched at Boston University November 4th and ends right here at UCLA this coming Friday [December 4].
New York Times environment reporter Andrew C. Revkin had a post yesterday that was primarily about an open letter from Judith Curry.
Revkin describes her as "a seasoned climate scientist at Georgia Tech .... (who) has no skepticism about a growing human influence on climate." Revkin writes that "Dr. Curry has written a fresh essay that’s essentially a message to young scientists potentially disheartened in various ways by recent events."
Here are some of the key paragraphs from Curry's letter that touch on that matter:
When your rights and responsibilities as a parent come in conflict with the liberal education establishment, who wins? Parents in Ames, Iowa just found out, and it’s not them.
Over the weekend, the Ames Library Board voted 6 -1 to allow the continued display and distribution of the magazine Sex, Etc. in the teen section of the public library. Sex Etc. is a free periodical written “by teens, for teens,” and published by Answer, a sex education advocacy group based at Rutgers University.
Local parent Joyce Bannantine noticed the magazine display, which encourages teens to take a free copy, in the teen section of the library. After flipping through it, Bannantine started a petition to have the library remove the display and to treat Sex, Etc. like any other periodical. Library Director Art Weeks, and ultimately the Library Board, disagreed.
So what had Bannantine and more than 100 petition signers so upset? After all, Sex, Etc. is a journal published under the auspices of a respected university, with sex education as its subject. "I thought it was too graphic for the age," Bannantine told local TV news KCCI. "Most of the kids that use the teen section are 12, 13 and maybe 14."
On today's CNN Newsroom, anchor Kyra Phillips went after the kids who supposedly bully a 10-year-old boy who refuses to say the Pledge of Allegiance because homosexual marriage isn't widely accepted. Some of his classmates allegedly call him names. Phillips's weapon of choice was name calling:
And a message to you boys who are bullying Will, shame on you. It's obvious you are jealous that Will is smarter and more well spoken than you are. Hopefully one day you will grow up and realize that you were being the wads, dork wads.
Phillips didn't say how she knows that Will is smarter and more well spoken than his purported tormentors. On Monday, she reported that Will is "a terrific kid." So what makes him so smart and terrific?
At the top of Friday’s Hardball on MSNBC, host Chris Matthews discovered the reason for President Obama’s political difficulties in recent months: “President Obama has his chin out on just about every hot issue out there....He’s exposed and vulnerable. His poll numbers are dropping. Is he just too darned intellectual? Too much the egg head?”
Later in the show, Matthews talked to Atlantic Media’s Ron Brownstein and USA Today’s Susan Page about Obama’s great flaw. He began by wondering: “I’m not attacking intellectuals because I do appreciate their contribution – but when politicians begin to get a little too intellectual, they lose connection with the American people....I begin to think this administration’s getting almost like one that you would imagine Adlai Stevenson running. Highly ethereal, highly intellectual, egg head. Not connected to real people and their emotional gut feelings about things.”
Page agreed and pointed out: “...there are many strengths to the Obama administration, but they’ve got an awful lot of people who went to Ivy League schools, which is great, but you also need some people who went to big state colleges.” Luckily, Page found an ‘average Joe’ in the administration: “Vice President Biden’s been the target of some fun, he is maybe the only voice in that inner circle that reflects that kind of big state school mentality.”
If you're a skeptic of climate change or want to educate your child at home Chris Matthews probably thinks you're an oddball. On Tuesday's Hardball, the MSNBC host egged on the former liberal Republican New Jersey governor and former EPA head Christine Todd Whitman to turn to the camera to scold all the global warming non-believers in the GOP as he urged: "Would you tell your Republican colleagues right now – look in the camera and say, 'There is climate change and we have to do something about it?'" And later on in the show Matthews stereotyped all homeschoolers as some sort of anti-social shut-ins that don't want their children to "go to public school 'cause you don't want to mix with other people."
The following exchanges were aired on the November 3 edition of Hardball:
"I like him," Vidal said. "I wish he knew more about the United States. I was for Hillary at the beginning on the grounds she knew how to be president. Having sort of done the job as a spouse. And then I realized, you know, he's too intelligent for the job."
Liberal New York Times columnist Gail Collins appeared on Monday’s Good Morning America to complain that one of the biggest unresolved issues for women is a lack of government-provided pre and after-school care for children. She complained, "And we still have not come near dealing with the question of who takes care of the kids if both parents are out working."
Highlighting the favorite bogeyman of the left, Richard Nixon, the New York Times columnist whined that in 1971, "Congress passed a bipartisan bill giving quality early childhood education and after-school programs for any family that wanted them in the entire country." She lamented that the legislation was vetoed by President Nixon.
Collins, who was promoting When Everything Changed, her new book about the role of women since 1960, blurted, "I can forgive him [Nixon] for Watergate before that [the veto]." Co-host Roberts prompted the columnist, whom she never identified as a liberal, to tout the benefits of the sexual revolution: "And you also said, which I never thought about until I read your book, the sexual revolution was really helped women and explain why that was."
To the Washington Post editorial board, restrictive campaign finance measures are perfectly valid, constitutional exercises in protecting the public, but heaven forbid a state lawmaker would want to prevent the taxpayer-subsidized screening of porn on public college campuses.
In "Rated XXX," the Post's editorial board today declared obscene a mild measure aimed at preventing -- but not banning -- porn on campus.
You may recall that earlier this year, a student committee that selects films for screening at the University of Maryland's Hoff Theater picked a XXX skin flick as part of its repertoire. Following scrutiny by legislators, University of Maryland administrators forbade the ticketed screening of the entire film, although a student group was permitted to screen a small portion of the film as part of a panel discussion on obscenity and free speech.
Thanks to Drudge, the Internet will likely be abuzz with the news and video about Irish filmmaker Phelim McAleer's challenge to former Vice President Al Gore over correcting the nine errors found by a British judge in Gore's Oscar-winning "An Inconvenient Truth" documentary.
McAleer is co-producer of Not Evil, Just Wrong, a film challenging the content of Gore's film, that according to Wiki will be premiering on October 18.
When organizers of the Society of Environmental Journalists annual conference tired of McAleer's refusal to back down and acquiesce to Gore's conveniently incomplete answers, they cut off his microphone. The video also shows a meeting official scolding McAleer afterwards for attempting to "monopolize" the floor, telling him that "you got as much as you're going to get."
Gore's answers to McAleer's challenges are so disingenuous that they deserve their own Oscar for dissembling.
Here is a transcript of the exchange, which begins at about the 0:40 mark of the video:
Based on the data, the current job situation for teenagers in America is the worst on record.
According to Uncle Sam's Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Seasonally adjusted teenage unemployment hit 25.9%. That is the highest rate in the nearly 62 years BLS has been reporting this number. The previous record was last month's 25.5%. The record before that was 24.1% in November and December of 1982. A graphic of the complete history of the teenage unemployment rate that will open in a new window is here.
Unemployment among black teens not enrolled in school is over 50%.
The rate among 20-24 year-olds is also alarmingly high at 15.1%.
Almost alone among establishment media publications -- and even then in an editorial, not a regular news report -- the Wall Street Journal commented on this distressing set of circumstances, identified the most likely cause of the problem, and worried about its longer-term consequences:
One sign your news magazine might be out of touch with average Americans is when you take a look at abstinence-only sex ed guidelines and declare that, in the Obama administration's hands, it's "not the end of the world."
Time's Amy Sullivan, however, aims to reassure skittish liberals weary of the Bush administration's socially conservative tack on sex ed funding:
While reporting on President Obama’s Tuesday nationwide address to students on Tuesday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent Dean Reynolds highlighted one school that made it mandatory viewing: "At Betsy Ross Elementary in Forest Park, Illinois, today, they did not think the children were at risk....Opting out would set a dangerous precedent according to officials here."
Louis Cavallo, the superintendent of the school district located just outside Obama’s hometown of Chicago, explained to Reynolds: "We do not allow parents to decide what is to be taught and what is not to be taught on a day to day basis." Reynolds touted positive student reactions: "Many students who heard the President today gave him good marks." One girl declared: "I thought that the speech was really, really good." Another described: "He encouraged us to do our best at everything that we try to do." To which Reynolds added: "And who would argue with that?"
Yesterday I noted that the Washington Post covered a September 8 anti-Obama, pro-school voucher protest in its D.C. Wire blog. Demonstrators participating in the protest complained about how the president and congressional Democrats have scuttled the voucher program and in doing so dashed the hopes of 216 kids who were scheduled to be granted vouchers for private schools this school year.
Yet the protest, led by former city councilman Kevin Chavous (D) and featuring former mayor and current Councilman Marion Barry (D), received no coverage in the September 9 Washington Post, despite the fact that the paper has supported the voucher program in previous editorials.
Of course, the Post did find space for not one but three articles dealing with President Obama's September 8 address to the nation's schoolchildren:
CNN anchor Campbell Brown blasted the critics of the initial curriculum for President Obama’s speech to school children on her program on Tuesday. She first advised them to “admit this whole episode was just nutty,” and later accused Republicans of “pushing some insane stuff.” The CNN anchor omitted any mention of the curriculum, making it look like the critics were overreacting to the speech itself [audio clips from Brown’s program are available here].
Brown led her program with the insinuation that not only conservatives who objected to the suggested lesson plan the Department of Education first released were insane, but also the anti-ObamaCare town hall protesters. As stock video from the health care town hall ran on-screen, the CNN anchor commented during her voice-over that “after a long, insane summer of wild attacks and mudslinging, we are hitting the reset button. It's time to get real and get at the facts.”
Today as President Barack Obama was preparing to deliver a speech to America's students, some school voucher-supporting Democrats in the District of Columbia were gearing up to protest the president's decision to scuttle the city's federal voucher program by blocking the doors to the federal Department of Education building in Washington.
Nikita Stewart of the Washington Post's D.C. Wire blog covered the planned protest in a post this morning and fellow Postie Nick Anderson reported on the protest -- joined by D.C. councilman Marion Barry (D) and led by former D.C. councilman Kevin Chavous (D) -- after the fact shortly after noon.
MSNBC's Chris Matthews has told his viewers that he disagrees with Obama's decision and supports renewing the congressionally-funded D.C. voucher program. It should be interesting to see if Matthews covers the protest today on his "Hardball" program.
I wouldn't hold my breath for any coverage elsewhere on MSNBC or on the broadcast networks tonight, however.
Just as soon as "average Americans practice their First Amendment free speech rights to protest another outrageous liberal proposal," the liberal media "immediately go into full-on attack mode - against the American people" Media Research Center President Brent Bozell argued in a statement released this morning.
"Just as with the tea party protesters, and the socialized health care town hall protesters, the media are again attacking the American people for having the temerity to speak up," the NewsBusters publisher complained.
Mr. Bozell was addressing the vicious personal attacks members of the media have been making on parents objecting to the proposed Obama administration "lesson plan," which was to accompany a speech President Obama is delivering today to American children.
President Obama is still addressing the children, but in response to public outrage has withdrawn the Department of Education "lesson plan" which recommended among other things that teachers have their students "write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the President." As the Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol has pointed out, it is against the law for the Department of Education to hand down any sort of teaching materials. But rather than report on this, the leftist media are attacking parents.
If you don't see eye-to-eye on an issue with your ideological counterparts - rather than debate the issue, you can go on national TV and call them derogatory names like liberal talking head David Sirota has done.
Earlier on CNN's Sept. 7 "American Morning", as NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard pointed out, Sirota called Fox News host Glenn Beck a "right-wing political terrorist" and added that Van Jones was "a national hero." But this time he set his sights on Florida Republican chairman Jim Greer and "people like Jim Greer" who were concerned about President Barack Obama speaking to school children in a highly politicized environment.
"My take is simple," Sirota said on CNN's Sept. 7 "Campbell Brown". "The Orlando Sentinel wrote about what Jim Greer put out there. Jim Greer put out his criticism of Obama's socialist indoctrination plan before any of these lesson plans came out."
A new high-tech Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. Racism. And parents too dumb to raise their children.
That was how NBC sought to explain away opposition to Pres. Obama's planned speech to schoolchildren.
Andrea Mitchell narrated a segment on this morning's Today on the subject.
ANDREA MITCHELL: Other presidents have faced opposition. But experts say it's now more organized, from cable television to blogs, to Twitter. It's gone viral.
RON BROWNSTEIN: There are mechanisms for conservatives to reach other conservatives and to keep them in a state of agitation. And that is much more developed than it was even when Bill Clinton was president.
Terry Jeffrey walked away the winner on Hardball this afternoon. Despite being double-teamed by Chris Matthews and Salon's Joan Walsh, the editor-in-chief of our sister publication CNSNews.com had the others admitting that the Obama admin has gone too far with the cult-of-personality way it's pitched the president's speech to schoolchildren.
But that didn't prevent Matthews and Walsh from unsubtly accusing PBO's opponents of racism, archly claiming that the motive for the opposition to the president is his "background."
On Thursday’s Campbell Brown program, CNN’s Roland Martin berated the critics of the accompanying lesson plan for President Obama’s upcoming speech to school kids, calling them “insane parents.” He later complimented Mr. Obama for the planned speech and made another insult: “I’m glad we have a president who’s willing to speak to children, because maybe these same parents were acting like children.”
Martin appeared with Florida Republican Party head Jim Greer just before the bottom of the 8 pm Eastern hour. After Greer explained his position, substitute anchor John Roberts turned to the CNN political analyst and asked, “Was there a little bit of problem there with the additional materials that were provided to go along with the President’s speech?” He immediately replied on the offensive:
The ABC and NBC anchors on Thursday night framed stories, on the controversy over President Obama's upcoming Tuesday address to the nations' schoolchildren accompanied by a Department of Education recommendation that teachers have their students “write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the President,” through the prism of Obama as a victim of unfair presumptions.
“It seemed like a simple idea,” fill-in ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos sighed in offering the most benign description of how Obama's “going to kick off the school year next week by speaking directly to America's classrooms, the kind of pep talk to encourage kids to do their best.” But, Stephanopoulos noted, “the idea ran into a storm of protests. School districts across the country are fielding calls from angry parents. Some fear their kids will be forced to hear a partisan message.”
On NBC, Brian Williams declared Obama's “message will be about the importance of working hard and staying in school” and though “Presidents have done this type of thing before,” those occurred, he rued, before “this hyper-partisan era of instant and vocal outrage immediately on both the right and the left.”
Once again, one of the masters of the universe trotted out on MSNBC has discovered the cure to one of society's ills - more Obama.
Daily Voice editor and CNBC contributor Keith Boykin waved off the reservations of some parents about President Barack Obama addressing their children in the classroom. Boykin appeared on MSNBC on Sept. 3 in a segment about the classroom controversy and added his insightful commentary on the matter.
"So much of the debate about President Obama has been politicized in an effort by some to delegitimize his presidency," Boykin said. "This is clearly much ado about nothing. We're talking about the President of the United States speaking to school kids. Why wouldn't schools want this to happen? That's why our kids are so dumb today, because they don't want to have basic common sense in the classroom."
CNN’s Carol Costello report on Thursday’s American Morning about the end of abstinence-only sex education in North Carolina leaned to the left in the featured sound bites. Three clips came from those who endorsed “comprehensive” sex education, including one who worked for an organization that promotes abortion overseas, as opposed to only one clip from a conservative who favored the old program.
Costello’s report, which came just before the bottom of the 7 am Eastern hour, was part of a week-long series about “Educating America.” The CNN correspondent began with a car analogy to describe the transition to the more liberal sex ed program: “You know, it’s sort of like going from zero to 100 miles per hour. School districts, like some in North Carolina, have not taught kids about how to use birth control or how to control sexually-transmitted diseases- or prevent them, I should say- and now they’re trying to come up with a more comprehensive sex education class. It’s challenging.”
As many parents are focused on back to school clothes and supplies, the royal Czar Czar prepares to circumvent parental authority and speak directly to our children in one week. What will he command? That's a good question that the media won't ask, and one that could easily be answered right now while parents still have time to decide if they need a sitter or not. But like all things Obama does, it's spur of the moment and covert.
"Before the Speech: Short readings. Notable quotes excerpted (and posted in large print on board) from President Obama's speeches about education. What are our interpretations of these excerpts? Based on these excerpts, what can we infer the President believes is important to be successful educationally?" -- from Dept. of Education, Grades 7-12 Menu of Classroom Activities: Pres. Obama's Address to Students Across America, Sept. 8, 2009 [emphasis added]
Great news. Our leader will be addressing all schoolchildren on September 8th. And the Department of Education has helpfully prepared a menu of activities for the day. As you'll note above, 7-12th graders are to view quotations from Pres. Obama, discuss them, and strive to understand what "the president believes is important" for students to be successful in school.
Wonderful. But why stop with students? Shouldn't Americans of all ages have the benefit of the President's wisdom? And why limit it to one day, and only to the topic of education?
Watching Associated Press reports evolve, or as is all too often the case, devolve, can be a revealing exercise.
Example: What happened between 8 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday that would have caused the Associated Press and writer Nancy Benac to water down the headline and opening paragraphs of their story about the Obama-Gates-Crowley situation from this ....
No matter how much money any government - federal, state or local - puts into public education, it's never enough in some people's eyes.
A July 1 "NBC Nightly News" segment detailed a new use of tax payer dollars in one of the worst performing, financially struggling school systems in the country - the Washington, D.C. public school system. They are paying school children with taxpayer funds, part of a social experiment to improve school participation at the middle school level.
"Keeping the exuberant sixth graders of Shaw Middle School at Garnet-Patterson in line on a sunny Friday is a challenge for principal Brian Betts," former "Nightly News" anchor-turned-correspondent Tom Brokaw explained. "But this is not an assembly, it's payday. It's called Capital Gains - paying students for good grades, behavior and attendance, part of the massive restructuring of the D.C. schools by a 38-year-old Korean-American woman, who as chancellor, wants to transform what is by many measures the worst-performing public school system in the U.S."
You might recall back in 2008 when Diantha Harris, a teacher from a North Carolina grade school, made a YouTube splash for having verbally berated a soldier's young daughter that said in class she was for John McCain instead of Barack Obama for president. Of course the righty blogs immediately went wild for the story, but eventually the Old Media came to the teacher's rescue and reported that the teacher never meant any harm. The story appeared on cable and local TV for several days last November.
Well, last month another teacher found himself making news -- or not making it as the case may be -- for having been fired because he is a conservative. Lawrence, Kansas teacher Tim Latham was fired early last month, he claims for being a conservative, yet the Old Media even in Kansas has been very quiet on the story.