Regular viewers of Fox News know that Fox is no fan of public education, which they often claim is “indoctrinating” children to liberal viewpoints. Fox & Friends, in fact, regularly runs segments about education alongside a graphic reading, “The Trouble With Schools.”
Today, Fox & Friends began their show by hosting a conservative author to claim public schools “subvert American exceptionalism” and promote liberal “propaganda,” then ended the show by gleefully hosting a college professor who teaches his students how the government “plunder[s] people.” In other words, Fox is saying that “liberal” viewpoints being taught in the classroom is “propaganda” … but conservative viewpoints in the classroom are important.
In the first half of the show, co-host Gretchen Carlson interviewed Kyle Olson, author of a book called Indoctrination: How “Useful Idiots” Are Using Our Schools to Subvert American Exceptionalism. Olson is also a regular contributor to Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government blog and the conservative Townhall.com, although Carlson didn’t mention that. Olson claimed to have found a “real agenda” to get “teachers’ personal philosophy into the classroom.” He and Carlson found it sinister that students would be learning about the words “strike” and “collective bargaining” in class (emphasis added):
CARLSON: Preschool teachers using words like “strike” and “collective bargaining” in vocabulary lessons? Our next guest says this is just the tip of the iceberg. He studied dozens of lessons plans [sic], and he found thousands of examples of teachers using the curriculum to promote their own liberal political agenda.
OLSON: I’m the father of a kindergartener, and so this — looking at what was going on in schools is very important to me. And so I started looking at the curriculum, lesson plans, textbooks, videos that are being pushed in public schools, and what I found is a real agenda to get the teachers’ personal philosophy into the classroom.
CARLSON: So one of the things you found was union language to preschoolers, the talk of strike and collective bargaining?
OLSON: That’s right.
CARLSON: I mean, even most seniors wouldn’t understand what that is.
OLSON: That’s it. That’s the perfect example. What happened in the city of Chicago was, there’s a preschool teacher, preschooler. Again, I’m the father of a kindergartener, so I’m thinking, “Preschooler, you know, how could a preschooler relate to this?” But there’s a teacher in the city of Chicago, she went up to Madison, Wisconsin to protest against Scott Walker and collective bargaining reform and everything. She took pictures there. She took them back to her classroom. She read her students a book called Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type and then she taught them the vocabulary lesson that you mentioned, “strike,” “collective bargaining,” and “negotiate.” And you just think, you know, these are examples that high schoolers should be learning about, if at all, but yet, they’re being pushed at very early ages.
What’s most troubling is that both Carlson and Olson seem to suggest unions and collective bargaining, integral parts of American labor history, shouldn’t be taught in classrooms at all, even in high school. The pair went on to be equally appalled by the notion that other students learn about environmental protection, incarcerations rates, and the existence of AIDS, all of which Olson views as evidence of a subversive “agenda.” They were particularly troubled by the fact that Maryland high school students are required to be “environmentally literate” in order to graduate, which Fox has freaked out about before.