Fox & Friends interviewed a well-spoken attractive mom this morning who was upset about her first-grader's participation in an Earth Day program. The children had been taught a song with these lyrics:
Recycle, bicycle, don't you drive by yourself
Don't buy those plastic products on the supermarket shelf.
Boycott, petition, let the big business know
That if we mess it up here
there's nowhere else we can go.
The question Fox talkers and their viewers all want to know: Are these kids being educated or indoctrinated?
Rachael Proctor is an attractive, well-spoken woman. In fact, when I saw her interview I wondered if she worked in media somewhere in Tennessee, because she was obviously quite comfortable in the interview with nice, clip-worthy answers at the ready for the questions tossed at her.
As it turns out, she does work in media. As the communications director for Tea Party candidate Donn Janes in 2010, she wrote press releases like this one. She also co-hosts a Tea Party radio show with Mark Herr (FreedomWorks member page) for the Mid-South Tea Party, and is the President of HelpingOurWarriors.org, a non-profit organization "supported by the generous contributions of individuals, corporations and foundations." On the MidSouth Tea Party site, she is listed as a steering committee member.
Here is her bio as published on the Helping Our Warriors site:
As an accomplished realtor and retail manager, Rachael has many skills that are beneficial to Helping Our Warriors. She was a highly successful Realtor in the Phoenix metro area for 4 years. Prior to that, she worked as a manager in the retail industry. Currently, Rachael volunteers all her time as a community organizer with various local groups. She specifically volunteers on outreach and educational committees and is the event coordinator for an annual community Fourth of July celebration.
In addition to her leadership skills, Rachael’s exuberance and outgoing personality are major assets for the Helping Our Warriors organization. As the President of our non-profit, Rachael’s responsibilities will include preparing agendas and presiding over executive board meetings, representing our organization’s interests nationally, fund-raising, event coordination, community outreach and office management.
Helping Our Warriors is incorporated in Arizona.
She is also signatory to a Tenth Amendment lawsuit over the Affordable Care Act (PDF).
Now, all of this doesn't mean she didn't state her honest views in the interview. I'm certain she did. But don't you think her associations are relevant to the story? Fox presented her as just "an outraged parent", without mentioning that this particular outraged parent belongs to an organization funded in large part by a large corporation inside the plastics and pollution industries. That would seem to be relevant information if one purports to be presenting a 'fair and balanced' story about a parent objecting to what their child is being taught in school, no?
Even if we remove the Koch associations, it really does matter that this person worked for a Tea Party candidate and has more than a passing association with them when discussed in the context of whether children are being "indoctrinated or educated," particularly in light of the Tea Party's attack on public education.
This is why Fox is not news, should not be considered news, and in fact, is a shining example of indoctrination taking the place of education.
Update: Oops, looks like Glenn Beck's site (TheBlaze) picked it up with the same omission.