NYT Leaves Out Partisan Part Of Non-Partisan Obama School Speech
The September 4th New York Times reports under the header Some Parents Oppose Obama School Speech that: “President Obama’s plan to deliver a speech to public school students on Tuesday has set off a revolt among conservative parents, who have accused the president of trying to indoctrinate their children with socialist ideas and are asking school officials to excuse the children from listening.” So far so good. Reporters James McKinley and Sam Dillon later add:
The White House has said the speech will emphasize the importance of education and hard work in school, both to the individual and to the nation. The message is not partisan, nor compulsory, officials said.
There are two problems with this reporting. First, carrying the President’s speech may not be compulsory for schools, but it will be compulsory for students whose schools choose to do so. In other words, the NYT obfuscates who has the real choice here.
More importantly, the NYT completely fails to note that the original lesson plan dictated by the White House was overtly partisan. The Associated Press reports:
Critics are particularly upset about lesson plans the administration created to accompany the speech. The lesson plans, available online, originally recommended having students “write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president.”
Readers of the NYT may be inclined to think the “revolt among conservative parents” is more understandable if they are given all the facts. They can probably imagine how upset they would have been if their children had been forced to write essays about how they could hep President Bush.