- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 2, 2004

‘Agents of change’

“On Feb. 23, 2004, at the National Governors Association meeting in D.C., United States Secretary of Education Rod Paige called the National Education Association ‘a terrorist organization.’ …

“Former NEA President Catherine Barrett in the Feb. 10, 1973, issue of the Saturday Review of Education makes clear the objective of this powerful organization: ‘Dramatic changes in the way we will raise our children in the year 2000 are indicated, particularly in terms of schooling. … When this happens — and it’s near — the teacher can rise to his true calling. More than a dispenser of information, the teacher will be a conveyor of values, a philosopher. … We will be agents of change.’

“Education is not the goal of the NEA — it is indoctrination, and the NEA will take whatever steps needed to accomplish their goal, including intimidation of teachers, parents and taxpayers who disagree with their agenda and world view.

“What does that make them? I think Secretary Paige knows.”

Brannon Howse, writing on “Is NEA a ‘terrorist organization?’” Friday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

Cultural bias

“I think most claims of liberal media bias are overblown. At the same time, I do think that reporters often let their cultural predilections drive their coverage of social issues, and the coverage of the [proposed constitutional] amendment [to prohibit same-sex ‘marriage’] offers a perfect example. …

“The operating premise of … most reporting on this topic is that only the most partisan element of Bush’s base supports the amendment. …

“First of all, the public rejects gay marriage by a pretty wide margin. Last month, the Annenberg Center conducted a poll asking, ‘Would you favor or oppose a law in your state that would allow gays and lesbians to marry a partner of the same sex?’ Thirty-one percent said they favored it, 60 percent opposed it. …

“Why do reporters assume that the amendment is a fringe concern? Perhaps because nearly all live in big cities, among educated, relatively affluent peers who hold liberal views on social matters. In Washington and New York, gay marriage is an utterly mainstream proposition.”

Jonathan Chait, writing on “Bias,” Monday in New Republic Online at www.tnr.com

Faith and film

“Decades ago, Hollywood regularly produced religious films: ‘The Song of Bernadette,’ ‘The Bells of St. Mary’s,’ ‘The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima.’ The bosses who financed these pictures may not have liked them or shared the beliefs expressed in them, but they had their reasons for greenlighting them. One is that they often made money. Another is that the mood of the country was more pious. Today, a fervent Christian conviction — so often aligned with belligerent conservatism — is, to many in the media, a threat or a joke. They don’t understand religious devotion. …

“The attitude goes beyond religion. For better or worse, the current tone is skeptical, derisive and gross. Years ago, ‘American Pie’ replaced American piety. A lot of movie people don’t respect [Mel] Gibson’s obsession with his ‘Passion’ project; they are offended by it; fear it. And I’ll bet, since the movie could earn huge profits for Gibson and his distribution partners, they resent it.”

Richard Corliss, writing on “Holy Hypocrisies,” Friday at www.time.com

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