Brainwashing: Scholastic's incomplete take on the Occupy movement

As a little girl, I liked to flip through the pages of the Scholastic book catalogue — and I was one of the few students who read whatever news bulletins our teachers gave us from cover to cover. Now, I wonder what propaganda pills I inadvertently swallowed as a youngster just because I was earnest and interested to learn what Scholastic had to teach.

A Michelle Malkin reader was understandably concerned when his child brought home the December edition of Scholastic News, one of many offerings from the venerable publishing company. The issue tackled the Occupy Wall Street movement — with notable finesse. Read the article and you’d come away with the impression that the 99 percent are a pretty peaceable plugged-in bunch.

It’s not necessarily that what the author of the article wrote was wrong so much as it was incomplete. Nowhere, for example, does the article mention the rampant misbehavior of the Occupiers, even though the tally of the various incidents of violence and vandalism has reached 417. The closest to a mention was the final paragraph of the article: “All Americans have the right to speak out. But as these protests continue, mayors in some cities are worried about the strain on their cities’ resources. For example, extra police officers and cleanup crews are needed to make sure the gatherings remain peaceful and orderly.”

On the flip side, Scholastic didn’t scruple to exclude these types of paragraphs from its earlier coverage of the Tea Party:

Tea Party candidates also had some surprise wins in primary elections, which determine who will represent their political parties on the November ballot. Christine O’Donnell, a candidate for Vice President Joseph Biden’s Senate seat in Delaware, was backed by the Tea Party. She has since become known as the candidate who has had to declare publicly that she is “not a witch.”

In Nevada, Sharron Angle, a Tea Party-backed Republican candidate, has become a real threat to U.S. Senator Harry Reid, who currently serves as the Senate Majority Leader. Reid called out the big guns to go up against his opponent. Former President Bill Clinton was recently in Nevada campaigning for him and warning voters against casting their ballots in anger.

“If any time in your life you make an important decision when you’re mad, there’s an 80 per cent chance you’re going to make a mistake,” Clinton said at a rally for Reid. “I don’t want people to abandon their anger. I want them to channel it so they can think clearly.”

Perhaps I’d be more inclined to overlook the OWS coverage as a blatant bit of brainwashing if it didn’t come from the same company that promotes The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming, which was written by a producer of “An Inconvenient Truth.” Earlier this year, Scholastic also eliminated its “United States of Energy” curriculum, which taught students about various forms of energy, including wind, solar, hydroelectric, nuclear, coal and natural gas. The program was a balanced one — but liberal special interest groups objected because it didn’t paint coal in a negative enough light.

Why is it so hard to tell the whole truth?