Fox Goes After Sesame Street’s Supposed “Assault” On America’s “Moral Foundation”
June 02, 2011 4:54 pm ET by Carlos Maza
Fox News has a nasty habit of assembling trios of unqualified and anti-gay guests to fear monger about the threat of “gay indoctrination” aimed at America’s youth.
Last week, it was a “power panel” decrying a gender diversity lesson in a California elementary school.
This week, it was “The Great American Panel” attesting to the evils of Sesame Street’s pro-diversity and pro-tolerance agenda. The panel consisted of:
- Ben Shapiro, a conservative columnist who has compared homosexuality to incest and adultery, called homosexuality “immoral behavior,” and accused President Obama of trying to start a “race war.”
- Ken Blackwell, a former Ohio secretary of state who has publicly endorsed the idea that “homosexuality is a compulsion that can be contained, repressed or changed” and attempted to smear his opponent in the 2006 Ohio gubernatorial race by accusing him of having a gay affair.
- Kirsten Haglund, the 2008 winner of the Miss America pageant.
Seems “fair and balanced” enough for Fox, doesn’t it?
During the June 1 edition of Fox News’ Hannity, Shapiro pitched his new book, Primetime Propaganda, in which he attempts to prove that the “Hollywood industry” has a clear liberal bias. The panel seemed exceptionally bothered by Sesame Street’s lessons about gender diversity:
SHAPIRO: If you go on the Sesame Street website, it talks about -- “When you’re bringing up your child, make sure that you use gender-neutral language. Make sure that you give your boys dolls and make sure that you give your girls fire trucks.”
Again, this is the second time in two weeks that a Fox News guest has complained about an attempt to teach children that it’s OK if they are interested in things not typically associated with their gender.
In his book, Shapiro also attacks Sesame Street for inviting openly gay actor Neil Patrick Harris to be on the show:
"Sesame Street tried to tackle divorce, tackled 'peaceful conflict resolution' in the aftermath of 9/11 and had [gay actor] Neil Patrick Harris on the show playing the subtly-named 'fairy shoeperson'," notes Shapiro.
Blackwell argued that Sesame Street’s message was a “direct assault” on the country’s “moral foundation” and the reason that a Virginia high school recently voted for a gay male to be prom queen. I wish I were kidding:
BLACKWELL: Yeah and that’s setting up a problem. Just this year, a high school in Virginia named a guy who was openly gay as prom queen. So sometimes, you know, fiction does inform reality. And as Ken Klukowski and I lay out in our book, you know, there’s a direct assault on this country’s moral foundation. That’s a problem.
Believe it or not, America’s “moral foundation” does not rest on the idea that parents should only allow their children to play with toys that Fox News determines to be gender-appropriate.
If Sesame Street actually is advising parents to be accepting of gender non-conforming behavior (as of now, no such advice appears to be on show’s website), then it’s doing the right thing.
Several studies have found that gender non-conforming children with accepting parents experienced remarkably higher levels of physical and mental health than those with parents who attempt to “correct” their gender identities.
You didn’t hear that perspective on Fox News, though. Apparently, it’s more important to get the opinions of a former Miss America pageant star and an anti-gay former Ohio secretary of state than it is to interview somebody who actually knows what he or she is talking about.