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There have been a number of diaries on the upcoming ABC crock-u-drama Path to 9/11.  I haven't seen one yet that focuses on the propaganda reinforcement being done in school systems via the venerable Scholastic Books organization.

Anyone who's ever put a child through school is familiar with Scholastic Books.  But did you know that they are providing extensive "study resources" and teaching guides for Path to 9/11?  And that the resources are demonstrably false, misleading, and reinforce the GOP's attempt to rewrite history?

This is important...jump down below the fold for details and action points.

There's a quiet movement afoot that amounts to a public / private partnership in catapulting the propaganda being put forth by Path to 9/11.  Scholalstic Books has prepared a resource series for educators to use in discussing the ABC docudrama with students and parents:

The Path to 9/11 offers your students and their families important information regarding the causes of and events leading to that tragic day. Encourage your students and their families to watch The Path to 9/11 and use the accompanying Resources and Discussion Guide pages to:

    * Track the historical time line of events before, during, and after 9/11
    * Lead critical discussions about these events
    * Use critical-thinking skills and analysis in classroom debate

It is important to look back over the past five years and consider the events that have occurred, what led to those events, and how they impact the future of our nation and the world.

Objectives:

    * To encourage students to gain a global understanding of communities and cultures
    * To engage critical-thinking and critical-viewing skills
    * To encourage student political awareness and involvement through discussion and debate
    * To promote media literacy to remind students to view what they absorb from the media with a critical eye


Sounds benign, doesn't it?  However, in my opinion the resources that follow this introduction are hardly benign, and are closer to propaganda reinforcement tools than objective study material.  I encourage everyone to take the time to read the downloadable resources and discussion points.  Keep in mind that the information provided is targeted toward grades 9 through 12.

If you reach the same conclusions that I did (for instance, the implication in the first resource that Saddam Hussein's Iraq had a connection to 9/11), there are some actions worth considering:

  1. Contact Scholastic Books' customer service organization directly through their website.  Demand that if they are determined to provide a resource such as this for a fictional movie, that it be unbiased and grounded in fact rather than wingnut talking points.

  2. Consider discussing your displeasure with the fundraising coordinator at your child's school.  There are other book companies besides Scholastic that provide similar services to schools.  It's a very cut-throat business, and threatening to withhold business through a local Scholastic representative would be a great way to force parental feedback up the corporate ladder.

  3. Contact your local board of education.  Inquire as to whether the Scholastic material will be used in any classroom setting in your school district. Don't take "we don't know" for an answer. It's their job to know what curriculum is being taught to  your children.  If the Scholastic material is being considered for use, demand that it be withdrawn because (as with science) you wish your child to be taught the facts of the situation, not conservative talking points.

  4. If you meet with no success with the board of Education, insist that your child be excused from participating in any such curriculum.  It's your right to request your child opt out, without penalty.

  5. Engage other like-minded parents to consider similar action.  As Arlo Guthrie famously said, if five people, I mean five people march in singing a bar of Alice's Restaurant, then they'll think it's a movement.  In this case, it's a movement for truth at the local level.  There can be no more powerful statement.

Scholastic Books needs to be brought on the carpet fast.  I don't have the time at the moment to dig into the background / finances of Scholastic Books to understand their connection to the GOP, and why they would take this extraordinary step to catapult the propaganda in school.  Perhaps someone would have the opportunity today to do a bit of research into the Scholastic Books connection.  Basically, what this study guide sets up is a captive audience for the show should any school district actually use the material provided.  

That's why it would be good to take some preemptive actions today at the local school district level.

UPDATE Thanks to everyone for the great comments and suggestions in the thread below. A common theme has emerged: be gentle with Scholastic. I'm not so sure I agree with the theme, because regardless of how "blue" Scholastic might be, they've sold out their company's good name to push this propaganda reinforcement. And if they didn't know about it, they should, so "they don't know" doesn't wash.

It was brought to my attention via email that Scholastic has also, in recent years and months, hooked up with such notable organizations as The American Petroleum Institute and defense contractor Northrop Grummon to catapult propaganda of other stripes.

Scholastic's customer service can be contacted at 1-800-724-6527. Scholastic's CEO, Richard Robinson can be contacted via email at: rrobinson@scholastic.com, Jeffrey Mathews, Vice President, Investor Relations or Tonia Bellamy at 212-343-6741 or via email at investor_relations@scholastic.com

Originally posted to All Spin Zone on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 06:07 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Rather than a tip... (167+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vicki, Marek, Yoss, pb, Sean Robertson, MadRuth, SarahLee, Kaj, tikkun, TrueBlueMajority, sacrelicious, Hummingbird, cotterperson, OLinda, Pompatus, DFWmom, elfling, musicsleuth, bumblebums, mataliandy, exNYinTX, linc, sardonyx, healing one, justme, Dazy, mentaldebris, daisy democrat, guyute16, susakinovember, CoolOnion, peace voter, wanderindiana, mrblifil, roses, redlami, michelle, taonow, peraspera, L0kI, Fe, thingamabob, Terre, sidnora, wader, baad, mayan, kharma, cathy b, mrkvica, draftchrisheinz, DeadB0y, kdrivel, commonscribe, Caldonia, Jill Lehnert, xanthe, EuroDem, On The Bus, rockhound, lcrp, Dood Abides, inclusiveheart, bwintx, ChiGirl88, Black Max, BoxerRebellion, boran2, Timroff, supersoling, sxwarren, davidkc, libnewsie, joanneleon, chumley, historys mysteries, Bluesee, 3goldens, Elise, enough, lale, LisaZ, Alice Marshall, mjd in florida, PBen, saucy monkey, ZappoDave, dewtx, ChemBob, sidonie, stitchmd, Brooke In Seattle, Ranting Roland, reflectionsv37, Pyesetz the Dog, Mr X, GreyHawk, peteri2, gkn, shiobhan, wiscmass, FindingMyVoice, sodalis, dsteffen, doe, Asinus Asinum Fricat, jiml, martini, occams hatchet, LeftOverAmerica, dus7, esquimaux, trashablanca, Sanuk, BlueInARedState, cwaltz, RAZE, Ellicatt, Yellow Canary, seefleur, smokeymonkey, InsultComicDog, mango, Wary, urbannie, irishamerican, mystery2me, Gasonfires, kck, greenearth, blueoasis, MJ via Chicago, Lashe, imabluemerkin, FireCrow, BalkanID, CTLiberal, edgery, Unitary Moonbat, Josh or Con or Both, ilyana, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, scoff0165, Mary2002, Snarcalita, Friend of the court, henna218, Craig Burnham, AllanTBG, g panjandrum, One Pissed Off Liberal, john07801, dotsright, khereva, Cronesense, wa ma, blue armadillo, possum, kmiddle, godislove, wiretapthis, Skamp, College Progressive, sowinso, Freadom, beemerr, Halloween Decoration

    Make a call to your local school district today to find out what they're doing with the material.  Don't take "I don't know" for an answer.

    All Spin Zone : Progressive Politics Writ Large

    by Richard Cranium on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 05:57:26 AM PDT

  •  Books/History (25+ / 0-)

    This is an area we must focus on.  What worries me is that history will be written according to these revisionists in power.  I haven't downloaded yet but I will and make calls, write letters.  This is important. Absolutely something we have to fight --    

    I have no patience with people who grow old at 60 just because they are entitled to a bus pass. Mary Wesley, British novelist

    by xanthe on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 05:59:05 AM PDT

    •  History ALWAYS written by those in power (11+ / 0-)

      At least that's what the history books I read have always said ..... It makes sense.

      In reality, I don't know what's happened to truth and honesty. We heard republicans SCREAM that Clinton lied.  Then in some areas when it was shown that he did not technically lie, "Well he deceived."  Well yeah, he did.  

      I wonder if history will accurately reflect the Congress and pundits preoccupation with Clinton's love life all the while terrorists were coming in and out of America making plans to attack us on 9/11.   Like I said, it will depend on who's in power.

      •  Since the internet -- it's a good (7+ / 0-)

        bet that historians will approach their academic lives in a more populist approach -- or anyway some of them.

        I have transferred much visual information to dvds for my grandchildren, and/or my greatnieces' children.  Can we be sure that these moments of history won't be erased and it's up to us to save them?  No, it won't be so easy.  When these children are studying biology -- my son or my greatnieces will have another piece of biology for them -- oh look, here's a dvd about maccacas.

        I have no patience with people who grow old at 60 just because they are entitled to a bus pass. Mary Wesley, British novelist

        by xanthe on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 07:11:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  History is always rewritten by those in power (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee, darwinsjoke, abbeysbooks

        "Everything is chrome in the future..." Sponge Bob Square Pants

        by agent double o soul on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 07:26:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The story of Alhazmi and Almihdhar (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pb, mataliandy, abbeysbooks, blueoasis
        Die Zeit. The paper has uncovered details of a major Israeli spy ring involving some a 120 agents for the intelligence service Mossad operating across America and some masquerading as arts students. The ring was reportedly hard on the heels of at least four members of the hijack gang, including its leader Mohammed Atta. But the Israeli agents were detected by their American counterparts and thrown out of the country, it says."
        Report details US 'intelligence failures'
        BBC, 2 October 2002

        "New revelations are putting the CIA in a tight spot. Only later did the American police search for Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi. Both were on the Israeli list, and both later sat in the airplane that crashed into the Pentagon in Washington. Although their names were on an FBI national watch list starting in the late summer of 2001, they traveled without trouble in the United States and also boarded the death jets on Sept. 11 with passports in their real names."
        Mossad Agents Were On Atta's Tail
        Der Spiegel (Germany), 1 October 2002

         Apparently the CIA acquired very specific information on several of the later suicide pilots of Sept. 11. These clues were ignored, although the suspects were already in the United States. Two of the later pilots were on an FBI wanted list starting in August 2001. Nevertheless, they were able to move unrecognized around the country and get on to the death jets using their own real names

        The story of Alhazmi and Almihdhar is worth exploring in detail, because it consists of so many strange and contradictory components that when strung together, demonstrate repeated cases of gross government incompetence at every turn. Why did the government not prevent them from entering the country despite several opportunities? Why do neighbors claim the two men had frequent, brief limousine rides in the middle of the night? How can evidence of the two being at two different places at once be explained? What did Israel's secret service know about them, and why was their warning to the CIA seemingly ignored?

        No one has been punished.  

      •  Re: History ALWAYS written by those in power (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xanthe, Southern Mouth, blueoasis

        Right.  Just ask the indigenous peoples of any country  . . .start here in North America...

      •  I personally think there is a big difference in (0+ / 0-)

        oral and penetration sex. I would argue on Clinton's side forever about that. It was also in the movie Clerks long before the Clinton episode and the young man and his girlfriend had a huge argument over how many men she had had sex with, the number being very different if oral sex was counted as sex. She said no to oral sex being counted and he said yes. Every high school kid thinks nothing of it. Did anyone see Ridgemont High?

        If they had asked Clinton if he had a blow job he probably would have said yes. It depends on your definition of "it".

      •  And such a chance to deconstruct history (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        enough, blueoasis

        in the classroom. Oh, I am salivating. Read Lies My Teacher Told Me.

    •  just as a side note (8+ / 0-)

      I'd note that Scholastic is pushing this in Reading & Language arts and Social Studies, but not History classes, fwiw.

      •  They may have been duped (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pb, greeseyparrot, eru, abbeysbooks, edgery

        Speculation: Scholastic may not have been aware of the propagandistic nature of this film. Like many organizations, they are probably susceptible to the lure of a press release followed up by detailed information about a show that purports to provide historical reporting.

        I suggest that someone actually talk with an editor of the publication in question before launching an email campaign --- so that, at least, the email can have its facts straight.

        Even if Scholastic was duped, the employees who screen material for publication should understand that swallowing press releases and other "propaganda for the propaganda" is not a safe or reasonable strategy during the GWB administration -- if ever.

      •  The materials do include an assignment (17+ / 0-)

        on how different media and different outlets will cover the same event quite differently.  So it makes sense that this will be presented in these sections.

        The Scholastic materials are NOT overtly objectionable -- they do not contain misleading materials.  They are intended to use the program as a starting point for discussion.  The problem is not with Scholastic but with the program.

        PLEASE READ THE SCHOLASTIC MATERIALS BEFORE CONTACTING SCHOLASTIC OR YOUR TEACHERS OR SCHOOLS.

        We are going to damage our credibility if we take off on a group attack without looking at the materials first.

        -6.75, -5.79

        "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke

        by edgery on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 08:06:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why now? (7+ / 0-)

          Why aren't we using Farenheit 911 as the starting point for this discussion, it was first, will it be shown as a comparative, I doubt it.  The Youtube video in the 911 comspiracy is pretty good too what bout that?  No, the study begins when the right have their propaganda peice done and have arranged the coordinated reinforcement of school text, just in time for the Nov 06 midterms, when parents vote.  Oh, yes an honest discussion starter.

          there is never time to do it right, but always time to do it over

          by DeadB0y on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 08:52:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The problem is Scholastic (12+ / 0-)

          in that they are being willingly used as a channel to re-inforce right-wing propaganda. They are being used to legitimize the right-wing talking points.

          The only "purpose" of the "study materials" is to get the biased "docudrama" into the classroom. In order to use the "study materials" by ABC, the program needs to be broadcast in the classroom. While individual teachers may use the study materials to take a deeper look at the history of 9/11 and the role of propaganda, for the most part the program will likely just be shown in the classroom with its biases taken for granted.

          There are two groups that use fear as a political weapon: Terrorists and Republicans.

          by DavidW in SF on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 09:07:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Scholstic has always been about the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            enough

            bottom line. Kids achievement scores go down, so it is an excellent time to come out with a new edition that is definitely going to address that problem.

            They were always the publishers who came out with new "cutting edge" stuff that would make the big difference!

        •  Marketing overt political propaganda to kids (7+ / 0-)

          as truth is such an outrage that parents should request that Scholastic no longer be allowed to peddle their wares in their schools. Lying to kids about such an important and disturbing is an unforgivable betrayal of trust that kids deserve to have in adults, particularly authority figures like teachers. If Scholastic doesn't care enough about children to respect this trust enough to screen and fact check their materials they deserve to go out of business.

          Books and teaching materials that engage children while respecting them as worthy of being told the truth can be found elsewhere.

          •  All the sanctioned educational materials (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis

            are full of propaganda. Start to finish.

            Stauffer at Delaware tried to get Holt Rinehart to put in a unit on inner city blacks in his basal reading series. We are talking 1962. They wouldn't. His approach was influenced by Dewey and the experience approach. You learn to read things that have to do with your own experiences. When you can read you read to gain experiences vicariously.

            So he argued, How are inner city black school kids supposed to relate to Mother at home in the house with the little white picket fence with Dick and Jane and Sally and Spot the dog and Puff the cat? Father comes home from work walking in the driveway with a hat on his head and a suit and tie.

            Give me a break! Deconstruct that reading book with your older students to uncover the propaganda it was spewing.

        •  But the Scholastic materials ARE slanted. (5+ / 0-)

          Example 1:
          Go to the Student Sheet 1 on the Scholastic site, and read the section on Bin Laden.

          Bin Laden inherited a large amount of money from his father and is currently worth an estimated $250-$300 million. He uses his money to recruit and train Al-Qaeda soldiers for terrorist activities against the United States and other countries.

          This section implies that he got ALL his money through inheritance, but he was funded and trained by people in the Reagan administration. What is printed is technically true, but leaves out important parts of his link to the U.S. that might make Republicans look bad. Sin by ommission.

        •  Depends on how you read them (6+ / 0-)

          From the "Classroom Discussion and Debate" handout:

          Critical-thinking Questions
          1.What happened at the initial meeting between FBI
          counterterrorism expert, John O’Neill, and the U.S.
          Ambassador in Yemen? Why was the ambassador
          unwilling to help O’Neill and his team?

          2.What other political events in the news received
          attention regarding counterterrorism during the
          Clinton and Bush administrations?
          3.Why didn’t the United States provide assistance to
          General Massoud of the Northern Alliance to fight the
          Taliban? Why did U.S. officials ignore General
          Massoud’s warnings that bin Laden might strike?

          4.What is the purpose of The 9/11 Commission Report?
          5.What are your reactions to the 9/11 Commission’s
          Report Card postscript at the end of the miniseries?

          Those bolded parts are aimed directly at Clinton. I bet they never mention that the US CIA support for and contacts with Massoud and his Northern Alliance was ended during the Bush 1 administration, not under Clinton.This is documented in retired CIA Kabul station head Gary Shroen's book "First in: An Insider's Account of How the Cia Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan" More detail in a comment I made here.

          This ABC story is the history that will be remembered by thousands, if not millions, of high school kids.

          "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

          by bewert on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 10:14:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Example #2 (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee, madhaus

          Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, the United States began a global "War on Terror" to stop terrorist groups.

          It's language like this that bothers me. It's subtle, but words like "began following September 11" very much implies that the U.S. only started to try to fight terrorism after September 11. No mention whatsoever of what we had done to fight terrorism before this. The implication is that it wasn't until the Bush adminstration that the U.S. really tried to do anything to stop terrorist groups on a large scale. Very, very inaccurate.

        •  Example #3 (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Richard Cranium, madhaus, alizard

          Osama bin Laden is the son of a wealthy Yemeni businessman who moved to Saudi Arabia and started a private construction company in 1930.

          I think some other people have noticed this one...
          15 out of 19 of the hijackers on 9/11 were from Saudia Arabia.  Not only is this not mentioned, but the above quote is the only place I can find any mention of Saudi Arabia in the materials. It's a glaring absence.

        •  I've read them (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          stephdray, nasarius, jkilkullen

          They are pretty objectionable. Look, for example, at the setup for the question on racial profiling? It's several paragraphs long and obviously arguing that "of course" racial profiling is the only logical choice. Also the questions on weather the press is damaging to national security.

          This thing is dangerous, biased, and Scholastic deserves all the crap they get.

  •  did (25+ / 0-)

    Did clinton and/or the terrorist also write "My Pet Goat" and make it so captivating as to make the president of the united states just sit there like a deer in the headlights?

    "Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is."- Gandhi

    by voter for sale on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 06:03:27 AM PDT

    •  Some documentary lately showed Pres KNEW (15+ / 0-)

      .... prior to entering the classroom, like when he was in the limo, that the first WTC was struck.  

      OK, so he didn't want to cancel his plans and disappoint the little children ... I've "give" him that .... grudgingly.

      But after the SECOND tower was hit, I will NEVER to my dying day understand, grasp, or condone a leader of this nation sitting there while we under direct attack - be it a foreign or domestic enemy.  A leader is supposed to get off his butt and LEAD, especially when those you are supposedly leading are being ambushed. I will never condone. NEVER.  No excuse.

      •  Don't give him that - no. (4+ / 0-)

        Don't even go to we didn't know if it was an attack or an accident.  No - give the republicans as much as they give us.

        I have no patience with people who grow old at 60 just because they are entitled to a bus pass. Mary Wesley, British novelist

        by xanthe on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 07:17:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And he lied about it. To a child. (14+ / 0-)

        For some bizarre reason, he claimed that he saw the first collision on television.

        http://transcripts.cnn.com/...

        "Actually I was in a classroom talking about a reading program that works. And I was sitting outside the classroom waiting to go in, and I saw an airplane hit the tower -- the TV was obviously on, and I use to fly myself, and I said, "There's one terrible pilot." And I said, "It must have been a horrible accident." But I was whisked off there - I didn't have much time to think about it."

        Btw, I find it amusing to compare that quote to John Kerry's about the first attack, which was basically that he presumed it wasn't an accident because flying conditions were superb that morning.

        Essential funk: 'Indictment' by Antibalas

        by pontechango on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 07:26:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  A 'real' President, upon hearing the news of (7+ / 0-)

        the first tower, would have dropped off an aide to apologize to the kids, hung a quick u-turn back to Air Force One and immediately begun coordinating communications with every agency who might have info or be able to act.  THAT would've been leadership.

        Private life is all about managing pain. In business and government, this means externalizing and deferring costs whenever possible.

        by sxwarren on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 09:38:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree 100% (7+ / 0-)

          The leaders that I have known, the real leaders, not just those in leadership positions, knew how and when to hook'em up.  He would, as you wrote, immediately returned to AF1 and begun coordinating.  He would have immediately been involved with the emergency ops that were ongoing after the first attack.

          When I said, I'd "give" him slack when he learned of the first attack, I'll only give him that because I'm trying to bend over backwards to be fair.

          I heard people say "I'm just so thankful that Al Gore wasn't president on 9/11."  

          Al Gore would have returned to AF1 and been in the air immediately, talking and coordinating with everyone necessary, calling in every person who could be of assistance, talking to the Richard Clarke who was the head of the terrorism taskforce ... why?  Because he would have known who does what.  He would have known Richard Clarke and his responsibilities.  He would have KNOWN what the usual Gov't response was in emergency situations.  He wouldn't have had to wait for someone to tell him what to do.  Why?  Because he's an intelligent leader!  And besides that, we would NOT have been in Iraq today!  Hopefully, Osama bin Laden would have been laid to rest, ashes to ashes, long years ago and the country of Afghanistan and the country of Pakistan (holder of nuclear weapons) free of Taliban terrorists.  .... Damn it.

          •  IIRC (0+ / 0-)

            If I remember correctly, there was some confusion at the start about exactly what size/kind of plane had hit the first tower. I'm not sure that I can completely fault going on with the planned schedule if it had been a "tragic" accident involving a smaller plane or a corporate Lear-type jet. Certainly there would be significant loss of life, but it didn't look like the tower was coming down in the early minutes of the TV coverage.

            Hold off on troll-rating me just yet.

            There is no way in HELL that I would have been sitting on a kiddie chair, staring off into space, reading Dr. Seuss when someone came to tell me that we'd been hit a SECOND time. All those kids would have seen were a-holes and elbows, and apologies hollered over shoulders as we humped it to AF1 to fire up Command and Control.

            However, thinking about it a little bit more (and please excuse the analytical, impersonal nature of this train of thought) had they moved faster, there might have been enough time to get the other two planes, but the collateral damage could also have been far greater than the actual result. There were true heroes on Flight 93, who likely saved an untold number of lives. They weren't sitting in first class, starting at a Forbes artcle upside-down, or hiding in the back bathroom, waiting to jump in the air the last second before the plane hit the ground (once upon a time, I heard Bill Cosby say that this works).

            -5.25, -2.26 "Free your mind, and the rest will follow..."

            by KilljoyTXinMI on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 02:07:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for covering this issue. (27+ / 0-)

    Strategically, this effort by the GOP and Scholastic is very sophisticated as kids take their homework home and parents often help therefore creating a wider audience for this propaganda.

    It is important to take Scholastic out to the woodshed on this one.

  •  My favorite objective is: (15+ / 0-)
    • Use critical-thinking skills and analysis in classroom debate

    Oh, where to start....?

    To call the Commander in Chief detached from reality would be an insult to paranoid schizophrenics everywhere. --billmon

    by vicki on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 06:15:07 AM PDT

  •  List of the Scholastic Executive Office (22+ / 0-)

    Richard Robinson - Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer  
    Mary A. Winston - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer  
    Deborah A. Forte - Executive Vice President and President, Scholastic Media  
    Lisa Holton - Executive Vice President and President, Book Fairs and Trade  
    Margery W. Mayer - Executive Vice President and President, Scholastic Education  
    Judith Newman - President & EVP, Scholastic Book Clubs and Scholastic At Home  
    Seth D. Radwell - Executive Vice President and President, e-Scholastic  
    Hugh Roome - Executive Vice President and President, Scholastic International  
    Ernest B. Fleishman - Senior Vice President, Education and Corporate Relations  
    Beth Ford - Senior Vice President, Global Operations and Information Technology  
    Karen A. Maloney - Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Accounting Officer  
    Heather J. Myers - Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning and Business Development  
    Peter Watts - Senior Vice President, Corporate Human Resources and Employee Services

    Scholastic Website

    We should research these people and figure out what their political leanings are.

    Scholastic claims to be the world's largest provider of educational content.  They must be made smaller perhaps!!

    •  Excellent - a good place to start... (8+ / 0-)

      If I get a moment (batshit crazy at work today) I'll run these names through opensecrets.org and see what comes up campaign-donor wise...

      All Spin Zone : Progressive Politics Writ Large

      by Richard Cranium on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 06:31:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Also the Board of Directors (5+ / 0-)

      Also very important to target the Board of Directors: here they are, with their occupations:

      Richard Robinson - Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer, Scholastic Corporation  
      Rebeca Barrera - President, National Latino Children’s Institute  
      Ramon Cortines - Education Consultant  
      John Davies - Private Investor  
      Charles Harris - Managing General Partner, Harris Capital Partners, L.P.  
      Andrew Hedden - Partner, Coudert Brothers LLP  
      Mae Jemison - Founder and President, BioSentient Corporation  
      Peter Mayer - President and Publisher, Overlook Press/Peter Mayer Publishers, Inc.  
      John McDonald - The IBJ Professor of Finance, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University  
      Augustus Oliver - Managing Director, Waterview Advisors LLC  
      Richard Spaulding - Executive Vice President, Marketing; Scholastic Corporation  

      "You teach your boy to walk, but he learns to run himself." --Emerson

      by Webster Hodges on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 06:55:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's the CEO (6+ / 0-)

      Contributor
      Occupation
      Date
      Amount
      Recipient

      RICHARD ROBINSON
      NEW YORK,NY 10012
      SCHOLASTIC ENTERTAINMENT/OWNER
      11/1/2002
      $2,000
      Missouri Democratic State Cmte

      RICHARD ROBINSON
      NEW YORK,NY 10012
      SCHOLASTIC INC./PRESIDENT
      3/20/2002
      $1,000
      Gephardt, Richard A

    •  It could be.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jiml

      It might be laziness instead of corruption that led to this, shall we say, breach of trust, by Scholastic.

      They may have been approached by a conservative company that creates "study materials" for current events and media literacy. Maybe it even came out of the production company that made the docudrama.

      I have no idea how often Scholastic offers these kinds of accompanying material to schools or if they have some kind of method for evaluating the truthfulness/bias of third-party material... if that is what this is.

      I agree that this needs to be immediately and vigorously addressed with Scholastic.  I suggest that any contact with the company be done with an attitude of concern rather than accusation.  It would also be nice if someone could get a statement from a person in charge and post it in these comments.

      ePluribus Media - Truth be told.

      by Stoy on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 07:21:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Already done this (3+ / 0-)

      The top executives of Scholastic have given to Democratic candidates and the Democratic party.  These are NOT our foes.

      -6.75, -5.79

      "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke

      by edgery on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 08:09:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wow, so this is SUCH an over-the-top reaction (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, highacidity

      For starters, Scholastic leans HEAVILY left. I work there, I'm pretty high up, and I know nearly everyone on the above list.

      I'll bet dollars to dimes that Scholastic has no idea that the ABC work is biased. They've long had ties with ABC for a number of different entertainment projects, so I'm confident that this is just another facet of that allegiance.

      That said, I bet they'd think differently, knowing Dick Robinson and the others, if they saw the program. Not that they'd necessarily change course (I haven't a clue what the contractual obligations look like at this point...they're probably inexorably intertwined).

      Nevertheless, please PLEASE do not harass these people or "make the company smaller" because of something so triffling.

      I fully support taking action if there's truly some intent to bias or KNOWINGLY promote propagandist material, but, being a Scholastic employee and knowing what I know about the information flow here, I doubt very highly that Scholastic has any idea or involvement with this bias.

      •  All the more reason... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        esquimaux, blueoasis
        For you to clue them in on "what's up".

        ;-)

        All Spin Zone : Progressive Politics Writ Large

        by Richard Cranium on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 11:50:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm more than happy to (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee, highacidity, saucy monkey

          I think I need more specifics, though, so that I can make a credible case to the Powers That Be.

          In the meantime, I'm looking into whether or not our PR and marketing people have even seen the movie. I'm pretty darn sure they haven't, since unfortunately that's the way things go, but I'll find that out and that'll help inform us about the intent behind the materials.

          •  Check out the teaching materials. (6+ / 0-)

            Why is IRAQ listed as one of the countries involved in 9/11?????  I don't hold Scholastic in any way responsible for the movie, but they have put their good name on these teaching materials and there are some seriously shaky "facts" in these teaching materials.

            Also the 9/11 Commission Report is given equal weight as the fictionalized account of the events which we already know from Richard Clarke has a completely fabricated account of a moment when Bin Laden might have been caught that NEVER happened.

            Scholastic should pull or revise their materials.

            •  I guess it's a little suspect (0+ / 0-)

              But it's pretty easy to say that Iraq is one of the countries that was "involved in some way" (SCHL materials words), and it goes like this:

              Leveraging the events of Sept. 11, President Bush launched a large scale attack on Iraq aimed at deposing its despotic leader, Saddamn Hussein. Iraq, however, is a secular country intolerent, until the attack, of any al-Qaida presence, and oh, by the way, had nothing to do with the attack on 9/11, unless you count being the first country, on the twelfth, that Bush considered invading.

              or

              A mediocre man living under shadow of his far greater father, Bush developed a severe starvation of self-esteem.  Nepotism and networking conspired, however, to carry him from failure to failure by way of a hedonistic life unencumbered by ramifications. After the events of Sept. 11, Bush Junior saw an opportunity to succeed, finally, where his father had not -- in the invasion and deposition of the Iraqi dictator still in power since the first Gulf War. Unfortunately, he screwed it up royally, placing the world on the precipice of apocalyptic disaster upon which we find ourselves teetering today.

              You could certainly, and fairly, argue that they SHOULD have clarified the lack of connection, but it's not fair to characterize what they did say as untruthful. It's just not the whole truth. And let's also be fair, here: this is nit-picking.

              As for the 9/11 commission report getting equal weight: keep in mind that the materials don't accompany the REPORT, they accompany the DRAMOCUMENTARY or whatever the heck it'll turn out to be. It's also not very fair to say that the references should be skewed heavily in favor of the report (or at all, really), when they're not designed to accompany the report, but instead, the ABC gristmill.

              •  And THAT'S the point... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                doe, jkilkullen

                You said:

                You could certainly, and fairly, argue that they SHOULD have clarified the lack of connection, but it's not fair to characterize what they did say as untruthful. It's just not the whole truth.

                Propaganda isn't lies in its most effective form.  Propaganda is mostly truth, with a particular slant or spin and falsehoods worked in subtley.  If propaganda (or reinforcement) were blatant lies, it wouldn't work.  There has to be more than a grain of truth for propaganda to resonate.

                All Spin Zone : Progressive Politics Writ Large

                by Richard Cranium on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 06:54:32 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I find your apologist attitude tiresome (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                doe

                and I weep that you are dKos's main point of contact at Scholastic.

                never underestimate social psychology

                by creativedissonance on Wed Sep 06, 2006 at 10:14:47 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  No, Scholastic can still do something to fix (5+ / 0-)

        I agree with most of what you said.  However, I think Scholastic was sloppy in not reviewing the materials.

        Now that they ARE being made aware of the numerous issues and errors, and their implication, Scholastic should take a stand and issue new study materials, vetted by both the Democratic co-chair of the 9/11 commission and the Republican co-chair of the 9/11 commission.

        If Scholastic does nothing, they are allowing and, in effect, endorsing the slanted materials.

        •  I think that's about half right (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee, highacidity, blueoasis

          I agree, that if they have reviewed the ABC work and let stand the materials as is, they're at least lightly complicit in a further 911 deception.

          On the other hand, I don't think it's sloppiness that would be the reason for the movie not being screened to Scholastic. Unfortunately, that's EXTREMELY common in tie-in scenarios. Usually, license holders have zero interest in showing you their precious IP -- even though you're helping promote it with a branded product of your own!

          In fact, I can't say which, but I'm working on a book for a major movie tie-in right now. Both the movie and the book will see large scale distribution and a lot of promotion -- but the first chance I'll have to see the movie that I'm writing a tie-in book FOR is going to be in the theatres.

          It's ridiculous, I know. But I see it work that way far, far more often than with a close working relationship and shared resources.

      •  After reading the comments (5+ / 0-)

        I know what you say is true.  However, now that the word has gotten out shouldn't Scholastic, at the very least, disavow the program?

        The fact of the matter is, it has become a highly political and controversial issue. I'd think Scholastic would like to distance themselves publicly after investigating the concerns.

        I agree that any contact with them should be polite and courteous.  They are not the enemy. It appears they were just being unwittingly used by the enemy.

        "As you get older, you get less willing to buy the latest version of reality." Leonard Cohen

        by mentaldebris on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 12:03:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Absolutely (6+ / 0-)

          I think you're totally right. They should certainly know about these concerns. And I'll see to it they they do.

          The Dkos reaction, and the public reaction, though, may not be worth a whole lot until after the ABC program has aired. I don't know enough about how that works, but I'd hate for the feedback to Scholastic to be dismissed  as a bunch of activist teeth-gnashing.

          I doubt very much that it would be, but when you get a boatload of emails and phone calls about a piece you're associated with that hasn't even been aired yet -- you can see how that has a lot less leverage.

          That, and if they hear from the dkos community (and know that that's the community they're hearing from), they could mistakenly assume that we're overreacting because we were left out from preview screenings.

          Either way, I'd like Scholastic to know the whole truth and to make a stand if the ABC docudrama is as bad as it sounds. But, I'd be surprising if the say anything publically or change the materials in any way before the ABC program airs.  

          •  The materials are inaccurate so you can go on (5+ / 0-)

            that alone.  They are responsible for the content of the teaching materials.  No reason to slam them on the mockumentary - better to take them to task for their poor judgement in associating themselves with the project and the materials which reflect inaccuracies in the movie.

          •  Well... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            highacidity, alizard

            But, I'd be surprising if the say anything publically or change the materials in any way before the ABC program airs.  

            That's what I meant by investigating the claims. Scholastic should demand to see the program before it airs. The producers provided it to numerous wingnuts, surely ABC can provide it to a corporate partner. Afterwards the damage is done.

            I say this as a former wait-and-seeer, convinced that the strident protests of the program before it aired were pre-mature. Too much info has leaked about this for it to be some innocuous program with a few distortions. I wanted to give ABC the benefit of the doubt, but the rumors appear to be true and I can no longer do that. Scholastic should approach this potential public relations nightmare the same way. Get the facts now and know where they stand before it's too late.

            Because, if this program is anything close to as bad as it sounds Scholastic is definitely going become collateral damage and will suffer in the fall-out. Better for them to be proactive and deflect, blunt or prevent any damage to their credibility.

            "As you get older, you get less willing to buy the latest version of reality." Leonard Cohen

            by mentaldebris on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 12:47:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Message to OutofManyOne (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              highacidity

              Use your website strategically to get ahead of this mess...As I have written, I know Scholastic from my days as a competitor and know that it is a very progressive company....Tell them to get ahead of this pro-actively...I am sure Dick Robinson would want to...

              •  Probably a good idea (0+ / 0-)

                That's good thinking. I would suspect they'd appreciate the warning and the opportunity to make a pro-active response.

                I still doubt that they'd choose to respond to criticism of the materials or association BEFORE the documentary-thingy comes out, but it's worth talk to them regardless, beforehand.

                I assume you mean use my...employeeship? Haven't had a website in a long time. :)

      •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        highacidity, blueoasis

        But they certainly SHOULD know at this point exactly what is contained in the teaching materials at this point. It must have been read multiple times as it made its way through the entire production cycle.

        Even if the material was supplied by ABC, shouldn't some editor have raised a red flag? It's not like the points we are disputing require some specialized knowledge.

        They may have entered into this partnership somewhat unwittingly, but once the materials are published under Scholastic's name, it's their responsibility, too.

        Gonna be a judgment, that's a fact. A righteous train rollin' down this track . . . -- Bruce Springsteen

        by saucy monkey on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 02:42:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're right (0+ / 0-)

          ...and Scholastic should share the burden. I will certainly pass on all of the mentioned instances.

          Again, though, I'm a little worried that I'll be handing them a laundry list of quibbles. Yes, they're fair and accurate quibbles that would improve the educational value of the materials. But no, they're not particularly cut-and-dry errors.

          The problem is that I'm sure the material was NOT supplied by ABC; that's not generally the way it's done around here. We create our own content (or contract it out), and the licensor checks it over and signs off. But (and I'm still working on this) since it's not likely ABC allowed Scholastic to view the material beforehand (notice how generalized the teaching materials are), it would be difficult to blame ABC for inaccuracies in the teaching materials and visa versa.

          Regardless, I really appreciate all this feedback, and will make sure to get it to the right people.

          I'd like to ask again, however, that any CONCRETE and CLEAR-CUT errors be brought up and made candidates for passing on, since any capitulation on their part will be easier if we're not asking to insert our own editorialization in place of theirs.

      •  then do something about it [nt] (0+ / 0-)

        never underestimate social psychology

        by creativedissonance on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 05:13:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What would the Bush Presidency be about (14+ / 0-)

    if it wasn't for 9/11?  Bush is anything but a victim of 9/11.  What President has ever profited more from a single event?  Making 9/11 the center piece around which this country revolves will help to get more young people to join the military to avenge Bush's failure.  I'm a life long lover of books and surprise myself by saying, that if I were standing next to two very tall stacks of these texts and had a book of matches.....air quality be damned.

    Vote Jerry McNerney for Congress CA11

    by Friend of the court on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 06:22:02 AM PDT

    •  oopsie (7+ / 0-)

      I recommend right up to your last sentence.  I would never burn a book no matter how stupid.

      This Made for TV Movie will help people sort out what was going on back in 2006.

      On one hand we have My Pet Goat and a "historical" PDB.  And on the other hand we have Clinton's anti-terrorism bill bitterly opposed by the blue dress republicans.

      •  I do not believe in burning stupid books. (4+ / 0-)

        I have thrown a few across the room, but never burned.  This "text book" sounds beyond stupid.  I will admit that I shouldn't "judge the book by it's cover" and will try to get a look at the contents.  I work at a school and have seen too much crappy "history" advanced in classrooms.  I guess my musket went off half cocked, again.  :-)

        Vote Jerry McNerney for Congress CA11

        by Friend of the court on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 07:14:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  not even "Godless"? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Friend of the court
        •  Free copy of "Godless" from a winger friend (3+ / 0-)

          Spread out the pages on the floor so my dog could pee on them while I have my AC on, and doors closed.  They absorb urine pretty well.  

          there is never time to do it right, but always time to do it over

          by DeadB0y on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 09:02:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  no not even godless goddess (0+ / 0-)

          How better to show 50 years from now that smart people lost their minds with the fear that they were going to be crashed into by an airplane?

          If there was ever evidence of general insanity, it is in the publishing of the godless goddess.

          The reason terroists win is because they make it so you lose your mind to fear.  Let's say you have a fire in a waste basket.  The fire scares you so bad you believe the entire house is on fire.  You might just jump up on the roof, chop a hole in that roof, and try to put out the fire with a flame thrower.  Fear logic is not the way to win against terror.  Terror thrives on fear logic.

          Fear logic.....I think I am going to start using that one.

      •  from that article (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, Friend of the court

        The bill "has some very effective tools that we can use in our efforts to combat terrorism," Attorney General Janet Reno said Thursday.

        But she was less enthusiastic about the bill's limits on federal appeals by death row inmates and other prisoners. She was also concerned that the bill would make it more difficult for federal judges to overturn state court rulings.

        Well.  Huh.  I guess that wasn't an issue after all.

  •  Conclusions (7+ / 0-)

    If you reach the same conclusions that I did (for instance, the implication in the first resource that Saddam Hussein's Iraq had a connection to 9/11),

    Actually I did not draw the same conclusion from the first resource.

    Yes, it has a section on Iraq, but it has a section on every country in the Mid-east, including Israel and Egypt. The section on Iraq does not mention any connection to the events of 9/11.

    Lying can never save us from another lie - Vaclav Havel

    by Muwarr90 on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 06:38:11 AM PDT

  •  Some examples? (13+ / 0-)

    Could you give some examples of what you find so troubling in these worksheets? I looked through them and nothing particularly activated my twitch factor.

    I publish with Scholastic, and was ready to go in with both guns blazing, so to speak. But once I read these my reaction was <shrug>.  Maybe I'm missing something, or didn't read carefully enough, but I can't find a smoking gun here.

    •  I'll try to cite all instances... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, mataliandy, wader

      of my twitch factors later.  A lot of it is subtle - it has to be.

      http://content.scholastic.com/...

      This one really set off my propaganda detector.  In a courtroom, it would be called "leading the witness".

      All Spin Zone : Progressive Politics Writ Large

      by Richard Cranium on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 06:50:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  blurring security standards (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tao, dennisl, jkilkullen

      in relation to the border search of a suspicious man of Arab descent:

      In the interest of protecting national security (as against infringing on the rights of an individual) do you think this kind of search should be allowed?

      Here a border crossing search of a man's car is put into question, and then asked against civil liberites.  The effect takes an outlying event and places it into the mainstream, a classic maneouver to draw radical behavior into acceptability.

    •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coolsub

      I was set to forward this, until I did not see any of the specific falsehoods.  While the film itself is apparently toxic enough, it would help the Scholastic protest if you updated the diary to include 5-10 specific items.

      The Democratic Message: Security, Privacy, Justice

      by Upper West on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 07:11:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed--the right thing to ask for... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, deantv

      ...assuming that the Scholastic materials aren't in themselves misleading, is to ask teachers and schools to ensure a discussion on the discrepancies between the ABC film and established facts about 9/11. Let the classes dissemble (not that I'm picturing 4th-grade Derrida disciples) the film for themselves, armed with the sorts of facts we've grown accustomed to providing. In fact, a one-page list of diplomatically phrased facts from the DKos community would probably be a gift to these instructors.

    •  The existence itself is troubling! (4+ / 0-)

      Why would they MAKE a worksheet about a drama that plays fast and loose with the facts?

      Since when are children supposed to be taught based on things that have nothing to do with reality, but pretend to?

      This would be like teaching kids history from one of those "alternate history" fiction books where things happened differently.

      It shouldn't even EXIST!

      "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross" - Sinclair Lewis

      by Loboguara on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 08:43:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not seeing it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrsdbrown1

      I gotta agree with Audio Guy. I went through the materials and didn't see anything that set off alarm bells. I think we should drop this issue and get everyone to focus on the ABC "docudrama." We need to get ABC to change the program to accurately reflect history.

      •  Three major points are objectionable (4+ / 0-)
        1. Not including Saudi Arabia in the countries that had a connection to 9/11 -- when almost all of the 9/11 terrorists were from that country.
        1. This series of dangerously innacurate statements (my critique in italics:

        "

        The dictatorial government of Saddam Hussein was
        overthrown in 2003, following an invasion led by the
        United States (makes it sound like the Iraqis, not U.S. troops, "overthrew" their government").The U.S. government believed that Hussein had been developing weapons of mass destruction that he planned to use against American and other targets (doesn't mention that there in fact weren't any, or that Bushco has given a number of other reasons for invading Iraq). The Iraqi government became a transitional democracy in 2004. In 2005, Iraq held its first election since Hussein’s downfall, electing Jalal Talabani president. A new constitution was written and approved later in 2005. Coalition forces still maintain a presence (in fact, there are more coalition forces there now than in 2003 -- "a presence" is an understatement) in the country, battling insurgents who want the United States
        to pull out (why no mention of militias?)."

        1. The focus on "the media." Except for the fact that it's fashionable to blame the Media for everything (on both the Right and Left), WTF did the Media have to do with the "path to 9/11"? What warrants Scholastic's ending this mini-course with what appear to be extensive sessions on the "role of the Media" in the "war against terrorism." "Does it help or hinder?" Etc., ad nauseum. Why are they so afraid to talk about the real issue here: does politics help or hinder the so-called WOT?
    •  sure (0+ / 0-)

      try this

      and that was just in 10 minutes, do your own research and you'll find more, I'm sure

      never underestimate social psychology

      by creativedissonance on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 05:06:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Disgusting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CTLiberal, Pandoras Box

    but hardly surprising.

  •  Agreed (9+ / 0-)

    There is so much revisionist history, I find myself unteaching and reteaching my son constantly.

    Even Thanksgiving plays set me off....brave settlers indeed... pass the TB blankets please.

    •  American Indians .... talk about revisionist (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      historys mysteries

      At least the books are getting it closer to right.

      For me, I refuse to watch "Westerns" .... a film "history" that maligns American Indians on way too many occasions.  Even as a kid,I wonder why Indians were "so stupid" that they would ride their horses around the "circled wagons" to be shot like ducks in a barrel ... and then ride off, never getting their wounded or dead.  Countless portrayals of Indians as inferior and the instigators of violence.

      What would we scream if Germany produced movie after movie glorifying the killing of the Jews and all the others tortured and slaughtered?????

  •  Great diary, please fix typo (0+ / 0-)

    "Scholalstic Books", it's a bit jarring.

    Essential funk: 'Indictment' by Antibalas

    by pontechango on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 06:54:44 AM PDT

  •  Back to School day (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    historys mysteries

    most schools start today in Minnesota. I'll keep an eye out for this.

    Do you know what grade levels this is targeted at?

  •  Harry Potter (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AndyT, historys mysteries

    Scholastic publishes Harry Potter, and has had poor results in the years that a new Harry Potter book didn't come out. They're vulnerable.

    From now on, when you buy a kids book, find a book other than a Harry Potter (or other Scholastic title) to give. Believe me, there are plenty of excellent books for kids out there. And if you can get away with not buying Harry Potter 7 when it's published, that'll hurt 'em even more.

    © sardonyx; all rights reserved

    by sardonyx on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 07:00:02 AM PDT

  •  I called Scholastic... (24+ / 0-)

    I told them it was highly suspect that they would provide study materials for a film that (1) is highly politicized and provides biased versions of events, omissions of key events, and which even the producers claim is NOT a documentary (2) I find it suspect that Scholastic is providing materails for a film whic, in effect, promotes this film as newsworthy and factual and that I believe their participation violates election law as I have already asked my Senators and congressman to investigate this film and ABC for violation of campaign/election laws (3)I am going to ardently fight at the next school board and PTA meetings for Scholastics material to be thoroughly reviewed and, where conflict exists, removed from our district.

    It was a friendly conversation. Very easy to make the necessary points and the man in customer service seemed intent on capturing my complaints accurately. Took about 15 minutes.

    Call: Scholastic - (1-800-724-6527)

  •  The Scholastic documents (21+ / 0-)

    (complete with a Bush 9/11 Bullhorn Picture) state that Afghanistan is "increasingly stable and independent", and it encourages students to debate "whether the media helps or hurts our national security."

    •  please put this in reply (0+ / 0-)

      upthread where some are looking for examples
      good catch, too

    •  more examples (13+ / 0-)

      In this one, which lists all the pertinent government agencies, the document states that the CIA and FBI were accused of not doing enough to prevent the attacks. No such reference is included in the "National Security Council" section or the "NSA" section.

      In this document, which gives a rundown of each country involved in the movie, no mention is made of Clinton's attempts to get bin Laden in Afghanistan. Rather, it states that "after 9/11", we asked the Taliban to hand him over.

      Under "Iraq", the document states that the U.S. "believed that Hussein had been developing weapons of mass destruction that he planned to use against Americans and other targets."  But, conveniently, there is NO mention that WMD were never found, leaving students with the impression that the war was justified.

      Also under "Iraq", the document states that the US is still in Iraq, "battling insurgents who want the United States to pull out."  No mention of civil war, no mention of how Iraqis want us out, no mention of anything but a phrase which leaves students thinking that if someone suggests a pull out, they are siding with the insurgents.

      Under "Pakistan," you'll find glowing praise for Pervez Mu sharraf.

      You get the idea...

    •  here's the link (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      matt n nyc, kck

      to the question of whether the media "helps or hurts" our national security

      http://content.scholastic.com/...

    •  Could they post another study guide for download? (0+ / 0-)

      Asking more accurate questions? If they are truly liberal, and realize what a shit storm they've stepped into, this is the least they could do.

      "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

      by bewert on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 10:29:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Having worked at a competitor to Scholastic,... (21+ / 0-)

    I know two things:

    1. ABC paid Scholastic (like other companies do) to create these materials. Scholastic didn't create them on their own. ABC paid for them. If you want to be pissed, direct your fire at ABC.
    1. It is a very liberal company. You'll find very few Republicans there. It's a New York City children's book publisher for god's sake...The company'a alliance with Democrats is actually a joke within the industry...

    We should focus our energies on making sure schools don't use the materials....Yelling at Scholastic isn;t the answer here....

    •  I think it is more important to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      edgery

      yell at those who paid for this work (ABC I presume), and to circulate far and wide information about the dishonest and propagandistic nature of this publication so it will become too radioactive for any school board to pick it up.  

      I agree this is likely not Scholastic's responsibility beyond accepting a contract to print some books.

      The intrinsic nature of Power is such that those who seek it most are least qualified to wield it.

      by mojo workin on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 07:29:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Disagree... (7+ / 0-)

      Given the immediacy of the situation, I still think they need to be called.  Basically, if ABC did pay them for this, they whored out their organization to catapult ABC's propaganda.  And there are competitors to Scholastic (as you're well aware).  They might be a blue organization, but we can't let blue organizations off the hook for stuff like this.

      All Spin Zone : Progressive Politics Writ Large

      by Richard Cranium on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 07:36:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (6+ / 0-)

        Scholastic is still publishing propaganda regardless of how nice they might be otherwise.

        We should pressure them NOT to publish propaganda, but in a nice way, not with anger and vitriol.

        •  All good points... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wader, deantv, blueoasis, edgery

          ...I think I would steer away from calling them GOP shills (i.e. Clear Channel), that was my point...

          There is nothing wrong with letting Scholastic know you are pissed about this...In fact, I may call them as well to let them know they got duped by ABC and should do something about it...

          -

          •  Agreed (4+ / 0-)

            In my call, I mentioned that I grew up with Scholastic and now have school age children, and that I have had learned to trust Schoolastic to present factual information. As a result, I was very concerned that it looks like the curriculum associated with ABCs planned docudrama next week might not have been properly fact-checked, and they might want to look into it.

            I specifically mentioned that the materials claimed to describe all countries in the Middle East that might have had some connection to 9/11, but left out Saudi Arabia, the country that provided most of the hijackers, while including Iraq which had no connection at all.

            I was very friendly, and so was the representatvie who took the call.  She sounded genuinely surprised, took down all the information, and promised to forward it up the food chain.

            Democracyfest Incorporated thanks all those who made the 3rd Annual DemocracyFest a success.

            by mataliandy on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 10:41:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Volvo..... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Richard Cranium, blueoasis

        1.  ABC paid Scholastic (like other companies do) to create these materials. Scholastic didn't create them on their own. ABC paid for them. If you want to be pissed, direct your fire at ABC.

        2. It is a very liberal company. You'll find very few Republicans there. It's a New York City children's book publisher for god's sake...The company'a alliance with Democrats is actually a joke within the industry...

      This is a good thing!
      They should have no problem pulling these false documents!

      Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth. ..John F. Kennedy

      by irishamerican on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 08:16:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Then Scholastic educators deserve scorn... (0+ / 0-)

      ...for this piece of crap.  If you want to know where the "he said/she said" stuff comes from, look no further than your child's middle school where everyone gets an equal say no matter how stupid or socially unacceptable.  I can tell you stories about purple dildo demonstrations at compulsory Diversity Day activities that would curl your hair.  The educators were all like, "Well, the presentor was just trying to help.  All children need to know how to protect themselves."  Sometimes, they have their minds so wide open, their brains have fallen out.  People who write study guides like this one (and I have read it), have no business teaching young impressionable minds "critical thinking skills".  

      -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

      by goldberry on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 10:41:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It doesn't matter if ABC paid for it or not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alizard

      The company published it and put their name on it. They have editorial control and went along with it. Their at fault.

  •  This may seem off topic ... (7+ / 0-)

    ... and it probably is.  But I think it speaks to what is going on here.  If you look at this article, you'll see that the actual documentary on 9/11 that will be shown on CBS is being "protested" by the same people who the ABC show is being aimed towards.

    They want fiction and do not want the truth.  It is very bizarre.

  •  Tom Kean supports the show (0+ / 0-)

    There is this link on the site:

    http://www.scholastic.com/...

    He always struck me as pretty reasonable about 9-11.

    Why is he suppporting it?

  •  Well our district (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    historys mysteries, enough, blueoasis

    is a stone's throw from Brooklyn's Squad 1 who lost 12 men on 9/11. It's also an extremely liberal district, so I'm pretty sure they won't bite. On the other hand a fair number of the parents probably work for Scholastic (they have gobs of employees in the NY region) so I guess I'll have to make sure to look into it.

    Just another example of how the upper level executives at big companies have nothing but time on their hands to spend the day listening to Rush and Hannity, get stoked by GOP cronies as they sit on corporate boards, and when someone in this vicious circle makes a call, they set the wheels in motion like something out of Manchurian Candidate.

    Thank god there are a bunch of football games on during those nights.

    Thanks for a terrific diary.

    •  from volvo liberal's comment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stoy, historys mysteries

      it doesn't seem that way.
      upthread, he/she mentions Scholastic's penchant for Dem candidates, and its general knowledge in the publishing industry
      its possible that they just needed a contract, made a hard decision, and decided it was worth it for their employees to produce this material.

      •  Exactly... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stoy, deantv, edgery

        This is one thing I know about....Yelling about Scholastic being GOP shills really won't fly at all and will make us look like real idiots...Trust me: IT IS THE WRONG TARGET HERE.

        Focus on ABC which created this propaganda, then PAID and HIRED Scholastic to create the education materials...

        Trust me, Scholastic is not the enemy here...They likely made a stupid business decision and thought ABC was being trustworthy...

        Let's focus on making sure schools don't use the materials and ABC stays under the gun...

        •  Thank You For Continuing To Reiterate This. (12+ / 0-)

          Scholastic should not be used as the target here as a "Republican shill."

          I can't imagine they have changed much since I worked there for 4 years in the 90's, but I think it would be harder to find a more liberal corporation that still has an obligation towards its stockholders other than, say, pre-Unilever Ben and Jerry's,Inc. for instance.

          As a children's publisher, Scholastic's liberal corporate climate came from the top down in its mission of helping children and parents learn together through educational material. They're trying to promote reading!

          Women at that company had, if not the best, some of the best benefits anywhere when it came to maternity leave and compensation. Take a look at the executives--dominated by women. As for minorities and alternative life style employees, Scholastic was the melting pot that is New York City.

          When folks did lose their jobs at Scholastic, they made a real concerted effort at re-hiring them, or placing them. The benefits there were great. Hell, their cafeteria was great. The whole atmosphere was extremely liberal, including their architecture.
          That's not to say that some executives may throw money toward Repubs because their own personal fortunes are benefited better by tax incentives.

          Mind you, I'm not saying things could not have changed in the past eight years as publishing has taken a hit in terms of advertising dollar competition with the Internet, but I question that  Scholastic is an overt culprit here and should be held up to a witch hunt.

          I suspect this was a custom publishing deal that some young manager scored and it may not have been held up to the accountability is should have. I see nothing wrong with asking them about it. If I know Scholastic, they will respond in turn.

          Then again, I could be totally wrong. Just my two cents of experience with Scholastic as a former employee.

          Directing Your Grassroots Movement Movie at thegrassrootsmovie.com

          by deantv on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 08:08:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sounds like the company I knew in the 90s (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mataliandy, deantv, edgery

            I had a friend there at the same time and they said the same thing as you. Hell, that is why I tried to get a job there....

          •  it we don't fight Scholastic on this (7+ / 0-)

            they will give it the "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval" and teachers all over the country will feed it to our children.

            Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton

            by enough on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 10:15:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not sure "fight" is the right word (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mentaldebris, deantv, jkilkullen

              I think calling it to their attention and asking them to fix the problem, calmly, but firmly, is the right step.

              Knowing what my text-book editor friend goes through with manuscripts, it's not unusual for an entire book, complete with indicies to be dumped in an editor's lap with an insanely short turn-around.  When that happens, some editors will pounce on grammatical errors and clear inconsistencies (like a figure # being wrong), and may not get to the meat of the content at all.

              Democracyfest Incorporated thanks all those who made the 3rd Annual DemocracyFest a success.

              by mataliandy on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 10:47:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  So true. (0+ / 0-)

                The dollars were jumped at, and the deal was dumped from advertising/custom publishing to an editor without anyt knowledge as to the real content. The publisher always wins out in the end. That's probably the kind of scenario you are talking about. I could be too nostalgic/biased about the culture of that company, but some of the chit chat about Scholastic being complicit in this is over the top for me.

                And I don't care who cashed in before Goosebumps tanked, or who Dick Robinson is screwing.

                Directing Your Grassroots Movement Movie at thegrassrootsmovie.com

                by deantv on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 11:06:56 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I agree that Scholastic should explain... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              enough

              ...their thinking behind the contract besides the dollars they initially jumped at. You make a very important point. Scholastic is as corporate as any corporation, but they certainly aren't a Republican front to get into the minds of our children.

              Or, wait! why is Clifford the big dog RED? (ha ha)

              Directing Your Grassroots Movement Movie at thegrassrootsmovie.com

              by deantv on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 11:01:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  if they pull the materials and apologize (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                blueoasis

                they will be back in my good graces and they will have restored most of my trust.  But it must be done and it must be done right NOW.  They must deal with this before they make it a lot worse.

                This propoganda film is being published FREE on itunes and the scholastic promotion will keep it in our classrooms for the rest of the year.

                This is high profile and very political.  If we don't make them clean this up, they won't.

                Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton

                by enough on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 11:25:14 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  so if Scholastic lets this stand (0+ / 0-)

            we should let it pass based on executive contributions to Democrats?

            MBNA has also contributed to lots of Democrats. Does this mean the bankruptcy bill should not be repealed?

            If they don't fix this, I'd say that we should make a long-term effort to get all their materials out of the public schools on the basis that whether through collusion or carelessness, they are no longer worthy of public trust.

            Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

            by alizard on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 05:45:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  so we just ask them to fix it (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mataliandy, nasarius, jkilkullen

          They can delete the materials from their web pages and replace it with a little apology indicating that due to debate over the factual content of this program, Scholastic can no longer encourage teachers to use it in class.

          They can waste a "bit of nothing" teaching guideline or they can waste public trust.

          Bad business decisions are destroying this country. It is not an excuse I'm willing to accept.

          Scholastic can and must fix this one.

          Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton

          by enough on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 10:12:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly: fix it on the website (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            enough

            They can't do anything about the materials already in schools. However, if you focus on changing the materials available on the website, that might be doable and provide Scholastic execs with actions that they can carry out....

            •  Not jus the website (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              alizard, blueoasis

              Scholastic can and must deal with the materials already in the schools too.  They sent letters to 100,000 teachers they can sent another letter.  They can highlight the facts that are in debate about this movie and provide corrections and additional guides that teach kids about propoganda and fact checking.

              THey can and must do it RIGHT NOW.

              This is an issue that hits the classroom in six days but will stay there for at least a year as Apple continues to deliver the video free on iTunes.

              Scholastic is a mega corporation and this is a mega mess.  It cannot be corrected with a few little edits to the web page.  

              If the Scholastic execs want my trust they are going to have to do a mega repair.

              Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton

              by enough on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 02:30:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Cannot find anything on the website (0+ / 0-)

    you linked to... on Path to 9/11

    If you dance with the devil, then you haven't got a clue; 'Cause you think you'll change the devil, but the devil changes you. - illyia

    by illyia on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 07:16:45 AM PDT

  •  I just sent a letter to our PTA President (5+ / 0-)

    she is a friend and neighbor, and an active Democrat.  Hopefully, she will have some information.

    The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information.- Henry Wallace, Vice President under FDR

    by LisaZ on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 07:17:21 AM PDT

  •  Gotta' love this discussion topic: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pb, matt n nyc, pontechango, Taunger

    From last link:

    1. Does the media help or hinder our national security?

    Is there a teachers' guide? I'll read further...I trust the teachers in leading such a discussion but would be dependant on if there are teachers' instructions...

    > 518,000 American children are in foster care. Got any bandwidth?

    by kck on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 07:19:53 AM PDT

  •  just read lesson plan ONE (10+ / 0-)

    if a teacher in my kids school handed this crap out I would tell my kid to ignore it, and I would go to the school board meeting and raise hell. its militarist propaganda.

    "Everything is chrome in the future..." Sponge Bob Square Pants

    by agent double o soul on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 07:28:18 AM PDT

  •  I called Scholastic (8+ / 0-)

    The Service Rep I spoke with (I pressed "0" when I got the phone tree) knew nothing of this. I gave her as much information as I could and explained how biased and slanted this presentation of recent history is.

    Sure would be nice if there was ONE simple URL to send people to on this.

    I had to spell DailyKos and firedoglake. "D-a-i-l-y-k-o-s."

    Be patient with them! But call! 1-800-724-6527

  •  Has anyone contacted the AHA? (14+ / 0-)

    American Historical Association?  I'm a member (and a college History prof) and I'd imagine they'd love to go over this with a fine-tooth comb.

    I've worked in curriculum writing and publishing since 1999 (lost my full-time job after 9/11) and my experience with two curriculum publishing houses has been that low-level staffers take an outline designed by an academic (or someone with a content-specific graduate degree, at least) and go from there.

    But I'm shocked by the lack of fact checking.

    •  Maybe the American Historical Association (0+ / 0-)

      could produce an educational materials using this as an case study taking Scholastic to task for promoting propaganda.  Promote to universities for education courses.

      Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton

      by enough on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 09:42:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Director and producers call this a docudrama? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mataliandy, blueoasis

    How can they seriously defend that they meant this to be fictionalized when they are trying to use it to rewrite history inside young childrens minds?

    The Republican Party: The Bridge to Nowhere

    by flounder on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 07:29:40 AM PDT

  •  Not only is this politically bad... (5+ / 0-)

    but they use "impact" as a verb. I think this might prove a Bush connection.

  •  Young Pioneers (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mataliandy, nancelot, enough, blueoasis

    The USA, it appears, is only a few steps from the red scarfed Young Pioneers of the Soviet era. Next they will be going on fun trips together and reporting to authorities on their parents blogging activities.

    I remember as a kid (40+ years ago) using Junior Scholastic in the classroom in New Jersey. I thought it was a little too simple, but never doubted that it was true.

  •  boycott harry potter? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmhowell, enough, blueoasis

    no one is going to do that....and why make kids suffer by refusing them the harry potter book because scholastics signed on to  further promote the partisan misrepresentation of the 'false path to 9/11"

    scholastics has regional VP's.....contact them and voice your concern regarding their teaching tool

    contact your PTA president and ask if your kids school plans to use this teaching tool..if so lodge a formal complaint

    IF you are going to watch this with your kids TALK TO THEM before, during and most definitely afterwards and if you can audit your kids class on the day they plan to discuss this made for TV movie....nothing tempers the discussion like a few angry parents sitting in the back of the classroom.

    not having school age kids myself I am not sure what the problem is...are schools goiing to show this docudrama and hold discussions afterwards?  are schools assigning this TV show to your kids as a school assignment? if this is the case then I would make plenty of noise with your school, your school district and your PTA about assigning made for TV movie as a classroom assignment....schools should not force your kids to watch TV shows you might not approve of your kids watching.

    "if all the world's a stage, who is sitting in the audience?"

    by KnotIookin on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 07:53:41 AM PDT

  •  Scholastic executives are Democrats so (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sarac, enough, AlphaLiberal

    it is worthwhile to reach out to them directly to be sure they know about the controversy surrounding this TV program.  As I said in my comments yesterday,

    Scholastic's top people are all Democrats, and I suspect they may not have seen the finished product when they agreed to produce the (high-school level) student discussion guides.  I could be wrong on that.

    Still, it is worth letting them know that you want them to support balanced TV programming; that the program may not be balanced based on what is currently publically available information; that it is NOT a documentary but rather a 'docu-drama' and takes extensive license on facts and people.

    I do not recommend blasting Scholastic -- first, they are far less likely to be receptive to a bunch of high-noise-volume emails since they do not operate normally in the political arena; and second, the idea is to get them to either pull or modify the guides.  We want their cooperation and all we have to gain it is our reasoned language and our mutual concern that children be taught not to take everything they see on TV as the whole truth.

    If you want to send them a message, here's the address:

    Scholastic Inc.
    Worldwide Headquarters and Editorial Office

    557 Broadway

    New York, NY 10012
    General information:  212-343-6100

    Corporate Communications: 212-343-4563, newws@scholastic.com

    Here are the top people you might consider addressing comments to:

    Richard Robinson
    Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer

    Deborah A. Forte
    Executive Vice President and President, Scholastic Media

    Margery W. Mayer
    Executive Vice President and President, Scholastic Education

    Seth Radwell

    Executive Vice President and President, e-Scholastic

    -6.75, -5.79

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke

    by edgery on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 07:58:05 AM PDT

    •  Good targets for comments (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      enough

      This writer provides good targets for feedback. I've provided mine.

      If you want to send them a message, here's the address:

      Scholastic Inc.
      Worldwide Headquarters and Editorial Office

      557 Broadway

      New York, NY 10012
      General information:  212-343-6100

      Corporate Communications: 212-343-4563, newws@scholastic.com

    •  It seems Scholastic made a bad, sloppy decision. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jfdunphy

      Scholastic's top people are all Democrats, and I suspect they may not have seen the finished product when they agreed to produce the (high-school level) student discussion guides.  I could be wrong on that.

      Then they appear to have been quite sloppy, with damaging results.  One readthrough of the first study sheet shows it to be slanted. IMHO

  •  Scholastic Books' finances (0+ / 0-)

    rest heavily on Harry Potter.

    -9.0, -8.3. Ted Stevens is 3rd in the line of succession to the President. I don't have a joke here. I just thought you ought to know. -Jon Stewart

    by SensibleShoes on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 08:16:19 AM PDT

    •  Don't mess with Harry Potter (5+ / 0-)

      Come on, folks. There are enough pressure points not to make this necessary. Here's why:

      A) Harry Potter is not related.
      B) The "Harry Potter" brand is powerful with loads of goodwill. Why not attack Charlie Brown or Snoopy next?
      C) Scholastic Books is not the enemy. They're a company who has been duped by ABC. They should not be treated  like the enemy.

      See the post "Scholastic executives are Democrats so by edgery" for good targets.

      •  Hear, Hear!! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SensibleShoes, enough, blueoasis

        As the netroots grows in recognition, it becomes more and more important that we behave with as much responsibility as we are asking of others.  Let's do our homework (no pun intended) (the Scholastic executives are overwhelmingly Democrats), identify the real culprits (the producers/director/writer), and find commonality with Scholastic.  Do you think they want to be involved in this type of controversy?  Do you think they want to be accused of misleading high school kids?

        -6.75, -5.79

        "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke

        by edgery on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 08:24:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        enough

        Going up against Harry Potter is a losing proposition. Just ask the bornagains.

        -9.0, -8.3. Ted Stevens is 3rd in the line of succession to the President. I don't have a joke here. I just thought you ought to know. -Jon Stewart

        by SensibleShoes on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 08:33:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  so we need to tell Scholastic (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jkilkullen

        that the only thing we are asking of them is to cancel one little study guide (with public apology) and they will be off our target list.

        Their failure to immediately do so can, however, have a permanent impact on the esteem and trust that Scholastic has worked for a generation to build.

        Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton

        by enough on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 09:55:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  well shit (0+ / 0-)

    My school PTA puts on a bookfair every year and it is always Scholastic that provides the books.

    Basically I dont know if they have a specific tie to the GOP but I do know they will sell anything that people show they will buy. I teach in a school heavily populated with military families and our bookfair is STUFFED with crap about patriotism and the flag and even carried Lynn Cheney's book on American History.  There is no way I can stop my PTA from using Scholastic, but I can stop buying things there.

    I dont know of anyone using the materials provided by ABC...

    I want to die like my Grandfather..peacefully in my sleep. Not screaming in terror like the passengers in his car...

    by fireflynw on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 08:24:06 AM PDT

    •  Scholastic is not tied to GOP. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sarac

      See the comments, above. Their exec's are Dem donors.

      they've been duped by ABC. Whether or not they should have caught this, they were and need to be informed of their error.

      •  I know..i read that after I posted (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        enough, blueoasis

        thanks

        I still maintain that they will sell whatever they think people will buy. I dont know that I believe they were "duped" as much as realizing that this is a hot issue right now and it would sell books. I think it all comes down to the bottom line.

        I know they are not selling these educational guides, but as someone else said above, it is another mental plant in the heads of parents and teachers that because it has the words Scholastic on them, the information therein is factual.

        I want to die like my Grandfather..peacefully in my sleep. Not screaming in terror like the passengers in his car...

        by fireflynw on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 08:41:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  just let Scholastic know (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stephdray, sayitaintso

      that if they promote this program your trust in Scholastic properties will be undermined and that you will ask the PTA to be sure that Scholastic products are treated with a bit more scepticism in the future.  They should receive an extra measure of review for accuracy and alternative materials should be given an extra measure of consideration.

      Not that we will never use Scholastic again, just that we will be very disappointed and will not be able to trust them as much in the future.

      Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton

      by enough on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 10:00:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have a friend (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Cranium, enough, blueoasis

    who works at Scholastic. I've already emailed her a link to this diary, in hopes of getting more inside info.

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Send Chris Owens to Congress!

    by sidnora on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 08:24:18 AM PDT

  •  Where is the outrageous content? (0+ / 0-)

    I read through the materials and I'm not convinced that it is really as demanding of our attention as it seems.  The movie is pretty ridiculous, sure, but it would seem that the lesson plans don't do anything apart from informing students and encouraging debate.  I guess its wrong that this movie is being promoted in the classroom at all, but the diarist's claim that the materials themselves are outrageous is pretty unsubstantiated.

    Anyone want to correct me? I'm welcome to change...

  •  WTF? The pdf of a letter from Kean claims (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stephdray, wader, blueoasis

    that the mini-series reflects the 9/11 report and other sources accurately - did he not see the final version or is he glossing over the treatment of the Clinton years?

    "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is."

    by Wee Mama on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 08:29:25 AM PDT

  •  Competitors (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis

    I have a little girl starting second grade this year.  I would like to know what competitors Scholastic has so I can give them a look.

    Thanks in advance...

    Liberals and conservatives are two gangs who have intimidated rational, normal thinking beings into not having a voice on television or in the culture.

    by Dave B on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 08:30:49 AM PDT

    •  scholastic is a multinational corporation (MNC) (0+ / 0-)

      its provenance is tangled, since it was only "incorporated" in 1986 but operated as a division (imprint or brand) of other publishers (e.g. macmillan, magraw hill) prior to that. currently, scholastic's subsidiary (by M&A) is major Grolier, another juevenile textbook publisher.

      the important points are these: scholastic licenses popular brands/characteres (intellectual property of others) and licenses its brand name (to others) to produce content and market its products to individuals, firms (across industries), and state entities charged with public school curricula.

      for example, "clifford" is a scholastic property

      scholastic is also in the retail novelty and games industry. its shelf presence is as pervasive as its influence on curriculum development.

      if you're looking for alternative material for instruction or entertainment you'll have to browse, read, and judge for yourself each and everything you want your to consume.

      Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

      by MarketTrustee on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 09:24:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

        It looks like avoiding Scholastic would be difficult.  My daughter loves their "Magic School Bus" science series.  She's been getting them read to her since about 5 years of age.  

        Liberals and conservatives are two gangs who have intimidated rational, normal thinking beings into not having a voice on television or in the culture.

        by Dave B on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 11:58:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't see it... (0+ / 0-)

    After reading this diary I was all set to go into my son's cooperative pre-shcool meeting demanding we drop Scholastic, but after reviewing the worksheets, I just don't see that as appropriate. The worksheets do not look like propaganda to me.

    I don't think Scholastic should be involved in this right-wing smear job, but the material they produced is not propagandistic, and to accuse them of creating propaganda is irresponsible and counter productive.

    I think our efforts are better focused on ABC, its local affiliates, and advertisers. I am also going to contact Scholastic and ask them to consider the problems with this movie and rethink whether they want to be involved with it at all. But I can't find anything seriously wrong with the materials they prepared.

    •  Please see some of Georgia10's examples above (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alizard, blueoasis, jkilkullen

      When they link Iraq to 9/11 in the very first resource, everything else in subsequent resources  takes on a different shading.

      This is how wingers push their points.  A lot of it is NOT overt - it's written in such a way as to guide discussion in one particular direction - which is exactly what the Scholastic material does.

      All Spin Zone : Progressive Politics Writ Large

      by Richard Cranium on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 08:44:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They don't... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jkilkullen

        link Iraq to 9/11. At the very least it is a stretch to say they link Iraq to 9/11. georgia10 does raise some good points however. As does Todd42873 below. I have contacted Scholastic with my objections. But in my estimation the problems with this material are not enough for me to demand my son's preschool drop Scholastic.

        My email to Scholastic (based largely on the Think Progress letter) is below. I think we should all contact Scholastic at minimum:

        It has come to my attention that ABC plans to air a two-part mini-series called "The Path to 9/11" on September 10 and September 11, and that Scholastic has provided educational aids related to this programming. I have grave concerns about this program and Scholastic's involvement with it.

        Accounts of advance screenings indicate that this program places primary responsibility for the attacks of 9/11 on the Clinton administration while whitewashing the failures of the Bush administration. This assertion is not supported by the 9/11 Commission Report upon which the program is purportedly based. This partisan misrepresentation of history is not surprising given that the movie was written by Cyrus Nowrasteh, an avowed conservative.

        I reviewed your educational supplements, and found them to helpful in some instances, but misleading in others. However my concern is that because the film itself is so biased and misleading, children will walk away from it with a warped view of what happened leading up to 9/11. I do not think Scholastic should be involved with a project that plays fast and loose with the truth.

        It is wrong for ABC to play politics with the facts of 9/11 by providing a national platform to present his distorted view of history. I am unwilling to whitewash the truth. The events that led to 9/11 are important topics for discussion and debate. But it's a debate that must be conducted honestly.

        I have asked ABC to either fix the many inaccuracies contained in the program - or to not air it. If they do not fix the many problems with this program Scholastic should not provide education supplements for it because doing so lends this blatant attempt to twist the truth an air of legitimacy it does not deserve. At the very least Scholastic's supplements should make viewers aware of the numerous liberties the filmmakers have taken with the truth.

        I would appreciate a prompt reply to my e-mail.

    •  The whole lesson plan is GOP talking points (13+ / 0-)

      The discussion questions for after the first half of the show ask students to discuss how Clinton's actions may have made the War on Terror more difficult ... and asks students to discuss he pro's and con's of racial profiling pointing to a scene (which based upon the descrpition of the scene in the question) makes racial profiling look like the be all and end all of border security.

      The fact sheets discuss Iraq, making all sorts of references to how bad Saddam was and how the war was based on the belief that he had WMD's, but makes no mention of the lack of WMD's in Iraq, nor any mention of the evidence of manipulated evidence.  It goes on to discuss the remaining US troops in Iraq as being there in order to fight insurgents who hate democracy.

      The fact sheet entry on the US talks about GWB leading us to war in Afganistan and Iraq as part of the War on Terror in response to 9/11, again linking Iraq to 9/11 and trying to make Iraq part of the war on Terror.

      OK, now I feel like I'm pimping my own diary on this topic -- but I outlined in detail just a few of the agressious slants in the material that is suppose to be used to teach our children the truth, with the help of them veiwing this docu-drama.
      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      But come on using "Path to 9/11" as a way of teaching history is like trying to use "Osmosis Jones" to teach biology.

      If we are to keep our democracy, there must be one commandment: thou shall not ration justice -- Judge Learned Hand

      by Todd42873 on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 08:49:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  15 out of 19 (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nancelot, alizard, blueoasis, jkilkullen

      See if you can figure out how many of the hijackers were from Saudi Arabia based on that 1st Resource Sheet.

      Al-Qaeda

      Al-Qaeda, which means “the base” in Arabic, is an Islamic terrorist group led by Osama bin Laden, the Islamist Fundamental militant (Usamah bin Muhammad bin 'Awad bin Ladin is the complete spelling of his name). Al-Qaeda was based in Afghanistan until the overthrow of the Taliban government by U.S.-led coalition forces in 2001.After the U.S. invasion,Al-Qaeda members scattered throughout Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other countries. The organization’s mission is to unite Muslims across the world in order to establish an international, strict Islamic state. Osama bin Laden is the son of a wealthy Yemeni businessman who moved to Saudi Arabia and started a private construction company in 1930. Bin Laden inherited a large amount of money from his father and is currently worth an estimated $250–300 million. He uses his money to recruit and train Al-Qaeda soldiers for terrorist activities against the United States and other Western nations.The 9/11 Commission proved that Osama bin Laden was the mastermind behind the September 11 attacks. In a videotaped statement in October 2004, bin Laden confirmed that Al-Qaeda was responsible.

      Funny how Iraq gets a full description but Saudi Arabia doesn't.  Isn't it?

      Following are short descriptions of some of the countries and groups that were involved in some way with the terrorist attacks

      Essential funk: 'Indictment' by Antibalas

      by pontechango on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 08:52:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I used to work for Scholastic (6+ / 0-)
    Dick Robinson is in charge. How to explain "The Dick" as we liked to call him? The Dick was famous for being the most highly paid CEO in children's publishing, so we all just loved it when, on Friday, he fired the entire proofreading permanent staff (which meant they had medical coverage and other benefits), and then the next Tuesday they each got a call offering them jobs as free-lancers, with a pay cut, and no benefits. Of course, most of them had no choice. This is just one example of an almost daily screwing of his employees the company engaged in.

    We all ignored his obvious carrying-on with his (much younger) secretary, but we couldn't ignore it when he dumped his wife, married his partner in adultery, and placed her in charge of various departments, though her understanding of the business was, hmmm, woefully inadequate, to be kind.

    Then there was the year when, for three quarters, Scholastic reported that there were no unsold, returned publications--indicating they were having huge sales. Days before the 4th quarter, Dick and the top people sold significant proportions of their shares in Scholastic. Of course the company's 401k plan paid it's staff with shares of Scholastic. When the final report for the year came out it was suddenly discovered that all those previous quarters had in fact had huge returns. The stock tumbled 25% overnight. I know the Feds had started insider trading inquiries, but they never came to anything, for reasons none of us could figure.

    Now this. My guess? Does the phrase "quid pro quo" ring a bell.

    The man is scum.

    What's the anthrax terrorist doing for fun these days. September 18th marks five years of freedom.

    by Jim P on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 08:42:13 AM PDT

    •  Sounds like Republican ethics! (0+ / 0-)

      Screw the workers and take the money for yourself and your mistress. Sounds like a real Republican!

      •  jumbo shrimp (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        elementary calculus
        sharp curve
        icy hot

        thunderous silence
        working vacation
        dry martini

        uninvited guest
        guest host
        young adult

        half naked
        pretty ugly
        awful pretty

        global village
        virtual reality
        peacekeeper missile

        slave master

        military justice

        rightwing Christian


        Republican ethics.  Just another in a long list of oxymorons.

        Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D: TELL THE TRUTH. HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE. REPAIR THE DAMAGE. VOTE DEMOCRATIC!

        by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 09:53:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Ratfucking 101 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis

      We need to be smart.
      In addition to the massive protesting we are doing to the usual places, we need to hit them where it hurts.
      .....The STOCK MARKET

      We should target a massive warning to the stockholders on various stockmarket sites that the stock is about to tank pending an SEC "S.O." suit due to Scholastics Participation in this Proaganda venture with ABC. This would spread like wildfire throughout the stockmarket and people that own stock could start going "WTF!"

      Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth. ..John F. Kennedy

      by irishamerican on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 08:51:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  let's see if they correct this first (0+ / 0-)

        if they do, we keep an eye on them, just like we should keep an eye on any company selling into the educational market.

        If they don't or worse, publically reaffirm that this is educational material, what you suggest is a good start.

        Contributions to Democratic candidates aren't a reason to give them a free pass. Lots of corporations contribute to Democratic candidates and get in exchange law that is not in the public interest, with the bankruptcy law being a prime example.

        Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

        by alizard on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 06:01:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I worked for an educational publisher once ... (0+ / 0-)
      and Jim P could be talking about my ex-employer, right down to the outsourcing of a department, the screwing over of employees and freelancers, the affair with a subordinate, and the money loss when the subordinate was put in charge of a large project. So I believe every word of this.

      There's been a lot of comment about how Scholastic  has lots of liberals on the staff. Well, sure - but it's the management that we have to be looking at, not people who may agree with us but have no power and influence in company decisions.

      What happens on DailyKos, stays on Google.

      by Jon Meltzer on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 11:39:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the backup (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alizard
        And yes, the staff was filled with some of the most wonderful people I'd ever worked with, and all of them liberals to a degree. Everyone of them dismissable if, for example, they spoke sharply to The Dick's obnoxious little brat who would walk up to you (anyone) and demand that you entertain him immediately!

        (Full disclosure: they cheated me out of 2 weeks salary when we parted company. He needed the money, I guess, for an upscale, super-trendy restaurant he just opened. I could have sued and won. And never find work in the business again.)

        What's the anthrax terrorist doing for fun these days. September 18th marks five years of freedom.

        by Jim P on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 01:16:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The management has big DEMOCRAT Funders (0+ / 0-)

        Direct your comments to them, sure, but make sure you realize where they put their political dollars. THEY ARE NOT REPUBLICANS in the slightest...Anyone with any knowledge of the book publishing industry (like me and others on this board who either worked at Scholastic or its competitors) knows this.

        Just be careful...

  •  My letter (9+ / 0-)

    This is not a question. It is a statement. I have decided that Scholastic endorsing The Path to 9/11 and promoting a hatchet piece docudrama that misrepresents facts for dramatization purposes is a disgusting political statement. Your decision to enter the political arena has influenced my decision. As the parent of 4 children who range in age from 14 to 7 and a Barnes and Noble and Books a Million club member I no longer will be buying books manufactured by Scholastic. 9/11 was a very real event that effected many people and it is disgusting that a corporation would twist the "facts" for entertainment purposes and then present it as anything remotely resembling a documentary. It is even more disgusting that Scholastic who has access to young and impressionable minds would endorse this piece of fiction as something a family should watch together for "entertainment" purposes. The death of thousands was a tragedy and should not be used as a political statement or entertainment. In my opinion, this decision reflects poor judgement and as a result I have lost my trust in your products.

  •  I was just writing this diary... (0+ / 0-)

    then I thought I should look around.

    Anyone that has a hand in buying books, and this includes parents, should contact scholastic here.  They have an entire page for Parents to buy things.  Let them know they've lost a customer.  

  •  two words (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    larryrant

    home school

    "no better time than now, no better place than here"
     - rage against the machine

    by In A World Gone Mad on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 08:58:17 AM PDT

    •  Evangelicals are calling (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Phoenix Woman, blueoasis

      for their minions to pull their kids out of public schools that won't teach Intelligent Design and put too much emphasis on "humanism."

      Home schooling is not always the answer. In fact, I would venture to say that most home-schooled kids nowadays are not being taught by enlightened parents.

      •  oh come on (0+ / 0-)

        Generalizations will get you no where.

        Any parent that comprehends what being a parent is, (whether enlightened or not) is a better teacher than a person who is trapped in a broken system, depressed, under-paid, forced into federal standards, trying day to day to cut through all the media overload, and who babysits 30 kids every weekday.

        And granted, its a hard choice to loose that second income, especially in today's economy. But your kids are worth it.

        "no better time than now, no better place than here"
         - rage against the machine

        by In A World Gone Mad on Wed Sep 06, 2006 at 11:07:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Don't fly off the handIe, it's pretty benign! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    highacidity, blueoasis, edgery

    Expecting to be outraged, I downloaded all five pdf's and read them. Here are a few observations:

    1. It starts out with several pages of remedial geography. No problem there.
    2. Then it describes the mainstream point of view of what happened on 9/11. A more radical (and more likely, in my opinion) explanation would be unexpected here.
    3. The last three pages are exercises in critical thinking. Not real challenging, but something our schools should certainly do more of.
    4. The point of the final exercise is to raise awareness that news sources are not all the same and are not without their biases. That's a great lesson, even if delivered via softballs.

    Therefore, I do not support retaliation against Scholastic Books for this material. My only complaint, which I delivered to them via email, is the tacit endorsement of the ABC program as a factual work. This is not a minor complaint. ABC has apparently admitted it is something less than a documentary, so I want Scholastic to explain the cheerleading.

    Al Gore had the goods on global warming in 1992. Read "Earth in the Balance".

    by Civil Defiance on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 09:04:51 AM PDT

    •  1. Yes, problem there (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      madhaus, highacidity, Civil Defiance

      From which country were 15 out of 19 of the hijackers?  Ok, now, what does the description say about that country?

      Essential funk: 'Indictment' by Antibalas

      by pontechango on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 09:08:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A good point, which I missed. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        highacidity, wader, nancelot, pontechango

        Thanks for pointing it out.

        Here is what I emailed to Scholastic:

        I am concerned that you are providing study materials to support the ABC "Docudrama" about 9/11/2001. I have reviewed your materials and do not strongly object to their content, even if they do lack alternative points of view of the 9/11 event.

        However, I must complain about your unflinching tie-in with ABC. There are serious questions about the credibility of this program, and ABC itself has admitted it is a fictionalized "docudrama", NOT a documentary. Your study materials say nothing of this, and are therefore a tacit endorsement of the program as factual. With all of the unanswered questions that were not even addressed by the 9/11 Commission Report, you cannot allow one media voice to be the authoritative lecturer. As your materials themselves point out, there are many points of view in the news media and it is up to the consumer to understand what they are reading/hearing/watching. When you are teaching our students with your materials, your integrity is on the line. You must disclose your connection with ABC and your tacit endorsement of ABC's version of events.

        Al Gore had the goods on global warming in 1992. Read "Earth in the Balance".

        by Civil Defiance on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 09:28:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I also disagree with the fact (7+ / 0-)

      If it isn't a documentary than it basically is for "entertainment" purposes. I have a real problem with someone utilizing this tragedy as "entertainment". That Scholastic would think that the 9/11 event being distorted would be edutainment for the entire family is disturbing.

    •  Major problem (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      roses, blueoasis, jkilkullen

      This is a huge problem. From Think Progress:

      "ABC is planning a massive free distribution of its planned docudrama The Path to 9/11, including sending letters to 100,000 high school teachers encouraging them to have their students watch the series."

      It's not only the lesson plan, which is bad enough, it's pairing it with the viewing of this propaganda.

      •  Example (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        roses, nancelot, rockhound, alizard, jkilkullen

        Here's another example (also from Think Progress):

        In short, this scene — which makes the incendiary claim that the Clinton administration passed on a surefire chance to kill or catch bin Laden — never happened. It was completely made up by Nowrasteh.

        The actual history is quite different. According to the 9/11 Commission Report (pg. 199), then-CIA Director George Tenet had the authority from President Clinton to kill Bin Laden. Roger Cressy, former NSC director for counterterrorism, has written, “Mr. Clinton approved every request made of him by the CIA and the U.S. military involving using force against bin Laden and al-Qaeda.”

        Very few teachers or high school kids will have the time or the knowledge to sift through the propaganda.

      •  No wonder Rove is still smiling (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stephdray

        ABC is planning a massive free distribution of its planned docudrama The Path to 9/11, including sending letters to 100,000 high school teachers encouraging them to have their students watch the series.

        Nothing like brainwashing our nation's children with a pack of lies that might influence their thinking for the rest of their lives. Thanks for contributing to the end of our democracy, ABC and Scholastic Books!

  •  I miss School House Rock (0+ / 0-)

    Scholastic books were ok, but who doesn't remember all those cool School House Rock tunes.  "I'm only a bill up here on capitol hill"... "conjunction junction whats your function..."  good stuff maynard

    there is never time to do it right, but always time to do it over

    by DeadB0y on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 09:06:38 AM PDT

  •  call to educators (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stephdray, larryrant, nancelot

    Elementary/secondary educators, will you wear a sticker that says "Scholastic Lies" at your next professional meeting?  Be sure to let scholastic know now that you plan to do that.

    Will you speak to your librarian about a six-week boycott of scholastic books?  Let Scholastic know now.

    Will you write a letter to the editor of your local paper about Scholastic promoting political propoganda to their children?  Tell scholastic now about your plans.

    Can you request that any consideration of Scholastic materials for use in the classroom is put on hold until the material can be screened for accuracy?  

    What else folks.  Let's think.

    Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton

    by enough on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 09:28:48 AM PDT

  •  You will be cutting off your nose (0+ / 0-)

    to spite your face.

    Scholastic is dominated by Democrats who give serious money to  ... Democrats.

    •  Sending a message (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stephdray, rockhound

      I really don't care what their political affiliation is. That they would think that a politically biased film that is inaccurate is appropriate viewing and hand out lesson plans that appear inaccurate as well says something about their dedication to educating. I will not endorse this behavior or the corporations that display it.

    •  does contributing to Democrats (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doe

      mean that we should ignore anything they do that negative affects the rest of us?

      If a corporation that's a major polluter contributes to Democrats, should we look the other way when we find their crap in our drinking water?

      It's bad enough that corporations can buy off our politicians.

      WHERE THE HELL DID YOU GET THE IDEA THAT CORPORATIONS SHOULD BE ABLE TO BUY US OFF WITH CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS?

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 06:08:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Need the complete text of the disclaimers! (nt) (0+ / 0-)
  •  Who we should be contacting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Esjaydee

    Call your schools and school boards!  I intend to contact my kid's schools and find out if they are using this "guide" and if so, I plan to raise HELL!  

    Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

    by Barbara Morrill on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 09:52:52 AM PDT

  •  More Scholastic/ABC contact info (3+ / 0-)

    From a friend of mine via e-mail:

    On September 10 and 11, ABC is planning to air a "docudrama" called "The Path to 9/11", billed by writer Cyrus Nowrasteh as "an objective telling of the events of 9/11" -- and which goes to great lengths to absolve Bush of any blame for 9/11.  (In other words, no scenes showning Condi Rice refusing to show Bush the infamous August 6, 2001 PDB entitled "Bin Laden Determined To Attack US".)  The film is even being promoted by ABC to Scholastic as a teaching tool, complete with a lesson plan:  http://content.scholastic.com/...

    What Mr. Nowrasteh isn't telling you is that he is a conservative operative of long standing, and that this production is being heavily promoted among right-wing circles.  Rush Limbaugh and other right-wing radio hosts talk it up non-stop, and the only media people getting preview copies are those who are known to be aligned with the conservative movement.

    Even with ABC's determination to keep the respectable press from finding out the full details of this production, word of its contents has leaked out.  We already know of several big fat lies in the first half of the production, lies apparently made up by Mr. Nowrasteh and/or his conservative friends -- lies that Richard Clarke has pointedly debunked:  http://thinkprogress.org/...

    Tell ABC to drop this piece of junk from its schedule:  http://thinkprogress.org/...

    While you're at it, let Scholastic know that they've been conned into accepting a right-wing tissue of lies as a "lesson plan":  http://www.scholastic.com/... or 1-800-724-5627.

    And Paul Lukasiak, who some of you may remember from Salon's "Table Talk", has a great find:

    After searching for a while, I finally came up with a phone number for ABC/Disney’s corporate PR department. They referred me to someone else, Kevin Brockman, who is VP for Publicity for ABC... here is his phone number

    1 818 460 6655

    Thanks, Paul!

    You know what to do, people.

    (UPDATE:  Mumon over at DailyKos suggests we revive the Sinclair stock-shorting scheme and apply it to ABC/Disney.  If you have the cash to do this, this may well hurt ABC more than anything else, should they go ahead with broadcasting this piece of offal.)

    •  What I wrote to ABC: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jkilkullen

      (using the Think Progress portal above)

      Robert A. Iger
      President and CEO, The Walt Disney Company

      Dear Mr. Iger:

         In "The Path to 9/11", the creators make wholly inaccurate claims that are not supported by fact. Nor are they supported by the 9/11 Commission Report. Your presentation of this program as a factual history does not have credibility.

      ABC can retain its credibility by correcting the many inaccuracies in this program, or by canceling it. Alternately, ABC can join the swelling ranks of biased "news" sources by going ahead as-is. The choice is yours. I will certainly be interested to see what ABC values more: truth or sensationalism. And, as a news consumer, my view of ABC will certainly be influenced.

      Good night, and good luck.
      Paul Kandel

      Al Gore had the goods on global warming in 1992. Read "Earth in the Balance".

      by Civil Defiance on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 10:16:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What the hell? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    martik, jkilkullen

    Back in my day, American History ended around 1875.  Oh, they always MEANT to get to the twentieth century, but bad planning would always mean that we ran out of time to get to the good stuff (and we'd cram the civil war in the last month of school anyways).  They had to creat e aspecial class just ont he twentieth century 'cos no one would ever get that far in normal American History.

    As a hisotrian, no one shouold be studying 9/11 at all. It is way too soon to classify this as "history".  It takes at least a generation to get all the facts and research straight before one can objectively and critically look at any period of time.  It's like the 3rd law of hoistory or soemthing like that.  One should never stufy history so close to the actual event.  It is a giant mistake.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  •  Class, why did 9-11 happen on Bush's watch? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MySharona, jkilkullen

    Class, why did Bush ignore warnings about terrorism?

    Class, why did Bush invade Iraq instead of capturing Bin Laden.

    Class, why do we give money to the Saudi dictatorship every time we buy gasoline?

    Class, why did Bush fail to protect America on 9-11?

    In God we trust. All others must pay cash.

    by yet another liberal on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 10:18:12 AM PDT

  •  Purportedly from the Scholastic materials... (0+ / 0-)

    Q. for discussion:

    "2) What were some surprising or interesting facts or
    concepts about the events leading up to that day that
    you did not know prior to viewing?"

    Implies that the student WILL learn additional FACTS during the viewing.

  •  I read it. It's like a frickin' push poll (3+ / 0-)

    If you read the study guides, you get the distinct impression that the Bushies were just poor victims of incompetance.  THAN to top it all off, there is a section on profiling and security that really leaves the impression that we should all just shut up and sumbit to any damn thing the government wants.  
    The one thing these discussion guides do NOT do is explicitly encourage critical thinking.  If my kid comes home with this crap, it's going into the kindling pile with Mike Ferguson's campaign flyers.  And she is NOT allowed to watch the movie until I see if first and am able to correct the record.  

    -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

    by goldberry on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 10:26:59 AM PDT

  •  I'm the chairperson for (5+ / 0-)

    my sons school Scholastic Bookfairs planned for this fall and spring.
    This really, really pisses me off that Scholastic is complicit in pushing this bullshit movie. What is worse, I know that I will be the minority liberal voice at our school in objecting to this. I will resign my duty if they continue with their plans.

    "This is a new day. We will not be silent" Mayor Rocky Anderson Salt Lake City, Utah Aug.30,2006

    by Esjaydee on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 10:51:03 AM PDT

    •  Please don't give up your position (0+ / 0-)

      I'm happy to pass on any specific concerns you have with the material to the people who actually worked on it.

      However, from what I know about the Marketing and PR people in NYC (I work for Scholastic), I'm 95% sure they haven't even seen the movie and have no idea about the bias.

      If you can point out some of the textual issues you have with the PDF materials, I'm more than happy to talk to the people involved in this project for you.

      I know it's awful business practice in general, but it's VERY infrequent in this industry that we get access to media properties we're tied in with beforehand.

      In fact, I'm working on a book right now (a Scholastic book) that's a movie tie in, a close movie tie-in, but I won't get to see the movie unless I go to the theatres.

      Unfortunately, that's a pretty standard, industry-wide thing. It's very likely that Scholastic has by now seen the movie, but with everything already online and in motion, it won't be derailed unless it's obvious the complaints are egregious.

      Regardless, I'd urge you to reconsider resigning your duty over this. I think that absolutely, 100% should you tell Scholastic what you think -- but don't give up a chance to help enourage literacy and parental involvement with reading choice.

      I say this as a fellow Dkos member, not as a Scholastic employee: you'll do a lot more good for your school remaining in your position but vocalizing your concerns than you will resigning in protest.

      •  here are some of the examples being discussed... (0+ / 0-)

        Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, the United States began a global "War on Terror" to stop terrorist groups.

        It's language like this that bothers me. It's subtle, but words like "began following September 11" very much implies that the U.S. only started to try to fight terrorism after September 11. No mention whatsoever of what we had done to fight terrorism before this. The implication is that it wasn't until the Bush adminstration that the U.S. really tried to do anything to stop terrorist groups on a large scale. Very, very inaccurate.

        Osama bin Laden is the son of a wealthy Yemeni businessman who moved to Saudi Arabia and started a private construction company in 1930.

        15 out of 19 of the hijackers on 9/11 were from Saudia Arabia.  Not only is this not mentioned (but Iraq, who had nothing to do with 9/11, is), but the above quote is the only place I can find any mention of Saudi Arabia in the materials. It's a glaring absence.

        Bin Laden inherited a large amount of money from his father and is currently worth an estimated $250-$300 million. He uses his money to recruit and train Al-Qaeda soldiers for terrorist activities against the United States and other countries.

        This section implies that he got ALL his money through inheritance, but he was also funded and trained by people in the Reagan administration. What is printed is technically true, but leaves out important parts of his link to the U.S. that might make Republicans look bad.

    •  On and ESPECIALLY (0+ / 0-)

      If you're going to be a minority liberal voice. That makes it sound like you'll leave all the Bookfairs decisions to a bunch of non-liberals.

      Please don't! :)

    •  This is the way to get the attention we need (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stephdray

      Ask yourself - what would a Republican do in a similar situation?

      And you know the answer.

      Good for you!

      All Spin Zone : Progressive Politics Writ Large

      by Richard Cranium on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 12:31:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can I just ask (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    roses

    Why the hell is ABC sponsoring "educational" materials anyway? Isn't that a conflict of interest? How can educational materials be unbiased when it is sponsored and branded by a corporation that, through its actions, has demonstrated it favors one party over another? Why are, what basically amounts to, press releases being used as serious educational materials for schools?

    And now I'm hearing about ads in text books? I'm guessing that eventually, those are going to have to be edited/doctored and censored accordingly to satisfy said advertisers as well.

    Can't we just get schools the money they need to provide the best education possible for kids and college students across the country so that they have a chance to become truly informed adults capable of making their own decisions based on facts?

    Shit, piss ass son of a bitch! Okay, sorry, I'm just really annoyed...between this and the apparent need to suddenly make every important incident/point "bite sized" for the masses, we are running the risk of becoming both delusional and dumb as rocks in this country...

    All my life I've had one dream: to achieve my many goals. - H. Simpson

    by henna218 on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 10:56:26 AM PDT

  •  Last 5 years? How about last TWENTY-FIVE years... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    roses, rockhound, jkilkullen

    The First Lie of the Republican Right's 9/11 disinformtion camapaign is to start the timeline with the Clinton administration. The reality is that the formation of al Qaeda, appeasment of terrorists, cutting-and-running and plans for 9/11 began under the nose of Ronald Reagan and worsened under Poppy Bush.

    FACT: It was Reagan and the Republicans who originally financed, armed, and trained the Afghan Mujahideen who, with Osama bin Laden, formed al Qaeda and the Taliban.

    FACT: In an Oct. 2004 broadcast, bin Laden said he got the idea for 9/11 when watching the 1982 Reagan-authorized missile strikes on Beirut: ""When I saw those destroyed towers in Lebanon, it sparked in my mind that the oppressors should be punished in the same way and that we should destroy towers in America - so they can taste what we tasted and so they stop killing our women and children."

    FACT: Bin Laden's undercover operative Ali Mohamed, infiltrated the US military and FBI as a double-agent during the Reagan administration. The Reaganites even gave him US citizenship and security clearances at Fort Bragg where he stole sensistive documents. He later trained bin Laden's bodyguards and helped plan the 1998 US embassy bombings in Africa.

    FACT: Reagan failed to protect 240 US Marines in Beirut who were killed by terrorists with a truck bomb. Reagan then encouraged them by immediately cutting and running.

    FACT: At the same time, Reagan and his Republican allies provided deadly weapons to the terrorist Iranian regime --our sworn enemy-- in exchange for hostages and to fund the Contra Terrorists in Nicaragua.

    FACT: At the same time, Reagan and his Republican allies provided bio-weapons, nuclear weapon precursors to Saddam Hussein --weapons we didn't even give our allies while fighting the Nazi's in WWII.

    FACT: Even after Saddam gassed his own people and used chemical weapons against Iranian troops, Donald Rumsfeld traveled to Baghdad to shake his hand.

    FACT: Once the Mujahideen drove out the Soviets from Afghanistan, the Poppy Bush aministration pulled-out US resources and did nothing, allowing a free-for-all that ended with the Taliband taking control.

    FACT: Al Qaeda and its allies planned the first WTC attack right under the nose of Poppy Bush and launched it during Clinton's very first month in office.

    Incredibly, the Republican Right is trying to blame Clinton for all these failures that took place before he was even in office. Shame on Scholastic for participating in this kind of shameless political disinformation.

  •  Tell them here... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nancelot, Five of Diamonds, Tanya

    http://scholastic.custhelp.com/...

    I just sent them this:

    I am the President of the PTA of Belvedere Elementary School in Arnold, MD. For many years my wife has chaired the Book Fair Committee, selling your products as part of our fundraising. I have just read your promotion for the ABC "docudrama" PATH TO 9/11. As you know ABC themselves have admitted that significant portions of the movie are fictional - and yet you are promoting it as truth. We are disappointed that you have chosen to promote such an historically inaccurate propaganda piece.

     At our next meeting we will be discussing discontinuing the Book Fair fundraisers in favor of working with companies that are more interested in educating our children with truth rather than propaganda.  I have also alerted my PTA colleagues (teachers and parents) at other schools to disregard your so-called "study resources" and boycott the program as well as the advertisers who support it.

    (me)
    PTA President
    Belvedere Elementary School
    Arnold, MD

  •  I work for Scholastic (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, OnStarboardTack, nancelot, doe

    And in the trade books arm. In fact, I write and project manage books for the 8-16 crowd.

    I'd like to think that as an employee, I'll be able to voice a few concerns closer to the ear, so to speak.

    I looked over the materials they provide, and to be honest, I don't see the bias. Or rather, the bias seems pretty slight, to the point that I'm not sure it isn't accidental (or just oversimplified)

    I'm certainly no company apologize (closer to..well, whatever the opposite is, really!), but if you guys could enlighten me a bit about some of the specific places that the material seems propagandist, I'm more than happy to do what I can to talk to corporate and discuss it.

    I've met with the CEO and several board members a number of times, but I wouldn't say that I have ready access to them. To begin with, I'm in a subsidiary of theirs out in California.

    I'm more than happy to do what I can though, but (and here, I have to apologize for not reading the comments yet...I'm at work and extremely busy today...but didn't want to let the front page slide too far before responding) without some evidence from the text to back up any assertations I make, I'll just end up making instead an ass of myself.

    •  Here's an example (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee

      The materials Scholastic provides contains only one source (in addition to the movie) and that is the 9/11 Commission Report. The materials provide no guidance for using that document or for determining whether or not the content of the movie is accurate. (Remember, these materials are to be used as an adjunct to viewing the movie.)

      Here is an example of one of the inaccuracies in the movie.

      I don't know how many more of these we can find, since pre-screens have been limited.

      •  I'm happy to talk about that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee

        But again, my guess is that the Marketing and PR folks haven't seen the movie.

        ABC, and a number of other major network property owners, rarely allows affilliates, even those working on a correllative project, access to the original IP.

        It's sad, stupid, and IMO a poor business practice. But unfortunately that's the way it's done. I'll look into it here, but I'll probably find that that this is the case.

        ABC has had a number of entertainment-book ties with us in the past, though I don't know what the contractual obligations are between the companies. We're pretty entrenched with them, though, so if the SCHL execs decided to do a 911 education program, there wouldn't be much question -- they'd work with whatever ABC was going to produce (Scholastic believes in as broad a reach as possible in offering what they see as educational materials).

        Anyway, I agree that the movie looks like it's going to be a frighteningly biased piece of work. But I guess I need to see a few more specifics.

        What you bring up is a good point, but again, I think they don't provide guidance for a truthful reading of the ABC work because ABC has likely chosen not to screen it to Scholastic beforehand (I'll look into this, though, and post when I know more).

        Thanks

        •  I'm surprised (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nancelot

          to hear that about Scholastic. I worked for a public television station and we wrote several lesson plans based on PBS programs. We'd never consider doing so without having actually viewed the program first and we always provided further sources when asking students to "debate" the issues.

          •  Media conglomeration (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SarahLee

            ..is the problem, I think. As big as Scholastic is, a little promotion like this is less than peanuts to ABC.

            ABC has no interest in something that probably won't even produce a blip on their sales radar. Let's face it: any additional viewings by kids in classrooms will product zilch for sales (the demographic is just a teensie bit far from what the program will be targeting).

            This kind of a program, and other property usage of the same magnitude, has just gotten a bit out of hand. So much money and marketing goes into them, and the companies are so bloated and powerful, that there's really no incentive to do things the "right" way.

            In all likelyhood, Scholastic was offered the right to help educate about 911 by tying in with the ABC progra but without the use of any early review of the work, take it or leave it. It's rotten, but it's what's done most of the time. :/

      •  Further confirmation (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        enough, jkilkullen

        Further confirmation on this piece, again via Think Progress: Berger, reached by phone after the screening, seconded Ben-Veniste’s criticism. “It’s a total fabrication,” he said tersely. “It did not happen.”

        •  Is that in the teaching materials? (0+ / 0-)

          Is that a reference to the ABC program or the Scholastic materials?

          That is, if you're talking about Berger's remark...again, that's blaming Scholastic for ABC's bias.

          (And that'll REALLY get me in hot water!)

          •  It's a reference (0+ / 0-)

            to this inaccuracy in the movie. The Scholastic materials do not provide the means for teachers or students to detect these inaccuracies. The movie is being billed as factual and Scholastic is supporting that with its materials. This is not picking nits.  

            Don't worry about it, though, no need to get yourself "in hot water." I got your number.

    •  Is this not misleading? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, enough

      I understand this is a suggested Q. for discussion by Scholastic:

      "2) What were some surprising or interesting facts or
      concepts about the events leading up to that day that
      you did not know prior to viewing?"

      Implies that the student WILL learn additional FACTS during the viewing.

      But as a docudrama, there is no way to ascertain what is fact and what is fiction.

      •  ...during the viewing. (nt) (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        enough
      •  It is a little misleading, but (0+ / 0-)

        Again, I'm willing to bet ABC didn't allow or simply chose not to screen the program to Scholastic before the latter had to put together those materials.

        It's a rotten business practice, but it seems that major license holders are LOATHE to share with even those who are helping to promote their property with tie-in projects.

        So Scholastic probably (naively?) assumes that ABC will fact-fill their docudrama. And, to be fair, the ABC program will probably be chock full of facts. The problem will not be the mundane, obvious facts, which will make up the vast majority, but the "triffling" few that make the whole thing lurch toward a particular bias.

        •  But now since it is obvious that... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nancelot

          ...there will be at least some fiction (that's the "drama" part), should Scholastic not change or eliminate the question?  Or at least alert the teachers that the question should not be posed as is?

          •  I suppose that'd make sense (0+ / 0-)

            ...but we're talking a semantic change, right?

            If it were:

            "2) What were some surprising or interesting suggestions or concepts about the events leading up to that day that you had not heard prior to viewing?"

            ...it would pass muster, right? I would think that, technically speaking, they should change it to something a bit more appropriate like the above. But if you were some exec overeeing the execution of this kind of a project, I'd imagine you'd consider this a bit of nit-picking minutea, you know?

            Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly going to alert those that might be able to do something about it. But I'd like to make sure it'll be a set of suggestions that in quality or quantity will be taken seriously and have a shot at getting implemented.

            •  I think it's significant. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              enough, jkilkullen

              Again, the question:

              "What were some surprising or interesting facts or concepts about the events leading up to that day that you did not know prior to viewing?"

              This tells the student outright that the viewing alone WILL bring the students to know additional facts.  And it even can be taken to imply that the film is 100% factual.

              To put the question in a more obvious way:  "What facts did you LEARN from the film?"
              However, as a docudrama there is no possible way to tell what the facts actually are. Therefore, the question is misleading in a major way because it's implicitly put forward as a documentary -- a history -- within the question itself, when in fact it is not a history.

              So the student is told something major about the film that is patently untrue.

        •  any mega corp that naive (0+ / 0-)

          should no longer have a role in our classrooms.

          Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton

          by enough on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 03:53:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Careful... (0+ / 0-)

            ...I'm not a big fan of the Harry Potter books (shame on me, I know!), but the very fact that they've lured so many kids away from television and video games is a minor miracle. That fact alone makes them some of the most beneficial works in all of modern literature.

            If you oust every well-meaning (flawed or not) organization out there that does a lot of good in general, you're going to be left with nothing and nobody at all.

            •  Scholastic didn't write Harry Potter (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              doe

              they just had the exceptionally good luck of getting the contract to distribute in the US.  I'll be ordering Harry Potter from the Canadian Publisher in the future.

              Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton

              by enough on Wed Sep 06, 2006 at 07:08:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I'd encourage you to scan all comments (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      enough, esquimaux, jkilkullen

      There are many citations of inaccuracies, leading questions, and "framing" to GOP talking points in the Scholastic resources.

      Please take the time to scan all comments (and ask your corporate people to do the same).

      All Spin Zone : Progressive Politics Writ Large

      by Richard Cranium on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 12:30:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'll do so throughout the day (4+ / 0-)

        when I get a chance. I'll certainly be able to by tonight.

        I don't think I can ask the important people to read them all (yikes!) but I'll save as many poignant ones as I can and hand them a summary.

        •  Here's another (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rockhound

          Think Progress is doing a good job of compiling the "facts:"

          On the second night of Path to 9/11, a CIA analyst makes the following complaint:

          Besides, ever since the Washington Post disclosed that we intercepted his calls, UBL [Usama bin Laden] stopped using phones altogether. He’s using couriers now, like they did a thousand years ago.

          This isn’t true on a number of levels. First, as Daniel Benjamin makes clear, the publication at issue is the Washington Times...

          Not only is the scene inconsistent with the 9/11 commission report, it’s perpetuating an urban myth.

          Actually, “Bin Laden’s use of a satellite phone had already been widely reported by August 1998, and he stopped using it within days of a cruise missile attack on his training camps in Afghanistan.”

          Why was it included anyway? One explanation: it is frequently cited by right-wing politicians “seeking to impose greater restrictions on the news media.” This is a film that doesn’t let the facts get in the way of its agenda.

          Please note one of the Scholastic Guide's questions (pdf) for students: 2. Does the media help or hinder our national security?

          Fiction and spin all at once - wonderful learning experiences for students if they were presented in a factual and non-biased manner! I feel a lesson plan coming on.

    •  Several Suggestion (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rockhound, jkilkullen
      As I'm sure you know, Docudramas are dicey sources for serious learning. Since they are entertainment based on reality, they can as easily confuse as inform about subject matter, even when efforts to offer related study guides are sincere. This docudrama is particularly troublesome for its factual inaccuracies and bias:

      1. Starts in the 90's -- as I understand it, the docudrama examines the roots of 9/11 beginning in the 1990s during the Clinton administration. But al Qaeda began forming in the 1980's during the Reagan administration withthe Mujahideen resistance to Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, where bin Laden himself began his career as a jihadist.

      It was also in the 1980s that Egyptian al Qaeda double-agent Ali Mohamed infiltrated the US military and FBI where he began organizing, fundraising for terror activities and stealing classified documents. He later trained bin Laden's bodyguards and planned the embassy bombings in Africa.

      It was also in the 1980's when bin Laden first got the idea to attack the twin towers while watching US missile attacks on "towers" in Beirut.

      The docudrama omits these critical historical events because it is based loosley on the 9/11 Commission report, which only looked as far back as the start of the Clinton administration. Additionally, bin Laden first revealed that the Beirut bombings were his inspiration for 9/11 in an October 2004 broadcast --after the 9/11 report was complete.

      By omitting this essential history, the docudrama makes a poor choice for serious study and reflection. Clearly the Beirut bombings and Afghanistan were major factors contributing to 9/11.

      But no student could meaningfully do the suggested activities --"Track the historical time line of events; lead critical discussions about these events; use critical-thinking skills and analysis in classroom debate; encourage student political awareness," etc.-- when these very basic facts don't appear in the drama.

      2. Misrepresents Historical Events -- several events dramatized in the film simply never happened, but would lead a student studying it in ernest to conclude that they had.

      These fabriacted events are the most politically-biased in a way that attempts to make the Clinton administration appear indifferent and inept, such as a scene where Sandy Berger allegedly hangs-up on an operative poised to kill or capture bin Laden.

      Richard Clarke, who was White House counter-terror chief at the time, has already said pubicly that the films portrayals of this are false. Any student who performs the activities recommended by Scholastic would predictably (and wrongly) conclude that Sandy Berger stopped an attemopt to kill or capture bin Laden before 9/11.

      2. Omission is Bias -- this omission of basic facts from the 1980s and use of fabricated events constitute a deliberate factual and poltical bias. They could easily have been done accurately without loss of dramatic value, but the producer, writers and director included them as-is.

      This is not suprising, as the writer --Cyrus Nowrasteh-- is a self-described political conservative who favors a pro-Bush, anti-Clinton point of view. Such a biased production is a poor choice for Scholastic to recommended for serious student reflection and learning about such an important event.

      •  Great comments (0+ / 0-)

        Excellent points. All of that should be directed at ABC.

        I don't want to comment further, yet, but if I'm right in my suspicion that ABC didn't allow Scholastic to view the documentary before creating the reading materials, then there's not a whole lot SCHL could have done.

        Yes, omission is a form of deceit. But notice how ridiculously generalized the reading material questions are. They sound like questions formulated without access to the ABC program.

        In such case, Scholastic isn't knowingly supporting any sort of biased media account, though, in fact, that are. That's the sort of thing that they should still be held accountable for, but mainly if they knew ahead of time that the content of the ABC program is skewed and/or false.

    •  Just having scholastic pimp this movie (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      enough, esquimaux

      Is bad enough.  By providing the classroom materials, they're encouraging teachers to get kids to watch this movie, and it is patently false.  It's propaganda at its worst.  And they're spoonfeeding this to kids who are going to remember that when Democrats are in charge, we apparently don't care about national security.  Not acceptable.    

      Stephanie Dray
      of Jousting for Justice, a lefty blog with a Maryland tilt.

      by stephdray on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 02:10:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  examples (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doe, jkilkullen

      The claim (PDF text): "Following 9/11 the U.S. demanded that the Taliban hand over Osama Bin Laden and other Al-Qaeda leaders.  After the Taliban failed to comply, a coalition of forces invaded..."

      The truth: The The Taliban offered up Bin Laden to the US, and we refused.  This is substantiated in the October 17th edition of the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

      A senior Taliban minister has offered a last-minute deal to hand over Osama bin Laden during a secret visit to Islamabad, senior sources in Pakistan told the Guardian last night.

      For the first time, the Taliban offered to hand over Bin Laden for trial in a country other than the US without asking to see evidence first in return for a halt to the bombing, a source close to Pakistan's military leadership said.

      But US officials appear to have dismissed the proposal and are instead hoping to engineer a split within the Taliban leadership.

      Want more?  OK why not.

      The claim (PDF text): "While coalition soldiers remain in Afghanistan, fighting pro-Taliban forces, the country continues to grow more independent and stable under the transitional democratic leadership."

      The truth:

      This took me maybe two minutes with Google.  The people in Scholastic need to do better due dilligence.

      never underestimate social psychology

      by creativedissonance on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 04:48:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, true! And good points. (0+ / 0-)

        Great digging to get that stuff. Regardless of if it was quick.

        And you're right, these are two pretty solid (I've heard several conflicting, reliable sources to the first point, though) points of contention that appear less accurate than they should be.

        I'll make sure to pass these on.

        You're right that we need to do better due diligence. But just to play devil's advocate here, for a second: The second point is a total editorialization. However, it's easy to make it seem awfully accurate. The people of Afganistan ARE better off than they were when the Taliban was in complete control. There IS a democracy in place, where there wasn't before (kinda and sorta, but still) Also, it's less stable in a lot of ways internally, but it IS much less likely to sponsor international terrorism or harbor al-Qaida. That means that, in a way, it's a more stable player on the international stage.

        Really, I agree with you on both points. But there isn't a correct way to phrase the second point you make -- that ISN'T an editorialization of some sort.

        Regardless, thank you for these examples. Any other fodder like this I can put in my memo would be great.

        •  Scholastic is doing the editorializing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          doe

          the point that I responded to "the country continues to grow more independent and stable" is itself an editorialization, a shallow, subjective judgement that is ignorant (deliberately?) of the realities on the ground in Afghanistan.

          these matters are better dealt with in terms of measurable data, NOT sweeping generalizations.  You know what it is called when you 'teach' someone your subjective, biased, political point of view?

          propaganda.

          never underestimate social psychology

          by creativedissonance on Wed Sep 06, 2006 at 10:12:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Did a little research and found these tidbits (0+ / 0-)

    Scholastic is a $2 billion a year or so enterprise, and thus is publicly listed. Biggest shareholder is Richard Robinson, who owns 2.3 million shares, and the rest of his family controls about 15.6 percent of the shares.
     If he's the same richard robinson that lives in Massachussets, then opensecrets.org lists him as a $1,000 donor to Repub. Senator from Iowa, Charles Grassley. Grassley prides himself as a watchdog for agricultural interests, and the taxpayers dollar. But the single biggest issue was telling W. that W's plan to privatize Social Security would be DOA.

  •  My letter to the local school board with response (7+ / 0-)

    I am very concerned about a program offered by
    scholastic Books involving the tragedy of 9/11.

    As you may know, ABC television is telecasting a
    "docudrama" this coming Sunday and Monday nights.
    This docudrama has changed many of the facts
    involved in the greatest American tragedy that our
    children have experienced in their lifetimes.   The
    challenging of the facts by concerned citizens has
    caused ABC to eliminate a blog it sponsored on this
    program.  Apparently, a docudrama gives the
    producers the right to alter facts for dramatic
    effect.  That's all fine, as long as that is within
    the parameters of television.

    However, for Scholastic Books to now offer an
    in-class discussion program to analyze ABC's
    fictional account is reprehensible.  Are our
    children now going to be led down a path of an
    alternate history regarding this most important
    subject?

    In order to compete in this world, our children must
    get not only science, math and social studies right
    and from reliable sources without a political
    agenda, but they must also understand history
    correctly, especially American History.

    I am hoping that none of my daughter's teachers, she
    is an 8th grader this year, or any teacher within
    the school system is allowed to use these "tools"
    that Scholastic Books is marketing, to forward the
    agenda of conservative extremists and "Orwellian"
    disciples.

    If any teacher demands this of my daughter, I will
    demand an open discussion with the appropriate
    teacher, file the necessary grievances against those
    who are promoting this within Brandon's school
    system and file the necessary legal documents to
    stop another "tragedy" resulting from 9/11.

    and the School Board President's prompt response:

    Dear -
    Thank you for sharing this letter with me. I was unaware of the telecasting of the Sept. 11 docudrama by ABC. I share many of your concerns with this type of broadcast and subsequent followup from Scholastic. I am forwarding your message to our superintendent, Tom Miller, and will also verify that any classroom discussion on this event be appropriate and factual.
    Again, thank you for contacting me.
    (name deleted of local school board president)

  •  Wonderful letter! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    enough, greenearth

    And an excellent response from your school district.

    Kudos!

    All Spin Zone : Progressive Politics Writ Large

    by Richard Cranium on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 12:26:25 PM PDT

    •  Thanks, I was surprised (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      enough, jkilkullen

      at the speed of the response.  I also emailed a copy to everyone on the School Board, but have not received a response.  I plan on attending the first board meeting this month to see if any discussion ensues due to this "event" put on by ABC.

  •  Misleading info in the Bin Laden bio (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jkilkullen

    The section in the information sheet on Bin Laden leaves out some crucial information on Al-Qaeda.

    It says:

    Al-Qaeda was based in Afghanistan until the overthrow of the Taliban government by U.S.-led coalition forces in 2001.

    This makes it sound as if Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda always operated out of Afghanistan. However, Bin Laden started organizing what would become Al-Qaeda initially in Pakistan, near the Afghan border.  From 1992-1996 he was based in Sudan until its goverment asked him to leave and he returned to Afghanistan.

  •  Reminds me of channel 1 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wenchacha, enough

    My children were required to watch it 2x daily.  They couldn't read tne newspaper while it was on, they had to watch it.  My son thought the propagadna was pretty obvious in the run up  to the war.  One example I remember him talking about is showing a picture of Hitler and Saddam at the same time to promote their association.

    Thanks for the heads up.

  •  Good comment and thanks for reminding me... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    enough, jkilkullen

    they also make students here watch it every morning.  I'm going to check with my daughter to see if there is any promotion of this program on that channel.

    What else can we expect but a 'mickey mouse' effort by Disney to recount the events 9/11.

  •  There is a teacher out there (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    enough, jkilkullen

    His name is Kelly Hall, and he teaches at New Trier High School in Northfield, Illinois

    Here is one of his 9/11 pages and I think you will appreciate the difference.

    9/11 Al Quaeda Connection?

    Like everyone else here, I am alarmed that we have "state television" providing biased and inaccurate materials to school children.  There are a few teachers, however, that are the exception.  Mr. Hall is one.

    "Mr. Speaker, I mourn democracy." Barney Frank, House of Representatives, 06/29/06

    by suskind on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 01:34:35 PM PDT

  •  Called--they seemed puzzled (0+ / 0-)

    Then sent email.

    Stephanie Dray
    of Jousting for Justice, a lefty blog with a Maryland tilt.

    by stephdray on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 01:54:37 PM PDT

  •  Thank-you for pointing out the biases in the pdf (5+ / 0-)

    learning materials from Scholastic.  I saw this information earlier today, but like some others here, didn't see a clear bias...but that's the problem, isn't it.  After reading comments, and having specific things pointed out, I do understand why these materials are objectionable.  Even after being here for a while, I still don't see the subtle slanting of information all around us.

    I just called and cancelled by daughter's bookclub account with Scholastic.  When the representative asked me for a reason why, I told her.  I was happy that she was very receptive, and said that she would note my reasons so that they could be read by "higher ups".  I also plan on emailing & writing Scholastic to let them know that I disapprove of presenting learning materials for schoolchildren based on fiction.

    I have two daughters, and usually spend anywhere from a low of $12 to a high of $150 with EACH book order for EACH child.  I think we'll probably stop buying Scholastic books and maybe visit the library and bookstore more often.  I purchase many of the Scholastic books for myself, as I really enjoy the historically based books, but I can't bring myself to support any company that directly or indirectly supports the GOP lies in any way.

    I've sadly reached a point where I just draw the line---I've also recently broken off a longtime online friendship because I know she's a rightwinger.  I just can't support or be friends with someone who supports Bush policies.

    Is it over yet???

    by dnn on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 02:20:19 PM PDT

  •  What a way to deconstruct the media (0+ / 0-)

    and its pernicious effect on our democracy.

    Soviet newspapers as classroom materials.

    Brave New World sections.

    1984 sections.

  •  ABC Slams New Iraq Film, Ignores Own 9/11 Fantasy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    concernedamerican, jkilkullen

    With this weekend's upcoming mockumentary "The Path to 9/11," Disney and ABC are breaking dangerous new ground in the conservative propaganda war. Even as the ABC network follows in the footsteps of Mel Gibson and The Passion of the Christ in "mobilizing the base," ABC News on Sunday declared Robert Greenwald's new documentary "Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers" a left-wing hatchet job "produced like a political campaign."

    For the details, see:
    "ABC Slams New Iraq Documentary, Ignores Own 9/11 Right-Wing Fantasy."

  •  Link to 9/11 lesson gone from front page (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfdunphy, jkilkullen

    The link is no longer on the Lesson Plan home page. It had been there for the past several days under "New Lessons" along with "Number Smarts." The link directly to the 9/11 lesson still works, however.

  •  I'm jumping in really late, but what the heck.. (8+ / 0-)

    Don't forget libraries! Few groups are as ticked off with Bush as Librarians and they have some serious pull with Scholastic.

  •  Arm Yr Kids (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Caneel, enough, doe

    with information about the flaws in the Path to 9/11 and with real information that can use to challenge the Scholastic material in class. If kids can refute it in class, it will help those kids whose parent don't know or don't care that the docu-con is propaganda. Maybe even you and your kids can look up information about how propaganda works, and how it worked in Hitler's time, etc.

    TURN THE TABLE ON SCHOLASTIC. Use that in class "lesson" to really illuminate propaganda!

    "If religion is the opiate of the masses, then fundamentalism is the amphetamine." Miz Vittitow

    by MillieNeon on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 03:38:45 PM PDT

  •  Rove's September Surprise (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, enough

    Desparate times...call for desparate lies!  Fight like hell...the future of our country rests on true "patriots" to stand up to this crap.  

    WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?  GO KICK SOME ASS...NOW!

  •  Scholastic = Disney Business Partner (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfdunphy

    I don't know the extent but it's plain-as-day. This is likely why Scholastic is in on this deal. Naturally, I'm curious about the extent of the relationship between the two companies. Does anyone know how to find out how much stock each company owns in the other? I tried to use www.theyrule.net to see if there were any high level connections, but I couldn't find Scholastic in their list.

    BlackGriffen
  •  here's a theme for you: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, Richard Cranium, enough




    ok.  ok.   Disappointed.


     title=



    "Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor."    --Sholem Yakov Rabinowitz

    by Back in the Cave on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 04:45:32 PM PDT

  •  Well I did diary this on Sunday (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Cranium, enough

    but you certainly went into more depth. Glad to see the word is out.

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

  •  Buycott David Ray Griffin books and... (0+ / 0-)
    Buycott David Ray Griffin books and http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/

    If it is true that the Scholastic books are drawn from one source, then balance can be provided by Buycotting the following:

    The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions And Distortions:
    http://www.amazon.com/...

    A better first read is The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11:
    http://www.amazon.com/...

    For free there is http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/ - an excellent site that draws from mainstream media sources. More footnotes that almost any site on the internet.

    There is now a book based on the site:
    The Terror Timeline: Year by Year, Day by Day, Minute by Minute: A Comprehensive Chronicle of the Road to 9/11--and America's Response (Paperback):
    http://www.amazon.com/...

    By showing people how one sided ABC and its enablers are, people will learn to seek the truth and reward those that provide it.

  •  My letter to my local high school board (0+ / 0-)

    Have you written your's yet?

    I'm writing to you about the docudrama "Path to 9/11" ABC TV network plans on running as a two part miniseries on the nights of 9/10 and 9/11. It is my understanding ABC has paid Scholastic Books to provide extensive "study resources" and teaching guides to use this TV movie as a teaching tool in grades 9 through 12.

    I urge you to reject "Path to 9/11" and Scholastic's teaching aids as misleading propaganda full of factual errors. This historical revisionism is worthy of the old Soviet Union not the United States and it has no place on our public airwaves let alone in our classrooms.

    Over 900 far rightwing media figures, from bloggers few have ever heard of to Rush Limbaugh, were provided advanced copies of this film in order to build a "buzz". Yet when Bill Clinton, Sandy Berger and Madeleine Albright, who by all accounts are slandered in this film requested copies or advanced screenings they were denied.

    ABC claims they've made some edits to the film, but far rightwing bloggers say they have been assured the overall bias and the lies about the Clinton Administration remain.

    Make no mistake about it, this miniseries is political propaganda written and produced by a longtime radical rightwing writer, meant to bolster the Republican party's standing 2 months before the election by lying to us. We saw how well that worked in 2002 when we were assured that Saddam Hussein was feverishly trying to build nuclear weapons and had operational ties to Al Qaeda. Do not allow these lies to be taught to our children in our classrooms.

    The following letter to ABC CEO Bob Iger is from Bill Clinton's lawyers and some other interested parties. It details more of the specific errors of fact in this work of fiction.

    Thank you for your time and I trust you will make the correct decision about the use of this misleading junk.

    Clinton's letter:
    http://tinyurl.com/...

    Sincerely,

    xxxxxxxxx

  •  ugh (0+ / 0-)

    just the presence of the study guides will give young kids the impression that the movie is valid.  it's sick.

    and whether anyone goes in-depth with the study guides or not, which do you think the kids will remember more?  kids can rattle off the storylines of their favorite tv shows and movies, but how many of them can rattle off their favorite lines in a book?  obviously, my statement is not one backed by empirical evidence...more knowing kids in this day and age.

    and did anyone else get the sick feeling that showing the movie without commercials stymies any efforts at putting pressure on advertisers?

    i am staying far away from the TV on 9/11.  as the sticker i have on my tv says, "read a book instead".  and that is exactly why my TV sits and gathers dust.

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