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Fox News is almost a parody of itself at this point.

They went after Mr. Rogers. Mr. Rogers.

I'm not making this up. Video after the jump.

Some juicy quotes:

These experts are saying that the kids of today, who grew up with Mr. Rogers, were told by him, "You're special, just for being who you are." Well, here's the problem: That's lost in that whole self business, and the idea that working hard and having high expectations for yourself - discounted! Mr. Rogers's message was "You're special because of you." He didn't say, "If you want to be special, you're going to have to work hard," and now all these kids are growing up and realizing, "Hey, wait a minute. Mr. Rogers lied to me. I'm not special. I'm trying hard, and I'm not getting anywhere."

Why didn't he just say, "You know what, there's a lot of improvement, keep working on yourselves."

Blame Mr. Rogers! Because Mr. Rogers had an optimistic message that said that everybody was special, even if they didn't deserve it!

Damn that Mr. Rogers! Instead of telling kids that they were special, he should have just read Ayn Rand to them every day. Reading out loud through John Galt's speech in Atlas Shrugged would take about two and a half hours*; that means that, with a half an hour every day, he could have read the whole speech to his audience every single week! That would have ingrained the right attitude in them - you're only special if you're one of the elite! You're only special if you're successful in the free market! You're only special if you earn it!

But seriously, folks... if you're looking for a candidate for modern sainthood, the late and venerable Mr. Rogers is about as good as you could possibly do. The man had an unbelievably kind, gentle heart for giving children uplifting and positive messages.

"You're special just the way you are" was the message of my childhood, and of the childhoods of many in my generation. Our taking that message to heart, our believing in our own value as unique human beings, has benefited us tremendously - and if those jackass Republicans over at Fox News can't see that past their Ayn Rand fantasies, then it's their loss - not ours.

Oh, and here's a bonus: Fred Rogers arguing for the importance and relevance of public broadcasting before Congress in 1969...

* This statistic from the Bureau of Things I Made Up In My Head

Originally posted to mistersite on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 08:49 AM PDT.

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