Here's a story about a parent complaining that a high school teacher showed the documentary Outfoxed in class.
I showed this in my media classes because so many students said they watch Fox News as their primary source for news. Can you imagine? So, yeah, I got crap about showing Outfoxed, too.
"Generation Perfect" should be studied for how thoroughly and successfully they've been brainwashed into believing that the Roves and Aileses and Murdochs of the world have sole custody of the truth. They are willing young sheep.
A professor friend told me that among the frosh he's teaching right now, "Supporting the president" and "Supporting government officials" received high marks in the survey he did of student attitudes toward authority figures.
Anyone remember: "Never trust anyone over 30." I'd flip that around now.
As one whose Wonder years were the 1960s and 1970s, I continue to be amazed at kids who follow in lockstep with political and religious beliefs that are so harmful to their own futures. They don't see it, don't want to see it. Maybe 20 years from now, when they have kids with asthma and autism, when every day is a "purple air alert," when they get tired of paying taxes to pay off the war debts.... They simply don't question now, as if questioning authority is somehow unpatriotic and dangerous.
I'm not exaggerating. And yes, I'm a Democrat who got into journalism via the wave of Wood/Stein-loving young writers who believed in speaking truth to power and throwing the lies back in the faces of the hypocrites. I finally got out of daily newspapers because the prevailing "agenda" of the companies became so profit-centered. The emphasis was not on investigative reportage or serving a community by being watchdogs on elected officials. It was how to lower wages and increase profits by laying off near-retirees before they could qualify for pensions. It was cutting back on staff to the point of anorexic coverage of major events and blatant kowtowing to advertisers. It was unpaid overtime for new hires and fewer benefits for the lifers. Except for management, who got bonuses for instituting cost-cutting measures. And still, letters would come in to the newspapers claiming they were too "liberal." If only they knew.
So hell yes, I showed Outfoxed and Bowling for Columbine (which is flawed but still powerful) and All the President's Men and other "left-leaning propaganda," as some of my students pegged it. Because even if I don't care about winning converts -- and I gave up on that long ago -- I think the little lambs occasionally should be exposed to different points of view and some information that hasn't been processed by the truth-shredding machines of Mr. Rove et al.
I'll never forget the day a young man stood outside my office door after the first meeting of the writing class. "I need to tell you something," he said in a nervous stage whisper. "I think you should know because it might have an effect on how other students react to things I say in class."
I imagined speech impediments or seizures. But no.
"I just think you should know," he said, "that I'm a liberal."