Taking cues from conservative blogs and the Drudge Report, Fox News and its online properties flogged a YouTube video that purports to show "[s]chool kids taught to praise Obama." Indeed, in discussing the significance of the story, Fox News host Megyn Kelly said that the video, which the school's superintendent has said was unauthorized, "is getting attention on the Drudge Report website this morning."
"SHOCK VIDEO" timeline: From YouTube, to conservative blogs and Drudge, to Fox News
June: Video reportedly "originally posted." In a September 24 post on her blog, Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin wrote that the "Dear Leader ... video was originally posted in June 2009 here by YouTube user 'brandnuwords.' Update: She has now removed the video sometime this morning." Malkin added:
"Brandnuwords" is the YouTube account of Charisse Carney-Nunes. More on her in a moment.
YouTube user "alteredbeat" re-posted the video on September 6 here.
Alteredbeat e-mailed Carney-Nunes to inquire about the location of the school. She told him it was a school in South Jersey.
Back to Charisse Carney-Nunes. Via ModernConservative, Carney-Nunes is senior vice president of The Jamestown Project, "the award-winning author of the children's books, I Am Barack Obama (2009)," and according to her biography, "a graduate of Harvard Law School, where she was a schoolmate of President Obama." I have e-mailed Carney-Nunes for comment as well.
August 24. User "deathtodiversity4" posts a 3-minute-and-1-second video of the schoolchildren -- headlined, "More Obama Indoctrination going on in schools" -- which includes background music and graphics of President Obama in Muslim garb and a nuclear explosion. The video is cited in a September 1 discussion on FreeRepublic.com.
September 6. User "alteredbeat" posts a 2-minute-and-24-second YouTube video -- an edited version of the longer deathtodiversity4 video -- with the title, "School kids taught to praise Obama." On September 24, alteredbeat posts an edited "School kids" video that has "[n]o background music." FoxNews.com, Drudge, and Malkin, among others, have linked to alteredbeat's videos. Both deathtodiversity4 and alteredbeat's September 6 videos have the same background music.
September 23, 2:11 p.m.: Malkin. Malkin posts the video and writes that "[s]everal readers have sent a link to this YouTube video of a group of schoolkids who memorized...an Obama rap."
September 23, 4:42 p.m.: NRO. National Review Online's Guy Benson posts the video under the headline, "Kidz4Change: Singing to Dear Leader."
September 23, 5:57 p.m.: HotAir.com. On the conservative blog HotAir.com, which was founded by Malkin, Allahpundit posts the YouTube video in a post headlined, "Video: Children sing songs of Obama's glory." HotAir.com links back to Malkin's and NRO's posts.
September 23, 6:50 p.m.: Drudge. The Drudge Report posts a link to the YouTube video under the headline, "SHOCK VIDEO: School kids taught to praise Obama..."
September 23, 9:21 p.m.: Gateway Pundit. The conservative blog Gateway Pundit posts the video under the headline, "Sick. School Children Taught to Sing Praises to Obama." Gateway Pundit adds, "Of course, we've seen this sort of thing before," and posts a picture of Chairman Mao. Fox News' Kelly has stated that the show she co-hosts, America's Newsroom, uses the blog, among other "conservative blogs," as a resource.
September 24, morning: Fox Nation. During the morning of September 24, FoxNation.com posts the video with the headline, "School Children Sing Songs of Obama's Glory." Fox Nation links back to HotAir.com's September 23 post.
September 24, morning: FoxNews.com. FoxNews.com posts an article with the headline, "Elementary School Students Reportedly Taught Songs Praising President Obama." While the FoxNews.com article does not include a timestamp, the first comment on the article -- "who are these children's parents?!!! brain washing CHILDREN!! this is satanic!!" -- was posted at 9:55 a.m. At 10:30 a.m., FoxNews.com made the video its top story:
At 12:25 p.m., FoxNews.com was updated with the large headline, "Indoctrination?"
September 24, 9:11 a.m.: Fox News. At approximately 9:11 a.m., America's Newsroom begins to air portions of the YouTube video and covers it as a "developing" story. Later during the program, Kelly said that the video "is getting attention on the Drudge Report website this morning."
September 24, 11 a.m. hour: Fox News' Glenn Beck claims on his radio show that the video shows "indoctrination," adding that "this should horrify the American people." Beck promises that he would also play the tape "tonight" on his Fox News show; FoxNews.com states of Beck's upcoming September 24 show: "Worried about indoctrination in our nation's schools? You should be!"
From America's Newsroom, which teased an upcoming segment on the video at 9:11 a.m.:
From America's Newsroom, which briefly teased an upcoming segment on the video at 9:27 a.m.:
From America's Newsroom at 9:36 a.m.:
School says "recording and distribution" of Black History Month activity "were unauthorized"
From Burlington Township School District superintendent Dr. Christopher M. Manno's September 24 letter to parents:
Dear Burlington Township Families:
Today we became aware of a video that was placed on the internet which has been reported in the media. The video is of a class of students singing a song about President Obama. The activity took place during Black History Month in 2009, which is recognized each February to honor the contributions of African Americans to our country. Our curriculum studies, honors and recognizes those who serve our country. The recording and distribution of the class activity were unauthorized.
If you have any further questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me or Dr. King, Principal of B. Bernice Young School, directly.
Dr. Christopher M. Manno,
Superintendent of Schools
From the September 24 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:
BILL HEMMER (co-host): Also, some schoolchildren singing a song about the president. And the verses are raising some questions for, well, the teachers and for that school. You'll hear the words and the song a bit later this hour.
KELLY: In the meantime, we are trying to get some answers about a video that is getting attention on the Drudge Report website this morning. It shows young children singing the praises, quite literally, of the president. Watch some of it:
KELLY: Well, information posted with the clip says that it is from the Bernice Young school in Burlington Township, New Jersey. But the school won't exactly confirm that for us. In fact, they won't confirm anything for us. We have made multiple attempts to ask them about these students, about this tape, and how this came about. We are hoping that they will get back to us shortly so that we can clear this up. Already we're getting a lot of emails from our viewers. It went on from there -- you saw a clip of the children singing. Then came a bit of a chant by the children where they praised President Obama for all his great accomplishments, saying, quote, "You're number one. Hooray, Mr. President, we're really proud of you." And on and on it goes.
You know, many parents would have no problem with this. Many parents would, and just don't want this sort of political cheerleading, if you will, in the classroom. We just don't know the details behind the tape, but it certainly caught our attention, and we're trying to find out from, again, from this school, which we have multiple calls into. The B. Bernice Young Elementary School -- Bernice Young Elementary School in Burlington, New Jersey. And as soon as we have it, you'll have it.