A Stupid Made-for-TV Controversy

By Jim Wallis 9-08-2009

Cable news and the blogosphere heated up with a new controversy in the lead-up to a noon-time address that President Obama gave as a back-to-school message for students across the country. Jim Greer, Republican Party chairman of Florida, had this to say: "President Obama has turned to American's children to spread his liberal lies, indoctrinating American's youngest children before they have a chance to decide for themselves." A state legislator from Oklahoma said, "This is something you'd expect to see in North Korea or in Saddam Hussein's Iraq."

Let me be clear. I do not believe these statements are at all representative of the vast majority of Republicans or even conservative Republicans in our country today. The fact that what a state legislator from Oklahoma thinks makes national news shows just how far the media is stretching to find political leaders who will make such outrageous statements. News cycles thrive on controversy and the extreme, so those elements of our country are continuing to get more and more airtime.

This morning, conservative cable news host Joe Scarborough was fed up. "Republicans have so many things to talk about right now

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