The disgustingly sanctimonious Howard Dean gave a lecture at Carnegie Mellon University on March 24 wherein he once again attacked Fox News calling it a propagandist arm of the Republican Party that lies to the American people.
Ironically, during his one hour speech, the former Vermont governor committed some laughable whoppers of his own (multi-segment video follows with commentary, apologies in advance for problems in the original recording):
This first segment was the typical, run-of-the-mill nonsense from Dean about Hillary Clinton's vast right-wing conspiracy and how Rush Limbaugh is just today's Father Coughlin.
Moments later, Dean went after Fox News saying that the difference between it and MSNBC isn't bias because all news outlets have some form of bias, which I agree with.
However, he then claimed, "What Fox News says is often not true, and they know it's not true and they say it anyway. It is not a news organization. It is a very expensive, incredibly well-funded, right-wing propaganda organization."
Dean continued to drive this point home claiming that the reason so many Fox viewers believed Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11 was because "they were lied to every single day on virtually every program on Fox News."
To give his audience an idea of what he considers real news, Dean actually said CBS's Katie Couric is balanced.
And then the lies began.
"The top one percent of Americans owns twice as much as the percentage of America than they did 20 years ago, and that of course has to come from somebody else, and it comes from the people who aren't in the top one percent."
Nonsense. The reason people at the top have seen such huge wealth gains in the past 20 to 30 years is because of an increase in stock, commodity, and real estate prices. This is what they invest in, and those investments - despite several bubble bursts - have done extremely well.
It really is a disgusting myth foisted upon the society by America's liberals that the rich take from the poor. The rich don't think about how to get money from the poor because the poor don't have any money to take.
But Dean was just getting warmed up, for he next claimed Republicans controlled the House and the Senate for six years while George W. Bush was President.
I guess Dean forgot that while he was governor of Vermont, a Republican Senator from his state by the name of Jim Jeffords defected from the GOP on May 24, 2001, giving the Democrats back the Senate.
As such, Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress less than 4 1/2 years while Bush was in the White House.
But why should the holier-than-thou Dean know what happened in his very state right under his very nose?
Next, he claimed that in 2008, more people under the age of 35 voted than over the age of 35.
Unbelievable nonsense. As you can see from the exit polls, 36 percent of voters that year were 39 and younger; 64 percent were 40 and older.
What Dean told these students wasn't even close to the truth.
But his biggest lie was still to come, as in the final segment of our video, Dean said, "Charter schools were a creation of the Right. Charter schools were created originally to maintain segregation in the South to avoid the anti-discrimination stuff that was coming out of the courts, and then to attack the teachers unions."
Really? Well, that's not the way Wikipedia records the history of charter schools:
The charter school idea in the United States was originated by Ray Budde, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and embraced by Albert Shanker, President of the American Federation of Teachers, in 1988 when he called for the reform of the public schools by establishing "charter schools" or "schools of choice". At the time, a few schools already existed that were not called charter schools but embodied some of their principles, such as H-B Woodlawn. As originally conceived, the ideal model of a charter school was as a legally and financially autonomous public school (without tuition, religious affiliation, or selective student admissions) that would operate much like a private business—free from many state laws and district regulations, and accountable more for student outcomes rather than for processes or inputs (such as Carnegie Units and teacher certification requirements).
Minnesota was the first state to pass a charter school law in 1991. California was second, in 1992.
So, the concept was created by a Massachusetts professor and not in the South for racist reasons. As for the intent to attack the teachers' unions, the president of the AFT was involved.
Clearly, Dean just made this whole thing up.
In case you're wondering if Wikipedia got it right, here's what USCharterSchools.org claims is the history of such educational facilities:
The term "charter" may have originated in the 1970s when New England educator Ray Budde suggested that small groups of teachers be given contracts or "charters" by their local school boards to explore new approaches. Albert Shanker, former president of the AFT, then publicized the idea, suggesting that local boards could charter an entire school with union and teacher approval. In the late 1980s Philadelphia started a number of schools-within-schools and called them "charters." Some of them were schools of choice. The idea was further refined in Minnesota where charter schools were developed according to three basic values: opportunity, choice, and responsibility for results.
In 1991 Minnesota passed the first charter school law, with California following suit in 1992.
A 2005 New York Times piece about Budde also confirmed this:
Dr. Budde, a former assistant professor at the school of education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, first suggested the term "charter" for use in education in the 1970's to describe a novel contracting arrangement designed to support the efforts of innovative teachers within the public school system. He long opposed the later idea that charter schools could be an alternative to public education.
The charter arrangement could result in a new type of school, Dr. Budde said, that would give teachers increased responsibility over curriculum and instruction in exchange for a greater degree of accountability for student achievement.
In 1988, Dr. Budde elaborated on the concept in a book, "Education by Charter: Restructuring School Districts" (Learning Innovations). Dr. Budde illustrated his points with a model school system that allowed groups of teachers to receive charters from the school board, granting them the authority to manage schools and try new educational approaches within the existing structure of their home districts.
As the charter school movement gained followers across the country and progressed, it expanded to include schools operating outside the mainstream public school administration.
As such, Dean was dead-wrong about charter schools originally being a racist idea that was also used to attack the teachers' unions.
Add it up, and in the course of only 60 minutes, Dean told at least four complete lies to this audience made up largely of college students.
And he's got the nerve to point fingers at Fox News.
For those interested, here's Dean's entire speech:
(H/T The Blaze)
*****Update: I received the following email message Monday from Eric Premack, the founder and Executive Director of the Charter Schools Development Center. Published with his permission:
Saw your post regarding Howard Dean's inaccurate comments regarding the origins of the charter schools concept in my press clippings this morning.
The historical background on the chartered schools concept is not well documented and the role of Albert Shanker and Ray Budde are a bit overstated. Nonetheless, as one of the primary advocates of the chartered schools concept since its inception, I can attest to the fact that the concept has enjoyed broad, bipartisan support since the get-go.
Minnesota's charter law, the first in the nation in 1992, was authored by Ember Reichgott, a prominent Democratic state senator from suburban Minneapolis. The second charter law, in California, was authored by Gary K. Hart (not to be confused with Colorado's Gary Hart), a Democrat who represented the Santa Barbara area. In subsequent years, I worked closely with many other Democratic legislators and governors in states such as Colorado (Peggy Kearns and Roy Romer), Florida (Joe Tedder), New Jersey, Texas, Ohio, North Carolina, and in the District of Columbia who authored and championed the chartered schools concept. During his presidency, Bill Clinton was a major booster of the chartered schools concept along with the centrist think-tank the Democratic Leadership Council.
Mr. Dean gets an "F" in history this week.