Friday, July 20, 2007

"Mr. Rogers is an evil man."

From Fox News:

I don't think that this video is saying what people in the YouTube comments think it's saying. They think Fox News is hating on Mr. Rogers. I think Fox News is using excessive comic overstatement. Whether or not a "news program" should be engaging in extreme sarcasm is a question left for other entries, but I will say that if you're trying to be "fair and balanced", this isn't it.

The commentators seem to be under the effects of a logical fallacy. They know that today's youth and adults have a large sense of entitlement. They see footage of Mr. Rogers telling each kid that they are special and unique. The commentators conclude that American children have been taught by Mr. Rogers to believe that everything should be handed to them on a silver platter. Quod erat demonstrandum! Or perhaps post hoc ergo propter hoc.

If Fox News is going to convince me that Mr. Rogers is the root of a pervasive sense of no obligations, they're going to have to do better than a poorly-formed straw man attack. No doubt, my doubt is as a result of my liberal bias.

Or perhaps, for balance's sake, they should mention that the Bible has the same problems. All this business about being "wonderfully made" and "before your birth, God knew and loved you": all that sounds like exactly the same thing Mr. Rogers is saying. Which makes sense, seeing as Mr. Rogers was a minister. The Bible reaches many more hundreds of thousands of people than Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood ever will.

So maybe the more appropriate and fundamental question is: does teaching the Bible make children have an over-inflated sense of entitlement?

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