Yes, it's another Obama-related lie at WorldNetDaily. This time, surprisingly, the lie isn't about Barack Obama himself, and it can be plausibly argued that the culprit is general stupidity and shoddy reporting rather than the outright malice that colors most of WND's anti-Obama coverage and causes it to disregard basic concepts of truth in reporting.
An Oct. 14 article rewrites a blog post by an anonymous (of course) person claiming to the parent of a student in Racine, Wis., whose son allegedly had a eighth-grade literature textbook that "laud[ed] Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's "change" theme and highlighting his 2004 Democratic National Convention as an example of good literature."WND repeatedly calls this section of the textbook an "article."
In fact, it appears to be a segement of Obama's 2004 speech to the Democratic National Convention. The picture of the first page of the speech segment on the blog post indicates that the speech is in the textbook for analysis purposes by students. One text segment is called "Focus on Form"; another asks, "What words or prhases help you know that this is a speech?"
But WND never bothers to specifically identify this text as Obama's speech. Instead, it baselessly claims that the textbook publisher is "promot[ing] Obama's 'literature'"and it uncritically quotes the anonymousmother smearing Obama:"Honestly, what has Obama really done to be included in this book?"
The article doesn't get around to mentioning until the 12th paragraph that according to the textbook's publisher, "the Obama article was included because of "an editorial decision" that was made before Obama announced his candidacy, and it was deleted from versions of the book after that announcement." And it not until another five paragraphs later that WND vaguely hints at the larger purpose of the textbook by stating that the publisher "makes available on its website a CD featuring his speech in 2004. The CD also has speeches from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Clinton and Laura Bush to teach children about public speaking, 'both when it's effective and when it fails.'"
WND never bothers to explore the actual purpose the textbook. From the publisher's page on it:
McDougal Littell Literature invites students to explore the world of art, literature, and life’s big questions.
The unique organization around clusters of standards allows for the teaching of major literary concepts across genre. Standards that belong together are taught together. Students analyze fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, and media across clusters of standards. Special features support visual and media literacy, along with research strategies.
Sample pages from the book include the classic O. Henry short story "The Ransom of Red Chief," which is used to examine the literary device of conflict and resolution, using an shot from a Road Runner cartoon to illustrate the story's concept of things not going according to plan. Another invokes "Back to the Future" to examine movie plots, settings and visual techniques.
In other words, the textbook attempts to invoke popular culture as a way of engaging students in the study of literature. The Obama speech is likely in there as an example of a good speech that is worth examining for its structural elements.
Remember -- most, if not all, of the employees of WorldNetDaily either homeschool their children or send them to private Christian academies. They have never encountered a modern textbook used in public -- er, "government schools" except for purposes of cherry-picking purportedly offensive passages, as is done here.
WND, with its obsessive Obama-hate, will never concede that near-universal opinion that Obama gave an excellent speech in 2004 and will never accept the idea that it was added to the textbook for any reason other than to "promote" Obama.
And as a capper, the WND article adds:
WND columnist Jack Cashill, meanwhile, has documented evidence that Obama didn't even write the book published under his name, "Dreams from My Father." Cashill suggests the author actually was Weather Underground radical Bill Ayers, whose relationship with Obama has become a contentious issue on the campaign trail.