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Monday, March 5, 2007
Unruh Doesn't Know His History (And He's Still Hurling the Nazi Smear)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Feb. 28 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh claimed that a German "consul general" defended "3rd Reich homeschooling prohibition being used now to justify the imprisonment of a 15-year-old student." But all it appears Unruh did is copy-and-paste from a pro-homeschooling website; there's no indication that he verified what was posted on the website with German officials. This continues Unruh's policy of not independently verifying that any of the things alleged to have occurred regarding the "imprisonment" of the student have, in fact, occurred.

(Indeed, a Feb. 25 article by Unruh alleging that the German government has asked the family involved to "give up custody of their other five children" (histrionic italics his) cites only a pro-homeschooling source for the claim and does not note any attempt to contact German governmental officials to corroborate.)

But assuming it is genuine, Unruh misportrayed it. While he portrayed it as a "3rd Reich homeschooling prohibition" -- thus once again suggesting that anyone who criticizes homeschoolers is a Nazi -- the letter states:

Mandatory school attendance was first introduced in Germany in 1919 under the constitution of the Weimar Republic to guarantee education for all, especially socially disadvantaged families.

The Weimar Republic is not the same thing as the Third Reich, coming several years before Hitler took power. Yet not only does Unruh offer any evidence to contradict this, he goes on to repeat a claim by a pro-homeschooling magazine that "one of the first acts by Hitler when he moved into power was to create the governmental Ministry of Education and give it control of all schools, and school-related issues." But if mandatory public education was instituted prior to Hitler's ascent, this is irrelevant, other than to, again, tar anyone who disagrees with Unruh and his pro-homeschooling ideologues as Nazis.

This is what happens when reporters like Unruh become advocates instead of journalists -- they become so dedicated to their cause that only one side of the story is told, and the truth gets left by the wayside.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:06 AM EST

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