On the naughty step - Conduct that deserves a ticking off

9th December 2011 at 00:00

This week: Fox News

Strictly speaking, this tale doesn't contain any direct reference to schools or teachers. But it does involve children. And brainwashing, communists and Muppets, so surely we can be excused this little detour away from our core constituency. This week's nomination therefore for the Naughty Step is the US's Fox News, Rupert Murdoch's ever-so-slightly-right-wing cable network.

Why, you ask? Last week, anchor Eric Bolling decided to tell his audience of millions that the new Muppets movie, imaginatively called The Muppets, is not, in fact, a lighthearted bit of family fun. Oh no, it is actually a communist plot designed to brainwash children against successful businessmen - all because the baddie is an oil baron with designs on the Muppets' theatre.

"Liberal Hollywood depicting a successful businessman as 'evil' - that's not new," Mr Bolling said with a straight face. "What's actually going on there? Is liberal Hollywood using class warfare to brainwash our kids?" His guest Dan Gainor went further. "They've been doing it for decades. Hollywood - they hate the oil industry, they hate corporate America."

Where were Mr Bolling and Mr Gainor when JR Ewing was besmirching the good reputation of oilmen everywhere in the Eighties? Their humour failure is extraordinary, and it is for that reason they can spend some time thinking about what they've done on the trusty Naughty Step.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today