Propaganda as Education: The Left’s Long March Through Children’s Television Continues


Elmo changes from red to green…hmmm.

After the cultural terrorism of the environmentalist group 1010s exploding children, one could be forgiven for asking “what next?”  Indeed, it seems that the longer one lives (I was born in 1959), the farther and deeper the intellectual, psychological, and moral corruption wrought by the Left’s politicization of virtually everything penetrates and takes root within our cultural environment.  Nothing, ultimately, is spared the relentless tectonic drive of ideology.

With the Green Dragon still prowling about, and as yet another record breaking winter makes Gisele’s Green Team don their winter gear as they fight the capitalist evils of creeping development and strip mining, the pop cultural Left’s interest in the impressionable minds of American children continues.

So here we are at the end of the first decade of the 21st century, and its finally happened.  The venerable “Sesame Street” has “gone green.”   A new two year curriculum known as “My World is Green and Growing,” intended to celebrate the show’s 40th season, is now in the works.  But this is only the tip of the CO2 laden melting iceberg.  In point of fact,  “Sesame Street” has been somewhat “green” for quite sometime, as have a number of other “old school” children’s programs, as a recent Huffington Post article makes clear.

Why would the HuffPo wish to remind us now of the historical politicization of children’s television?  Why, as 2011 is upon us, is the HuffPo interested in pointing out to us the “green” aspects of a 20-year-old “Sesame Street” episode?  Could it be that, after years of unusually long and harsh winters, the long, progressive empirical demolition of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) hypothesis, and two years after the revelations of the Climategate emails and computer code, the pop cultural Left perceives the need to double down on the all pervasive theme of “green” this and “green” that?

The very first sentence in the Huffington Post‘s recent article on the greening of children’s “educational” programming is perhaps as startlingly revealing as anything numerous conservative/libertarian intellectuals have long been saying about the overall meaning and intellectual origins of the environmental movement:

Teaching kids about the environment is most effective when they’re unaware that they’re being taught…

Well…yes, and this is true as well of innumerable concepts and beliefs when they comprise the kind of dissemination of ideas we call propaganda. The term “propaganda” doesn’t necessarily imply poor arguments, wrong beliefs, or intellectual deception.   I may propagandize for true beliefs and I may use rigorous, critical argumentation in my propaganda.  What it does connote, under most circumstances in which it is used,  is a form of idea dissemination the purpose of which is to influence attitudes, beliefs, and ultimately, behavior in the name of a cause or ideological vision.

Even more critical here is the dissemination of ideas in the guise of education to influence attitudes and assumptions about various aspects of the world that come from worldview specific movements such as environmentalism.  Such movements seek to indoctrinate others – including intellectually uncritical children – into that worldview, not simply to provide “education” about otherwise unremarkable phenomena.

The HuffPo piece provide 7 examples here, from Sesame Street’s green growing world, to “Widget the World Watcher” (a show with an uncanny resemblance to the new Gisele and the Green Team), and Bill Nye the AGW guy’s leftist cause activism.  Some of these shows provided “green” themed episodes, while others (Captain Planet etc.) were entirely ideological in nature.

Nye himself stands out not for any particular episode of his popular show but for his general background of issue advocacy.  Nye was a member of the advisory board of the leftist advocacy group the Union of Concerned Scientists from 1979 to 2009, and an active promulgator of global warming ideology (see the distinguished climate scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen surgically dismantle Nye here).

And yet, with all of this, could even Elmo have really “gone green?”  Yes, and an article at the very fashionably green National Geographic Web site tells us, again in revealing terms, what motivates the new “two year curriculum”:

…the show’s producers hope that children who develop positive feelings about the environment at a young age will grow up to be advocates for the earth. Truglio explained that ”when you love something, you want to take care of it.”

Yes, and the rest of us want very much to take care of our children’s minds and want to ensure that, when we are gone, they will still be living in a free, prosperous, and civil society governed by both the rule of law and endowed by their creator with those pesky inalienable rights that stand, like towering glaciers, between the Left and its better world.