This morning on Fox News there was a segment featuring two Girl Scouts who had initiated an ambitious campaign to save endangered orangutans. Madison Vorva and Rhiannon Tomtishen were researching the project when they discovered that the palm oil used to make the famous Girl Scout Cookies was a major factor in the depletion of the rainforest that is the orangutan’s habitat. Thus began their effort to get the Girl Scouts to find an alternative to the palm oil in the cookies.
Anchor Jon Scott complimented the girls saying that “You’ve got quite a story to tell and quite a determined nature to take into college. […] Congratulations. I’m sure the orangutans are very happy.” Co-host Jenna Lee effusively praised them and suggested that they be “signed up” right away.
This would seem seem like a rather typical, albeit inspiring, human interest story for most news organizations, but for Fox News there is always something nasty squirming beneath the surface. And the nasty squirmer is frequently Glenn Beck. On May 6, these industrious Girls Scouts were cited by Beck in an entirely different, and decidedly negative, context.
In a program about “Indoctrination in the Classroom,” Beck runs through a list of incidents involving young activists that he portrayed as reckless and insubordinate. I covered the program at the time noting Beck’s animosity toward youth in general. His targets included students in Tucson who protested the elimination of Mexican-American studies classes. He also criticized a group of young environmentalists who are taking action to protect the environment that they will inherit. And he had this to say about the little troublemakers who were messing with his cookies:
Beck: “We also have two Girl Scouts in Michigan leading a campaign against their organization’s cookies saying the heavy use of palm oil contributes to destroying the rain forest and killing endangered species like orangutans.
“Keep killing the orangutans. The cookies are yummy.”
What a jerk! Here are the two girls, to whom Beck was being so arrogantly disrespectful. They hardly deserve that sort of treatment. In fact, they have been remarkably successful in getting the Girl Scouts to address their concerns. Yet Beck still laments the devolution of schools where he now believes that “our children are not only being short-changed, they are being turned in to slaves eventually.” He goes on to complain that “They are removing God and the Bible out of schools and replacing him or it with intellectual neutrality.”
Intellectual neutrality in an academic institution? Oh, the horror! The only place I see slavery being imposed is by the likes of Beck who think that kids should keep their mouths shut and refrain from committing themselves to improving their world. Even Beck’s colleagues, Scott and Lee, applaud these young activists. Here’s hoping that Madison and Rhiannon continue to speak out and provide a positive role model to other young people.