When President Barack Obama met with a group of outstanding Boy Scouts in the Oval Office a few weeks ago to discuss policies affecting Scouting, and especially policies affecting children, teen agers and young adults in the U.S., very few conservative sites thought it important to cover. Let’s be more precise: No conservative Obama critics, nor much of anyone else, bothered to cover it. I’d love to see links even of local media in the Scouts’ hometowns that printed a story or photo.
To the credit of the White House, neither did the press promote the meeting as a political point. Scouting prefers not to be a political football, and Scouting policy asks that Scouts avoid even looking like politicking while in uniform. (Scouts are encouraged to participate in the political process, including through the three citizenship merit badges, which encourage Scouts to communicate their concerns about policy to elected representatives, while working for the merit badge and in the future as participating citizens.)
2010 is a grand year for Scouting. It’s the centennial of Scouting’s coming to the United States. There’s a special Scout Jamboree, being held at Fort A. P. Hill in Virginia (the last time the Jamboree will be held on federal property — that’s another story for another time). It’s always fun when presidents come to the Jamboree and speak, but it’s not always possible.
But today, news comes that President Obama will send a video speech to the Scouts at the Jamboree, as has been done sometimes in the past. Many of us are disappointed that President Obama will not appear in person; but some of us who have experience scheduling such things know that elected officials cannot make every appearance they would like to. Presidential schedules in the modern world are particularly difficult; for an appearance at Fort A. P. Hill security must be imposed (even on a Scouting event), aircraft landing sites need to be arranged and secured . . . dealing with more than 30,000 Scouts becomes an onerous task.
Still, we’re disappointed.
Adding to that disappointment, comes now a group of harpy Obama critics, no friends of Scouting that I can determine, but anxious to claim this scheduling decision as some sort of snub to Scouting, and to the American flag.
Media Matters has the facts, and puts the scheduling stuff into perspective, “Overhyped conservative nonsense of the Day: Obama hates the Boy Scouts.” Update: Blue Wave News has it in perspective. Wonkette’s satire, unfortunately, goes awry, but her heart and brain are in the right places.
The snub is by those critics who attempt to turn Scouting into a political football. The insults are all from them.
Shame on them, collectively and individually:
- The right-wing CNS News (CNS makes a bad habit of reporting only trouble or events involving homosexuals in Scouting) (I’m disappointed to find even a biased outlet moderating comments to favor only anti-President, inflammatory comments.)
- Howler monkey daily howling order site Meme-orandum
- Scared Monkeys (are they howlers?)
- Weasel Zippers (who then, curiously, uses a poster that appears to ridicule Scouting’s uniforms and Michelle Obama’s youth initiatives, with a disgusting comparison to Hitler Youth (Godwin’s Law applies, yes))
- Gateway Pundit at the formerly-Christian-oriented First Things
- Left Coast Rebel
- No Sheeples Here (no coverage of Scouting in any earlier post)
- Instaputz wins no merit badges, nor honors, either — double shame on that site.
- Political Junkie Mom
- Liberal Whoppers
- The News Factor, an online conservative news magazine
- Glenn Beck (yeah, Boy Scouting is the youth program for young men in the Mormon Church, but remember, Beck is a convert, and didn’t grow up with ethics taught to him every week; still . . .)
- Fox News (Fox did cover the 100th Anniversary in the last few days, twice, and they deserve credit for that — they don’t cover Scouting enough, but give them credit where credit is due)
- Aptly named Hot Air
Update: We’re going to have to add on a wing to accommodate the Wall of Shame:
- Just One Minute got suckered in
- Cassy Fiano pushes the nonsense
- One Dude from Utah
- Disrupt the Narrative tells the false version (added 8-9-2010)
- My Country Matters got the story wrong, too (8-9-2010)
- A Scouter’s Journey unfortunately relies on erroneous reporting (8-9-2010)
- Michelle Malkin continues to blacken Scouting’s eye, touting Scouts behaving badly (added 8-9-2010)
- Gateway Pundit, a notorious non-supporter of Scouting, at First Things, a notoriously luke-warm on Scouting site, blackens Scouting’s eye (8-9-2010)
- Bluegrass Pundit punches Scouting in the eye (8-9-2010)
- Proof Positive, with a false Churchill quote in the masthead, punches Scouting in the eye again (8-9-2010)
- InfoWars makes Scouts look bad (8-9-2010)
- Der Jagger’s Blog, apparently dedicated to making Scouts look bad
I’ll wager none of those authors bothers to volunteer for Scouting. I’d be surprised (and disappointed) to discover any were Scouts. Scouting wouldn’t revoke their citizenship merit badges, but they’ve forgotten them, if they ever earned them.
Scouting faces severe hurdles these days, some of them I would say were placed by poobahs at the top of Scouting; these guys listed above are not helping.
Here are some tests to see which of these blogs and pundit outlets is friendly to Scouting: Which of them covered the award, this morning of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award to Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee? Which of them covered the dedication of the U.S. Postal Service’s stamp honoring the Scouting Centennial, today? As of this moment, I can find no media coverage of these things at all, even by local media.
Why do these pundits cover Scouting only when it gives them a chance to make an unfair shot at a politician they don’t like? Seriously, who is doing disservice to Scouting, and the nation?
Good news about Scouting’s 100th Year, and the Jamboree:
- “A Scout is Courteous: A chorus of hellos from the National Scout Jamboree,” Daniel M. Reck
- Jamboree Today on twitter, Jamboree Today on Facebook
- Washington Post gallery of photos on Scouting Centennial Parade in Washington, D.C.