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Saturday, May 14, 2005

Geekback: propaganda videos masquerading as science education videos.

I've found out a little more about the company that made the video I was complaining about in the 5/9 entry. They're called Hawkhill Associates and they actually have the cojones to put the scripts for their videos up online. Here's the script for the very video I was complaining about in the blog entry. Read it and tell me I was imagining bias.

I put up a query on DailyKOS looking for someone who might know more about these guys and whether they have direct ties to the GW Bush administration. I'm going to do some more digging myself.

I figure the Academic Senate at LAVC would be quite interested to know that a professor is using right-wing propaganda in their Biology class. Yes, most of the professors there do have a tilt towards left-of-center. Some are even unabashedly, unreconstructedly leftist. It's cool, it comes with the territory, and even the most dogmatic of them are reasonable enough to set their politics aside when they arrive at your grade. I was concerned I'd be penalized for my beliefs in one class, but my concern was unnecessary. I hope that my Bio 3 professor will be similarly good about setting her beliefs aside when she gives me my final grade in her class. I don't blame her for tilting rightward: she's from Communist China and I'm sure has had her run-ins with "true believers" who might not share her views. I suppose it's fortunate, in this case, that she's here. However, these videos from Hawkhill are another matter entirely.

Teaching materials should not tilt either rightward or leftward: they should be as objective and free from political bias as possible. If one cannot distill an apolitical viewpoint from the material, one should endeavor to show both sides without comment. Raw sources are better than "cooked" in any event, be they leftward or rightward leaning. The videos from Hawkhill Associates are unacceptably "cooked" and should at least be presented with a little background stating that they do have a definite point of view. That's all I want to see.