Just one day after Sean Hannity held himself up as a standard bearer for journalistic integrity, he and FOX News embarked on a smear campaign against a new NYC public school that will focus on Middle Eastern studies. An article in the New York Sun (hardly a liberal publication) makes clear that the school will be neither politically nor religiously oriented. Yet Hannity and FOX repeatedly called it a Muslim school and deliberately tried to depict it as a training ground for terrorists. With video.
As the New York Sun reported, the Khalil Gibran International Academy, a public secondary school, will focus on culture, not the region's political conflicts.
"The school will not be a vehicle for political ideology," a Department of Education spokesman, David Cantor, said of the Khalil Gibran International Academy, due to open this September in Brooklyn.
As for the sorts of topics the school will cover, the CEO of the Office of New Schools, Garth Harries, gave as an example a math lesson plan that would mention that an Arabic mathematician invented the concept of zero.
"It's going to follow Department of Education regulations," the director of the Arab-American Family Support Center, Lena Alhusseini, who helped design the school, said. "It's going to be exactly like all the schools in the city, the same curriculum."
But Hannity and FOX News repeatedly referred to it as a Muslim school and implied that it will cater to extremists-in-training. In one teaser, Hannity called it an "all Muslim school" being funded by tax dollars. While he spoke, B roll footage showed scenes from 9/11 in a not-so-subtle effort to tie the school to terrorists. In another teaser, a chyron read, "Islam 101?" as Hannity claimed New York was "blurring the line between separation of church and state." In yet another, Hannity asked, "Will this be the breeding ground for radicals?" The chyron said, "Funding fatwa?"