Fox News Hosts Criticize SpongeBob And Department Of Education Over 'Global Warming Agenda'
Steve Doocy and Gretchen Carlson aren't big fans of "SpongeBob SquarePants."
As MediaMatters reports, the "Fox & Friends" co-hosts on Wednesday attacked Nickelodeon, the network on which the show airs, for "pushing a global warming agenda."
"SpongeBob is talking a lot about global warming, and he's only looking at it from one point of view," Carlson said.
The criticism stems from a July 20 Department of Education event called "Let's Read! Let's Move!," which featured author Maya Soetoro-Ng (also President Obama's half sister), as well as NFL linebacker Chris Draft reading to students and encouraging them to exercise.
CNSNews.com, a conservative news site, reports that the students at the event received a book called "SpongeBob Goes Green! An Earth-Friendly Adventure."
UPDATE 4:56 p.m.
Justin Hamilton, press secretary at the U.S. Department of Education, told HuffPost that the Department of Eduction doesn’t generally provide the books, but rather corporate partners like Target, Nickelodeon and United Way make books available to kids.
“The kids get to pick whatever books they’re interested in,” he said. “We’re very happy that corporate sponsors have made good books available for kids to select and take home.”
Fox played a clip from what it said was a "SpongeBob SquarePants" cartoon shown to the students. The cartoon features the character Mr. Krabs saying, "Thanks to global warming, the temperature will soon go through the roof, and we'll have an endless summer."
Carlson said, "The government agency showed kids this cartoon and handed out books that blame man for global warming, but they did not tell kids that that is actually a disputed fact. Oops."
Doocey, her co-host, said:
"Clearly Nickelodeon is pushing a global warming agenda, and while there's no disputing the fact that the earth is getting a little warmer, the big question is, is it man made, or is it just one of those gigantic climactic phases that we're going [through]? ... For a while we're cold and then we get warmer and then we get colder and warmer, which one is it? There's science on both sides. There are a lot of scientists who say, 'It's this,' others say, 'It's that.'"
The Huffington Post's Tara Kelly recently reported on a study finding that conservative white men are most likely to "reject the scientific consensus on climate change."
A report featured in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that 97% of scientists believe in anthropogenic (human originating) climate change.
To be fair to the "Fox & Friends" hosts' concern over "SpongeBob SquarePants," Carlson admits that for her, the children's cartoon is "hard to follow sometimes."
UPDATE 3:53 p.m.
MediaMatters spoke to Tim Tuten at the Department of Education who said that no "SpongeBob SqaurePants" cartoons were shown during the July 20 event.
"We've never shown any videos ever, so I have no idea where that is coming from," he said. Tuten added that participants were permitted to choose one of dozens of diverse books to take home with them and the SpongeBob book was one of those options.
SpongeBob SquarePants isn't the only animation to recently upset some conservatives. "Cars 2," which is currently in theaters, came under fire earlier this summer from critics who called the movie "left wing propaganda."