Mike Huckabee set pundits ablaze last week when his "Learn Our History: TimeCycle Academy" released an educational animated video for kids about the 9/11 attacks, in time for its 10th anniversary.
Critics mostly aren't happy that the former governor of Arkansas is trying to profit from the deadliest Stateside attack, nor are they pleased that the video associates terrorism to Islam.
"You, probably like me, are frustrated that so many kids don't have a clue about the real American history and how great a country we really have," Huckabee told The 700 Club's Pat Robertson last week, adding that the video aims to show that "American history is very positive, that this is a good country."
A preview of the cartoon shows nearly two minutes of an animated retelling of 9/11 with patriotic maxims, dramatic music and strong portrayals of al Qaeda. At one point, an animated Osama bin Laden throws his hand in the air, proclaiming, "death to the Americans."
The full video costs $9.95 plus shipping and handling, and comes with a money-back guarantee with four gifts. Huckabee co-founded Learn Our History, whose goal is "to make learning history fun for kids," according to the company website.
"This special introductory episode teaches your kids valuable concepts including helping others, being heroic, protecting America and standing up to evil!" an ad reads.
The site also cites three satisfied customers:
"My daughter was just an infant when 9/11 happened, and it's always been hard for me to try and explain why we were attacked. But this video really helped me to show her what happened and what American did about it in a way she could understand. -- Robyn B., Ventura, CA."
But others aren't so sure. MSNBC's Martin Bashir noted that retired New York City fire chief Jim Riches, whose firefighter son died on September 11, finds that "the September 11 profit motive is simply disgusting."
"I'd like to see the kids from 9/11 whose fathers died go to college, not have to pay a nickel, let's educate them the right way, not for a person to take the money and put it in their pocket," Riches said. "I think that's blood money, it'll come back to haunt them someday."
Riches and MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell, among others, also argue that teaching about 9/11 as a historical event should be left to teachers and schools.
In response, Huckabee wrote an e-mail to supporters last week in a push for his video, urging them not to "let the liberal media tell you how to educate your kids. They deserve to understand the truth, even though the media and educational establishment will fight like crazy to keep them from knowing it," CBS News reports.
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