The mainstreaming of crazy

Phil Plait on Barack Obama's speech to schoolchildren yesterday, in Bad Astronomy:

ScreenHunter_11 Sep. 09 10.37 Seriously, read this whole speech. It’s inspiring, wonderful, and designed to inspire kids to stay in school, accept the responsibility of the education, learn things, and then go and and do good for the world.

Of course, there is a lunatic fringe in this country who will go ballistic about Obama no matter what he does; these are the ones saying the speech is indoctrinating children into accepting his socialist health care plan that will mutilate puppies and convert our elderly into Soylent Green. These people may be rabid racists, or simply mentally unbalanced, but we know for a rock solid fact that these people are utterly, completely wrong. Whatever you want to call them, it’s clear they are so far from the norm of the American people that they can’t even see the horizon from where they are. Simply reading the speech transcript shows that simply and clearly. But it’s also a fact that this subset of the population will always be with us.

But you know what? That doesn’t mean we have to give them a voice in the mainstream press. They have a right to their speech, but that doesn’t obligate anyone to pay attention to them, especially on the platform of national TV. I’m looking you right in the eye, Fox News. Not only do you give these people — factually wrong and provably so — a voice, you reiterate their comments and use your own voice to back them up.

This sort of thing mainstreams a view that is charitably called crazy. Again, I urge you to read Obama’s actual speech. It’s awesome, and something every kid should see and hear.

More here.