July 5th, 2007
03:11 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama: Lack of education lets people be ‘hoodwinked’ by ‘wrong’ talk shows

Obama spoke at the National Education Association convention Thursday.

(CNN) – It was a speech on education, but Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama ended up wading into the controversy over talk shows and politics Thursday.

The remarks came as Senator Obama addressed the National Education Association convention in Philadelphia. Obama was discussing the impact of education on the economy and America’s standing in the world when he said, “It’s not just about competitiveness, by the way. When we are not educating our children, we are not educating the next generation of citizens.”

In comments that were not on his prepared text released to the media, Obama added, “It’s part of the reason our young people aren’t necessarily involved in politics. Or when they are, they end up watching the wrong talk shows. They watch the wrong cable shows. They get bamboozled and hoodwinked. We need to raise a new generation of citizens.”

- CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Pete, Tarpon Springs, FL

    Finally a correct statement by the young Senator, media has been responsible for the demise of America’s education. We accept “no child left behind” which translates into expel and get rid of them before they take a “taught test”. We have networks such as FOX who shows the most provocative shows on network television and dares to proclaim that they have fair and balanced news. An administration and a congress act as they were part of the WWE. I am not a fan of the Senator but I am proud he said it!


    July 5, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. Ernie, North Truro, MA

    Your headline and first sentence make Obama sound like s snob. Heis talking about THE VULNERABILITY OF kids and only near the end of the piece do we find that out. Looks to me like a CNN bamboozle attempt.

    July 5, 2007 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  3. mountain man Longmont, CO

    So he's blaming the teachers for the growth of right wing talk radio? Not sure he's got his facts straight there.

    July 5, 2007 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  4. Erik

    Are you kidding me with this nonsense story. It seems to me that CNN is trying to be just like every other so called FAIR AND BALANCED network. What do you guys have against Obama?! Every thing you report about him has a negative slant against him! Obama is right America needs the real facts not a network hoping to create controversy in the stories they report. Could it be that the moneymakers in media fear true reform. Are you afraid that your careers and bank account will suffer when Obama lays down the law on ethics in media when he is president?

    I always thought of CNN as the only network that had good reporting but I was wrong! All you want to do is make money twist and misrepresent the stories you post. I pray Obama will win so all of you so called journalist will see integrity, honesty, hard work and class out ways a resume! I’m becoming really disappointed in this network. Someone please tell me where I can go to get real honest unbiased news!

    July 5, 2007 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  5. Erik

    (CNN) –" It was a speech on education, but Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama ended up wading into the controversy over talk shows and politics Thursday".

    The job of the media is to report the news and not give their opinion! This is wrong not matter who you want to vote for!

    New Caption:
    (The Viewers) It was lack of integrity and bad reporting that got CNN in ratings trouble as their loyal viewers start to tune out!

    July 5, 2007 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  6. Joey Bailey, Maryville, Tennessee

    Let's see here. First Air America goes bankrupt and then wants the FCC to guarantee that they can have shows and air time. Second, Elizabeth Edwards calls into a national talkshow and rips Ann Coulter because she exercises her FREE SPEECH right about Edwards' husband. Third, Obama basically rips more than half the nation (that he wants to lead as President) for being so damn stupid that we listen to right-wing talk shows. I wonder if anyone of the liberal/Democratic persuasion has even read the US Constitution, that they hope to uphold and defend should they win the Presidential election of 2008. Please, show me one that can say that they have read it.

    July 5, 2007 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  7. Cassie, Suwanee, GA

    So, Mr. Obama thinks "uneducated"
    citizens are watching the "wrong talk shows". It seems to me that folks are now getting another side of the story that the traditional media has spun for years. I don't see Mr. Obama going on any of these talk shows he so readily condems to defend/explain any of his positions. Could he be frightened that he'll be asked some really tough questions?

    July 5, 2007 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  8. Glenn, Birmingham, Al

    Obama is talking about the Clinton's base when he says uninformed. He isn't just aiming at Fox & AP when he says wrong talk shows either. He's trying to point that voters need to look at the facts not the sound bits. By teaching our children to read at home they will get a head start at school. He isn't blaming the teachers he's blaming us. It isn't a teachers job to do anything but teach the subject she is responsible for. Its the parents job to make sure they have a rounded education. He makes sense & does make points that will help us reshape a bad education system. He also voted against the war.

    July 5, 2007 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  9. Aaron, Minneapolis, Minnesota

    I don't think he's blaming teachers. If anything, he's blaming the "No Child Left Behind" Act, which forces teachers to teach to a test rather than providing a balanced education.

    If teachers were able to spend 5 minutes a day on what happened in politics, kids wouldn't have to base their opinions on talk shows that never actually talk about anything.

    July 5, 2007 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  10. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Face it– the vast majority of Americans are dumber than a stone and proud of it. Just read the blogs here or on the Politico, and they are two rather high-end outlets.

    July 5, 2007 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  11. Ralph, San Deigo, CA

    The Senator is NOT talking about the "no child left behind" law. He is talking about the education or children are getting outside of the classroom. Our kids are watching Oprah, Jerry Springer, MTV etc and making real live decision based on what they are "learning" from these shows. We are prvoding them the required "formal" education without truly educating them on the realities of life.

    July 6, 2007 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  12. Wayne Bell, Murray, KY

    Did anyone ask the Senator to name the wrong talk and cable shows? Does he think the purpose of education is to train the kids about the proper perspective for them to take?

    July 6, 2007 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  13. Will - Miami, FL

    Interesting that he's blaming "lack of education". Consider this: The liberals depend on votes from the "uneducated" welfare base. Without a lower-class (aka poor, dumb victims of the public school system that is run almost exclusively by liberals and unions), liberals could not get enough votes to be in power. If most people were well educated and were capable of getting decent jobs, there would not be many people that liked the idea of punative taxes on people that earned good money. Without those punative taxes, the government would not have the money to spend on welfare programs (mind you, there would be very little need for welfare)...

    Yea Obama, say that poor people should not listen to talk radio. We know that you only want them listening to a socialist government. You'll take care of them just like they've always been taken care of. Heck, you'll even get Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to help...

    July 6, 2007 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  14. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    How come Obama knows so much about education? Why young people aren't necessarilly involved in politics? Yourself involved Presidential candidate as immature politician. You said you are ready, they think they are fresh and ready too. How could be so sure they end up watching the wrong talk shows? Is yours only right shows? You know surely why don't you tell us which cable show is wrong and right. You told us publically that we need to raise our new generation of citizens, it is common sense. Parents, teachers and society will take care of their children. If you really care about our Country's future I wish you to help those young and adult African American criminals first, our country will be much peaceful, otherwise how can you say you are ready to lead this country? You need to show your ability first and prove that you are not a wordy person to Americans. If you prove it people will vote you before you beg.

    July 6, 2007 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  15. Mary, Beaver, PA

    Wow, what a concept! Is the Senator suggesting that children should be taught to think?

    July 6, 2007 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  16. Zachary, Washington, DC

    Sen. Obama is simply stating that – as unfortunate as this is – a lack of proper education will lead to a generation of citizens unable and unwilling to think for themselves (i.e., hoodwinked and bamboozled into believing simply what they are told and have not chosen for themselves). Watching news and talk shows is not an accurate way to form your own opinion, because those shows are themselves simply opinions. People should interpret for themselves the original message from the original source. And what's with the need to take the false leap and equate his statement with saying teachers are responsible for right-wing talk radio? Misinterpretations like this (driven by a pure partisan frame-of-reference) serve as great examples as to why we need to focus more on critical thinking in education.

    July 6, 2007 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  17. lavelle,Rochester,ny

    Obama is the best candidate hands down. He's touching every issue that is on the table for American people. The media does a great job at confusing people period no matter the age and since education is getting worse our next generation will be set up for failure. He's not blaming the teachers come on now listen to the man before you start accusing.

    July 6, 2007 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  18. James Atlanta, GA

    Everyone talks bad about "No Child Left Behind" and that it makes teachers give tests. But, no one has ever provided a better way of determining how well teachers are performing in their classes. I work in education, and every day more-and-more unqualified teachers are being discovered and forced to go back to get qualified to teach. Many of these individuals have been performing poorly for years, but NCLB forced school districts to take notice and ask. That is why it is taking so long for "real" results to show-up. We are already seeing elevated test scores across almost the entire coutry.

    And, if Obama is really sincere about the education of this nation's youth, he better not be looking for an endorsement from teacher unions. If any one factors has hurt education reform in this country it is the influence of teacher unions that do not allow school districts to discipline or fire under-performing teachers. Throwing more money will not help either. This nation already spends more money per-student on education that any other nation in the industrialized world. It is time to start looking at the waste and bureaucratic glut of school adminstrations.

    July 6, 2007 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  19. Perry, Dallas, Texs

    Lack of education also lets people be "hoodwinked" into following the progressive socialist agenda of the democratic party.

    July 6, 2007 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  20. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    Perry, you my friend are a genius.

    That was perfectly put.

    July 6, 2007 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |