Gretchen & Margaret: No spanking alllowed! Really? O’Reilly Factor “Culture Warriors” Gretchen Carlson and Margaret Hoover went to war woefully unprepared Thursday. During their segment, both Gretchen and Margaret did know the facts of their lead story (about a Connecticut high school teacher who had been charged with sexual assault for purportedly spanking an obstreperous female student) but not the applicable law.
When host Bill O’Reilly had introduced the spanking story and his blond battling beauties had recited the relevant facts, host Bill O’Reilly asked, “Do we know in Connecticut public schools whether corporal punishment is allowed?* Emphatically, Gretchen asserted, “Corporal punishment is not allowed in any school system anymore. No way!” Equally confident, a beaming Margaret declared, “Corporal punishment is not allowed. No, not allowed! Not allowed.”
Unconvinced by their bluster, O’Reilly replied, “In some school systems, it is.” Rendered uncertain, Gretchen responded, “Seriously?” Smiling, Margaret scoffed, “No, no, no. Bill O’Reilly, when you taught in Miami, they allowed you to hit children.”
Losing his own certitude, O’Reilly answered, “I could be wrong on this but I don’t think I am: in some school districts, corporal punishment is allowed. I can’t imagine it’s allowed in Connecticut but it is allowed in some school districts. So, we don’t know that: we don’t know whether it’s allowed or not.”
Subsequently, when O’Reilly and Gretchen tried to move on to discuss the particular Connecticut case, Margaret persisted, “Let’s be very clear. It is very unlikely that anyone anywhere in the United States teachers are allowed to beat children in the classroom. Unallowed. Corporal punishment is probably not allowed.” She continued, “The most that a teacher should ever be able to do is grab a kid by the wrist and take them to the principal’s office. This is totally unacceptable.”
Realizing that Margaret was merely opining, O’Reilly remarked, “We’ll clarify tomorrow. I’ll clarify tomorrow about the corporal punishment.”
Unfortunately, both O’Reilly and his “Culture Warriors” were unprepared to clarify the most salient issue of the story, i.e., the legality of corporal punishment in the Connecticut school system. If they had merely Googled the matter, they would have quickly learned that 20 states allow corporal punishment but Connecticut does not. To make matters worse, their negligence was all the more acute since the topic has come to the fore with the recent introduction (June 29, 2010) of the “Ending of Corporal Punishment Act” by U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY).
O’Reilly’s “Culture Warriors” Thursday: Unread and unarmed.
*O’Reilly Factor – 08/05/10 (@8:30 p.m. ET)