The video was used as the basis for a Republican fundraising appeal, with Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele calling it "the type of propaganda you would see in Stalin's Russia or Kim Jong Il's North Korea."
Now a new video has surfaced showing children praising the president, and it is once again generating anger. The clip shows part of a PTA program at Sand Hill-Venable Elementary School in Ashville, North Carolina from February in which students were "paying tribute to various American heroes," the Mountain Express reports. You can watch the video, which was (obviously) put together by a critic of the program, above.
The video quickly made the rounds on conservative blogs and Fox News, where one anchor compared it to a campaign commercial.
As a result, the school district has reportedly been "inundated" with calls over the video, according to the Citizen-Times, with some callers issuing death threats and suggesting the school is brainwashing students.
The clip reportedly came from a 30-minute presentation praising George Washington, Amelia Earhart, Martin Luther King Jr. and others. A spokeswoman for the schools denied that it reflected an effort to indoctrinate students.
"The final skit … recognized the most recent famous American, the first African-American to be elected president of the United States," spokeswoman Jan Blunt said in a statement, the Citizen-Times reports. "This was not indoctrination. This was a lesson in American history and citizenship taken directly from the section of the N.C. Standard Course of Study entitled 'Citizenship: People Making a Difference.'"
On Friday, the Huffington Post Web site pointed to a 2006 video in which students "serenaded First Lady Laura Bush with a song praising the President, Congress, and Federal Emergency Management Agency for their response to -- of all things -- Hurricane Katrina."
"Congress, Bush and FEMA People across our land together have come to rebuild us and we join them hand-in-hand," the students sang.