Kyle Olson’s EAGNews continues ignore the line between his “charitable foundation” status with the IRS and political action by joining in on the right wing’s obsession with finding fault with everything Obama.
Not even attempting to use school reform as a launching point, a recent EAG newsletter alleged Michelle Obama now runs the United State Department of Agriculture, or at least its free lunch program, and that she’s starving kids.
On September 27th, EAGNews sent its email subscribers another hair on fire rant about the first lady’s supposed order that the USDA’s cut the amount of food provided to kids, forcing them to eat junk food.
The USDA actually revised it policy promoting more fruits and vegetables. As CNN pointed out:
Children will not be forced to take the vegetables and fruits onto their plates; the standards require that the various food groups be offered.
Where, exactly is the school reform connection here? Has EAG decided, finally, to drop this pretense and just take direct shots at unions and Democrats?
The EAG newsletter arrived the day after the same story line appeared on Fox News. That report made the same ludicrous allegations that Michelle Obama directs USDA policy, and that school children are going hungry.
So not only is Kyle not bothering to find a connection to his long time school reform cover, he’s not even trying to avoid the obvious coordination between his operation and the rest of the conservative policy echo chamber.
Not all news organizations are still in the dark about Kyle Olson. A recent Dallas Morning News story sourced Olson, but not as the head of a school reform group, but as “commenter on Fox News and columnist of Townhall Magazine, which describes itself as a Conservative News & Opinion Magazine…” Increasingly, its only other conservative policy outlets that still refer to him as having any connection to school reform.
On the other hand, writing about the recent Chicago Teacher’s strike, the Chicagoist recently referred to EAG as a “conservative think tank.” That’s a first. EAG thinks?
Thanks to the IRS’s refusal to make any meaningful attempt to enforce the federal laws against political work by non-profit “charitable” foundations, (like EAG Foundation), EAG continues to push the limit on 501 (c)(4)’s and political commentary.
Today is a good example. First giving lip service to their neutrality:”EAGNews is a nonpartisan organization,” writer Victor Skinner, judging by the byline, writing from the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida (which in itself is odd, given the convention ended over 3 weeks ago), presses on to reproduce the entire Republican Education platform, interspersed with glowing reviews:
“fresh and bold ideas the GOP is offering”
“We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.”
“The Republican solutions are straight-forward and student-focused.”
Being unable to contain his glee, Skinner goes a bit past the text of the platform, parroting the crazy right’s conspiracy theories that are EAG’s bread and butter: “it’s important to rid schools of the depraved union educators who indoctrinate vulnerable students into their Marxist political causes.” One can almost see the smoke coming out of Skinner’s ears…
About half way through, Skinner forgets to add quotation marks to the planks he’s quoting, making it difficult to tell whether he or the Republican party is speaking. But then, that’s just as well, there’s not a bit of light between them.
It’s unlikely anyone still believes EAG is about school reform and not union bashing, and knowing their extensive GOP roots, it seems weird that they keep pretending everyone else hasn’t figured them out.