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EAG Joins Fox News and Drops the Pretense

EAGNews Kyle Olson education action group foundation

Ed Reform Radar, September 27, 2012

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?

Kyle Olson EAGNews education action group foundation

Fox News, September 26, 2012

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?


EAG is Nonpartisan (Read: Republican)

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.

EAGTruth Kyle Olson education action group foundation
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.

Kyle Olson, School Reformer, on Cow Farts

It hard, some days, to think of a way to take a shot at teachers unions and public schools, but Olson recently made a unusually thin complaint, even for him.

Kyle Olson Education Action Group Foundation EAGTruth

Complaining that too many schools have instituted meatless Mondays, Olson recently co-posted on the Breitbart Big Government site and the ultra Republican that these events are part of a campaign to get HIV tests and condoms on Mondays. Not that these campaigns are actually related in any way to school vegetarian days, they both take place on Mondays, and that’s enough for Olson.

But what’s the agenda? Less cholesterol? Fewer fatsos? Perhaps, but a “K-12 Tool Kit” lists several other benefits of “Meatless Mondays,” including:

Reduce carbon footprint: The UN estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that accelerate climate change.

Outrageous! The UN! Again the problem is that this tool kit comes from the Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health and its battle against obesity; it doesn’t come from any of the schools Olson complains about.
But then this kind of paranoid conspiracy theory is what BigGovernment readers want. As one of Olson’s fans writes:

Meatless Monday is intended to facilitate the indoctrination of our children and their parents into acceptance of  U.N. Agenda 21.  Meatless Monday is just a tiny piece of a HUGE Global Agenda of Eugenics, Earth Worship, and Utopian-ism.

And Olson still sells EAG as ” a non-partisan non-profit organization … promoting sensible education reform …”

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Kyle Olson Venarates Andrew Breitbart

EAG recently launched its 1st Annual Andrew Breitbart Memorial Essay Contest, a “patriotic essay contest” for K-12 children by offering $500 to kids entitled “What Does American Mean to You?” because EAG considers the  deceased Breitbart a near saint for his success working the press.

Kyle Olson Education action group foundation EAGNews

Olson on Fox News complaining about politics in the school house.

His best known success involved the ACORN pimp videos, where Breitbart protégé James O’Keefe posed as a pimp that got financing advice from ACORN staffers.  It turned out the whole thing was a hoax:

But it was all a hoax. And for weeks now, ever since the trick was highlighted by blogger Brad Friedman, Breitbart has been wrestling with the glaring contradiction and struggling to explain his own role in the hoax.

Even more troubling is Brietbart’s doctoring of a video of USDA official Shilley Sherrod, painting her falsely as a racist:

Conservatives including David Frum and Ann Coulter have acknowledged that the video Breitbart posted is a fraud. But Frum, a former speechwriter in the Bush White House, wrote that he has seen this act too many times to expect Breitbart to apologize for “distributing a doctored tape to defame and destroy someone.”

Sherrod was fired. Her defamation lawsuit against Brietbart continues.

So naturally Kyle Olson wants to paint the godfather of press manipulation as a saint by equating him with great Americans. He is actually reserving a $500 prize for 100 word essays written by kids between kindergarten and the 5th grade, even though he has long invoked the evils of the political manipulation of our youth. In fact, he wrote the book on it.

Olson wrote the book on political manupulatin of school kids

Olson wrote the book on non-conservative manipulation

One blogger was so offended by the contradiction, he encouraged protest entries. Penn State Altoona professor Dr. Timothy Slekar, who maintains @ The Chalk Face, suggested his readers write submissions that reflect the real Breitbart rather than the revisionist history version.

EAG reacted in its usual fashion by attacking the man rather than the argument. Not being able to defend Breitbart, they attacked the critic:

Slekar is yet another radical professor who despises everything that the patriotic Breitbart stood for…Leave it to radical leftists to try to hijack a children’s essay contest and subvert an opportunity for students to tell why they value America. Can’t these desperately unhappy misfits just leave kids alone?

Agreed. Lets just leave the kids alone.

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EAGNews Goes the Extra Mile to Equate Teachers and Socialism

In a recent emailing, EAGNews “reports” that a recent meeting of the International Socialists Organization is proof that teachers are socialists. First, writer Steve Gunn runs through a long list of evil beliefs of those attending: disarming the police, free Palestine, free abortions. Having established the crazy-talk level of discourse, he then uses the ultimate insult to public education by referring to it as “government education,” about which the attendees “consumed Marxist propaganda.”

EAGNews Kyle Olson Education Action Group Foundation

EAG naturally assumes its teachers when it finds evil.


The existence of some education-related sessions is enough for Gunn to conclude that there were “many teachers in attendance.”   He signs off with the kind of fear mongering that is common in the right wing villanizing world:

Their militancy must be closely watched so we can understand what our children will be subjected to when the activists return to their classrooms.

Chicago Parents and Kyle’s Breitbart Connection

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel  recently agreed to sit for a EAGNews interview, which was used in a YouTube video  narrated by Fox News’ Juan Williams. Williams described the Chicago teacher’s union as ““radically politicized” and “repeatedly providing terrible examples for Chicago’s schoolchildren.

The reaction was immediate and negative, leading Emanuel to issue a press release stating that he didn’t share those views of the union, but the controversy of a sitting major of a major city aligning himself with a right wing union-bashing out-of-state group continued.

An organization of concerned parents, Parents 4 Teachers formed as a result. Founder Erica Clark, said:

“We’re upset with all the teacher-bashing that’s so fashionable today,” said Erica Clark of Parents For Teachers.  “It’s a complete distraction from the real issues facing our schools.”

“If you listen to the rhetoric of so-called school reform, you would think there are no good teachers in the system,” she said.  “But if you talk to parents – if you look at the data CPS collects in the surveys where parents rate schools and teachers – there’s a lot of support for teachers.

In the video, Williams  refers to Chicago charter schools as a “Chicago miracle” and a solution to poorly performing public schools, although state achievement test data released last year showed charters schools performed nearly the same as neighborhood schools. Chicago charter schools are not unionized.

The Truthout news report took the time to do some research on EAG before filing its story and reported that:

EAG’s leader, Kyle Olson, blogs on the Big Government website of journalist-provocateur Andrew Breitbart, whose exploits include doctoring video to make U.S. Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod look like she was fomenting racial division.

Two years ago Olson was forced to apologize after he was exposed for videotaping an interview with Frances Fox Piven, the activist academic who was a frequent target of Glen Beck, under false pretenses.

Context means everything.

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Kyle Olson Education Action Group

Kyle’s Hoody source and the international communist conspiracy against Scott Walker.

EAGnews now reports that the campaign to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was really always about overthrowing capitalism. Red-baiting has been a favorite of Kyle Olson, but this time he uses an anonymous, hooded “citizen journalist” as his source. A source who guarantees that the unions are part of an international communist conspiracy.

Kyle has backed up these assertions by Googling Wisconsin and words like “anarchist” and “socialism,” finding a handful of far left groups that write about the Wisconsin protest. This, to Kyle, is proof that they are in league with the unions:

The report reveals that far-left activists with the Liberty Tree Foundation began plotting their anti-Walker strategy in December 2010 – a month before he was even sworn in, and well before budget reforms were even announced.  It shows how the goal was much broader than simply protecting “worker rights” in the state. The idea for many radicals was to make Wisconsin part of a broader global struggle against capitalism.

And some newspapers continue to use EAGnews as a source.

Kyle Olson: Glen Beck Wanna-Be

EAG loves to represent itself as a school reform group but their track record shows otherwise. Just look at the Kyle Olson’s website (postings which are usually duplicated on Andrew Breitbart’s BigGoverment site and other Republican sites like and you’ll see he’s a Glen Beck wanna-be whose niche is to villainize unions. One union attack after another.

Mixed in with these union-bashing comments are these two posts, which say a lot about Kyle:

Kyle Olson Education Action Group

The first apology we’ve ever heard from Kyle, although using red baiting language is common for him. Look just two posts later:

Kyle Olson Education Action Group

As for the ‘Glen Beck wanna-be’ comment, this just about confirms that:

Kyle Olson Education Action Group

Why do reporters quote this guy or his EAG staff on school reform?

Koch Brothers and Kyle Olson

On June 2nd, a new player in right wing attack politics, the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity, will host an event in Michigan at the Lansing Center.

The Franklin Center is a front for the Koch brothers-financed Americans for Prosperity, which, in turn, is known for financing the Tea Party movement since its inception. The Lansing event serves as a Tea Party training session hoping to create “Citizen Watchdogs” using FOIA “to impact the state and local government budgeting process, and … to advance [their] message through social media.”

Kyle Olson is one of the scheduled speakers, conducting a session called: “Back To School Reports: How Does Michigan Education Compare With Other States?”  This, together with sessions entitled “Exposing the Establishment Media,” “Who’s The Boss: Exposing Big Labor in Michigan” and  “Voter Fraud/Election Integrity Issues,” serve the overall ALEC-inspired mission.

And reporters continue to quote Olson as a school reform expert…

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