Ha. Thanks to Gina, I’m onto him. Dr. Phil, that is.
For those of you that wonder what the big deal is, go read “The Homeschool Scuttle”…or save yourself an hour and read the highlights of the article here.
Dr. Phil is airing today, November 24, a taping titled: “The Great School Debate”. In a nutshell, he’s lumping all homeschoolers into the “unschooling”category. Yeah, take the most radical and controversial approach out there and bingo, sensationalize it.
Taken from the article:
Dr. Phil opens the “Great Debate,” episode with news-media coverage of the recent school shootings, and in a grand flourish of the “Great Debate,” he states that more and more families are turning to homeschooling. This episode could very well be mainstream America’s first exposure to a “typical,” homeschooling family.Perhaps, a very new “Newbie,” is thinking of homeschooling as they watch this show, interested in the wise Dr. Phil’s assessment of homeschooling. While it’s true that the Unschooling family did hold her own very well against Dr. Phil who relentlessly kept quizzing her with questions such as, “Yes, but don’t you want your child to be prepared to compete in America’s competitive Market?” His choice to use a “Radical Homeschooling Family,” was exploitive, deliberately calculated and controversial.If he truly wanted to have a “Great Debate,” why not begin the show by first having a knowledgeable, reputable homeschooling advocate explain the many different styles and ways to homeschool, and the theories and benefits of each style, so that the mainstream general audience could develop informed opinions and be appreciative of what they were debating in the first place?He never, ever, once said, “Teach us about homeschooling.” Or, “Explain to me the different styles of homeschooling.” Instead, he right off, used this extreme, self-proclaimed, “Radical Unschooling Family,” and never explained the basic concepts of homeschooling and all the choices that homeschoolers can make in how they choose to teach their children.What I found most fascinating was how Dr. Phil enticed homeschoolers to be a part of this program. You’ll have to read the “Bait and Switch” part of the article, if you decide it’s worth your time. I had to laugh at the fact that the homeschoolers invited to the program were asked not to bring along any children under 18. Weird, huh. Even stranger when the homeschool families standing in line outside the studio realized that busloads of public school children were arriving to take places in the audience.
Hmm. What’s up with that? Deliberately rigging the audience?
The viewing audience will not be able to see the audience as being high school children. To the television viewer, they will just be arms in the air opposing homeschooling. This is when I realized why we had been brought in as, “Special Guest Audience.” The Dr. Phil Show took no chances. They wanted to make sure that they had an audience of 10-15% that would passionately raise their hands in favor of homeschooling, and a guarantee that the entire rest of the audience would be strongly in favor of traditional schooling. They did not want an audience of people who did not care one way or the other, as they might have had with a random, mainstream audience. They needed to have a handpicked audience that would unilaterally, overwhelmingly opposed the homeschooling, *ON* a homeschooling show in which the homeschoolers had been invited, and had come to express their love of homeschooling!
You’ll have to watch it and fill me in. Or read the article. According to people who’ve been to his tapings, this isn’t the first time he’s exploited lifestyle choices by pretended praise.
For those of you able to tune in, I’m really interested in hearing your thoughts.