April 8, 2013

Melissa Harris-Perry, an MSNBC host, has drawn a good bit of attention with this “Lean Forward” spot for her network. In the promo, she says:

We have never invested as much in public education as we should have because we’ve always had kind of a private notion of children. Your kid is yours and totally your responsibility. We haven’t had a very collective notion of “These are our children.” So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families and recognize that kids belong to whole communities. Once it’s everyone’s responsibility and not just the household’s, then we start making better investments.

That, in sum, is Hillary Rodham Clinton’s “It Takes a Village,” only with a bit more politically provocative language. Provocative enough to have earned the notice of one Sarah Palin:

And one Glenn Beck, who is saying that this “Lean Forward” iteration “is not a mistake.” It was planned and thought out and edited and thrown on the air with a great deal of deliberation, said Beck. The message, to Beck, goes like this: “My kids do not belong to me. My kids are not my kids. They’re the community kids.”

MSNBC’s ad people can check off these boxes for the advertisement:

* Promotes high Internet pass-around? Check!

* Angers ideological opposition? Check!

* Stirs discussion about parenting and government? Check!

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.