The Lie That Will Not Die
From Sara Burrows at the Carolina Journal, two weeks ago:
RAEFORD — A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because the school told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious.
The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the person who was inspecting all lunch boxes in the More at Four classroom that day.
The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs — including in-home day care centers — to meet USDA guidelines. That means lunches must consist of one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables, even if the lunches are brought from home.
From our own Dave Ribar, a few days later:
The Carolina Journal explained that “The first two paragraphs of this story were updated. Neither DHHS nor school officials would identify the person who inspected the homemade lunches and decided they did not meet USDA guidelines.” Thus, the CJ’s initial statements, which were reported as facts (not “alleged” or according to the child or parent), were never confirmed with the school, DHHS, or the person involved.
Indeed, the CJ actually has the gall to now run a story about not being able to identify the person involved, saying that “the government officials involved have provided sketchy — and sometimes conflicting — details” about the person involved, and then lists contradictions from the Civitas story as part of the evidence.
A spokesperson for the school district later admitted that it was likely the school’s mistake.
So far, the story has been promoted by the Eagle Forum and the Family Research Council, which sees it as proof that “the Left’s goal is not just to control you. The goal is to control your children. And the more authority it can siphon away from parents, the better its chances are.”
Gary Bauer also featured it in his daily email, declaring “welcome to Obama’s brave new world. If the government can force us to buy specific products, force religious institutions to violate their values and send lunchbox inspectors to sort through our kids’ food, Chinese-style ‘commissars’ are in our future.”
And, never one to be outdone, Bryan Fischer was apoplectic that Michele Obama’s army of Brownshirt/Stormtrooper/Stasi thugs are out there confiscating the lunches of little children.
Last week, the Wife and I went out to dinner and the couple across from us were spitting fire over the notion that the “food police” would do such a thing. The Wife suggested I disabuse them of the lie. So, after their plates were cleared away and they were preparing to leave, I leaned over and informed them that it never happened. I meant to elaborate that it was a story from the JLF’s Carolina Journal, but once I uttered the word “despicable,” I got stuck and just kept repeating it.