That has to be pretty close to the top of the “Things I Never Thought I’d Say” list. Nonetheless, tonight, it’s true. The man is an egotistical blowhard, but he’s currently plastered himself and his mustache all over the right story and all that wind is keeping the right flame alive.
Unless you live in a little pink bubble (hi, Laura!), there’s a good chance you’ve heard about John Freshwater, the IDiot middle school “science teacher” who decided his desk made a good pulpit. He’s the guy who “did improperly use an electrostatic device on…students in his science class in a manner that was not in compliance with the manufacturer’s instructions” (source)–by burning crosses onto their arms.
Freshwater is going away, after some much-belated action by the school board, making a few people very unhappy. One of the most vocal, Dave Daubenmire, who’s had his own difficulties with the establishment clause, defended Freshwater with, “With the exception of the science experiment, John Freshwater is teaching the beliefs and values that the majority of people in this community agree with.”
I just about choked on that one, without even getting to the second part of the sentence. “With the exception of the science experiment”? With the what? We’re supposed to ignore the deliberate combination of high voltage and students’ skin? You just don’t get an exception for that. The very idea left me incoherent.
Luckily, it didn’t do the same to Rivera. Daubenmire was on his program trying to claim the mantle of martyrdom for Freshwater, but the only cross Rivera wanted to talk about was the one burned into a student. He said, “when you mess with a student physically like that you get fired, I don’t care what your religion is.”
So Geraldo Rivera is my hero, at least until he opens his mouth again. At which point, the next question ruffling the mustache should really be, “And where has the school board been all these years?”