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The paranoid parents’ new spokesman, or just lazy reporting?

September 4, 2009

As the major newspapers are picking up on the Obama-giving-a-speech-to-kids kerfluffle, and as the usual right wing bloviators are riling up the easily-aggrieved paranoiacs among us, I noticed that one random guy popped up in several news stories on this topic, with different quotes:  Brett Curtiss (or Brett Curtis) of Pearland, Texas.

He was quoted in the New York Times:

“The thing that concerned me most about it was it seemed like a direct channel from the president of the United States into the classroom, to my child,” said Brett Curtiss, an engineer from Pearland, Tex., who said he would keep his three children home. “I don’t want our schools turned over to some socialist movement.”

He was quoted in USA Today:

Regardless of who the president is, says Brett Curtis, a parent in Pearland, Texas, “I don’t want him coming into the schools and making a political speech to my children. … It’s just wrong.”

And he’s in the Houston Chronicle:

“I think it’s inappropriate because it smacks of political indoctrination of the worst kind,” said Brett Curtis, a parent of two children attending Pearland ISD schools. “It’s not just a speech. It’s a specific curriculum to go along with the speech directly from the president of the United States without review.”

I don’t personally know who Brett Curtiss (or Curtis) is, but beyond the fact that he’s fits the stereotype of a rube who gets easily led around by the nose by talk radio, it seems that all sorts of reporters reached out to him–specifically–for a crazy-tinged quote.  So, who is he, and why are major publications reaching out to him on what seems to be a news story ginned up by various conservative media commentators and Fox News?  Are reporters just being lazy and going for a ‘random parent’ who is willing to say silly things in print?

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