Stephen Colbert tips his hat to Tea Party coloring book for kids
On Monday, Stephen Colbert signed off on "The Tea Party Coloring Book for Kids." Propaganda or filling a gap in the conservative curriculum?
Boston — There's a new way to teach your children Tea Party values: "The Tea Party Coloring Book for Kids."
And a bonus? Stephen Colbert has endorsed it.
In the "Tip of my hat/Wag of my finger" segment on Monday night's "The Colbert Report," Colbert says, "It's full of pictures, puzzles, and games designed to teach kids Tea Party values, and at 32 pages, it's more comprehensive than that other conservative kids' activity book: The GOP's Pledge to America."
Of course, the Pledge wasn't for kids under the age of 40, judging by the photos. Perhaps, this activity book fills a conservative outreach gap.
Coloringbook.com describes the book as:
"A very pleasant song, coloring and activity book on Liberty, Faith, Freedom and so much more! Get involved, participate, self reliance, freedom of choice, work, government-of-for-by the people, Leadership, Ingenuity, Jobs and responsibility!"
Kids can color patriotic images of the American flag and the front of the New York Stock Exchange as they read about the "Freedom of Choice and Economics," or "What is a Tax."
One page reads:
"The Tea Party calls upon our representatives to limit the government's role in everyday life, and to support people and businesses, but not demand from, control or over tax the people or businesses. The government should never become a burden in our lives."
"Fun! Nothing, nothing brings joy to a child like a five-clause sentence," Colbert said.
Cue one Democratic Party-sized yawn here?
Nope, try outrage. And death threats.
Wayne Bell, publisher of the Tea Party coloring book from Really Big Coloring Books in Clayton, Mo., told FoxNews.com that he has "received messages containing 'horrible, nasty, vitriolic stuff,' including a desire for someone to place him in a 'chloroform headlock' since its publication."
"it's the premise of the coloring book that is the real eye-roller. Inside the front cover, the unidentified author explains that the origins of today's tea party are found in the iconic 1773 event in Boston's harbor - and gets the history wrong."
Why all the anger?
Bell insists that the purpose of the coloring book is not political. He denies that the Tea Party is behind the book and that any proceeds go to the Tea Party movement. "We're not really making a political statement," Bell told CBS's Political Hotsheet, and noted that the company also has an Obama coloring book. To Coloringbook.com's credit, the Obama and Tea Party coloring books are featured side-by-side on their homepage.
And in an interview on St. Louis Fox 2 News in the Morning, Bell said, "This [coloring book] is very educational, it doesn't mention Democrat, it doesn't mention Republican, it doesn't even have those words in there. It's not like were some sort of partisan-type company."
But Knight's blog takes note of Real Big Coloring Books' partnership with Mead Westvaco Corp. The company that prints and distributes Real Big Coloring Books' product also has an active political action committee in Richmond, Va. Knight writes:
"According to the Center for Responsive Politics, MeadWestvaco's PAC has spent more than $95,000 in the current election cycle on contributions to 17 House and nine Senate candidates, 91% Republicans. In May, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich led a forum at MeadWestvaco's Richmond offices calling for repeal of healthcare legislation passed this year by Congress."
The "Tea Party Coloring Book for Kids," isn't controversial enough to join the list of "5 books almost anyone might want to burn". But viewers beware. Colbert's Tea Party kids' books (spoofs involving Delaware Senate Candidate Christine O'Donnell and New York's gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino) might. His satirical books are the furthest thing from kid- or family-friendly viewing.