Absolute hogwash. So much, in fact, that I had to comment on the WSJ forums (and self-editing a bit when I repost it here.) It started as a response to someone's comment about how come this wasn't written while Mr. Rogers was alive, because it's "a tad difficult to expect a response from the man."
[The article couldn't have been written then] because Mr. Rogers would have delivered an passionate, reasonable, quiet defense which would have addressed every single point and gently, but firmly, rebuffed what could be rebuffed.Don't think I'm not still raging mad. I just kept the obscenities and invitations to taste curb to myself.
More to the point, he'd have completely shot down this "blame" (Yay for the blame game! Can't be my fault, blame someone else!) and helped point us towards what we could to do help.
Not sit around pointing fingers.
Obviously the article couldn't have been written when Mr. Rogers was alive, because it would have been useless and all involved would have failed in making their point. So instead, we fall back on rhetorically stacking the deck. (this is as close as I got to accusing the author and professor of kicking a dead man because it's easier, and that's part of what got me so mad in the first place.)
Mr. Rogers' message "You are special just by being you" meant "like yourself for who you are." It's not his fault Parents Who Know Their Wunderkind Are The Most Incredible In The World have distorted his message and run with it.
Their attitude disgusts me, but not as much as the attitude of the article and Professor Chance. I was incensed when I read the piece. I mean, I was furious. I was ready to come on over and start swinging and holler and stomp and scream "WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!! AND I'LL SOCK THE NEXT GUY IN THE MOUTH WHO THINKS OTHERWISE!" but then I remembered Mr. Rogers wouldn't have done that. Mr. Rogers may have felt angry if he'd read that, but he would have been the first to say that it's okay to feel angry sometimes. It is not okay to act out towards others that way.
Mr. Rogers taught compassion, respect for oneself and for others, and the power and wisdom to recognize one's own mistakes and take responsibility for them. And if all you can get out of that is "he taught a generation of kids self-entitlement", then perhaps you should take an inward look and wonder if you may be projecting a bit of your own feelings of self-importance and entitlement (or lack thereof) onto that.