President Obama's children's book, "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters," hit shelves this week to a bit of unexpected controversy.
At first glance, the 31-page book—which features short profiles and illustrations of American heroes like George Washington and Jackie Robinson—doesn't seem like it could stir up much debate.
But Obama's decision to include Native American leader Sitting Bull didn't go over well with the headline writers at Fox Nation, a Fox News website. Their initial take: "Obama Praises Indian Chief Who Killed U.S. General." (At the time of this writing, the headline has been changed to read: "Obama Praises Indian Chief Who Defeated U.S. General.")
Several bloggers and Fox critics quickly jumped on the site's overheated reaction to the children's book.
"Fox News Turns Obama's Kid Book Into Anti-American War Epic," wrote Gawker's Maureen O'Connor.
The New Republic's Jonathan Chait also poked fun at the network's coverage of the book: "Fox News Exposes Obama As Indian, Not Kenyan, Anti-Colonialist."
The Fox Nation headline comes from this snippet pulled from a USA Today article on the book:
His most controversial choice may be Sitting Bull, who defeated Custer at Little Bighorn: ("A Sioux medicine man who healed broken hearts and broken promises.")
Robert Utley, author of a biography on Sitting Bull, told AOL News that the Fox Nation headline—and presumably the USA Today article that Fox was featuring on the site—is a "vast oversimplification." He said that the Lakota Sioux chief was too old to fight at the June 1876 battle and that Crazy Horse led the group of tribes, including Sitting Bull's, that defeated Custer's army.
Fox News chief Roger Ailes claimed in a recent (unrelated) interview that his network doesn't take unfair shots at the Obama administration. But headlines like this one only give ammunition to the many Fox critics who contend that the Rupert Murdoch-owned network—and sites affiliated with it—will take every opportunity to criticize the Democratic president.
A Fox News spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment on the Fox Nation headline.