Pete Hegseth Reveals the Poisoned Ivy Leagues in New Fox Nation Documentary

His new documentary, “Poison Ivy,” is streaming on Fox Nation. 
January 30, 2024

Pete Hegseth received his Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University in 2003 and his Master of Public Policy from Harvard in 2013. While these Ivy Leagues look impressive on his resume, it’s not something that he’s proud of, given what’s been happening there as of late.

“I’m a huge critic of what these institutions have become,” he said.

The Fox television personality, who hosts “Fox & Friends” on the weekends, is now examining what’s happening at Ivy League schools and college campuses across the U.S. in his new documentary, “Poison Ivy,” which is streaming on Fox Nation. 

While Hegseth has long criticized the public school system for what he calls the “indoctrination” of children that leads to students despising America, post-October 7, he’s been focused on the radicalization of college education.

“In really tragic and dark moments like October 7, there was a reckoning, and people are waking up,” Hegseth said. “Donors have stopped giving billions of dollars to colleges. They’re asking themselves, ‘What am I funding?’ In many ways, it was like COVID, where parents were exposed to what kids in K-12 were learning and they woke up and took their children out of those schools. Ultimately, the kids will be better off.”

The journalist is a father of seven, an Evangelical Christian and a veteran – he served in the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan, receiving two Bronze Stars for it – as well as a bestselling author. In “Poison Ivy,” he interviews commentators like Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute Victor Davis Hanson, former “The View” co-host Meghan McCain and David Magerman, a philanthropist and former UPenn donor. The documentary reveals how colleges became what they are today.

“Essentially, these Ivy Leagues are hedge funds that also teach classes run by Marxists.”

“A bunch of Marxists who landed at Columbia University in the 1930s were trying to deconstruct the west,” Hegseth said. “They found fertile ground in the Ivy League right away. American progressives with radical ideas are pushing for further social control and eagerly taking foreign money, whether it’s from Saudi Arabia or Qatar or China. They know there are strings attached, whether that means they have Middle Eastern Studies programs or they have to hire certain professors or teach certain courses. Essentially, these Ivy Leagues are hedge funds that also teach classes run by Marxists.” 

Even though it’s clear that students at Ivy Leagues are becoming radicalized, Hegseth said it’s hard to convince parents and students it’s not worth attending these schools.

“Harvard is still a gateway to a so-called ‘elite’ life. People fawn over your education. I only applied to Ivy League schools because that was my mindset, coming from a small-town in Minnesota. If I got into one, I thought, that would be amazing. I was naïve. When I got there, I was surrounded by blue-blood country club kids with parents worth billions of dollars. I saw you could buy your way in.”

While this year’s presidential candidates are talking about immigration, foreign policy and the U.S. economy, Hegseth said that education needs to be in the conversation as well.

“I’m passionate about putting education front and center. Education hasn’t been a top-tier policy issue for a very long time. We need to ask: Should states be funding these universities? Should they be receiving federal funding?”

Hegseth is also encouraging college alumni to stop giving money to their alma maters if they are allowing hate and indoctrination to proliferate on campus. 

“I’m sure you had a nice time in college and made friends with your roommates and enjoyed having a good football team,” he said. “But you need to stop sending money. For example, the University of Michigan is one of the most woke universities in the country, but alumni throw cash at them because they love the football team. What do you love more, the football team or your country?”

Parents can also take a stand and refuse to let their high school-aged children apply to woke universities. 

“Shepherd your kids,” Hegseth said. “If you send them to these places, they will be seduced by Godless ideas, and you’ll just have to hope they survive.”

He said it’s important to look into religious schools as well as emerging alternatives, like Bari Weiss’ University of Austin and the school that Elon Musk is planning to open. 

There is also a sliver of hope at Hegseth’s alma mater, Princeton, where his mentor and Professor Robert P. George, a conservative Christian and constitutional scholar, runs the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. 

“That center exists to talk about the constitution and why America is a good country,” Hegseth said. “It took a lot of resistance from faculty, but overtime, Professor George has grown the center. If you’re a Jew or a patriot and you get into Princeton, you have a place to go, where professors speak freely and you won’t feel like you’re indoctrinated in groupthink.”

The protests and antisemitism on college campuses following October 7 was just the canary in the coalmine and a small indication of what’s going on on a larger scale, according to Hegseth.

“If you understand Judeo-Christian values, western civilization and some of the oldest prejudices and hatred, you can sense that someone is anti-Western by their stance on Israel,” he said. “You get a sense of their view on the civilizational ark of things. I’ve traveled to Israel 10 or 11 times and love the country. Going there gives you a better understanding of what’s happening. Jews are not allowed in Muslim countries. It’s the only democracy in the Middle East, and it’s not perfect, but it doesn’t export terrorism.”

Hegseth previously made a documentary called, “Battle in the Holy Land,” where he got stuck in Ramallah and witnessed Palestinians throwing rocks at IDF soldiers and blocking the road with large stones. It was on this trip that he got a real look at what’s happening.

“I understand the aspirational goals of radical Islam,” he said. “When Hamas says they want to wipe Israel off the map, that’s what they mean. They’re not interested in a two-state solution. Hamas, Iran, Hezbollah and the PLO want to destroy Israel.” 

Working at Fox, Hegseth is among like-minded colleagues who are pro-Israel, and have been unwavering in their support of the Jewish state since October 7. Along with having on several pro-Israel Jewish voices, they also advocate for the country frequently in newscasts.

“Fox is pro-western and pro-freedom,” Hegseth said. “It’s also open and supportive to faith and Judeo-Christian values. America has long been Israel’s strongest ally, and we understand the importance of that. Most other newsrooms in America are very far left of center, and they have this alliance with Islamists. They’re willing to be fellow travelers, to be anti-Western allies, until they will eventually turn on each other. Fox rejects that whole paradigm.”

As for the college problem, Hegseth hopes that viewers watch “Poison Ivy” and evaluate their educational choices for their children and what having Harvard, Princeton, UPenn or another Ivy League school on a resume should communicate to future employers.  

“By 2035, I want employers to see one of these resumes and ask, ‘Are you a Marxist?’” he said. “But if a graduate went to Bari Weiss’ or Elon Musk’s university, or a classical Christian university, they’ll say, ‘You must work hard and think about humanity and our place in life and truth – all things these universities have long since abandoned. That’s what I hope the response will be.”

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