Sunday, April 17, 2011

WTU Protests Washington Post; NYC Teachers Consider Boycotting New York Post

The vice-president of the Washington Teachers Union, Candi Peterson, wrote today that the WTU began a protest of the Washington Post Friday (the 15th).

The WaPo has the annoying habit of driving conversation in the District of Columbia on a number of topics, not the least of which is education. As the WaPo itself has pointed out, it may have a bit of a conflict of interest. You see, the Washington Post is owned by an education and media company (the Washington Post Company), which just so happens to also own Kaplan, Inc., which, by the way, happens to be a significantly larger earner of profit for its parent than the newspaper company.

A little less than a year ago, I wrote about a number of biases I found in the WaPo while I was working and living in DC. It's here, and I think it's worth reading.

Today, on the email listserv for the Independent Community of Educators in New York City, it was suggested that teachers organize a boycott of the New York Post, a newspaper I consider to be even more under the control of the corporate reform mindset than the WaPo.

Although I get the impression that the only teachers that read the NYP are E4Eers and those looking for a good laugh, might a protest be worth a try? Perhaps it would shake things up a little more and catch some more people's attention.

6 comments:

  1. The thing about the Post is this--they dump it in public schools for free. I read it if it's lying on a table, and sometimes click links from Gotham Schools. The Post has lost money for years and is only out there as a vehicle for promoting Murdoch's odious agenda.

    The thing about us is--well--most of us are apathetic and 70% of us don't even bother to vote in union elections.

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  2. One of the angles seemed to be missed by the WTU demo was the connection between WAPO and Kaplan which makes so much profit due to ed deform. I heard 3rd hand that this was raised with WTU but they did not want to go there - maybe to keep the message focused. But I think the real message IS the Kaplan connection.

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  3. NYCEducator - Good point. Any idea how much the NY Post loses?

    Norm - I'm surprised the WTU didn't raise the Kaplan connection, too. I also think it's the core of the story. However, it's not so hard to find tons of bias in WaPo stories across the board. See my "Where's the Accountability" post:

    http://www.anurbanteacherseducation.com/2010/06/wheres-accountability.html

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  4. I read your earlier piece on The Washington Post. A job well done. Thanks for the post on your blog. Keep me informed about what's going on in New York. I see two of my favorite NY bloggers beat me here.

    Our rally was great and believe me we are just getting started.

    The Washington Teacher
    http://thewashingtonteacher.blogspot.com/

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  5. The Post is famous for sneak attacks during holiday break periods, printing slanderous stories about educators when no one is there to respond, then never publishing a retraction or clarification when their story turns out to be false.Check this link for a story about a colleague of mine who was falsely accused, first by students, and then the Post. He was never charged, is still teaching, but it's got to take it's toll.Here's the story:
    DOH! DOLPH'S A BAD DUDE - 'PERV' TEACH MODEL FOR 'SIMPSON' BULLY

    LORENA MONGELLI, DAN MANGAN and BILL HOFFMANN

    Last Updated:

    Posted: 12:00 AM, February 16, 2006



    More Print
    The pudgy-faced Brooklyn teacher charged with fondling three 10-year-old schoolgirls is the real-life model for the school-bully character of Dolph on "The Simpsons," it was revealed yesterday.

    Matt Groening, creator of the smash Fox show, patterned the stringy-haired thug who terrorizes Bart Simpson after Dolph Timmerman, who was his classmate at Lincoln HS in Portland, Ore.

    Timmerman, 51, now a teacher at PS 123 in Bushwick, was busted Tuesday for allegedly touching the buttocks of one girl in a classroom as she bent over, as well as two other girls in the hallway of the school on Irving Avenue.


    The $43,000-a-year teacher, who has been placed on administrative duty away from kids, was arraigned on six counts of sexual abuse and child endangerment yesterday and released without bail.

    On "The Simpsons," the dour-pussed, brown-haired Dolph, who is usually hunched over, and two other kids, Jimbo and Kearney, continually bully Bart at school. Dolph's pastimes include breathing in the fumes at the One Hour Photo shop. He has worked as a Kamp Krusty counselor and at Springfield Paper and Printing, as part of the "Lackeys of Tomorrow" program.

    Groening could not be reached for comment, but in past interviews he has said that while he borrowed Timmerman's first name for Dolph, the real-life Timmerman is nothing like the holy terror on the show.

    "[He's] a really cool guy," Groening once said.

    There are no plans to cut Dolph's character out of future shows or edit him from past ones.

    "Our Dolph is just Dolph," said "Simpsons" spokeswoman Antonia Coffman. "He has nothing to do with this man or with the show. And our Dolph doesn't have a last name."

    The grandfather of one of the young students, speaking of what allegedly happened to her, told The Post yesterday:

    "This is terrible. My family wanted to beat the teacher for what he did. The school needs to have more vigilance. He needs to pay for what he did."

    Several teachers who wouldn't give their names claimed the girls conspired to fabricate the abuse charges to get back at Timmerman for some reason, and later recanted their claims to other teachers. But the teachers had no other details to substantiate their story.

    Timmerman's neighbor Barbara McNamara said, "He only started in September, he just became a teacher. I'm shocked."

    Timmerman faces seven years in the slammer if convicted

    Meanwhile, Francisco Acevedo, a Spanish teacher at South Bronx Prep who's accused of inviting a 15-year-old boy to live with him and secretly videotaping him nude, was released on $7,500 bail last night.

    Additional reporting by Zach Haberman and Mark Bulliet

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  6. One thing about New York City - teachers have been the subject of hatchet jobs from the Post, News, Times, Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker...

    By going after the noxious but low-brow Post, I am afraid we send the message that the far more dangerous high-brow Times has a reasonable, balanced approach.

    I don't want to do that.

    Jonathan

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