NBC Mislabels Dem Mayor as ‘R’ After Providence Fires All Its School Teachers

 On Sunday’s NBC Nightly News, a report filed by correspondent Kevin Tibbles mislabeled the Democratic Mayor of Providence, Rhode Island, Angel Taveras, as a Republican during the piece which recounted that the city’s school board had fired all its teachers with the intent to hire back some of them to help solve the city’s budget problems.

Anchor Lester Holt briefly referred to protesters in Madison, Wisconsin, as he introduced the report:

In Madison, Wisconsin, protesters who’ve camped out at the state capitol for more than a week were under orders to clean up and get out today, meaning remove their sleeping bags, their signs, and themselves. Tonight, hundreds have done so. Wisconsin is one of many states public employees find themselves under fire, and there’s one profession getting hit surprisingly hard as NBC's Kevin Tibbles reports.

After a clip of Providence Teachers Union President Steve Smith complaining about the city’s action, Tibbles moved to the soundbite of Mayor Taveras that had him misidentified as a Republican:

KEVIN TIBBLES: The city says it will rehire the teachers it needs and let the rest go. Staring at a crippling deficit, the mayor says it’s time for drastic action.

MAYOR ANGEL TAVERAS (R-PROVIDENCE): We’re facing an unprecedented, unprecedented fiscal crisis in our city.

Below is a complete transcript of the report from the Sunday, February 27, NBC Nightly News :

LESTER HOLT: In Madison, Wisconsin, protesters who’ve camped out at the state capitol for more than a week were under orders to clean up and get out today, meaning remove their sleeping bags, their signs, and themselves. Tonight, hundreds have done so. Wisconsin is one of many states public employees find themselves under fire, and there’s one profession getting hit surprisingly hard as NBC's Kevin Tibbles reports.

KEVIN TIBBLES: School board members in Providence, Rhode Island, voted Thursday not to lay off teachers but to fire them all.

STEVE SMITH, PROVIDENCE TEACHERS UNION: They fired 1,926 teachers with no plan.

TIBBLES: The city says it will rehire the teachers it needs and let the rest go. Staring at a crippling deficit, the mayor says it’s time for drastic action.

MAYOR ANGEL TAVERAS (D-PROVIDENCE): We’re facing an unprecedented, unprecedented fiscal crisis in our city.

TIBBLES: Budget deficits and seemingly ironclad benefits packages now have teachers nationwide, including here in New York, under scrutiny.

MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I-NYC): When I say we have a budget deficit-

TIBBLES: Mayor Mike Bloomberg says he’s a supporter of unions, but his new city budget suggests close to 4,700 teachers could lose their jobs. The teachers responded with this ad:

CLIP OF AD: Mayor Bloomberg sees things differently than the rest of us. Our schools are short of money, yet he refuses to ask millionaires to pay their fair share.

TIBBLES: And in New Jersey, the governor has made teachers a central theme.

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ) CLIP #1: Really, it's two places left in America where there's a profession where there is no reward for excellence and no consequence for failure. Of course, we all know the first one is weathermen.

CHRISTIE CLIP #2: Unfortunately, the second one is teaching.

CHESTER FINN, THOMAS B. FORDHAM INSTITUTE: The current situation is undesirable, both fiscally and educationally. It’s not good for kids. It’s not good for taxpayers.

TIBBLES: But there is concern as cities ask schools to do more with less, the children will suffer.

AARON PALLAS, COLUMBIA TEACHERS COLLEGE: Schools are seen as the last bastion of a kind of social order. And so, to have them subject to this kind of upheaval can't be good for kids.

TIBBLES: Doing the math in a fiscal crisis may leave schools feeling the pinch. Kevin Tibbles, NBC News, New York.