When the Associated Press reported on the upcoming “Sex Week” program at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, the reporter calmly noted that the “student-initiated” event will begin on Friday, April 5, and include several generic seminar topics.
However, when Fox News Radio's Todd Starnes described the same program, he indicated that it will include such controversial aspects as seminars by a lesbian bondage expert and a campus-wide scavenger hunt for a golden condom.
The University of Oklahoma, like every higher education institution in the country, is opposed to plagiarism. So why did the home of the Sooners invite admitted plagiarist Fareed Zakaria to deliver the class of 2013's commencement address after the CNN anchor and Time plagiarism scandal?
In a statement announcing Zakaria's selection, University of Oklahoma President David Boren insisted that, “Fareed Zakaria is truly an educator…he uses his forum through the public media to educate a worldwide audience about the important issues we all confront and how we can work together to meet them.” Yes, he sure does, especially when he lifts other people’s work to convey his point of view.
Last summer, Zakaria lifted material from Jill Lepore of the New Yorker in his column about gun control almost verbatim. Here’s a paragraph from his Time piece:
Thursday's CBS This Morning stood out as the only Big Three network morning newscast to zero in on Education Secretary Arne Duncan's false assertion about the sequester – that "there are, literally, teachers now who are getting pink slips; who are getting notices they can't come back this fall". Correspondent Bill Plante noted that "Duncan conceded he knew of only one county nationwide where there had been notices", and underlined that "those notices weren't sequester-related."
CBS News political director John Dickerson also highlighted that "the Washington Post caught...Duncan in an exaggeration about those effects." Actually, "exaggeration" is an understatement on the part of Dickerson, as the Post's Glenn Kessler ripped the Cabinet official over several statements he's made on the sequester issue:
Nearly two years ago, U.S. News & World Report came out with a story titled "Educators Implicated in Atlanta Cheating Scandal." It reported that "for 10 years, hundreds of Atlanta public school teachers and principals changed answers on state tests in one of the largest cheating scandals in U.S. history." More than three-quarters of the 56 Atlanta schools investigated had cheated on the National Assessment of Educational Progress test, sometimes called the national report card. Cheating orders came from school administrators and included brazen acts such as teachers reading answers aloud during the test and erasing incorrect answers. One teacher told a colleague, "I had to give your kids, or your students, the answers because they're dumb as hell." Atlanta's not alone. There have been investigations, reports and charges of teacher-assisted cheating in other cities, such as Philadelphia, Houston, New York, Detroit, Baltimore, Los Angeles and Washington.
Recently, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's blog carried a story titled "A new cheating scandal: Aspiring teachers hiring ringers." According to the story, for at least 15 years, teachers in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee paid Clarence Mumford, who's now under indictment, between $1,500 and $3,000 to send someone else to take their Praxis exam, which is used for K-12 teacher certification in 40 states. Sandra Stotsky, an education professor at the University of Arkansas, said, "(Praxis I) is an easy test for anyone who has completed high school but has nothing to do with college-level ability or scores." She added, "The test is far too undemanding for a prospective teacher. ... The fact that these people hired somebody to take an easy test of their skills suggests that these prospective teachers were probably so academically weak it is questionable whether they would have been suitable teachers."
Paul "The Population Bomb" Ehrlich, call your office. Oh, never mind. You've never cared about the truth anyway, or the fact that your predictions of worldwide calamity have been far off the mark, but you sure have received a lot of attention from the establishment press over the past several decades.
According to Jeff Wise at Slate.com on Wednesday, "researchers at Austria’s International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis foresee the global population maxing out at 9 billion some time around 2070." After that (and before that in certain countries, pretty soon in Japan, much of Europe, Russia, and China,and not all that far away in the U.S.), the problem will be worldwide depopulation. Wise points out why the math points to peak population, and how that reality upsets the usual media reporting apple cart (HT Instapundit; bolds are mine):
Angela McCaskill, Chief Diversity Officer at Gallaudet University, has been reinstated following three months of administrative leave which began after the university learned that she had signed a petition supporting the placement of an initiative to repeal recently passed legislation legalizing same-sex "marriage" on the Maryland ballot.
The headline at the Associated Press story about Ms. McCaskill's statement ("GAY MARRIAGE FLAP: GALLAUDET REINSTATES OFFICIAL") should have instead read "free speech flap." That's what the McCaskill controversy was about, as the underlying AP story by Ben Nuckols, which virtually ignores the witch-hunt sentiment directed at her, still makes clear (bold is mine):
Well, at least we know one of the New Year's resolutions on a certain radical professor's list. That resolution, undermining the Constitution whenver and wherever possible to serve the "progressive" agenda, has been on the list of the paper for which this professor wrote for quite a while.
On Sunday, in a New York Times op-ed ("Let’s Give Up on the Constitution") which appeared in today's print edition, Louis Michael Seidman, a professor of constitutional law (seriously) at Georgetown University, and the author of the forthcoming book "On Constitutional Disobedience" (given the conduct of the Obama administration, it's hard to understand why such a book is even neceeary is a mystery), wrote that "our insistence on obedience to the Constitution, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions." Here's more of what we will likely see from other quarters in the new year:
Two blog posts today should shred the credibility of Meet the Press's David Gregory in making arguments for gun control and against appropriate armed staff or security personnel at schools -- or they would, if journalists had the least bit of interest in exposing lawbreaking and hyprocritical behavior by their professional colleagues.
During the show, as reported at the Patriot Perspective, relaying a point first brought out by a member of the AR15.com forum site, Gregory "decided to wave around a 30-round AR-15 magazine" in direct violation of the District of Columbia "DC High Capacity Ammunition Magazines" statute. Given the Supreme Court's Heller ruling affirming that the right to keep and bear arms (and ammo) is an individual right, that law may not be enforceable, but it would also be interesting to know if Gregory's possession of an AR-15 magazine or his showing it on the air violated any of NBC's corporate policies. Additionally, the Weekly Standard's Daniel Halper pointed to Gregory's hypocrisy in mocking the NRA's Wayne LaPierre over his organization's advocacy of having armed guards in schools (internal link is in original; bolds are mine):
Reports of rampant child sex abuse committed at an elementary school in Los Angeles continue to explode, but the national media does not seem too interested - at all. On the heels of other local reports involving child sex abuse in L.A. schools, NBC4 in Los Angeles has reported:
"On the same day that attorneys for students at Miramonte Elementary School announced that four additional lawsuits have been filed against LAUSD [Los Angeles Unified School District] over alleged sexual abuse at the school, the district said it faces 189 claims resulting from the scandal ...
"The claims are on behalf of 126 students, with the remainder from their family members, [LAUSD general counsel David] Holmquist said."
One fact of politics that has not received much attention is that many of America's most conservative geographic areas are also home to radical left media outlets that regularly produce stories sneering at the values of their neighbors.
In Oklahoma, one of the most conservative states, the perfect example of this is the Tulsa World newspaper which frequently derides conservative ideas and groups. The publication provided a perfect example of this tendency earlier in the year running a piece that smeared several well-established and accomplished conservative organizations as somehow being "controversial."
Stephen Colbert channeled the mother and teacher from the classic "A Christmas Story" on Thursday's Colbert Report, as he made fun of a proposed dormitory for undergraduates with gun permits at the University of Colorado. The only thing missing from his left-wing stereotypes of gun owners as trigger-happy yahoos was the famous "you'll shoot your eye out" line.
Colbert cracked that the move from the mountain state school would "forever ensur[e] that no one will think of it as a safety school." After pointing out that not one student had signed up for the dorm, he snarked, "Come on! This is college! It's time to get crazy - do shots, take shots, get shot....live a little - if not very long." As you might expect, CBS This Morning spotlighted the Colbert sketch on Friday. [audio available here; video below the jump]
From what I can tell, a major scandal involving teachers in three states has received almost no national press coverage since CNN first broke a story about it in July. Among the non-participants or nearly non-participants (again, from what I can tell based on archived news search attempts) is the Associated Press, which decided early this morning on a slow news weekend when few are paying attention to publish Adrian Sainz's 1,200-word story on the topic.
What follows are portions CNN's original report, today's AP item, and a "edu-blog" post, in wondering why the conspiracy hasn't received more attention, identifies a sadly predictable likely reason.
With the 50th Anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis approaching and new documents surfacing about just how close to World War III the United States and the Soviet Union came in 1962, it’s interesting to look at how the incident is regarded in the media and, especially, how it’s taught as history.
The Cuban Missile Crisis is commonly portrayed as a firm display of President John F. Kennedy’s resolve in the face of Cold War Soviet aggression. President John F. Kennedy is popularly depicted as a courageous leader who forced the Soviet Union to withdraw nuclear missiles from Cuba pointed at the United States.
It’s surprising that Hollywood would make a film that sympathetically argues for school choice, the movie Won’t Back Down, starring accomplished actresses Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal. It’s not surprising that liberal Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday would then offer a withering one-star review that seemed more like a political judgment than an artistic estimate.
Hornaday huffed: “More than a portrait of spontaneous motherly outrage, it becomes clear that the movie has been designed as an anti-union, pro-charter screed, the fictional counterpart to the 2010 documentary Waiting for Superman.”
In a surprisingly tough interview with President Obama aired on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie cited Mitt Romney's criticism that the President has sided with teachers' unions against education reform, to which Obama shot back: "I think Governor Romney and a number of folks try to politicize the issue and do a lot of teacher-bashing."
Guthrie followed up: "Can you really say that teachers' unions aren't slowing the pace of reform?" Obama repeated the anti-Romney talking point: "I just really get frustrated when I hear teacher-bashing as evidence of reform." While Guthrie made some effort to pin down the President, she ultimately allowed him to build up the "teacher-bashing" straw man as he dodged her questions.
If you tried to get a handle on the showdown between Chicago Public Schools and its teachers' union based on picture captions from the Associated Press, you would think that the teachers' strike has nothing to do with money.
The reality is that Chicago's teachers are, depending on the figures quoted, either the highest-paid cadre of K-12 educators in the nation or so darned close to it that their current demand for a 16% increase over the next four years (down from an original 35%, as Ken Shepherd at NewsBusters noted earlier today) will put them easily 10% ahead of any group of teachers anywhere else in the nation. With that in mind, let's look at the content of the various picture captions I located as I reviewed the wire service's latest strike-related stories.
Reporting from Chicago this afternoon on MSNBC, NBC News reporter Kevin Tibbles described yesterday's teachers union picket lines as "festive" occasions but worried that the mood may sour if an accord is not reached soon.
Yet while other media outlets have reported and confirmed that the Chicago teachers union had requested a 35 percent pay hike, Tibbles completely ignored the issue of pay, insisting the teachers union is concerned most with teacher evaluation policies.
Throughout its morning and afternoon news coverage today, MSNBC has dealt with the hours-old teachers strike in Chicago. NBC reporter Kevin Tibbles did a few standups next to a picket line "outside the Ray Elementary School in Chicago." During his 11:40 a.m. Eastern live report, Tibbles interviewed a union teacher, John Cusick, who said he'd heard from parents, "mostly" who "support us" because "they know we care for their children" and "have their children's best interest at heart."
Immediately after Cusick said that, rather than express skepticism, Tibbles seemed concerned about how the strike could hurt President Obama and the Democrats come November's election:
One the eve of the nation's third-largest school district seeing a massive teacher's strike ABC's World News was strangely silent. Of course, even as other media outlets have covered the story, they've often done a poor job at presenting the public relevant information. For example, as my NewsBusters colleague Scott Whitlock reported today, CBS This Morning was the only broadcast network morning show on Monday to note that Chicago teachers make on average $71,000 a year.
Less than 48 hours from now, Chicago's teachers, whose union head insists, as quoted by the Associated Press, that "we are here to negotiate for better schools in Chicago," may walk off the job, leaving the children entrusted to them to languish in half-days of activities unrelated to learning "staffed by non-union and central office workers."
There seems to be an unwritten rule that news coverage of these matters not discuss the current earnings of those who are threatening to strike. In a writeup of over 900 words, AP writers Tammy Webber and Don Babwin stuck to that script, and also failed to tell their readers the size of the raise union negotiators initially requested. Those two figures follow the jump.
Liberals really should decide how they feel about the idea of southern states seceding from the union. The MSNBC crowd suddenly wraps itself in Old Glory and rediscovers the meaning of “treason” at the mention of it.
Others, like travel writer Chuck Thompson, wish they’d go. He honestly believes Southern conservatives are standing in the way of progress and solely responsible for political gridlock. The only ‘logical’ way of dealing with it in his mind is secession. Only then can the Northern states have the utopian society they’re apparently on the verge of attaining.
President Barack Obama recently wrote an executive order that established a White House initiative on educational excellence for black Americans that will be housed in the Department of Education. It proposes "to identify evidence-based best practices" to improve black achievement in school and college. Though black education is in desperate straits, the president's executive order will accomplish absolutely nothing to improve black education. The reason is that it does not address the root causes of educational rot among black Americans. It's not rocket science; let's look at it.
The president's initiative contains not one word about rampant inner-city school violence, which makes educational excellence impossible. During the past five years, Philadelphia's 268 schools had 30,000 serious criminal incidents, including assaults — 4,000 of which were on teachers — robberies and rapes. Prior to recent layoffs, Philadelphia's school district employed about 500 police officers. In Chicago last year, 700 young people were gunfire victims, and dozens of them lost their lives. Similar stories of street and school violence can be told in other large, predominantly black cities, such as Baltimore, Detroit, Cleveland, Oakland and Newark.
In an apparent attempt to pin blame anywhere but on the Obama administration for the rising unemployment rate, a USA Today item currently carried at Newsmax's MoneyNews.com web site opens by claiming that "Companies across the country are cutting training programs for new employees, broadening the divide between workers with skills needed to compete in today's economy and those left out, pushing up unemployment rates in the process."
The incoherence is stunning, and it continues after the jump:
The New York Times’ quest for tolerance has taken a lunatic turn. A contributing author for New York Times Magazine is now pushing for boys who want to wear women’s clothing to be allowed to do so, in the name of gender fluidity.
The New York Times Magazine published a 5,500-word celebration of boys breaking traditional gender boundaries. Ruth Padawer, a professor at the Columbia University School of Journalism, wrote a long August 8 piece with the provocative title “What’s So Bad about a Boy Who Wants to Wear a Dress?” She then proceeded to attempt to convince readers that nothing was wrong with that with a litany of examples of young boys happily wearing “girls” clothing despite the skepticism of queasy parents and the bullying of intolerant individuals.
Penny Starr at CNSNews.com reports the Washington, D.C. Department of Health gave away 200,000 condoms at public high schools last year, according to department communications director Najma Roberts, which averages out to about 16 condoms for each of the 12,792 students.
According to the D.C. Public Schools website, there are 20 public high schools that serve 12,792 students. Roberts provided the names of 18 public charter schools that receive condoms for distribution to students, including Maya Angelou-Evans Middle School and Two Rivers PCS Middle School.
Make that -- a privately owned, non-union charter school company. No wonder Rachel Maddow's memory about this got selective.
Michigan's emergency financial manager law, enacted by the legislature in 2011 to allow the governor to appoint emergency managers to oversee insolvent municipalities and school districts, is one of Maddow's obsessions, right up there with gay marriage, Republicans as inherently evil, and her barfly Cocktail Moment on Friday nights. (video clip after page break)
On May 2, Matt Sheffield at NewsBusters ran down a list of national media outlets which failed to report the Occupy movement connections of the five men arrested by the FBI for plotting to blow up a suburban Cleveland bridge, despite the fact that the Cleveland Plain Dealer began noting those relationships from the get-go.
Matt wrote that the Associated Press recognized the connections, but watered it all down by "letting an Occupy Cleveland spokesman's claim the men 'weren't affiliated with or representing the group' go unchallenged." Yesterday, after one of the five arrested entered a guilty plea to avoid a probable life sentence, an unbylined AP report waited until the final of 13 paragraphs to even mention Occupy, and then proceeded to engage in the same dishonest downplaying -- even though evidence revealed a few days after Matt's post proved an undeniable, high-level relationship (bolds are mine; HT Instapundit):
Observers on the right and left have, for different reasons, long lamented that Comedy Central has become the main source of news for young people. But one group thinks the phenomenon is just fine. The academic left considers comedian Stephen Colbert an object of serious and perhaps even obsessive study.
The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi wrote an excellent piece on July 9, examining the academic world’s “unsettling” obsession with comedian Stephen Colbert. Farhi describes Colbert-related studies as the “academic cult of Colbert,” writing: “Yet ever since Colbert’s show, “The Colbert Report,” began airing on Comedy Central in 2005, these ivory tower eggheads have been devoting themselves to studying all things Colbertian.”
Since liberal producer Aaron Sorkin's HBO series The Newsroom made waves a couple of weeks ago with its infamous speech asserting that America is "not the greatest country in the world anymore," CNN host Piers Morgan has repeatedly brought up this charge with guests on his Piers Morgan Tonight show.
Morgan, who so far has not brought up the speech with any clearly conservative guest who might disagree with the premise, first raised the issue on the Wednesday, June 20, show with guest Billy Corgan of the rock group, the Smashing Pumpkins. Morgan:
In an analysis piece which, based on its title ("In divided era, what does July 4th mean?"), was as predictable as heat in July, Ted Anthony, who is tasked with writing "about American culture" at the Associated Press, attempted to explain, 236 years in, where what he claims is "the only nation in the world that was built solely upon an idea" stands. (Communism as an idea is what originally built the historically destructive Soviet Union, so Anthony is obviously wrong on that; readers will see another example later in this post.)
In the process, even beyond his tedious complaints about commerce ("Independence Day ... (is) more about the pursuit of happiness than life and liberty"), Anthony revealed utter ignorance about the nature and interrelationship of this country's key founding documents, as seen in the following excerpts (bolds are mine):