Race and class comments spell network fodder any day – except when the topic comes to “white suburban moms.”
When Secretary of Education Arne Duncan blamed “white suburban moms” for opposition to the new Common Core school standards on Nov. 15, only CBS’ “This Morning” covered the story – devoting a total of 19 seconds to the controversy. Host Charlie Rose cited The Washington Post in the Nov. 19 report, and noted Duncan’s “apologizing” for the remarks that “sparked outrage on social media.”
I don't want to go overboard here, but most of the print establishment press deserves a bit of grudging credit in the Arne Duncan "white suburban moms" controvery.
Most of them aren't characterizing the gutless attempt by Barack Obama's education secretary to back away from his spiteful, condescending, bigoted comment Friday as an apology — because it wasn't. In a Monday post at the Department of Educations's Homeroom blog (how courageous — not), Duncan only admitted that "I used some clumsy phrasing that I regret," and that "I singled out one group of parents when my aim was to say that we need to communicate better to all groups," while repeating many of the tired lies which have accompanied Common Core's imposition from its inception. There was no admission of wrongdoing, and nothing resembling an "I'm sorry." Predictably, Stephanie Simon at the Politico was among those who considered Duncan's dumbness an apology (links are in original; bolds are mine throughout this post):
Will yet another example of rhetorical intemperance by an Obama administration official get a free pass? So far it mostly has.
A Washington Post item by Valerie Strauss at its "Answer Sheet" blog quotes a dispatch from Libbly Nelson at the Politico, but does not link to it. I couldn't find a related original story by Nelson at her Politico archive or in a Politico search on Education Secretary Arne Duncan's name (not in quotes). Here is what the Post says Nelson wrote (HT The Blaze; bolds are mine):
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:
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose went out of his way to spotlight how guest Jeb Bush once complimented President Obama, and played up his disagreements with fellow Republicans. Rose touted how supposedly only Bush had the "courage" to differ with "every Republican candidate in the primary" in being open to eliminating tax deductions to increase revenue.
The anchor also highlighted how Obama claimed that he emulated the father of the former Florida governor: "The President of the United States says that his foreign policy, in sense, in part, is modeled after the foreign policy of your father, President Bush 41."
CNN even noted it was an "election year" before giving Obama's Education Secretary a chance to share his "proudest" accomplishment from his time in office, no doubt bolstering the administration's re-election message.
Host Brooke Baldwin declined to ask any tough questions of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan during a lame Tuesday afternoon interview. Baldwin topped it all off with a soft parting question "on a more personal note." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Education Secretary Arne Duncan issued a “Dear Colleagues” letter on June 14 advising federally funded schools about establishing clubs on campuses, specifically Gay-Straight Alliance clubs for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.
The letter was issued from the department’s Office of Civil Rights for elementary and secondary schools and was sent to all school districts in the United States, according to Jo Ann Webb, spokesperson for the Department of Education (DOE).
As the broadcast network evening newscasts filed reports this week on the teacher cheating scandal in Atlanta, Georgia, ABC’s World News on its Wednesday show went furthest in seeming to sympathize with the teachers who cheated as correspondent Steve Osunami highlighted complaints about No Child Left Behind’s emphasis on standardized tests to judge teacher performance.
After recounting details of the cheating scandal, in which as many as 178 teachers and principals in Atlanta erased and changed some of the answers on student tests to improve test score statistics for their schools, Osunsami asserted that "everyone here is pointing the finger at No Child Left Behind," and undermined the complaints of parents angry about the scandal:
The Daily Caller reported yesterday that Arne Duncan, Obama's Secretary of Education, will speak at Al Sharpton's August 28 rally in Washington D.C., seen by some as a counter-protest to Glenn Beck's march on the same day.
The U.S. Department of Education's spokesperson hung up on The Daily Caller Wednesday when seeking clarification regarding the Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's planned speech at an Aug. 28 protest march that the Rev. Al Sharpton and his National Action Network (NAN) are holding to counter Fox News commentator Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally...
Hamilton hung up the phone on TheDC when contacted for further comment, refusing to answer actual questions, including whether Duncan believes the Tea Party is racist or if he believes Beck is trying to "hijack" the American dream, or comment any further on Duncan's planned participation in the rally...
Sharpton was quoted in a blackvoicenews.com story asking black people nationwide to attend his rally, which, by extension, he says casts doubt on Beck's message.
Duncan's presence there will certainly aid in that effort. Sharpton claims education is this century's civil rights issue. Does that fact alone explain Duncan's presence?
On Saturday, NB's Noel Sheppard reported on this statement made by Education Secretary Arne Duncan: "I think the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans was hurricane Katrina. That education system was a disaster. It took hurricane Katrina to wake up the community and say we have to do better."
CNN host T.J. Holmes read that quote aloud during a broadcast. "Of course I agree" with Duncan's statement, said one guest, CNN contributor Steve Perry. The host and correspondents went back and forth about how the hurricane may or may not have helped public schools, never once impugning Duncan's motives.
Contrast this media response with the response to former Republican Congressman from Louisiana Richard Baker's statement regarding Katrina: "We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did." It sparked outrage among the liberal media (h/t NRO's John Miller).
Here's something you never would have heard from a mainstream media outlet when George W. Bush was President: Hurricane Katrina was a good thing for New Orleans.
When it comes to the school system in the Louisiana city, that's exactly what CNN reported during Saturday's "Newsroom."
After anchor T.J. Holmes read a statement from Education Secretary Arne Duncan -- "I think the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans was Hurricane Katrina" -- he was joined by fellow CNNer's Roland Martin and Steve Perry who largely agreed.
As you watch the following video, try to imagine this discussion happening on CNN if Bush was still in the White House (video embedded below the fold with full transcript, h/t Story Balloon):
A bureaucrat serving under Obama Education Secretary-designate Arne Duncan spent $70,000 on espresso machines for Chicago's school system, according to a January 7 report in the Chicago Tribune. Of course, Duncan's name was not mentioned and his ties to the incoming presidential administration were left out of the 13-paragraph story:
One Chicago Public Schools manager must have really been jonesing for a cup of coffee when officials say she spent nearly $70,000 of the district's money to buy 30 cappuccino/espresso machines for a high school program.
But five months after the machines were purchased, 22 remained unopened, one disappeared and three were being used at two schools—though not in the culinary arts program for which they were intended, the district's inspector general said Tuesday.
Officials in a department dealing with work-school programs allegedly separated the purchases to make them appear they came from 21 different schools and were under $10,000.
It's hardly a secret that Chicago public schools chief executive Arne Duncan was the architect behind a failed plan to open a "gay-friendly" high school in the Windy City. But for some reason Washington Post staffer Maria Glod decided to keep that skeleton in the closet, leaving the fact out completely from her page A3 December 17 story, "Education Pick Is Called 'Down-to-Earth' Leader."
Glod set out in her 22-paragraph article to portray Duncan as an education reformed well-respected by both Democrats and Republicans and even garnering begrudging respect and even some allies among teachers unions and school bureaucrats who were at first wary of him.
The controvery over the proposed Social Justice Solidarity High School -- which was scrapped in a November 18 school board vote -- was completely left unmentioned although as Brad Haynes of the Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire blog reported yesterday:
**UPDATE** Duncan also tied to Chicago Annenberg Challenge organization employing terrorist William Ayers
So, how often do you think that the Old Media will mention that Barack Obama's choice for Secretary of Education, Chicago schools chief Arne Duncan, supported to be opened in Chicago a gay, lesbian and transgender high school? Any takers?
I have looked over many of the stories on Obama's pick for Sec of Ed, but seen mention of his support of the gay high school only a few times. Only three stories mentioned it out of the first 20 I checked. Even the Wall Street Journal didn't mention it in their announcement of the Obama pick.