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.
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.
While many liberals cheer the harsh words that Democratic Mayors Thomas Menino (Boston) and Rahm Emanuel (Chicago) have had for the Chick-fil-A fast-food chain as a result of its conservative, pro-traditional marriage president, editorial boards at liberal newspapers in those two cities have come out with strong criticisms for the anti-conservative bullying.
"[W]hich part of the First Amendment does Menino not understand? A business owner’s political or religious beliefs should not be a test for the worthiness of his or her application for a business license," the Boston Globe complained in a July 25 editorial. "History will render judgment on the views of Chick-fil-A executives. City Hall doesn’t have to," the editorial board concluding, having noted that there's no evidence that Chick-fil-A breaks any anti-discrimination laws.
On a day when most normal Americans are relaxing and celebrating the Fourth of July with family and friends, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg is giving full vent to his Liberal Rage Syndrome by angrily lashing out at Republicans by labeling them as the "treason party." Oh, he pretends he COULD be labeling them as such but won't. However, this disingenous denial is belied by the fact that reading his column leaves no doubt that he is most definitely making that accusation. And for those few people who are actually fooled by his lame denial, there is the very title of his column as proof of Steinberg's intolerance of political opinions at variance to his own beliefs:
Happy Fourth of July to the Treason Party
Liberals look to government, often the Federal government, for solutions to almost everything. Chicago's murder rate is appalling, with at least six people killed and another 31 shot last weekend. So to whom does Chicago Sun-Times columnist Stella Foster turn for help? President Barack Obama.
On the newspaper's Web site today appears Foster's plea, titled "Letter to President Obama: Please help address city violence." The article also appears in the newspaper's print edition with the headline "Dear Mr. President: Help our city!" It begins:
PRESIDENT OBAMA, you came into your hometown of Chicago last weekend to attend the backyard wedding of the daughter of your personal friend and senior advisor Valerie Jarrett in your Kenwood neighborhood. I am sure the affair was lovely and heartwarming. Hopefully, your schedule, one day soon, will allow you to return to Chi Town to spearhead an anti-violence rally of huge proportion to speak out against the senseless gun violence that has overwhelmed various areas of our city. . .
Posted on the Chicago Sun-Times's Web site today is "The rise and fall of Rod Blagojevich," written by Carol Marin, the newspaper's political columnist. Illinois's former Democratic governor is heading to the Federal pen this week, and Marin writes "he had surrounded himself with con men and creeps." She names a few, most notably convicted influence peddler Tony Rezko. She ignores a man who had a substantial role in elevating Blagojevich to the governor's office, Barack Obama.
In a 2008 New Yorker accounting, Ryan Lizza wrote:
Saturday morning, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) appeared alongside Rev. Jesse Jackson on his weekly Rainbow PUSH program, prior to her endorsement of Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) in this month's Democratic primary. The Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, WLS AM, and the local affiliates of NBC and ABC all covered the the event.
Moments after saying it's "a badge of honor" for President Barack Obama to be known as the food stamp president, Pelosi made an incredible assertion (video here):
On April 15, The Chicago Sun-Times reported on its Web site, "Jesse Jackson denies gay worker’s harassment, discrimination claims." The article began:
A spokesman for the Rev. Jesse Jackson on Thursday denied a claim from a man who says he was fired from the civil rights leader’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition because he is gay.
Tommy R. Bennett filed a complaint with the city of Chicago’s Commission on Human Relations last year, alleging Jackson fired him unjustly and that the civil rights leader forced him to perform “uncomfortable” tasks, including escorting various women to hotel rooms to meet Jackson for sex.
The piece ended noting that a gay publication, The Windy City Times, had reported Bennett's allegations earlier in the week. The Windy City Times story included more salacious details, such as the complainant's charge that Jackson directed him to apply cream to a rash between Jackson's legs; the minister told Bennett about one of his high school instructors, a gay man, who served as Jackson's teacher with benefits; and Bennett's allegation that Jackson wanted to have sex with the Rainbow Coalition employee.
Whoever is compiling a list of what journalists really believe when they put forth certain vague but commonly used phrases (e.g., using "some people believe" instead of truthfully saying "in my opinion") should consider adding the following: "small but vocal group" really means "a tiny bunch of people I agree with."
That's my assessment as I look at two uses of the term this past weekend, each referring to pathetically small gatherings of people using tax-filing weekend as a excuse to protest "corporate tax loopholes."
The first comes to us via David Roeder of the Chicago Sun-Times (HT JammieWearingFool via Instapundit), where the paper's headline writers cooked up something that would give those who didn't read the underlying report the impression that the city's Tea Party Tax Day protest was small:
On the Chicago Sun-Times's Web site today, it's reported that former Cook County Board President Todd Stroger has applied for unemployment benefits. Stroger had been earning $170,000 at his job, and his former employer is appealing his eligibility. Not mentioned, of course, is the fact Stroger is a Democrat.
A little more than four years ago, Stroger was endorsed by then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) as "a good progressive Democrat" who will "lead us into a new era of Cook County government." He certainly did. His tenure was marked by scandal after scandal after scandal. Still, Stroger was constantly on the prowl for new talent to bring to government. So impressed was he with one restaurant busboy he encountered that the man ended up with a $61,189-a-year county job. The guy sure must have known how to handle a glass of ice water.
The new civility demanded by liberals suffered a setback at Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Saturday morning forum this week. As televised on the WORD Network, featured speaker Democratic Wisconsin state Sen. Lena Taylor told a cheering audience that Gov. Scott Walker (R) "got our state for sale like a two-bit. . . " Taylor's PUSH appearance was reported by, among others, the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago's ABC 7 News, and the Huffington Post. None found Taylor's slur worthy of mention.
From the video:
TAYLOR: It's not acceptable that in this bill where my governor lies and says that it's for his budget, when he's already received all the concessions he needs from workers that he is really just giving away. It's not that our - he says that our state is open for business, he got our state for sale. Ooo. Ooo. Ooo. He got our state for sale like a two-bit. . . OK, hmm, hmm, you know what I was going to say. And it's not acceptable.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) isn't alone in having trouble understanding how the government is organized. In a Sunday article posted on the Chicago Sun-Times's Web site, staff reporter Mary Houlihan credits the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-WI) with running the House Committee on Un-American Activities. That would have been quite an accomplishment, given the fact McCarthy never served in the House of Representatives.
Houlihan writes of photographer Milton Rogovin, who died last month. After military service during World War II, Rogovin "organized a chapter of the optometrists’ union and served as librarian for the Communist Party of Buffalo."
Then the inevitable happened. In October 1957, Rogovin was caught in the net cast by the House Un-American Activities Committee helmed by Sen. Joseph McCarthy. It was the waning days of the Communist witch hunt, and the experience would change Rogovin’s life.