I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How one teacher becomes the entire NJEA

So Big Joe Henry, weekend star of NJ 101.5, didn't get to host the Basie's tonight. Because one teacher, Regina McAllen, wrote a letter to the director of the Count Basie Theater.

Does that strike you as odd? One teacher's letter got a prominent media figure cut from a gig?

Oh, sorry, it wasn't just one teacher - it was the entire NJEA.
Members of the NJEA should pick on someone their own size. Their latest slash-and-burn target, radio personality Big Joe Henry, reveals just how far around the bend they have gone. When they found out the popular NJ 101.5 DJ was scheduled to host tonight's awards show at the Count Basie Theatre for student achievement in the performing arts, the venue received e-mails and phone calls from NJEA members threatening to protest his presence at the event.
Wow, the NJEA organized a protest over this? Really?

Well, there must be some reporting to confirm that this was more than one teacher. Right?

Did Bob Ingle report that? No. He says letters "letters trickled in from music teachers in various New Jersey high schools," but the only one he cites is McAllen.

Did the Star-Ledger report this? No. They write, "A New Jersey radio personality stepped aside as host of a student awards event amid a threatened protest by teachers," but, again, they only cite McAllen.

Did the APP report it?  No. They have an editorial condemning the entire teachers union, titled "Poor Showing by the NJEA," but they only cite McAllen as well.

How about NJ 101.5 themselves? No, they actually report the NJEA denies organizing a protest, although they also say, "Some NJEA members threatened to boycott these awards if Big Joe-- who's show does not include political opinions--were to host due to his employment with NJ101.5."

Notice the plural?

This is yet another example of how the media takes an isolated incident and sensationalizes it to try to make a larger point that fits a pre-approved script. There is only one teacher involved in this. This is not indicative of the NJEA's position, or a group of teachers. This is an isolated incident that is being used to make a larger political point by a media that has already decided how this story should be sold to the public.

Prove me wrong, media. Please. Show us who else protested Big Joe Henry's involvement in the Basies.

And, if you can - why didn't you report it before you wrote that this was more than just one teacher?


 - A perceptive commenter on Bob Ingle's blog posts:
To tbworried: Maybe we should hope 101.5 takes a step on the high ground and quells all of the teacher bashing that comes out of its station. This station has put teachers in the category of terrorists and the like. Where is your outrage when great teachers get caught up in all of this station’s NJEA defamation? Great teachers and their profession have been slammed all over the place by these guys, but tears fall when one of their DJs gets his feelings hurt.
Bull's eye. If you're in the "mainstream" media, all your fellows have your back.

No comments: